CFA Institution blog

by Maha Khan Phillips

For nearly 95 years, employees of the UK investment consultancy Hymans Robertson could be certain of one thing: Their profession required formal business attire. Employees, primarily actuaries, came to work in suits.

But not anymore. Since September, Hymans Robertson no longer has a strict dress code, and the rationale for this change reflects a wider trend in the investment business: It now employs more software programmers than it does actuaries. “We had to work hard to integrate everyone, because the tech people have their own culture. This has been most obviously demonstrated by the clothes that they wear. Actuaries tend to wear suits, and tech people don’t. So one of the things HR has had to grapple with is our dress policy,” says Douglas Anderson, partner at the firm…

…Asset management firms are making their products more accessible to the general public,” explains Emma Wallis, head of news and insight at talent management and consulting firm The Buy-Side Club. “In the DC world, individuals have much more sway over their managers, while robo-advice means an opening up of the investment industry. A related trend will be to focus on diversity as asset management becomes more accountable.”

Sarah Dudney, client partner at The Buy-Side Club, believes asset managers will have to compete to attract talent. “Asset management needs to appeal to young people and show them that this is an industry worth considering,” she points out. “Not all roles in asset management need a first-class math and economics degree from Oxford.”…

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