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Best places to work in money management


BlackRock employees from the firm’s San Francisco office traveled to Santa Rosa, Calif., to work with Habitat for Humanity to rebuild homes following wildfires.

Fourth Place, money managers with more than 1,000 employees

AUM: $6.3 trillion

Employees: 14,000

A clear focus combined with constantly updated resources for its employees keeps the world's largest money manager among the Best Places to Work in Money Management.

BlackRock (BLK) Inc. (BLK) is "a best-in-class company" that "take(s) good care of us" and "does well to maintain (the) high spirit of the employees," according to a sampling of employee comments on the survey.

So, what makes BlackRock such a great place to work?

"It's got a lot to do with the clarity of our purpose," said Sarah Melvin, managing director, head of institutional client business for the U.S. and Canada. "We're here to build better financial futures for our clients. And that drives our employees."

BlackRock has always launched programs designed to make the firm a better place for its employees, and this year was no different. In January, the New York-based money manager offered its employees flexible time off, where staff no longer have a fixed number of days off per year.

"We want people to focus on their well-being," said Jeffery A. Smith, a senior managing director and head of global human resources. "They're more productive when they do. It's a real sign of trust."

This year, BlackRock also introduced free financial counseling services for its employees through the Saratoga Springs, N.Y.-based financial counseling service provider Ayco. This combines online educational services with one-on-one coaching.

Also launched this year was the "BlackRock Academies," made up of training resources and learning modules designed to help employees sharpen their skills and help their careers.

BlackRock's new Power in Numbers program rewards employees for volunteering with their colleagues. Any full-time employee that organizes a volunteer event with 10 or more BlackRock employees can double the company's matching rate to the charity. This not only provides incentives for employees to engage in such volunteer activities but "also builds camaraderie among BlackRock employees," Mr. Smith explained.

"I come to work with the most amazingly talented people," Ms. Melvin noted, adding that when surrounded by intelligent and talented people, it pushes employees to be better.