Fortune Rates Russell One of Best Companies to Work For in 1999

“Fortune magazine’s third-annual list of the “100 Best Companies to Work for in America” has rated Tacoma-based Frank Russell Company 13th in the nation, and for the second consecutive year, as the top-ranked employer among companies based in the Pacific Northwest in 1999.Russell, a global investment services firm, acquired a little over one year ago by The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, ranked 15th nationally in 1998.Other Pacific Northwest companies on the Fortune list include Microsoft, ranked 21st, WRQ Inc., 28th, REI, 69th, Starbucks, 88th, and Nordstrom, ranked 94th.Russell cited a supportive work environment, a tuition reimbursement program, flexible work hours for many positions, a two-month sabbatical after 10 years of employment, several recognition programs, a generous profit-sharing plan, medical and dental insurance, and broad eligibility for the company’s equity incentive programs as reasons for the high ranking. In the recently completed transaction with Northwestern Mutual, associates who had been employees for at least six months benefited from Russell’s equity plans.To be eligible for the top 100 list, a company had to be at least 10 years old and have a minimum of 500 employees. Over 1,000 firms were considered for the list, with 236 selected as the most viable candidates for making the top 100.Employees of the selected companies completed a Great Place to Work Trust Index designed to evaluate trust in management, pride in work and camaraderie, along with the Hewitt People Practices Inventory, a 31-page questionnaire. Firms were also asked to submit company newsletters, employee handbooks and videos.Companies were rated on a 175-point scale, based on responses from the employee survey, written comments, the inventory questionnaire, and supporting materials.A.G. Edwards, a U.S. distributor of Russell funds for individual investors, was ranked 37th on the list.The Container Store, a Dallas-based retail chain, took top honors.”