In the News

In the News

People Feature: Why Trump should be your 2017 career role model

3rd January 2017

IGNITES EUROPE

Asset management professionals seeking a new job in 2017 are being advised to look to an unlikely source for inspiration – Donald Trump.

As recruitment experts predict the next 12 months will see a flurry of hiring activity among asset managers, an Ignites Europe poll of 127 fund industry professionals reveals that up to a quarter have set a target of getting a new job in the coming year.

Recruitment experts say creating a strong personal brand is crucial to securing a new role and that the US president-elect is a good example of how to do so….

Sarah Dudney, client partner at recruiter The Buy-Side Club, adds: “There is increased internal focus [within firms] on how technology can be used to produce more efficient processes and reduce cost.” Ms Dudney says the increasing trend of consolidations and mergers in the industry makes it more important for professionals to make themselves stand out. “When there’s a new company you either have a job or you don’t. The impact is very immediate,” she says…

…Ms Dudney adds that while “there will always be demand for sales people who are proactive and can get the client across the line”, the “ideal salesperson in 2017” will have both “a very good [communicative] instinct” and a strong “digital instinct”. However, she says there will “always be demand for good risk management and good compliance people”, though the need for employees in those sectors to have a digital-first mindset is still increasingly prevalent….

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People Feature: Loving your job in asset management

13th December 2016

IGNITES EUROPE

Good pay, status and opportunity are just a few of the reasons you might expect many asset management professionals to love their job. And indeed many do.

Eight out of 10 research professionals say they love their job, while just over half of fund managers say the same, according to a poll carried out by salary benchmarking site Emolument.com. However, anecdotal evidence shows that the opposite is also true in some circles….

Sarah Dudney, client partner at recruiter The Buy-Side Club, says one reason relationship managers might feel negative about their job is the low interest rate environment. “It is challenging and clients are frustrated,” she says….

…Ms Dudney says that seeing a challenge as “an opportunity” could help people “really think through how they can best align themselves with the new environment”. “Middle and back offices are cost centres. Therefore they are always going to be under pressure because of the environment we are in. The challenge for them is to find their niche so they [can deal] with the challenge.” She adds: “Ultimately you have got to make a virtue out of a vice because there are opportunities. “Despite challenges there is growth, innovation, you get to work with really fantastic people. It is well paid. There is a lot to enjoy intellectually, socially, professionally.” Finally Ms Dudney says disgruntled employees should remind themselves of the social purpose of their role. “They are in the business of building long-term savings. They should see their greater purpose as that of fiduciaries,” she says. Finding your purpose need not involve “navel gazing”, she says. “It’s just about being professional, focusing on what your clients want and building alignment there.”…

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Best and worst jobs for work-life balance

30th November 2016

IGNITES EUROPE

Fund managers are a lot happier with their work-life balance than people in research or middle and back-office positions, according to a survey carried out by salary benchmarking site Emolument.Eighty-one per cent of fund managers say their work-life balance is satisfactory or great, standing in stark contrast to 55 per cent of those working in front-office research and 53 per cent of those in middle and back-office roles, who describe it as “awful”. In addition 44 per cent of relationship managers and 33 per cent of product specialists also view their work-life balance as negative….


…Cath Longfield, head of marketing at culture consultancy Starboard, says she would expect work-life balance to correlate exactly to the amount of stress and difficulty people experience in their jobs…“When people find their jobs less fulfilling and meaningful, they are more likely to report feeling dissatisfied and resenting the amount of time they are having to spend at work,” she says. “This may be more true of back-office functions than those in management positions as the latter have more control over their work and can potentially make more of a difference.” Sarah Dudney, partner at recruiter the Buy-Side Club, agrees that the gap in how work-life balance is viewed could be down to purpose and a sense of control. Those working in middle and back-office positions, facing an onslaught of technological and regulatory changes, might feel a lot less in control than fund managers whose job it is to deliver returns, she says…

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The allure of the sideways move

15th November 2016

IGNITES EUROPE

A sideways move within fund management is typically defined as any step that is lateral in terms of job title, seniority or pay. It can be a risky move but one that offers the chance to aim for a better opportunity ahead, experts say…


Arguably one of the most high-profile sideways moves in recent months was that of Campbell Fleming, who in April moved from his position of European chief executive officer at Columbia Threadneedle to head of distribution at Aberdeen Asset Management. According to a fund management recruiter, who spoke to Ignites Europe at the time of the hire, Mr Fleming should have a clear run at the top job of CEO when it comes up. Although it looked like a sideways move on the surface, on closer inspection it was a “distinct move up”, says Sarah Dudney, partner at recruiter the Buy-Side Club. “If you look at the detail, he has done something much more positive.” Ms Dudney says this is because Mr Fleming’s focus has shifted from leading “one unit of a bigger family” at US-headquartered Threadneedle, to running distribution globally for a FTSE-listed company with a “distinct position in the market”.


…However, they could be growing further down the hierarchy too. Ms Dudney says she hears of “fewer opportunities” for people lower down the ladder at their existing asset management firms as those at the top increasingly defer retirement….

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‘Mood shifting’ among EU fund workers in London

11th October 2016

IGNITES EUROPE

The perception of the UK as a place to live and work is suffering in the eyes of overseas fund professionals as the Brexit fallout intensifies amid new government proposals aimed at encouraging companies to hire locally. Some overseas fund professionals working in the UK feel disillusioned about the country’s direction post-referendum and the sentiment has solidified further following last week’s Conservative party conference, where proposals were put forward requiring firms to list the number of foreign workers they employ. The proposals have sparked widespread outcry, prompting the government to backpedal and assure companies that the information received will not be made public…

Lee Higgins, CEO of recruiter The Buy-Side Club, has not experienced a change in sentiment towards London or the UK fund industry as a result of Brexit. “From our ongoing conversations with clients and contacts, London remains an attractive city for investment and skilled workers within the fund management industry,” says Mr Higgins. “Non-UK citizens at a senior level are well entrenched in the city with a great job, property and schooling being strong ties that they will be reluctant to break. The time zone and cosmopolitan culture are also big factors that will continue to keep and pull people into the UK.”

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