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8 Best Financial Companies to Work For: Fortune

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Financial services comprise a key sector in this year’s Fortune magazine list of the 100 best companies to work for. Two companies rank in the top 10.

The list is based on anonymous surveys that ask employees about management credibility, job satisfaction and camaraderie as well as pay, benefits, hiring practices, training and diversity efforts. What the “best” companies have in common is a work culture that provides programs for employees to balance their work life with their private life as well training, opportunities for advancement and benefits that go beyond the usual health insurance and time-off policies.

Great Place to Work conducted the surveys for Fortune. Companies must register for inclusion, which is free, and survey their own employees.

Here are the financial services companies most relevant for financial advisors that made the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, starting at the bottom of the list:

8. Nationwide Mutual Insurance (Columbus, Ohio)

Fortune 100 Best Rank: 95

U.S. employees: 33,672

Employees of this auto, home and life insurer have access to extra benefits like free, confidential credit counseling services, “life resource counselors,” onsite gyms and paid time off for volunteer work. Its CEO Awards recognize employees who far exceed their job expectations with $5,000 and a luncheon with the executive team. The company also holds an “All-Associate Experience” annually in Columbus where employees can celebrate their achievements and a quarterly series of career growth workshops that include guest speakers.

7. Capital One (McLean, Va.)

Fortune 100 Best Rank: 91

U.S. employees: 40,568

Now one of the country’s 10 largest banks, Capital One has been included in the Fortune 100 list for nine years. The company offers unique perks such as onsite health centers for employees and their families and a Pro Bono Program where employees can use paid time to help nonprofit partners in their communities. Since 2008, employees have donated more than 25,000 volunteer hours worth $7 million helping more than 300 nonprofits. In 2014 alone, 2,003 pro bono volunteer hours were donated, valued at over $240,000.

Capital One’s call center has a “Surprise and Delight” pilot program, which allows call center agents resources to follow up on customer conversations in personalized, creative ways. Fortune reports one agent gave a matching donation to the National Breast Cancer foundation for a customer whose donation was accidentally declined.

6. Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America (Minneapolis, Minn.)

Fortune 100 Best Rank: 68

U.S. employees: 1,700

This subsidiary of German insurer Allianz SE has been included in the Fortune 100 list for four straight years. A provider of annuities and life insurance products, Allianz Life Insurance also offers stellar benefits for its own employees including a 401(k) match dollar for dollar up to 8% of pay and a 20% discount on Allianz stock purchases. Its “True Balance” programs provide employees with benefits for physical, social and financial health, including nutrition and weight management programs, onsite wellness exams, smoking cessation and disease management programs and a company Olympics held every four years in Europe which covers employee-athletes’ airfare, hotel accommodations, food and entertainment.

5. American Express (New York, N.Y.)

Fortune 100 Best Rank: 51

U.S. employees: 53,500

This 165-year-old credit company has made the Fortune 100 list for 15 out of the last 18 years. Fortune highlights its 16 employee networks covering ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities and more, including The Women’s Interest Network (WIN) with 24 international chapters and the BlueWork Network for U.S. employees that work on the road or from home. But American Express has been reducing its work force. At the end of 2014, it had 53,500 employees, down 15% from the previous year, according to the company’s 2014 annual report.

4. Goldman Sachs Group (New York, N.Y.)

Fortune 100 Best Rank: 50

U.S. employees: 13,802

Goldman is no longer a partnership since it went public in 1999 but it still has partners — 467 at last count — and they each earn more than $1 million a year. Its nonpartners, however, also do very well, through the awards of stock grants. More than 18,000 employees have been awarded stock grants since 1994. One recent innovation for employees is Talks@GS, a program where leaders from business, politics, the military, media and other fields share their views and expertise. Past speakers include Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.; news anchor Tom Brokaw; former professional basketball player Ray Allen; and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

3. USAA (San Antonio, Texas)

Fortune 100 Best Rank: 33

U.S. employees: 26,267

USAA is a diversified financial services company that offers insurance, auto loans and mutual funds – many rated four and five stars by Morningstar — to 10.6 million military families. That dedicated client base is at the heart of its corporate culture.

“We believe that when we take care of our people, they take care of our members. That kind of relationship is absolutely the ‘secret sauce’ of success for USAA,” says Mark Reid, executive vice president of human resources at USAA. The company has child care centers at its four major posts (San Antonio, Phoenix, Tampa and Colorado Springs).

2. Edward Jones (St. Louis, Mo.)

Fortune 100 Best Rank: 6

U.S. employees: 37,164

The nation’s fourth-largest financial services firm, with more than 11,000 branch offices and 37,000 employees, has made the Fortune magazine list 16 out of the past 18 years. One of the few remaining partnerships on Wall Street, Edward Jones offers all its associates the opportunity to become partners, and almost 8,000 branch office administrators have done so. About one-third of the firm’s employees are financial advisors serving nearly 7 million individual investors. Nearly everyone surveyed said they’re proud to work at the company and will do more than the usual to get the job done.

1. Robert W. Baird (Milwaukee, Wis.)

Fortune 100 Best Rank: 5

U.S. employees: 2,822

This employee-owned international financial services firm, with $120 billion in client assets, has been included in the Fortune list for 12 consecutive years. The company prides itself on a work culture where employees receive thorough training and are given responsibilities along with freedom to carry out their jobs. More than 9 out of 10 employees surveyed said their managers trust them to carry out their responsibilities without micromanaging them, and 88% said they look forward to coming to work. Employment at Robert W. Baird grew 29% in 2014 — almost six times the 4% growth of the industry. Revenues totaled $1.2 billion, topping five years of consecutive growth. According to Fortune, the company attributes its success largely to CEO Paul Purcell’s one rule: there are “no a**holes here.”

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