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Updated: March 2, 2020

Edward Jones provides its advisors a second-career opportunity

Ranked 2nd: Large Companies

CT Headquarters: Thomaston

Industry: Financial services


Twitter: @EdwardJones

Top executives: Penny Pennington, Managing Partner

A gathering of Edward Jones employees in the Hartford area might bring together a former teacher, ex-engineer or manager who once worked as an attorney at a top law firm.

Many of the financial advisors at the investment firm’s local offices are on a second career and have a track record of achievement in other fields.

“We’re always trying to work at getting more diverse and more inclusive,” said James Zeller, the Edward Jones regional leader for the area that includes Hartford, northern Connecticut and western Massachusetts. “We do a great job of onboarding folks that want to enter this profession; we provide a lot of ongoing support through existing advisors and branch-office administrators.”

Beyond financial expertise, Edward Jones advisors are called on to work with clients throughout their lives to achieve their personal and family goals. That mission tends to attract “folks who really enjoy working in a face-to-face, one-on-one environment with clients,” Zeller said.

In order to facilitate the firm’s mission, Edward Jones operates as a partnership instead of as a publicly traded company, incentivizing workers to take a big-picture approach.

“It’s allowed us to have a longer-term vision; it’s helped us evolve as clients’ needs have evolved,” Zeller said of the partnership structure.

Employees with three years of tenure and good performance are eligible to become limited partners and eventually general partners, enabling them to retire early if desired. Advisors and administrators can also earn bonuses each trimester and benefit from annual profit-sharing.

An additional benefit arising from the firm’s client-focused approach is a flexible schedule.

“We have a lot of moms and dads who enjoy family time,” Zeller said. “It is an extremely time-intensive business — if you are doing that work and it’s good work, you’re going to be able to tailor it around the needs that you may have.”

Nationwide, the firm employs nearly 47,000 people in 1,300 locations to serve its 7 million clients, but the Hartford-area Edward Jones team remains a tight-knit group, Zeller said. Part of what unites the New England workers is dedication to the cause of Alzheimer’s research and treatment, an issue of primary importance to many Edward Jones customers.

“We recognize in the work that we do and the conversations we have, what a large impact Alzheimer’s has on our client families,” Zeller said.

For Zeller, it’s working with families over time that is the main benefit of working at Edward Jones.

“I like the idea of sitting across the desk from a client, working with them ... and making recommendations aligned with what they value,” he said.

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