Madison Magazine

Edward Jones: Financially (and personally) sound

No. 1 for 2015's Best Places to Work in the 101+ employee category

Edward Jones earned Madison's top spot in businesses with more than one hundred employees, so it's strange at first to enter a workplace that's so quiet. Financial advisor Dave Cappozzo and senior branch office administrator Mary Quinn-Jacobsen are the only two employees at this sunny East Broadway strip mall, and that's how Edward Jones offices are structured; each two-person team gets its own office space—fifty-four offices in the Madison area alone—to run as its own.

"Edward Jones is a private partnership, one of the last on Wall Street, and we're employee-owned," says Cappozzo, who has been a teammate of Quinn-Jacobsen for eight years. "That lends itself to a culture that is unique and different than any firm out there. We get all the benefits of running your own business—the flexibility, the autonomy, how we structure our business and build our practice and the relationship that we foster with our clients—but we have the support of a Fortune 500 backing us up."

That backup, says Quinn-Jacobsen, is the best part. She's been with the investment firm fourteen years. She's worked in more traditional office environments before, and the combination of independence and support is what she loves most. "We have great back office support. I can call [corporate headquarters in St. Louis] and everyone is really well trained and very supportive, upbeat and cheery," she says. "You never feel like you're calling to ask a dumb question."

To offset the lack of Monday morning water cooler talk, Edward Jones employees congregate for regular social events that include everybody's families and group training that's second to none. WealthManagement.com has ranked Edward Jones number one among financial advisors twenty times. The company has made trade publication Training Magazine's Top 125 list for fifteen consecutive years and they were number six on the 2015 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, a list Edward Jones has managed to make sixteen times. 

Critical to the company's overall success is the profit sharing partnership structure, says Cappozzo, because each employee has a vested interest in the success of the other employees. When employees are happy and supported, they can make more money collectively—not that dollars are the end goal.

"It's a culture of volunteerism and support. When we hire an individual, that's a long-term commitment," says Cappozzo, quoting cofounder Ted Jones who said "Money has never been my God" when turning down his company's opportunity to go public. "That is something we all just believe in, and that's the attitude that we take to work with us each day."

THE TAKEAWAY: By allowing employees to have a stake in the company's success (in Edward Jones' case, profit-sharing), they're invested in company victories. 



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