Best Large Employer: Edward Jones

Edward Jones is an investment and financial services company serving long-term investors with investment guidance and balancing portfolios. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, the company has nearly 42, 000 financial advisors, branch office administrators and home-office associates across the U.S. and Canada.

In Alabama, Edward Jones employs 325 branch team members. Branch offices are kept intentionally small, with one financial advisor and at least one branch office administrator. This supports one-on-one communication in the office and enforces the company’s values in both the individual and their relationships with clients and associates. “It shapes the way we do business every day, ” says spokesperson Ellen Wiederanders, “face-to-face service from the communities where our clients live and work.” 

Financial advisors may receive coaching from the company’s Leadership Development Center in preparation for future career advancement. “Of firm principals, the majority started as financial advisors, ” says Wiederanders. “So this is our most important leadership resource.”  

With an attitude of service and an emphasis on client satisfaction, senior staff work closely with team members toward shared goals. “We believe in creating winners without losers, ” says Wiederanders. “Every leader at Edward Jones is charged with helping the people for whom they are responsible succeed.” 

“Our regions are career-development factories, ” says Wiederanders. “Veterans help rookie financial advisors succeed, volunteer for leadership positions, then may be selected for regional leader, area leader, or region-based principal and home-office leadership roles.” 

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Benefits include vision and dental, free wellness care with potential discounts, adoption and domestic partner benefits, tuition reimbursement, annual profit sharing, and 401(k) and Roth accounts with firm matching. Edward Jones self-funds medical care, allowing them to override provider decisions, order coverage or pay for expensive treatments. 

Schedules and on-site work are flexible, as employees may take advantage of compressed workweeks and telecommuting options. Hard work is recognized and rewarded. “In 2015, associates were eligible for top-level trimester bonuses due to excellent firm performance, ” says Wiederanders. “All associates are eligible to become limited partners and share in firm revenues. Half of all associates are now limited partners.” 

“Our firm was founded on the principle that the people who work for the firm are the source of its success, ” says Wiederanders. “That belief is responsible for many of the firm’s practices, including sharing the profits with associates, a culture of caring that helps associates through personal and professional challenges, and offering partnership to those who demonstrate significant contributions to the firm.”

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