A three-time honoree on Pensions & Investments' list of the Best Places to Work in Money Management, SEI Investments Co. prides itself on a culture focused on creativity, risk-taking and evolution.
Those attributes helped the company transform itself: evolving from the late 1960s as a provider of training software to loan officers, to a company offering asset servicing, investment processing and asset management services.
Employees credited the people and work-life balance for what makes SEI a great place to work. But they also gave consistently high marks for the firm's environment, its learning and continuing education opportunities, and SEI's focus on family.
SEI's open workspaces were designed to foster innovation, creativity and openness.
There are no private offices or cubicles and everybody has the same type of desk which is on wheels. People can unplug and move their workstation wherever their projects take them.
“Our offices are reflective of our culture, where openness and transparency matter,” said Stephen G. Meyer, executive vice president and head of investment manager services.
“It creates a sense of purpose, that everybody is in this together and everybody's contributions matter.”
Works of art by emerging artists are on display throughout the barn-like buildings across the firm's campus. They are part of founder, Chairman and CEO Alfred West Jr.'s private collection, one of the largest in the country.
“We get a lot of credit for our environment being "cool' so it attracts a lot of young people,” said Edward D. Loughlin, executive vice president and head of SEI's institutional group.
“We look to hire people to fit well into a team, to be creative and who are fun to work with. Our people have a passion for what they do and they execute on it,” he added.
Employees take advantage of the walking and biking trails on the Oaks, Pa., property in addition to the onsite gym. More than 60% of employees enrolled in a health rewards program, which promotes exercise, eating right and other healthy lifestyle changes.
And the company encourages its employees to explore career opportunities across its four distinct business lines.
“We want people to have a well-rounded career where they are able to do different things. And we want them to be able to do so without changing employers,” said Mr. Loughlin.
Learning opportunities go beyond skills and career training. Lunch-and-learn sessions covering topics like retirement planning, Medicare, Social Security, eldercare and college planning are popular with employees.
A women's network was launched in 2007 to support professional growth through networking and educational events. Last year, the company held the inaugural SEI Women's Network Leadership Summit, “designed to help women grow personally and make an impact professionally,” according to its website.
SEI's onsite family center, which provides back-up day care, gets high marks from employees. Its ranks swell during the summer when it hosts camps and activities for kids.
“We don't want people to be fearful that family issues will impact their ability to get their job done. Amenities (like the family center) help them be more productive,” said Mr. Loughlin.