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Income Research + Management

A family-like atmosphere at a nice place where "nobody is too big for the small stuff'

Income Research + Management BPTW
Income Research + Management employees take to the pedals to crank out some serious miles in an event for ICycle, which helps benefit HomeStart, an organization that fights homelessness in Boston.

Second place, managers with 100 to 499 employees

Employees praise Income Research + Management for its policies at work, away from work and back to work.

The company's move to establish a family-like atmosphere, organize non-work activities for employees and become actively involved in charities earned it a first-time award in Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work in Money Management survey.

“There is no place for egos, yet opportunities for leadership are provided and encouraged on a daily basis,” wrote one of many employees who offered anonymous comments about the company culture.

The absence of managerial egos was a common theme among employees. “Nobody is too big for the small stuff,” wrote another employee.

That's music to the ears of John Sommers Jr., co-founder and managing principal, and a validation of the company's efforts to build teamwork. “We're not just dealing with someone who comes to work every day,” said Mr. Sommers, whose Boston-based fixed-income money management firm has 163 employees and $62 billion in assets under management.

“We believe in the wisdom of crowds,” added William O'Malley, managing principal, noting that the company's charitable and community activities result from a “super bottom-up” rather than top-down philosophy.

Through their internal charitable organization, employees vote on projects. This year, the company and employees contributed to 19 projects.

During mid-June, for example, employees initiated a “week of giving,” pursuing projects such as giving blood and serving lunch at New England Center for Homeless Veterans. 

The company also offers four weeks of paternity leave with full pay for an employee with fewer than two years at the firm and six weeks of paternity leave with full pay for others. The firm offers 12 weeks of maternity leave at full pay for employees who have worked fewer than two years and 16 weeks of maternity leave at full pay for others. And when new mothers return to work, they can work a 32-hour week for 12 weeks.

This article originally appeared in the December 12, 2016 print issue as, "Income Research + Management".