30-49 Employees

5

Private Ocean

Overall Ranking27

Employees34 Firm TypeRIA CEOGreg H. Friedman LocationSan Rafael, Calif. Primary CustodianSchwab Advisor Services

Overall Ranking27

Employees34 Firm TypeRIA CEOGreg H. Friedman LocationSan Rafael, Calif. Primary CustodianSchwab Advisor Services

Cultivating employees’ connections to the company — and each other — is one of the primary goals of the twice-a-year off-site retreats that Private Ocean holds for the entire staff.

Cultivating employees’ connections to the company — and each other — is one of the primary goals of the twice-a-year off-site retreats that Private Ocean holds for the entire staff.

“Everything is by design,” said Greg Friedman, founder and CEO.

Retreat activities include:

Different seating. Participants are assigned to a new team with a new mix of people every four hours to work on projects. Groups are intentionally diversified by office locations, work roles and leadership roles, which ultimately creates an organization-wide team.

60-second shout-outs. Individuals are assigned someone they don’t know well and must interview the person and his or her colleagues to learn of an accomplishment the previous year that made them proud. The researcher then gives a short speech to the whole group about it. “It’s incredibly rewarding and makes people feel good,” Mr. Friedman said.

Communication/public relations exercise. Employees not only talk in small groups about why they like working at the firm, but also learn how to convey this message to listeners according to their particular communication styles.

“The common thread of being a ‘Best Place to Work for Financial Advisers,’” Mr. Friedman said, “is you have to work at it — through communication, team building and acknowledging people.”

— Deborah Nason

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