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Best places to work in money management

Vulcan Value Partners

At the annual University of Alabama tailgate party, everyone’s a fan.

Second place, money manager with 20 to 49 employees

AUM: $14.2 billion

Employees: 47

Vulcan Value Partners LLC, based in Birmingham, Ala., has a "work hard/play hard" culture, according to G. Adam McClain, principal and president.

Employees "give it their all when they are here," but the industry can be stressful and they also need to "take time with their families," he said.

One annual fall activity is a tailgate party for employees and their families.

To foster communication, the company also holds a "Thirsty Thursday" once a month after the markets have closed at the firm's office. The event is an open forum in a fairly "relaxed setting" where employees can ask questions of senior management, Mr. McClain said.

A core value at the first-time winner in Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work in Money Management program is serving others. That includes its clients, such as endowments, foundations or pension funds. When making a client visit, Vulcan employees walk the premises to "know what ourreturns are paying for," Mr. McClain said, adding that the company isn't "just trying to get a fee."

The company also serves it employees and their families through great benefits. As one employee noted in the BPTW survey: "We have the greatest benefits package ANYONE in the country has.''

Those benefits include company-paid child care, gym memberships, a fully stocked kitchen and access to a nutritionist.

Another core value is "Walk The Talk." To Vulcan Value Partners, that means being fully invested alongside clients. The only equity options offered in the company's defined contribution plans are strategies offered by the firm. "We eat our own cooking," Mr. McClain said.

He added it ensures an alignment of interest between their investors and employees at the firm.

The company also keeps employee's retirement well-being in mind. Vulcan matches dollar for dollar on employees' first 6%. Profit-sharing contributions average about 7%.

"I feel empowered to be able to deliver excellent results,'' one employee noted in the survey. "We work as a team to be world-class."