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Best places to work in money management

Balentine

Balentine went all out to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2017 with an elegant bash. The 200-plus guest list included current and former employees, families and clients.

Third place, money managers with 20 to 49 employees

AUM: $2.4 billion

Employees: 32

A​ commitment to community and continuing education makes Balentine LLC, Atlanta, a great place to work, employees and executives agreed.

As a money manager with a relatively large workforce of young employees, Balentine has found continuing education to be incredibly helpful to its young workforce, officials said.

"They don't teach financial literacy in schools for the most part," said Robert Balentine, chairman and CEO. "Those skills are not only going to help them professionally, but personally."

Even non-investment staff, such as executive assistants and receptionists, participate in a monthly talk with various financial experts on financial literacy, said Jo Walthall, director of communications.

In October, the company hosted a "Finance 201" talk that covered everything from "what to look for in a mortgage to how you should never get too much of a loan on a car," Ms. Walthall said.

Employees responding to Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work in Money Management survey praised the firm's inclusive and supportive culture.

"Balentine feels like a family," wrote one employee about the four-time BPTW winner. "Everyone lives our four core values of excellence, mutual respect, entrepreneurial spirit and integrity."

Mr. Balentine said if the firm has a fifth core value, it is indeed, "family."

An example Ms. Walthall cited was a recent Sunday afternoon in which an employee had a dance performance. About a third of the office's 30 employees attended, including Mr. Balentine and his family, and Chief Investment Officer Adrian Cronje and his family.

The team also had a half-day bus trip that toured Atlanta's BeltLine, an enormous urban redevelopment program involving a new streetcar line, new housing and new parks.

"It was four hours together on a bus, which I think has fostered a kind of camaraderie," Ms. Walthall said. She added many employees were exposed to areas of Atlanta with which they were unfamiliar, which also helped familiarize them with the communities the company serves.

"We do have a special culture," Mr. Balentine said.