Pinnacle Financial Partners

Building Tennessee’s “Best Place to Work”






In 2000 the founders of Pinnacle laid out a vision to be the best financial services firm and best place to work in Tennessee. They realized it’s impossible to be the best financial services firm without having the best people. And it’s virtually impossible to attract the best people without fostering a great work environment.


For the past 11 years, Atkinson has helped Pinnacle develop and execute the plan to manage its reputation. A high priority has been creating an atmosphere where people can become fully engaged, enjoy what they’re doing and be successful. This includes the ways the firm supports the associates in performing their work and the spaces where they work, conduct client business, and gather.

Pinnacle’s identity starts with the way the firm describes itself and its function. A special nomenclature replaces many traditional banking words – employees are associates, executives are team leaders, tellers are client service specialists, branches are offices. Meetings consistently start with a focus on mission, vision, and values.

Associates participate in book clubs and enrichment programs with topics ranging from health and fitness to computer skills. Celebrations, family events, and company-sponsored volunteer activities build a strong sense of family.

Contemporary architecture and interior design reinforce Pinnacle’s identity as a 21st century firm and an innovative place to do business and work. A Learning Center in every office demonstrates the firm’s commitment to associate development and effective and insightful information for clients. Visitors often remark that “Pinnacle doesn’t look like the typical bank – no mahogany, still-life paintings, or oriental rugs.”

An associate comment on the most recent work environment survey summed up the feelings of many – “Pinnacle is not just a great company because of the services and advice we provide our clients.  It is a great company because it’s built with people who truly want to be here and value their role and their team.”







Pinnacle became Nashville’s largest locally owned bank in less than three years of operation. Recognition as a best place to work began soon after. The firm has an annual associate retention rate of almost 97 percent, far above industry standards. Its latest annual work environment survey gives Pinnacle high marks – an aggregate score of 4.7 (on a scale of 1 to 5) for 12 measures.

For eight consecutive years, the Nashville Business Journal has named Pinnacle a “Best Place to Work” among Middle Tennessee companies. In a new ranking in 2010, the Nashville Business Journal named Pinnacle a finalist for “Healthiest Employers in Middle Tennessee.”

Business TN ranked Pinnacle No. 1 on its annual “Best Employer” list for three years in a row. A Nashville Post survey in 2010 ranked Pinnacle No. 1 in “Best Employers in Middle Tennessee.”

Engaged associates are resulting in engaged clients. More than 95 percent of clients in a variety of satisfaction surveys repeatedly rate Pinnacle as “recognizably better than its competition.”

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