Employees at INTECH Investment Management work hard at their jobs, but they enjoy the work so much that, on some occasions, they can't help but sing.
And Adrian Banner, the quantitative equity manager's CEO and chief investment officer, is just the person to lead them. An accomplished musician, Mr. Banner on occasion will take requests from his employees to raise money for charity. And judging from comments by his employees in this year's Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work in Money Management survey, he doesn't disappoint.
“A CEO that played Pharrell Williams' "Happy' on the piano during a company breakfast and an executive management team that took on the Ice Bucket challenge for charity during a company lunch are just two of the very many, many best things about working at INTECH,” commented an employee. “Our CEO and executive management team are strong and inspiring leaders. Integrity without compromise is at the foundation of each decision made and each action taken,” the employee added.
Martha Franco, director of human resources at INTECH, said the comment was no surprise. “We've just got a very open structure. Any of our executives are open to talk with anyone and everyone. Adrian, when he's in our office, makes it a point to talk with everyone here. Employees don't feel awkward talking with executives, and our executives take the time to say thank you to all the employees.”
Mr. Banner works out of INTECH's research facility in Princeton, N.J., but visits the firm's West Palm Beach, Fla., headquarters, a couple days every month on average.
Mr. Banner's skills as a leader are appreciated by employees, as is his knowledge of music, said Ms. Franco. “Adrian has a library of music in his head,” Ms. Franco said. “All sorts, all kinds. You name it, he knows it. He rarely looks at sheet music. We've all tried to stump him but never have. He often will collect donations from employees for requests, and those donations will go to charities.”
Employees so far this year have raised more than $7,000 through those requests and other fundraising activities for charities that employees themselves have nominated. Those focus on children and the community in and around West Palm Beach, including Quantum House, which hosts families of children being treated at area hospitals for serious medical conditions, and Speak Up for Kids, a community organization that supports foster programs for children in need.
Also, INTECH employees receive eight hours of work time annually to do community involvement in those charities, and most also volunteer their own time for a variety of charities and community events, Ms. Franco said.
So it's no coincidence that employees asked Mr. Banner to perform “Happy.” “I admit I did this,” Mr. Banner said. Playing for employees is “an infrequent occurrence, just a little something to do with the staff. We have such an incredibly dedicated employee base. Maybe for a few minutes every quarter, we let down our hair and have a little fun.”
Did Mr. Banner don the familiar hat of Mr. Williams during his performance? No, said Ms. Franco, but “he would have if we asked him.”