MEMPHIS, Tenn.--Dec. 22, 1998--First Tennessee Bank (NASDAQ/NMS: FTEN) has again earned a place on Fortune magazine's list of the "100 Best Companies to Work for in America." First Tennessee placed 14th, rising seven spots over the company's ranking last year of 21st. The second annual rankings, which appear in the Jan. 11 issue of Fortune, were compiled through extensive research, analysis and a poll of more than 27,000 employees at hundreds of companies nationwide. The Jan. 11 issue of Fortune will be on newsstands beginning Dec. 28.
First Tennessee also has been recognized as one of the nation's best employers by Business Week and Working Mother magazines.
"We learned a long time ago that employees who feel valued and respected lead to customers who are loyal and enjoy doing business with us," said Ralph Horn, chairman and CEO of First Tennessee. "Our employees have adopted a team approach to making sure that providing outstanding service to their customers is combined with respect and consideration for employees' personal lives, and it's really worked at First Tennessee. In addition to continuing national recognition as an outstanding employer, First Tennessee customers also have rewarded us with one of the highest customer retention rates of any bank in the country. That, in our book, is a combination that can't be beat."
Fortune has determined that the publicly traded companies on the "100 Best" list deliver higher average annual returns to shareholders than the companies making up the Russell 3000, the index that best mirrors the list. The stock of the 55 companies on the list that have been publicly traded for at least five years had an average annual appreciation of 25 percent in that period, compared with a gain by the Russell index of 19 percent. In that same period, First Tennessee had an average annual appreciation of 29.16 percent.
Fortune collaborated with best-selling authors Robert Levering and Milton Moskowitz to compile the list using methodology similar to that used for their books, The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America. To be eligible, a company had to be at least 10 years old and have a minimum of 500 employees.