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MONEY MANAGEMENT

Los Angeles Capital Management

Los Angeles Capital Management's new conference room accommodates its growing workforce.

Culture of collaboration and teamwork extends to growing employee family

Fifth place, managers with 50 to 99 employees

Each year, Los Angeles Capital Management and Equity Research Inc. adds a few more employees — seven were added in the last year, which now makes for a staff of 75.

While it has grown from nine at its start in 2002, Tom Stevens — founder, president, CEO and chairman — is intent on not losing the employee collaboration and teamwork that have become part of the quantitative investment firm's culture since its early days.

“People recognize that if you're going to work at Los Angeles Capital, you're going to be part of a team, you're not going to be here doing your own thing,” Mr. Stevens said in an interview. “You're going to be doing stuff in collaboration with other people. I think that rapport is the reason we have the culture we have; it's very teamwork oriented.”

When prospective or current clients visit the office, they don't meet just one person, like in a classic portfolio management system in which only one person makes decisions, Mr. Stevens said. Operations personnel, traders and other team members also meet with the asset owner.

“We want everybody at the firm to feel like they're a part of what we deliver to the client,” he said. “When I got my start, I worked at a big bank in the Midwest, I did not feel like I was included. I didn't feel like anybody cared what I thought.”

Every employee of the firm also is an owner and receives a cut of the profits, helping enhance employee commitment to the firm, Mr. Stevens said.

Said one staffer commenting in an employee survey on what they liked about the firm: “Family oriented, friendly people and great collaborations between departments.”

This is the third year in a row the firm was a winner in Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work in Money Management survey.             

This article originally appeared in the December 12, 2016 print issue as, "Los Angeles Capital Management".