Wish you worked here?
15 money management firms score top honors as the Best Places to Work in P&I's inaugural feature
By Nancy K. Webman | December 10, 2012
Fifteen firms are being honored by Pensions & Investments as the Best Places to Work in Money Management.
Attached are profiles with accompanying slideshows of each of the 15 companies.
The “winners” come in all sizes and stripes, yet they share some common — and critical — characteristics. All of the companies had strong cultures, positive work environments, high employee engagement and good benefits.
Corporate culture is a big deal; thus, most of these firms:
- have a published statement of their organization's desired culture (values, beliefs and expected behaviors);
- include education on the organization's culture in their new-employee orientation program;
- assess the consistency of employees' behavior with the organization's cultural values as part of the performance review process;
- conduct periodic surveys to assess the health of their organization's culture; and
- view organizational culture as a strategic advantage for their business.
And employees said the best things about where they work are the people, the integrity of the company, the honesty of the company and the flexibility of the company.
This is the first year P&I undertook the Best Places to Work in Money Management project. We partnered with Buck Surveys, part of Buck Consultants, in an effort that began in May and included registration and completion of an employer survey and a separate employee survey.
Buck did the data crunching, weighting the employee responses at 60% and the employer responses at 40%.
The surveys sometimes produced differing results. For example, career development ranked higher on employees' lists than on employers' lists.
Also, employees didn't seem to consider the existence of special perks to be a big deal. Still, of the 15 companies that made the list:
- Eight provide free or subsidized meals and one (Bridgewater) provides free snacks and beverages around the clock;
- 10 have fitness facilities or memberships;
- 10 offer company-paid parking; and
- Four — Bridgewater, Diversified, Principal and SEI — have on-site recreational amenities like basketball courts.
And, the 15 money management firms that made the grade were — not surprisingly — much more likely to offer work-life benefits than the full universe of managers participating in the project. Those benefits ranged from flex time to child care to job sharing to pet sitting to on-site dry cleaning.
Many of the questions in both the employer and employee survey were the same for the money managers surveyed as they would be for most professions.
But P&I added some that editors thought would be of particular interest to clients and prospects. For example, we asked, by job title, who was eligible for a pay-for-performance plan. More people in each job category — including portfolio management, sales and marketing, client service and research — were eligible at companies on P&I's list of Best Places to Work than the full universe of participating companies.
Still, as the profiles of the 15 companies on the list show, some of what makes the firms great employers isn't about money management in particular.
Principal Financial Group's art collection in its Des Moines, Iowa, campus increases “engagement and collaboration,” said Larry Zimpleman, president and CEO.
Hersh Cohen, New York-based ClearBridge Advisor's co-chief investment officer, discussed the shared interest in food, and said it was a critical event when staffers found out their “favorite Chinese restaurant was downgraded to a "C' by the health department.”
And Steve Corkin, managing director and head of investor relations at AEW in Boston, said, “Sometimes I think our core competency is food and drink.”
This article originally appeared in the December 10, 2012 print issue as, "Wish you worked here?".