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Jonathan Max

Investment Association: 2025 Vision

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Andy Milner

Thanks for bringing this to our attention Jonathan - is a good and digestible summary.

 

Interesting to hear that Velocity is looking to develop international partnerships:

 

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    • Jonathan Max
      By Jonathan Max
      Innovation is changing Investment Management. The Investment Association highlighted rapid technological change in its recent industry report
       
      Day by day new technologies like blockchain, machine learning and artificial intelligence are revolutionising the industry. It also encourages professionals to keep learning and adapting, invest in new skills, and be tech-savvy.
       
      With this acceleration of technology adoption and the changing nature of work; what exactly is the human element for the future of careers in Investment Management as it embraces Fintech? 
       
      Forbes points the way very clearly in its Six Innovation Leadership Skills Everybody Needs to Master article; that being innovation and ‘the need to bring people together as a team. The need to demonstrate deeper empathy. The ability to get new things done.’
       
      Technical skills can be learned, but a person’s motivators and behaviour style are typically more difficult to acquire and learn. This means it is imperative Fintech firms do not (or should not) make hires based on a candidate’s technical skills alone. 
       
      So why exactly are these softer skills relevant to Fintech and Innovation?
       
       
      Mindset
      FinTech professionals are required to have the analytical and critical thinking skills needed to help them find creative solutions to such problems, this Innovation Mindset will be essential to succeed in the dynamic nature of FinTech. The ability to collaborate effectively with others build relationships and demonstrate critical thinking will be in demand more than individuals who just ‘major’ on technical skills alone.
       
      Flexibility
      It has been predicted traditional Investment Management roles will soon become obsolete with estimates of their demise ranging from 5 to 20 years. For those considering transitioning from a more traditional role into Fintech, technology skills are not all that is required. A need for an adaptable and flexible approach to ensure cultural alignment in what can be very different working environments is essential. This applies equally to what individuals earlier in their careers need to be thinking about when they approach career planning plus hard and soft skills development. 
       
      Soft Skills
      The good news is soft skills is the topic most pursued across all career phases among the Investment Management industry. As we see the blending of industries - Fintech and Investment Management – it will be just as important for Fintechs to identify the need for people with strong soft skills so they may build the innovative, appropriate culture to enable growth of sustainable and healthy businesses.
       
      There is so much positive energy and progress across the sector and many great success stories. But, when the ‘human’ element is misaligned the outcomes can be spectacularly detrimental  - reports in the media about Revolut ‘where turnover and toxic behavior is rife’ are a case in point.
       
      What is evidently clear, soft skills are not ‘nice to have’ but essential for both employees and organisations to embrace so they may effectively navigate the future of the Industry and the opportunities ahead.
       
      We’ve looked at this in depth in our latest industry report. To find out more about our view of what’s to come, please download and read the AlgoMe report: The Disrupted Career: FinTech, Innovation And The Future Of Careers In Investment Management.
       
    • Andy Milner
      By Andy Milner
      This year it has been hard to escape Pride season – throughout June and into July there have been events all around the world commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and the effective start of the fight for equal rights for the LGBT+ community.
       
      The celebration of diversity has gone well and truly mainstream, with companies from PWC and Barclays to Argos and GoPro changing their logos to include a rainbow flag. Marks and Spencers are even pushing a new “LGBT” sandwich, adding guacamole to the classic bacon, lettuce and tomato combo.
       
      Our industry is also in on the action, with the Investment Association and Schroders amongst the organisations that are showing their support via updated logos.
       

       
      Rainbow-washing?
       
      Is this public outpouring of support for the LGBT+ community merely a sign of corporations attempting to “diversity-wash” their images, or reflective of deeper changes in their attitudes and approaches to D&I?
       
      According to Stonewall, 6 in 10 LGBT+ 18-24 year olds are still choosing to hide their sexuality in the workplace, which is perhaps not surprising when 1 in 5 of those who have come out say they have been the target of negative comments or conduct in the workplace.
       
      The Investment Association’s new report Do You Remember the First Time? (the follow up to last year’s Bringing Your Whole Self To Work report) is about coming out and being out in Investment Management and makes for interesting reading.
       
      It highlights practical steps that can be taken to improve the experience of LGBT+ individuals in areas including recruitment, employee on-boarding, workplace policies and people management. It’s also encouraging to read a number of real-world examples of where these are being put into place across the industry.
       
      What definitely feels like a positive change is the growing ground-up movement, supported by a number of Industry initiatives, that has been beginning to push the LGBT+ equality agenda more visibly in the last year or so. In 2019, the City of London has been host to more Pride related events than ever before, from talks and discussion panels, to the raising of the Pride flag over the Guildhall in the run up to London Pride this weekend.
       
      Next week also sees the official launch of InterInvest – an industry wide LGBT+ network with the potential to make a real impact on how LGBT+ professionals surface and tackle the issues they face. This sits alongside LGBT Great, an initiative of the Diversity Project, which has just announced its 50-for-50 list of LGBT+ role models – an important part of the strategy for making LGBT+ professionals feel accepted and comfortable.
       
      All of this suggests cause for optimism. However, we also shouldn’t forget that LGBT+ hate crimes are on the rise in the UK and in other parts of the world as the forces of populism become more prominent.
       
       
      So are these public displays of support just rainbow-washing? The verdict isn’t clear.
       
      Peter Tatchell, a prominent campaigner sees it as a capitalist sell-out of the Pride movement’s principles. However, even if some of the motives are cynical, and it is not a true reflection of real progress, at the very least the increased visibility of the Pride movement helps to further bring the LGBT+ community into the mainstream of public perception.
       
      Here’s to more rainbow logos in 2020.
       
       
      Main photo credit: Matias Altbach 
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