1. Tell us about your business/for purpose organization (how long have you been in business, what is your specialty, products or services, how many employees you have, etc.):
Sage Rutty & Co. is Rochester, NY’s oldest locally owned wealth management firm. We are celebrating our 100th year in business. We specialize in financial planning, wealth management, municipal bond underwriting and holistic investment services. We currently employ 58 people, and counting!
2.What makes your company/organization leaders in your industry?
Here at Sage Rutty, there are two things that set us apart: our people and our culture. Our people take the pulse of our customers and adjust accordingly. We do not drive the company from the top down, but rather from the front lines back. The advisors are free to run their practice the way they see fit, and Sage Rutty provides them with the support to meet their goals. It is this partnership between Sage Rutty and the advisors that creates the fantastic culture we have developed here. Our process allows for sharing internal best practices more efficiently and effectively than our competition.
This company is a family business (I am the third generation of my family to lead the company, [with] two sons in the company as well), and the family atmosphere permeates throughout the entire firm. We almost never use the word “employees” because I believe it sells short the relationship we have. Our retention rate is extremely high, and we have many employees who have been with us for 10, 15, even 20 plus years! We have even had a number of people join us only to leave for a great opportunity, and then return to us.
This culture has earned us the recognition both locally and nationally as being a Great Place to Work. It is something that we continually strive to improve. Our goal is to be named THE best small company to work for in the country.
3. Who or what has influenced you (book, movie, person, other company/for purpose organization)?
There is a local supermarket in Rochester named Wegmans (ranked the #1 Supermarket in the nation) which we model ourselves after. Just like Sage Rutty, Wegmans has been recognized as one of the best places to work in America. They believe, as we do, if you treat your employees right they will in turn treat the clients right. We firmly believe that if someone is happy with their job it will trickle down throughout the entire client experience.
4. What key qualities do you look for in your employees/team?
Since we put so much effort into preserving and improving our culture, how an employee fits into our “family” is of the utmost importance. We are looking for smart, friendly, team-oriented people who are looking to grow professionally and personally. We are looking for employees to build a long term relationship with. The number of people that come to Sage Rutty and retire from Sage Rutty says a lot about our culture and the quality of people we hire.
5. Words of advice for others growing their business/for purpose organization?
Treat your people right, and they will treat your clients right. Don’t try to grow too fast, but at a sustainable rate for the long run. Give back to the community and they will award you with their business. Don’t be afraid of change or…to change. Don’t let success make you complacent, and don’t let failure derail your goals.
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