An emphasis on employee involvement and a strong family atmosphere has made Cassaday & Co., Inc., McLean, Va., a place its 38 employees love to work.
Stephan Q. Cassaday, president and CEO, said the culture of the wealth management firm — making its first appearance on Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work in Money Management ranking — “empowers employees” and has “radical inclusion,” where all voices are heard. According to Mr. Cassaday, “what do you think” is asked of all employees to get everyone's input regardless of seniority.
Allison Felix, chief operating officer, said working at Cassaday “feels like a family” where the often long-tenured co-workers celebrate good times and share the bad. Commenting on the family-like atmosphere, Mr. Cassaday said employees help each other and everyone feels genuinely important. As one employee wrote responding to P&I's survey put it: “The people here are genuinely kind and get along well — something rare in the financial service industry!”
The firm provides an opportunity to support charitable organizations though the Cassaday & Co. Charitable Fund. According to Ms. Felix, the fund has been around for a decade, and is a way to share the “blessings we have in our own life,” particularly financially. Its focus is on basic necessities for the less fortunate. About half of employees have typically participated, but 2014 had 100% participation. The company used to match employee contributions, but now has a 200% match.
Many employees in their responses commented on the compensation structure, which includes profit sharing and the “awesome bonus” of a special cash payment for excellent work. Another benefit employees appreciate is “early departure days,” which were started to help employees avoid traffic relating to two shopping malls close to Cassaday's office at holiday times.
The company also knows how to relax. The firm brought in a massage therapist and, Ms. Felix said, the “response was overwhelming;” it now is a quarterly event. Team-building activities include wine tasting and paintball outings. The firm's 20th anniversary party was held at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. This year's holiday party will be hosted at the National Portrait Gallery.