The TCW dining room, left, is a popular spot where breakfast and lunch are always ready for all employees — as are the barbecue Fridays in the summer. TCW also hosts an annual picnic on the Santa Monica pier where employees and their families can do some serious playing around.

TCW Group

Helping their community and creating a level playing field where all employees are valued

First place, managers with 500 to 999 employees

TCW Group Inc. employees rave about the Los Angeles money manager's benefits, team spirit and friendly colleagues.

TCW's senior executives try to create a “level playing field” at the firm, a three-time winner in Pensions & Investments' annual Best Places to Work in Money Management survey. When top brass were in search for a new community outreach project, they asked employees, said David Lippman, TCW Group president and CEO. The manager employs 586 in the U.S.

The result: TCW and employees raised $30,000 and donated 1,800 books for a “Club Connect” reading room at Esperanza Elementary School in Los Angeles. Mr. Lippman, together with students, cut the blue ribbon at the Oct. 28 official opening.

TCW executives took other steps to nurture employees and create esprit de corps. This year, TCW began offering professional-skills classes as part of its existing TCW University program of investment-related curriculum, health and wellness, and other classes.

On the lighter side, TCW launched summer barbecue Fridays served in the company dining room, said Cheryl Marzano, managing director and head of human resources.

“What I hear from employees ... is that people just love the people they work with,” Ms. Marzano said.

“All the things we do — the summer picnic where employees bring their families, the holiday party ... and the internship program — are all things that foster teamwork and personal relationships.”

The approach seems to be working.

“We all sink or swim together, and everyone goes above and beyond in their efforts and consideration for others in the organization,” wrote one employee.

TCW also boosted benefits this year, supplementing existing PPO and HMO health plans with a low-cost high-deductible health insurance plan with generous company contributions to employees' health savings accounts. The firm also added elder care backup service for when a caregiver unexpectedly cancels to its existing childcare backup service, Ms. Marzano said.

This article originally appeared in the December 12, 2016 print issue as, "TCW Group".