PE firms join list of best places to work

Perks such as an onsite basketball court helped firms including The Blackstone Group secure a spot on the list.  

Three private equity firms are among the 25 best places to work in money management, according to an annual Pensions & Investments survey of industry employees and employers.

The Blackstone Group captured the top spot in the Alternatives Managers category, followed by Hamilton Lane and Abbot Capital Management.

“The environment is friendly, and there is a real open-door policy that allows you to discuss issues or share ideas,” said one survey respondent about working at The Blackstone Group.

Blackstone chief Stephen Schwarzman was also quoted as saying that interns and lower-level analysts can expect a phone call to him returned within 24 hours, P&I reported. “I think of the firm as a small place.”

Schwarzman said the firm’s private equity group meets every Monday to discuss strategy. Everyone from junior-level analysts to senior partners share the same room to take part. “It’s an opportunity for everyone not only to see senior management, but constantly be in touch with each other,” Schwarzman said in the survey. 

P&I teamed up with San Francisco-based survey group Buck Consultants to run its survey. To participate, money managers and investment firms completed an employer survey and had to provide employee email addresses for a follow-up employee survey.

Firms that made this year’s list shared some common traits, the survey showed. Communicating the firm’s culture through multiple channels, promoting a healthy work-life balance and community service outreach were three of the most common traits cited. 

Special perks were also cited by survey respondents as contributing to a positive work environment. Some money managers hold summer and sports outings. The California State Teachers' Retirement System, the first pension plan to make the two-year old list, offers employees bikes to ride along a riverfront near its building. On-site fitness facilities and basketball courts, which Blackstone provides, were other well-received perks mentioned in the survey.