The fintech that turned a warehouse into a funhouse
Walking around the office of Redtail Technology might make you feel like a kid again.
The company moved into its headquarters, a renovated warehouse in Sacramento, Calif., about a year and a half ago, and CEO Brian McLaughlin wanted to ensure the space felt homey to employees.
“We built a second-story mezzanine inside the warehouse, and we decided to build a slide,” McLaughlin said.
The slide has two different lanes so that co-workers can race one another (both slides are periodically polished to keep competition fair).
The building also includes a game room, basketball court, lawn games and comfortable lounge spaces.
But the fintech’s benefits go beyond having elements of a playground. The company also offers free daily meals, an annual team-building trip and reimbursement for cellphone bills. It hosts specific themed events, such as taco or pancake day and hot chocolate when the weather turns cold. All of this has helped Redtail land a spot in SourceMedia’s second annual roundup of the Best Fintechs to Work For.
It was important to McLaughlin to provide a range of benefits to his employee because it encourages them to get to know one another better while saving them time and money, he said.
“We’re in the business of making advisors’ lives easier and creating raving fans for our solutions,” McLaughlin said. “At the same time, we want our employees to be raving fans of their company and their co-workers.”
Redtail was founded in 2003 as a web-based customer relationship management provider. The company, which also has locations in Arizona and Georgia, now offers a compliant text messaging service, called Redtail Speak, and an email archiving solution.
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Dogs are a feature at the company, from the name and logo — Redtail is a reference to McLaughlin’s red-tailed golden retriever, Tucker — to its partnership with Front Street Animal Shelter, which brings in dogs for employees to foster. Employees are welcome to bring foster dogs, as well as their own pups, to the office, since McLaughlin believes having pets around makes the workplace “soothing” and feel “like you’re at home.”
“I have a Corgi running by me right now, actually,” McLaughlin joked.
The company takes its three offices on an annual trip for its “state of the tail” address, a gathering that also features parties and events for the employees. This year’s trip will take place right outside of San Diego.
“It’s a company reset,” McLaughlin said. “The key to it is to get all the teams together to be able to have a relationship and bond.”
Other company benefits include assistance for adopting a child, a gym membership reimbursement perk and an employee-sponsored counseling program. Redtail pays for 100% of its employee health care premiums for medical, dental and vision insurance and provides flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts.
Despite its already expansive list of benefits, Redtail is looking to bolster its employee offerings. For instance, even though it is a wealth management fintech, its employees don’t know as much about personal finance as McLaughlin would like.
“They build solutions for the industry, but they don’t have access to the industry,” McLaughlin said.
While salespeople get to attend conferences, he said, many other employees, such as engineers or customer service representatives, don’t have access to Redtail financial advisors in the same way. Still, the average age of a Redtail employee is 27, and many are facing weighty financial decisions, such as getting married, having children and purchasing a home, McLaughlin said.
To solve this problem, Redtail has started bringing in some of its own clients, the financial advisors, to teach classes to employees on budgeting and wealth planning.
“We want to take advantage of the industry we’re in,” McLaughlin said.