How one of Philly’s oldest companies stays young at heart

The Philadelphia Contributionship is used to a lot of “old” references, given its lineage dating back to Founding Father Benjamin Franklin in the 1750s.

The Homeowners' and Fire Insurance outfit, with a total workforce of 105 and plans to hire six more in the next 12 months, claims to be the oldest successful property and casualty insurance company in the United States.

“There is a lot of emphasis here on our history and the legacy,” said Kathleen Morris Rosati, assistant vice president of Human Resources. “I think the people here feel like they are part of something special.”

After all, there’s no bigger deal in Philadelphia than having a direct link to Benjamin Franklin himself.

“But more so here than anywhere else I’ve been, there’s a sense of preserving that for the future,” she said.

And as Rosati points out, the key to longevity is to constantly reevaluate their employees’ needs.

And throughout the company’s growth, they’ve recognized that a one-size-fits-all approach to keeping employees happy doesn’t work, which is one of many reasons why the Contributionship earned a spot in our 2017 survey of Top Workplaces.

The Contributionship has been named to the list five times, and is the oldest company on the list.

Rosati said the company is always looking for ways to “break up the monotony of the work day and keep people engaged.”

In the courtyard out back of the Old City office, the company occasionally throws barbecues for employees during the summer month, and hosts holiday parties in the winter. They also offer bonuses, quarterly awards, and other monetary rewards for employees who “live their brand.”

The company’s comprehensive benefits package includes medical and dental, and also life insurance, long and short term disability coverage and optional supplemental life coverage for employee and family.

“We try to offer choices so people can pick the best benefits for their family needs and their lifestyle no matter what point of life they’re in,” Rosati said.

The employer match on their 401(k) plan is 5 percent for every 6 percent of salary the employee contributes, plus an additional annual employer contribution of 2 percent. 

Throw in an on-site gym and education-assistance offerings, and you have a competitive 21st Century company in an 18th Century shell.

“There’s a lot of history here,” Rosati said. “And we are continually learning and growing.”