Top Workplaces No. 1 Midsize Company: Pinnacle Financial Partners
By David Dykes
The vision of Pinnacle Financial Partners is really quite simple.
It is to be the best financial services firm, and the best place to work in the Southeast.
Company officials say they are intentional about creating a great workplace because they know that associates who are excited about their work every day will give clients the very best service.
And it is paying off.
Pinnacle Financial Partners has been named the No. 1 Midsize Company in the 2021 Top Workplaces list selected by the Philadelphia-based employee research and consulting firm Energage, and presented by Greenville Business Magazine, Columbia Business Monthly and Charleston Business Magazine.
The Midsize category includes companies with 150-299 employees in the region.
Pinnacle, a Nashville-based bank holding company, operates in 12 primarily urban markets in Tennessee, the Carolinas, Virginia and Atlanta.
The Top Workplaces award adds to Pinnacle’s growing recognition for an engaging and rewarding workplace.
For the fifth consecutive year, Pinnacle Financial Partners is one of the best places to work in the United States, according to a new list of the from Fortune magazine and Great Place to Work.
The company came in at No. 26, joining companies like Cisco, Salesforce and Hilton. Forty percent of the scoring rubric was based solely on programs each company said it created to support their people and communities in response to the pandemic.
“When faced with great challenges, we always put associates first,” said M. Terry Turner, Pinnacle’s president and CEO. “Soon after the scope of the crisis became clear, we took immediate action to take care of our associates, giving them the love, support and flexibility they needed to take care of themselves and their families. And they did the same for each other and their clients. That’s what helped Pinnacle get through a year filled with tribulation and come out stronger on the other side.”
Pinnacle began organizing its formal response to the pandemic in January 2020. Firm leaders quickly moved to increase work-from-home capacity, institute paid leave for associates who could not work due to illness or other pandemic-related reasons, build health and safety protocols for those in the office and many other measures to protect and support associates.
That spring, Pinnacle associates processed and funded 14,000 Paycheck Protection Program loans worth $2.4 billion to clients in need, and by the summer completed a review of the entire risk-graded loan book to assess and meet client needs.
Pinnacle helped more than 1,300 South Carolina businesses secure well over $142 million in PPP funding, which served as a lifeline for many companies.
Despite the crisis environment and additional workload required to help clients, Pinnacle associates have given glowing feedback on the firm’s annual internal surveys.
More than 96 percent agreed that Pinnacle’s culture is truly special, 97 percent say the leadership team shows a genuine interest in their well-being and 90 percent agree that they are given a real opportunity to develop their skills.
Energage found similar praise from employees.
Said one: “Every day I get to experience something different and to learn and grow all while assisting fellow associates and/or clients.”
Said another: “Engaging with customers is a strong suit for me. With the products that Pinnacle Partners offer, I believe that I have a possibility to help improve, solve and enhance someone’s financial life.”
“During a difficult year, our associates found comfort with their colleagues and reward in their work, even though it was more challenging than ever,” Turner said. “Our clients and communities needed help, and our firm needed to act quickly in a changing economy. In response, Pinnacle associates put in the strongest effort I have ever seen in my career.
“They came together to move mountains because they are dedicated to our firm’s values, beliefs and culture. More than that, they are dedicated to a simple ideal of doing the right thing. As a leader, it’s incredibly humbling to see.”
Pinnacle also has been recently recognized as one of the country’s Best Banks to Work For and a top five Best Workplace for both Women and Millennials.
On the local level, Pinnacle has earned dozens of workplace awards, including recent rankings in Virginia, Memphis, Knoxville, Charlotte and the Triad region of North Carolina. Pinnacle was also named one of 50 Companies that Care by People magazine.
From associates to senior leaders, Pinnacle wins as a team and loses as a team, said Mary Garcia, regional president for Pinnacle Financial Partners’ South Carolina.
“We use the ox principle,” she said. “We’re all pulling in the same direction. We’re all working for a common goal.”
Pinnacle associates are eligible for annual cash incentives based on firm-wide results. Additionally, every associate is awarded restricted stock on being hired and again annually.
The company’s financial contribution to benefits is, on average, 39 percent of pay.
In addition to offering the standard benefits of medical, dental, vision, disability, life and AD&D, maternity/paternity leave and a 401(k) with a company match, Pinnacle offers pet insurance, a will-writing service and a smartphone app for wellness with free telemedicine and three free counseling sessions for all associates and their household members.
There is no waiting or probationary period for associates to be covered under Pinnacle’s insurance plans or 401(k).
During the pandemic, Pinnacle has continued its financial support for local causes.
In addition, company officials set a goal of investing 2 percent of total assets into community development organizations— an increase in 2021 from their previous 1 percent goal. Those include:
- Community development financial institutions, including minority-owned financial institutions
- Small business investment companies, or SBICs
- Community development entities, or CDEs
- Community development corporations
- LIHTC investments and others
Pinnacle Financial Partners provides a full range of banking, investment, trust, mortgage and insurance products and services designed for businesses and their owners and individuals interested in a comprehensive relationship with their financial institution.
Pinnacle earned a spot on the 2020 list of 100 Best Companies to Work For in the U.S., its fourth consecutive appearance. American Banker recognized Pinnacle as one of America’s Best Banks to Work For eight years in a row and No. 1 among banks with more than $10 billion in assets in 2020.
Pinnacle owns a 49 percent interest in Bankers Healthcare Group (BHG), which provides innovative, hassle-free financial solutions to healthcare practitioners and other licensed professionals.
The firm began operations in a single location in downtown Nashville in October 2000 and has since grown to approximately $34.9 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2020.