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Best places to work in money management

MRA Associates

MRA Associates team members make owl banks for underprivileged youth. The banks were part of a financial education effort.

Second place, money managers with 50 to 99 employees

AUM and AUA: $3.3 billion

Employees: 50

MRA Associates is grooming the next generation of leadership.

The Phoenix-based independent investment adviser this year launched a Future Leaders Program to tutor prospective partners on the risks, rights and responsibilities of ownership, said Mark Feldman, CEO and managing partner.

"We realized we need to inject some young ownership," Mr. Feldman said. The partners identified seven candidates who are being paired with mentor partners to learn the ropes. In group sessions, they're receiving training, especially in the critical area of growing revenue.

"They're learning the importance of finding new clients or building on current relationships," Mr. Feldman said.

These mentees also serve as mentors to newer arrivals at the firm, as everyone at MRA receives one-on-one coaching and mentoring. "The mentor is someone with whom employees can discuss issues and challenges," Mr. Feldman said.

Among other perks at the firm, employees say they appreciate benefits such as the ability to work from home. When rare flooding in Phoenix last year made it difficult for staff members to get to the office, MRA invested in cybersecurity upgrades so staff members could log in remotely.

The company reconfigured its office space in 2017 and this year added a gallery featuring the work of local artists. The open floor plan includes adjustable stand-up desks and meeting spaces, "but no one owns the rights to an office," Mr. Feldman said. The standing desks are popular with millennials, he said. "It's the older of us who are adjusting."

Other perks added last year include a half-day of work on Fridays and TV screens to keep the staff updated on news and the markets as well as weather and sports.

"This organization does a lot to make it a place where people would want to work including: company culture events, snacks and drinks in the break room, and the ability to work from home," one employee wrote. "I love working for this company."