Thirty-four companies were named Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work in Money Management for 2015.
Six organizations have made the list every year since P&I launched “best places” in 2012 — Principal Financial Group, Baird Asset Management, Invesco Ltd., ClearBridge Investments LLC, Hamilton Lane Advisors LLC and Dana Investment Advisors Inc. These veterans run the gamut from some of the largest firms (Principal has almost 10,000 employees) to one of the smallest (Dana has 39 employees).
Seven companies have been ranked three times; 10 have been ranked twice in four years.
Eleven are first-time recipients of the Best Places to Work title.
Principal and Baird are the only employers to rank first in their categories all four years.
TCW Group, Dana and Principal were at the top of their respective lists both this year and last, but other rankings were shuffled. For example, WisdomTree Investments Inc., a newcomer to the rankings, topped the list of firms with 100-499 employees. And Satori Capital LLC, a small private equity shop, placed first among alternative investment managers.
New York leads the list of locations with the most companies on the list, at seven. Chicago followed, with four; Los Angeles and Baltimore, three each; and Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Milwaukee and the suburban Philadelphia area, two each.
The list of Best Places to Work in Money Management is compiled based on data collected and crunched by Buck Consultants LLC; Pensions & Investments' editors pick the categories. Responses to an employee survey account for 60% of a firm's score; the response to an employer survey makes up the other 40%.
Companies that made the list scored higher in the categories of employer relations and social responsibility and diversity and work-life balance, noted Rock Baek, senior associate, market assessment and survey intelligence at Buck in San Francisco.
He said employers on the list were much more likely to offer such benefits as flex time, telecommuting, child and elder care, family leave, job sharing, adoption assistance and in vitro fertilization financial assistance.
Employees of ranked firms gave their employers high scores for career development, total rewards and work environment, Mr. Baek said.
But employees responding to an open-ended question on three attributes that make their employer a great place to work most often cited, respectively, the people, the culture and the benefits, a review of their comments showed.
Other characteristics they mentioned frequently included integrity, flexibility, work-life balance, team approach, visionary CEOs who care about their employees, ongoing educational opportunities, community and charitable involvement, sense of community, values and respectful managers.
And, dozens of employees responded they were “proud” to work at their company.
Rule of seven
While several employees mentioned compensation, one employer — Bridgeway Capital Management Inc. — talked about it this way: “No partner (staff member) is permitted to make more than seven times the total compensation of the lowest paid partner.”
Bridgeway also talked about its policy on giving: “We are committed to the service of the world around us, which is reflected in the donation of 50% of investment advisory fee profits to charitable and non-profit organizations.”
Both employers and employees talked about special perks and events:
• SEI Investment Co.'s Goodstart program allows for six weeks of on-site infant day care; the SEI Family Center has a backup child care center for up to 40 days per year per employee.
• Principal has game rooms and personal recharge rooms, along with no-meeting Fridays.
• T. Rowe Price Group Inc. offers free or subsidized services for child care, elder care and pet care.
• WisdomTree employees receive a paid eight-week sabbatical every 10 years of employment.
• Aksia LLC holds office cooking competitions.
• Standard Life Investments USA is among the many that offer free or subsidized food. Standard Life has cereal and oatmeal, bagels, fresh fruit and beverages available, and stages monthly lunches and weekly breakfasts “at a minimum.”
• An Acadian Asset Management LLC employee was very specific about why he or she loved working there: CEO Churchill Franklin's maple syrup Christmas gift.
• At Satori, executives summed up their approach this way: “We spend time ensuring that people are enjoying their journey in life and work.”
This article originally appeared in the December 14, 2015 print issue as, "34 managers selected for 2015 honor".