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Best places to work in money management

Income Research & Management

At Income Research & Management’s annual summer outing, table tennis and a Jenga competition were among the orders of the day.

Second place, money managers with 100 to 499 employees

AUM: $67.8 billion

Employees: 168

Jack Sommers, co-founder and managing principal of Income Research & Management, has found the sweet spot: "We're small enough to be collegial, but large enough to offer the best people and resources for our clients."

Officials at the Boston-based fixed-income specialist pay significant attention to "emotional intelligence," Mr. Sommers said. "EI has become a differentiating core value in how we hire and what we reward. We think it's a critical attribute to making our collaborative culture hum.

"We respect our colleagues and their differing opinions and work to respond to challenges and opportunities together," he said.

"Our executives do a great job encouraging healthy conflict and ensuring that people feel safe to speak up when they don't agree," said one employee at the firm, which earned its second consecutive honor in Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work in Money Management program.

Such feedback is encouraged by the firm's use of 360 evaluations. "What gets liked gets reinforced," said Mr. Sommers. "Leadership development occurs throughout the firm — it's a coaching culture."

The firm's profit-sharing plan — roughly 15% of total compensation with vesting — reinforces the value that all employees and owners bring to clients. The firm also works to support communities and clients' causes in youth, homeless and women's groups in and around Boston, including Rosie's Place, Year Up and The Greater Boston Food Bank.

"We have an annual firm granting contest in which employees nominate and pitch charities to their co-workers,'' one employee said in the BPTW survey. "It's a great opportunity to learn what other people are passionate about."