Posted: August 01, 2011

Best Companies to Work for in Colorado: Edward Jones

Top large company retains its spot

Mike Taylor

1) Edward Jones
www.edwardjones.com

BCTWF_EdwardJones_aug11.jpg

Dan Large was an investment adviser for a bank when he made the move to Edward Jones 19 years ago. Client relationships, autonomy and network support are what attracted him then - and fulfill him now.

"I wanted to run my own office, run my own business, have my own system," says Large, a financial adviser for Edward Jones in south metro Denver and a regional leader representing 52 Edward Jones offices. "I'd have the backing of a firm with a great reputation. So I went to Edward Jones."

For the fourth time in the six years of ColoradoBiz magazine's involvement, Edward Jones has been judged No. 1 for Best Companies to Work for in Colorado in the large-firm category. The other two years it was No. 2.

Headquartered in St. Louis, Edward Jones is the nation's largest financial-services firm in terms of branch offices, with 10,800 U.S. locations. The firm's financial advisers work with nearly 7 million individual investors to understand their personal goals - from college savings to retirement - and create long-term investment solutions that emphasize a well-balanced portfolio and a buy-and-hold strategy. Edward Jones embraces the importance of building long-term, face-to-face relationships with clients, helping them to understand and make sense of the investment options available today.

"You're building very strong one-on-one client relationships," says Large, whose clients in some cases span four generations of family members. "You get to know them, their families, their friends. You can kind of see we're in the relationship business."

Large has two branch office administrators, including Karen Gilmore, who began working at Edward Jones in 2004 and has taken advantage of the firm's tuition-reimbursement program to pursue a degree from DeVry University while working full time.

"They're helping me get my degree, they've helped me move to different branches; they've just really been supportive," Gilmore says.

Edward Jones devotes 24 percent of net profits - $87.7 million in 2010 - to profit sharing for associates employed six months or more who work at least 20 hours weekly. The firm's profit-sharing plan has paid out profits to associates every year since its inception in 1974. If a financial adviser hits the government limit on retirement plan contributions for the year, the firm cuts him or her a check for any additional profit sharing due. All associates also are eligible to become partners
and share in firm revenues.

2010 Rank: No. 1

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Mike Taylor is the managing editor of ColoradoBiz. He writes about small-business money issues and how startups are launched. Email him at mtaylor@cobizmag.com.

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