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MONEY MANAGEMENT

Balentine

Balentine employees volunteer at the Junior Achievement of Georgia’s Biz Town and Finance Park, helping Atlanta-area middle schoolers learn valuable lessons about entrepreneurship and personal finance.

Open communication, teamwork make for feeling of inclusion and sincere support

Second place, managers with 20 to 49 employees

An emphasis on teamwork and open communication makes Balentine LLC, Atlanta, a great place to work, employees and executives overwhelmingly agreed.

Balentine is “now like the Brady Bunch on a Thursday morning,” said Jo Walthall, director of communications, referring to the weekly firmwide meetings that keep the firm's 30 employees apprised of what their colleagues are working on. Until recently, remote employees called in to the one-hour meetings. Now they participate via a video conference.

Employees responding to Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work in Money Management survey praised the firm's inclusive and supportive culture. “Balentine has a great inclusive culture, cares about employees and has open lines of communication. The weekly all-firm meetings are a great place to learn what is going on in the firm and industry and stay connected,” one employee wrote about the three-time winner of the BPTW award.

“There are no hidden agendas and everyone is fully integrated into the culture,” another employee wrote. “The culture of the firm is one of integrity, caring and sincere interest in the success and happiness of each employee. Everyone is involved in the firm's growth and delivery of exceptional service.”

Guided by the mindset that Balentine's competitive advantage is its people, Balentine officials have looked for ways to keep employees even when family situations dictate a move from Atlanta, said Robert Balentine, CEO and chairman, pointing to two employees who moved out of state and now work remotely.

Balentine's culture is also something employees want to share with their family members. Responding to employees' requests for more family activities, the three-time Best Places to Work winner added a Halloween party to the calendar this year (pool parties have been held in the past). For an afternoon, employees' children were invited into the Atlanta office to play games and decorate pumpkins.

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