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Second Place (tie) | Neuberger Berman

DIGGING IT: Employees rock out with the Neuberger Berman Band to benefit underprivileged children.

Generous 401(k) contribution a huge bonus for employees

Neuberger Berman Group LLC's workforce really loves the company 401(k) plan. In fact, dozens of employees identified the retirement plan as one of the best benefits of working for the multiasset manager in response to Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work in Money Management survey.

The heightened appreciation probably stems from the 2014 hike in the company contribution to the 401(k) plan to 15% of total compensation from 10%.

Neuberger Berman's 401(k) plan “reflects our mission of taking care of our people and achieving alignment with our clients. Our employees are dealing with many of the same investment issues as our clients are,” said George H. Walker IV, chairman and CEO, New York.

The decision to pump up NB's contribution came after 86% of employees said in response to an internal survey that they should be saving more for retirement.

The “company genuinely cares about its employees, which is felt every day and seen in the compensation package that includes retirement savings,” one employee wrote in response to P&I's survey.

Another employee said NB has the “industry-best 401(k) contribution from management. (It's) truly a game changer for employees and something that should go a long way (toward) earning employee loyalty.”

Employee loyalty already is strong at NB: the 2015 award is the firm's third consecutive appearance in P&I's BPTW ranking.

Another reason cited by workers is NB's support of community service. Employees' ability to benefit community organizations has been significantly enhanced through the new Employee Impact Grants program. The grants - between $25,000 and $50,000 - are larger than NB typically makes and require employee teams to nominate a specific project that they then volunteer to see through to fruition.

“We have many ways that we support employee interests, especially in volunteerism,” said Heather Zuckerman, managing director and chief administrative officer.

“If an employee comes to us with an idea, we'll try to find a way to enable it.”

Sometimes, there's no stopping employee creativity in the name of charity.

The all-employee Neuberger Berman Band — (in)famous for its performance at the firm's 75th anniversary party in May 2014 — was resurrected to play a sold-out gig last year to benefit three organizations that use music to help underprivileged children: A BroaderWay Foundation, Highbridge Voices and ArtsConnection.

This article originally appeared in the December 14, 2015 print issue as, "Second Place | Neuberger Berman".