Another pandemic-related problem is recruitment via virtual channels, money manager executives said.
Chicago-based Adams Street Partners LLC, which manages $41 billion in alternative strategies, hired new employees during the pandemic virtually, Jeffery T. Diehl, managing partner and head of investments, said in an interview.
"We've adapted to the practice of meeting by Zoom, including onboarding these new employees. However, it's hard for me to not to have met 10% of our employees in person," he said.
"We're doing all we can do to build relationships with these new and existing employees through more frequent meetings. Before COVID-19, our all-hands meetings were every six months. Now, we meet every two weeks. Employees know a lot more about the company and like the frequency of meetings so we might continue this schedule when we're on the other side of the pandemic," Mr. Diehl said.
Employees said they appreciate Adams Street Partners' efforts. Adams Street also was designated a Best Place in 2018 and 2019.
"We have a very special culture. We work hard but genuinely enjoy what we do and collaborate incredibly well. During the pandemic, the firm's culture has only shined through more with great communication, demonstrated care, and providing the necessary resources and technology to work remotely," an Adams Street employee said in a survey response.
Adams Street Partners reported 170 employees in its survey responses.
ClearBridge Investments LLC, New York, has "tried to mimic normal hiring and onboarding processes using Zoom and Microsoft Teams" and has been able to "maintain active recruiting … and were also able to continue our summer internship program," Terrence Murphy, CEO, said in an email.
But Mr. Murphy said "engaging candidates in terms of our culture is something that's special and valuable during the interview process that has been missing" and added that "some of our new hires have never seen our physical office space."
"Our operations and technology teams have done an amazing job creating an absolutely seamless transition to remote working for everyone across the country. But there is no substitute for the camaraderie of being together," he wrote.
ClearBridge, with 213 employees, managed $149.4 billion as of June 30. The firm ranked first in the BPTW category of firms with 100-499 employees, and has been designated a Best Place every year since the program launched in 2012.
Amid the trials of managing people and corporate culture from a distance, investment management company executives have found some surprisingly positive effects.