MONEY MANAGEMENT

Hamilton Lane Advisors LLC

Mario Giannini, Hamilton Lanes' CEO, talks about being a three time Best Places to Work winner. View more in this series

Based: Bala Cynwyd, Pa. | Ranks 5th among alternatives managers

Hamilton Lane Advisors LLC keeps a client wall like many obstetricians keep a baby wall.

Erik Hirsch, chief investment officer of the alternatives consultant and money manager, explained the photos help employees keep “clients in sight.” They are photos of participants in retirement plans for which the firm manages money. “The numbers get big,” he said, “and (in) talk about AUM it is easy to lose sight of why we are doing it and who we are doing it for.”

Mario Giannini, CEO, said it is the culture and focus on clients that have helped the manager rank among Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work in Money Management in each of the three years the survey has been conducted, and that has continued as the company has grown.

He said the importance of communicating the client focus to the staff has only grown in importance as the firm has expanded from 30 people to 230, with 170 in the U.S.

“It is not about 230 people, it is about one person at a time,” Mr. Giannini said. “We have got to stay focused on each person.”

As an example of that focus, Mr. Giannini described management's efforts to keep staff in its 11 offices around the world connected to the company and each other.

The company's smallest office is in Las Vegas, where one person works.

“To integrate the one person we have a mentor program. I was his mentor and (Chief Operating Officer Kevin Lucey) is his mentor now,” Mr. Giannini said.

The Bala Cynwyd, Pa.-based firm formally launched one of its newest community-building programs — Hamilton Lane in Action — last spring. The program coordinates and empowers employees to arrange hands-on volunteer events that bring employees from across the company together to work in their communities.

Employees get 16 hours of time off to use for HLinAction events. Hamilton Lane also will double monetary gifts to philanthropic organizations from employees.

The HLinAction efforts extend to dealings with clients. “Clients are involved. At various events, rather than give them a tote bag (or other giveaway), we are giving out charitable gift cards of organizations HL is involved with,” Mr. Hirsch said.

“The recipient can donate (the money on the gift card) to the charity,” he added.

The message about Hamilton Lane's culture was clear in the employee responses to P&I's survey.

When asked why it is a good place to work, many employees cited culture, executives and co-workers.

One laid out a response that covered it all: “The best thing about Hamilton Lane by far is the culture. It creates the type of work environment that allows people to be themselves, have fun and work together to achieve the company's goals.”

“Another great thing ... is that the executives within the firm truly care about their employees and reward the hard work that gets done. The last great thing ... is the sense of pride that people have when doing their jobs. The employees want to get things done right and everyone does their best in each task they are given.”