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Best places to work in money management

Polen Capital Management

Every Thursday, Polen Capital Management employees meet for the firm’s Culture Club to discuss topical books; recent discussions centered around the books ‘Start with Why,’ ‘Black Box Thinking’ and ‘Radical Candor.’

Fifth place, money managers with 50 to 99 employees

AUM: $20.4 billion

Employees: 53

The leadership team at Polen Capital Management LLC aims to create the conditions that allow employees to be their "best selves."

And with that premise in mind, the growth equity manager continually adds enhancements to accomplish that goal, said CEO Stan Moss.

This year, the Boca Raton, Fla., firm boosted its annual training budget to $5,000 per employee from $3,000. Those dollars enable staff members to pursue professional or personal development, which could lead to one-on-one coaching or courses in areas such as public speaking or financial modeling, Mr. Moss said. That's in addition to quarterly companywide workshops on topics such as diversity training and productivity.

Recognizing that employees can sometimes arrive at work out of sorts, Polen added benefits aimed at improving health and reducing stress. The company already supplied a daily cold breakfast and a catered lunch, but added snacks such as fresh fruit and nuts. Also new this year, employees can sign up for a massage, yoga or meditation on Fridays.

"We have excellent benefits, including ones directly for our own well-being and renewal," one employee wrote.

The company's leadership seeks out books on workplace culture and has been influenced by "Start with Why" by Simon Sinek, "Radical Candor" by Kim Scott and "Black Box Thinking'' by Matthew Syed, Mr. Moss said. Polen embraced Mr. Syed's thesis on the value of making marginal improvements and asked employees early this year for ideas.

"I will show up on time to all meetings," one employee wrote. Another said, "I will listen more without feeling the need to answer right away."

For the past few years, the company has operated what it calls a results-only work environment, meaning workers are free to work from anywhere at any time, as long as goals and objectives are met. The idea, Mr. Moss said, is to manage the work, not the person.

Employees say they appreciate having control of their schedules. "This company treats its employees like adult human beings who have lives and circumstances outside the job," one employee wrote. Another added, "Employees are empowered to do their work in the ways that work best for them."