A collaborative and family-like atmosphere has helped Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. grow significantly since its 2002 management buyout from Wilshire Associates Inc.
The company now has more than $15 billion in assets under management and more than 60 employees, around 45% of whom are owners in the business.
Both Tom Stevens, chairman, president and principal, and Mindy Borghi, human resources manager, said “collaboration” is one word that could describe the firm's culture. Mr. Stevens said the founders had “strong opinions on what we wanted to create,” including a “spirit of collaboration” and no “egos.”
“Everyone here from the lowest analyst understands their value and contribution to the firm's final product,” Mr. Stevens said.
The collaboration is at all levels, and numerous employees cited its open-door policy as a big factor in making Los Angeles Capital a great place to work. Among the comments: “Everyone here, no matter how senior, always has their doors open and are more than willing to answer any questions or help!” Another said: “Senior management takes the extra effort to help new employees learn their function and teach them about the industry.”
Many employees went further. “There is a familial atmosphere at work and all employees genuinely care about co-workers,” wrote one.
Ms. Borghi said “many people have grown up here.” She noted there now is a “baby boom” at the firm as individuals have started their own families.
The family-like atmosphere is fostered by group activities such as a weekend getaway to San Diego, which included a Padres baseball game. Mr. Stevens said employees also have fun through “little excursions” such as beach trips, which have “made us a better firm.”
Employees cited a flexible schedule and work-life balance as great aspects of the firm. As one employee put it, “There is a strong commitment to a healthy work/life balance.”
Mr. Stevens said “because of our family orientation” managers try to be flexible, given job constraints: “We do not want to have people get burned out.”
The firm has added more than 20 employees in the past 18 months. Mr. Stevens said executives are “committed to keeping the culture,” and given the growth “requires almost a full-time effort of senior management.”
Ms. Borghi said it was “so far so good” on integrating the new staff, and Mr. Stevens said he is “thrilled with the workforce.”