Open Environment Reflects Open Culture at Investment Company

By Donna Deeprose

Can this be the right place? You ask yourself as you drive up to the SEI Investments headquarters in Oaks, Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia. It certainly doesn't look like a financial center. What it resembles is a factory complex -- its two buildings, a one- and a two-story, both of brown and gray clapboard, are studded with red-trimmed windows and joined to each other by flyways spanning pedestrian walks.

What's inside is a real eye-opener. Each building is a vast open space, filled with furniture on wheels grouped in various arrangements; each desk topped by a computer whose cable hook-up dangles in red coils from the soaring ceiling. The entire space is bathed in natural light streaming through the windows that seem much bigger from the inside.

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