Ignites Europe
by Dawn Cowrie

Following DWS’ move to flatten its structure, Ignites Europe asked The Buy-Side Club whether changes to the corporate hierarchy would be welcome among staff and whether other firms might follow suit in abolishing hierarchical job titles.

The Buy-Side Club’s Sarah Dudney, Client Partner, observed that sales professionals and other people in externally facing roles may prefer to have job titles that “demonstrate their seniority and authority to clients and other third parties.” By contrast, investment professionals are more concerned with functional titles and becoming named portfolio managers on funds.

While it might also seem natural for a flatter organisational structure to be attractive to younger staff, in fact climbing the career ladder may be more important to more junior employees. “People in the earlier stages of their careers, who are building up their track records, reputations and relationships, tend to be hungry for promotions,” says Ms Dudney. “When considering a move, [they] are keen to acquire more senior job titles and pay rises,” she adds.

By contrast, senior individuals are more inclined to focus on opportunities for personal and professional development, according to the hierarchy of needs theory developed by US psychologist Abraham Maslow. “People who have already achieved wealth and status feel freer to pursue self-actualisation,” says Ms Dudney.

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