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Intercontinental Real Estate

The hammer and nail sculpture in Intercontinental’s reception area is part of the firm’s extensive art collection.

A family company thriving on work-life balance where everyone is respected

(updated with correction)

Fourth place, alternative managers

It's hard to say which one is better on a hot summer day: a surprise visit from an ice cream truck or an afternoon off. So Intercontinental Real Estate Corp. likes to offer both.

Peter Palandjian, chairman and CEO of the Boston-based firm, said that even though Intercontinental's assets under management are more than $6 billion, the 57-year-old firm, which was founded by his father, Petros A. Palandjian, still feels and behaves “like a family company in many ways.”

Employees agree. In Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work in Money Management survey, one said: “The organization is actually a family. We work hard together, we have fun together, and we respect one another.”

Intercontinental, a first-time winner in the BPTW survey, holds group activities from weight loss competitions to sports. It has had a company hockey team for 20 years and holds games every Wednesday and Friday morning during hockey season.

Employees enjoy having fun together, as well as winning cutting-edge gifts like the new Apple watch, Mr. Palandjian said.

Mr. Palandjian said work-life balance is important, and people work harder because of its policies and practices. From the July Fourth holiday through Labor Day, employees work half days on Friday every other week. And occasionally, Intercontinental gives a surprise Monday or full day off on Friday, said Mr. Palandjian said.

“We make things flexible in terms of being able to go to your kids' soccer game,” Mr. Palandjian said, “You don't get the experience back as parents.”

Intercontinental's family-oriented values also extend to external efforts.

The company hosts an annual charity event, and last year it raised more than $240,000. The money is used to support a number of charities throughout the year.

This article originally appeared in the December 12, 2016 print issue as, "Intercontinental Real Estate".