When troubles at Philadelphia's regional transportation system in early July snarled commutes and tested patience, the leadership team of Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC stepped up.
“This week has been painful for SEPTA commuters, and this is only week one of what will likely be a more prolonged issue,” Managing Partner Adam Spector wrote in a July 8 e-mail to Brandywine employees, noting the scheduling woes for workers relying on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. “We appreciate the extra effort that people have put in this week, and want to do what we can to help people through the SEPTA blues.”
That e-mail, offering a playful spin on the SEPTA acronym — Sympathy for Employees Plagued by Transport Agony — let Brandywine employees know they could look forward to Italian ice and soft pretzels on Monday; assorted pastries and make-your-own parfaits on Tuesday morning, “(since you left early and didn't have time to eat at home)”; a pizza lunch on Wednesday, “(who knows if you will get home in time for dinner)”; a therapeutic chair massage on Thursday, “(no explanation necessary)”; and sundaes and raffle prizes on Friday.
Small gestures, to be sure. But they sent a big message to Philadelphia-based Brandywine's employees, judging from comments employees submitted as part of the 2016 Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work in Money Management survey. Their rave reviews underscored a recurring theme that cropped up in employee comments about all of this year's 50 honorees: The best places to work care about employees, foster teamwork and help employees succeed in their jobs and personal lives.
And they operate with integrity, a practice that builds trust as well as confidence, employees said in the survey.
“Again this year, it is clear that what makes firms great employers isn't necessarily about salaries,” said P&I Editor Amy Resnick. “Employees at these top-ranked firms most often cited their colleagues, the firm's culture and the benefits as the things that make it a great place to work.”