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Best places to work in money management


Tortoise staffers say cheese after a monthly staff meeting. The meetings are webcast so all employees can tune in and actively participate.

Fifth place, money managers with 100 to 499 employees

AUM: $20.8 billion

Employees: 154

Tortoise has been among Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work since 2014, an acknowledgment of the Leawood, Kan.-based company's dedication to recruiting, hiring and retaining talent who fit its values.

Those values, according to CEO Kevin Birzer — humility, perseverance and an entrepreneurial spirit — form the basis of Tortoise's management philosophy to find each employee's "genius zone" that puts them in position to maximize their talents and ambitions, ultimately to the benefit of the firm and its clients.

One employee said of this approach: "Treating people as individuals and being open to my input (and) opinions, (lets) me manage my work flow how I want but (is) also available for help when I need it."

Mr. Birzer, a 30-year Tortoise veteran, said, "managing clients' money is a sacred trust" and that as an asset manager Tortoise has a moral obligation to its clients. A large part of that moral obligation is keeping employees happy, both financially and professionally. Managing a satisfied workforce involves just as many adjustments as managing client assets and noticing what is not working and improving on it, Mr, Birzer added.

This holistic approach to company culture was confirmed in one employee's comments that, "It's constantly changing, improving, reaching that next level. It has an all-inclusive culture where everyone feels included, part of a family and strive to see everyone succeed."

Another employee added, "Besides benefits and salaries/bonuses, management makes a huge effort to make sure everyone feels welcome and secure at work. It feels like a family and you can see each of the managing directors make an effort to get to know everyone. I also feel very secure and valued in my job, which makes me want to stay at the organization for the long haul."