A financial advisory firm as a teaching hospital? That’s how Ryan Fleming, a principal of the hybrid that financial planning pioneer Alexandra Armstrong founded in 1983, describes its culture. “When an adviser meets with a client, there’s always someone else from the firm in the room in order to learn and offer a different perspective,” he says. “We never go into a meeting alone.”
These days, those meetings are held virtually, as is everything else at the firm. “My wife is our chief compliance officer and our chief worrier, and because our office is located six blocks from the White House where there often are protests, we’ve been prepared for the last decade to shut down and operate remotely at a moment’s notice,” Fleming said.
The firm’s location in downtown Washington also shapes its benefits: The firm provides transportation reimbursement. since most employees commute. And in a move that emulated the many consulting firms with offices nearby, it aggregated its vacation, sick days and personal days off into a four-week block of personal days off that increases with tenure at the firm. Fleming says employees have told him that the switch “was the most positive change we’ve ever made.” — Evan Cooper