First place, money managers with 20 to 49 employees
AUM: $7.3 billion
At Dana Investment Advisors Inc., there's a feeling of both camaraderie and equality among analysts, portfolio managers and company executives at the Waukesha, Wis.-based firm.
That spirit has put the equity and fixed-income manager on Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work in Money Management for six consecutive years.
One employee commented that there's a "benefit of working in an organization that does not have (a) middle-management structure. When you have an issue, you can go straight to the executives of the firm."
That's by design, said Dana CEO Mark R. Mirsberger. "While functionally they're analysts, portfolio managers, operations, they're all teams," Mr. Mirsberger said. "We used to celebrate bosses' day. But we really don't think about bosses any more. … All of our leaders lead by example."
The team approach has helped retain talent at Dana, where most employees have at least 10 years' tenure.
"We're delivering a product, but servicing is such an important part of it," said J. Joseph Veranth, the company's chief investment officer. "And we want our people to know they make a difference. That sets a pretty high standard."
Employees also appreciate the flexibility Dana offers, not only in personal time but in allowing investment professionals to do their best. "In this day and age, information is presented 24 hours a day and seven days a week," another employee said. "This firm allows portfolio managers and analysts the room they need to breathe and pace out the quarter. Investment professionals are not micromanaged, nor are there onerous burdens on process for the sake of process."
The work culture at Dana extends to more mundane duties as well. Mr. Mirsberger handles the daily task of emptying the dishwasher in the company's kitchen. Added Mr. Veranth: "I'm the designated coffee maker."