It has taken more than 30 years for Cardinal Capital Management to become an overnight success.
The Winnipeg-based financial services company celebrated three decades in business last summer, saw its asset base hit $4 billion a few months later and followed that up by garnering a spot on the coveted Manitoba’s Top Employers’ list in March. Emily Burt, Cardinal’s executive vice-president and chair, said it’s “incredible” to receive such recognition but it’s all part of a much bigger picture.
“The award-winning environment that we have for our employees filters down to the service that we deliver to our clients,” she says. Mediacorp Canada evaluates companies on a wide variety
of factors, including salary and benefits, the workplace and community involvement, in compiling its annual list, now in its 17th year. Other locally-based companies to cut the muster include True North Sports & Entertainment, Pollard Banknote and the Winnipeg Airports Authority.
Evan Mancer, Cardinal’s president, says the company has taken a very deliberate approach in creating a family atmosphere that takes care of its employees.
“Every employee at Cardinal knows they have a path to advance their career here,” he says. “People always look at their current position but our belief is, more important than that, they’ll
look at where they’re going to be in five or 10 years. We feel if everyone has a path, they’ll be motivated to work harder and harder at Cardinal.”
To support that, the company covers employees’ costs for upgrading their skills, whether it’s for designations such as the CFP (Certified Financial Planner), CIM (Chartered Investment Manager)
or CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) or other online education courses.
Mancer notes the executive team makes a concerted effort to encourage staff to move around to other departments if their skills are a better match in a different area of the company. Burt says she’s optimistic a third-party validation of the Cardinal business model will help the company retain and attract employees in a very tough job market.
“Employees want to be part of a strong culture, they want to know the work they’re doing has a purpose and they want to see that their company is out in the community doing great things.
They want to be proud of all of that,” she says.
Cardinal provides free investment management advice for its staff, gives its people time off to volunteer and encourages them to sit on corporate and community boards of directors “We’re proud to have a team of community leaders,” she says.
DeWayne Osborn, chief compliance officer and head of philanthropic services, accepted a job at Cardinal in 2017 but he has known the company since 2001. “(Founder) Tim Burt set the standard high with his care of his employees and clients. Evan and Emily have continued that tradition and I can’t think of a better place to work in Canada,” he says.
Being an employee-owned firm is a game-changer for Sandeep Rehill, assistant controller, at Cardinal, which became employee-owned in 2019.
“The employees show up and they’re happy to work, they have a vested interest in their work, they’re more productive, they care about the corporate culture a lot more and they really care about servicing the clients,” he says.
The Cardinal Foundation has been another differentiator for the company as it supports numerous charities across the country and engages employees in meaningful projects in their communities.