Open office structure allows firm to quickly respond to change when necessary
Fifth place, managers with 1,000 or more employees
SEI Investments (SEIC) Co.'s diverse set of businesses — from asset servicing and investment technology to financial adviser support and investment management — have positioned this 48-year-old company outside of Philadelphia in Oaks, Pa., to ride waves of change in the asset management industry, from advances in technology and client service to the shift toward passive mandates.
But SEI's ability to respond quickly to change is also a function of its working environment.
“We've had an open office for more than 20 years and it has really helped to create a greater team orientation to being innovative and responsive,” says Chief Financial Officer Dennis McGonigle. “It helps SEI focus on the solutions clients need and to solve their problems. The campus and facility is designed to support this culture.”
A four-time winner in Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work in Money Management survey, SEI had $280 billion in assets under management as of Sept. 30, and $451 billion in client assets under administration with 2,557 employees.
Mr. McGonigle says involvement of employees in innovation has been expanded throughout the company as part of a long-term strategy. “It's not about the near term, but getting employees engaged in thinking about five years out.”
No doubt some of that brainstorming is soon to come at SEI's new innovation center — an old farmhouse on campus being readied with tools and technology designed to solve problems and not just serve as a general meeting space.
“The SEI campus is kept safe and beautiful through the year,” said one employee.
“SEI cares about its employees,” said another employee. “The company offers activities throughout the year on campus for health (workout area) and seminars/ classes for different aspects of your everyday life and general knowledge.”
This article originally appeared in the December 12, 2016 print issue as, "SEI Investments".