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Standard Life Investments

The March Madness party for employees at Standard Life Investments features a variety of delicious treats and something to drink, too.

"Fantastic culture' valued by workers who feel respected regardless of titles

First place, managers with 50 to 99 employees

A three-time consecutive winner, Standard Life Investments Ltd. outgrew its size category since last year. But the carefully cultivated family atmosphere hasn't changed at its North American operations, which employ 105.

“We're making sure we are still listening to people. We make sure that we keep that culture at the heart of what we do,” said Steve Weeple, director of research-equities and global equity portfolio manager.

Employees do appreciate that culture, which one employee surveyed described as “fantastic.” They also feel respected regardless of their job titles.

“There is a great sense of camaraderie and the firm treats each employee as an individual person and not a number,” said another. “Ideas are heard and change is possible,” said a third.

Many employees surveyed for Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work in Money Management note that having such a positive culture begins with careful hiring, which helps to foster a collaborative environment. Simple things such as gathering in the Boston headquarters' kitchen on Fridays for coffee and bagels keep that spirit alive.

Even with growth, “it's about being real as leaders, no facades,” said CEO William H. Perry, who learned the type of environment he wanted — and didn't want — to create from previous employers.

One fun new thing has been the firm's high profile as the sole worldwide sponsor for the Ryder Cup. The biennial men's golf competition, held in 2014 in Scotland, moved to a suburb of Minneapolis for the 2016 event.

To make it fun for everyone, “we have our own little Ryder Cup,” where all employees can participate, said John “Jack” Boyce, head of North American distribution.

This article originally appeared in the December 12, 2016 print issue as, "Standard Life Investments".