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Best places to work in money management

Western Asset Management

Western Asset Management employees burst with glee out of the gate to start the firm’s annual Rose Bowl 5K run, just one facet of Western Asset’s celebration surrounding the Southern California tradition.

Third place, money managers with 500 to 999 employees

AUM: $420 billion

Employees: 658

Western Asset Management Co. gets rave reviews from employees for its 100% employer-paid health-care premiums, a 5% 401(k) match, fitness reimbursements and other resources focused on emotional, mental and financial health.

"Western Asset has cultivated a culture of mutual respect among every employee, and invests heavily in maintaining that culture," said one employee. "That allows for the work environment to flow seamlessly, and keeps employees engaged with both the company and each other."

CEO James W. Hirschmann III said Western Asset Management, an institutional bond manager based in Pasadena, Calif., focuses on offering a similar work environment around the world and has worked to garner new ideas for how to do things from all of its employees.

"We have more than 160 employees sharing their thoughts on innovation in a formal program that includes cross-functional teams," Mr. Hirschmann said.

"And we're empowering employees to share knowledge on presentation skills, sales training, agile technology and more. Also, through our online learning program, Western Asset University, employees can chose from thousands of courses, as well as on-site classes," he said.

Courses include fixed-income education and leadership training as well as IT skills and personal development.

Extracurricular activities include the Desk to 5K, an employee wellness walk at the Rose Bowl, an annual float in Pasadena's New Year's Day Rose Parade, and a unique tribute to its London office by serving fish and chips across the company to celebrate England's 2018 World Cup success.

"(Western Asset) has a strong, and clearly identified, vision and mission," said one employee. "(We) have processes, benefits, an overall culture, etc. that focuses on giving its employees a great experience.