Second place, money managers with 500 to 999 employees
AUM: $217 billion
There's a lot to like about working at alternative investment manager AQR Capital Management LLC, a new entrant in Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work in Money Management rankings.
Generous benefits include free medical, dental and vision care for its employees and their families; free lunch and breakfast; flexible work-life balance; gym allowances; and a generous 401(k) plan match.
But AQR, based in Greenwich, Conn., goes well beyond these "textbook things" to do "extraordinary things," including an all-employee outing to see the smash Broadway hit musical "Hamilton" followed by a Q&A with the cast, said an employee in response to P&I's BPTW survey.
Other popular activities include pub trivia nights, competitive chess tournaments, a classics book club with discussions led by university professors, fitness classes, on-site summer camps for employees' kids, and spectacular Halloween and December holiday parties.
"Everything we do is intentional. We curate activities for our employees as part of broadening engagement across silos," said David G. Kabiller, co-founder, founding principal and head of business development.
Beyond fun activities, AQR employees are engaged in the firm's continuing education programs, including the internal Quanta Academy, which offers three learning tracks — technology, leadership and management, and wellness and self-discovery.
"There's a strong notion of gratitude at AQR. It's part of the DNA of the firm's founders and it's the basis of the covenant we have with the people we work with. It's not just what we get from employees but also what we give," Mr. Kabiller said.
"If we create a culture of excellence and innovation, it's the ... way we can achieve our mission of serving our clients," he said, stressing "if we don't serve our people well, we won't serve our investors well."