Talk about a family rivalry.
The employees of Cardinal Investment Advisors, with headquarters in Chicago but a sizable presence in suburban St. Louis, have had plenty of opportunity to tease each other given the sports rivalries between the two cities. Never was that more true than in October, when the Chicago Cubs defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 in the National League division series.
“There have been wagers,” said Carolyn Carollo, managing director of the insurance investment consulting firm, who's based in Clayton, Mo. “For example, the losing office has to hang the pennant of the winner in their office.”
Such wagers are part of the culture at Cardinal that emphasizes treating its 36 employees “like family,” both socially and professionally, Ms. Carollo said.
Comments from employees in Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work in Money Management survey centered on that feeling of family and the company's flexibility that allows for work-life balance. “I wake up each morning and look forward to coming to work, because I know I will see people who are not only co-workers, but friends also. Work is generally a good time because of that,” one employee responded, when asked what the best things are about working at Cardinal.
“We've always measured output, not input,” said Sean M. Kane, Cardinal managing director. “That lends itself to a work-life balance that allows us to keep and retain people. We're the exact opposite of hierarchical,” with only three titles at the company — managing director, consultant and analyst. “And even that is a nominal distinction.”
That family atmosphere extends to Mr. Kane's home in Orlando, Fla., where he works remotely. He hosts employees' families when they visit the area's theme parks on vacations.
And sometimes Cardinal employees can get carried away with that family feeling. With the Cubs' victory this past fall, the Chicago-based staff will “name” the child of Jake Meese, one of Cardinal's Clayton-based consultants, whose baby is due in February. “They settled on Clark Addison Meese,” said Ms. Carollo, in honor of the famed Chicago intersection where Wrigley Field is located.
Will the name stick? “He's said there's no way his wife would ever let him do that,” Ms. Carollo said.