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Best places to work in money management

Baird Asset Management

During Baird Gives Back Week, the firm gives employees paid time off to volunteer in their communities. At Feed America, workers sort tomatoes.

First place, money managers with 50 to 100 employees

AUM: $63.2 billion

Employees: 82

With a steady focus on workplace culture, diversity of talent and helping employees manage all that life throws at them, Baird Asset Management once again ranks among the best employers by its workers.

In scoring a sixth-straight nod, Milwaukee-based Baird is a member of a select group of money management firms that have been recognized every year since 2012, the inaugural year of the Best Places to Work in Money Management awards.

In addition to flexible schedules and a culture of inclusion, the benefit workers appreciate most is employee ownership, said Leslie Dixon, chief human resources officer for Baird. "Our associates really have a stake in the business and its success," she said.

Low turnover is proof that company's laser-like focus on culture is working, says Baird Asset Management Director Mary Ellen Stanek.

"Diversity and inclusion are important to this organization; no one is treated like they don't belong," Ms. Stanek said.

Balancing the competing demands of family and work remains a challenge for many workers and Baird helps employees to cope with flexible schedules and resources. "It's not (only) young people with children. Often it's elder care," Ms. Stanek said.

The company also points to a strong and dynamic internship program that helps identify new talent. One in 10 employees started at the firm as interns.

Community involvement is another key component of Baird's culture, Ms. Stanek said, adding that the firm is regularly cited as a "top community partner." To support their efforts, Baird gives workers two paid days each year to volunteer in their communities.

Comments submitted by employees surveyed for this year's ranking show the value workers place on Baird's policies fostering work-life balance, diversity and talent retention.

"Employees are owners and act like owners,'' one employee wrote. "The company also values work-life balance and supporting the community."