Adaptability is essential: 89% of industry leaders agree that “individuals’ roles will be transformed multiple times during their careers; adaptability and lifelong learning will be the most essential skills.”
Change is anticipated: 43% of investment professionals think the role they perform today will be substantially different in 5–10 years’ time.
AI+HI will become the norm: Significant professional roles at the investment firms of the future will include investment roles, technology roles, and innovation roles. “AI+HI” denotes the interaction of artificial intelligence (AI) and human intelligence (HI). For certain interactions, the combined model adds more value than either component alone because it leverages the benefits of both. Ethical orientation, transparency, communication, empathy, tacit knowledge, and trust interaction are the key human elements that technology cannot (yet) reproduce.
Teams will dominate: A preference for portfolio management teams and a reduced reliance on star portfolio managers have prompted a focus on workforce diversity to improve decision making.
Work–life integration is the goal: Technology blurs boundaries between “work” and “life,” and professionals seek to move beyond work–life balance to work–life integration.
Asia Pacific growth continues: Asia will exhibit higher demand for investment professionals. China will experience multinationals establishing foreign majority–owned asset management firms and large international asset managers forming wholly owned subsidiaries. India—because of the increasing demand for financial services, its strong economic growth, and its number of capable engineers—could become the world’s investment hub.
More investment professionals are motivated by learning than by compensation: Investment professionals are motivated most by having interesting work (65%), learning new things (63%), and having competitive compensation and benefits (51%). Key reasons to leave an employer are compensation and benefits (61%), not working for a good team or supervisor (58%), and not having interesting work (51%).
Soft skills is the topic most pursued across all career phases: Early career professionals also favor portfolio risk optimization and data interpretation. In later-career phases, sustainability and alternative investments are prioritized more highly.
T-shaped skills are valued: T-shaped people are subject matter experts, they adapt to changing environments, and they can work across disciplines, which includes being at ease with technology. Traditional learning and learning by doing both contribute. Investment industry leaders rank T-shaped skills as the most important future skill category (49% rank these first), followed by leadership skills (21%), soft skills (16%), and technical skills (14%).
Many important skills are difficult to find: The most important skills in each category are solutions skills, creativity/innovation skills, ability to articulate mission and vision, and situational fluency/adaptability. Creativity/innovation skills, ability to connect across disciplines, and solutions skills are the most difficult to find.
Time spent in on-the-job learning is high: CFA candidates spend 38% of their working time learning new things. More experienced CFA Institute members still spend 25% of their time on new work.
Career catalysts exist: These include mentors and sponsors, career roadmaps, acquired diversity, and a network of contacts.
The world of work is changing: 77% of investment leaders expect the industry’s world of work to change more than it did in the past 10 years. We define the world of work as overall workplace features, roles and skills, work methods, and compensation and incentives.
Firms are managing the employee experience more: Employee experience will become a more common lever for organizations to differentiate themselves, including a commitment to an increased per-employee investment in training programs.
Workplace design is an enabler of culture: Workplace design focuses on functional elements (e.g., the environment, layout, and the quality of any enhancements in the workplace) but influences all aspects of the employee experience.
Technology will change cultures: Because a group’s collective intelligence will matter more than individual intelligence, investment firms will increasingly favor teams supported by technology. Organizations will seek to use technology to enhance human roles with some net cost and efficiency gains. Technology opportunities will cause role displacement, creating challenges as leaders manage the cultural transition.
Training will increase: 60% of industry leaders surveyed expect firms to increase training and development. Organizations recognize the need to continuously upskill professionals to remain effective. Benefits of providing ongoing learning opportunities include higher-quality analytical work, deeper client engagements, retention of a firm’s best people, and a stronger bench of talent. People who develop a deep expertise stay longer because their key development needs are being met.