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2019

Investment Professional of the Future

Changing Roles, Skills, and Organizational Cultures

Read the full CFA Institute report or executive summary, which explores the changing roles, skills, and organizational cultures that affect the career path for investment professionals.


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As the investment industry undergoes accelerating change, the investment professional of the future must adapt and embrace new challenges and opportunities for career success. This report considers how investment industry roles, skills, and careers (the employee’s lens) and the organizational context and culture (the employer’s lens) are shaping the attributes of the investment professional of the future.

We look out over the next 5-10 years, and define “core investment professionals” as those working in investment industry roles involved with making investment decisions and understanding client needs.

Inputs to the report include a global survey of 3,832 CFA Institute members and candidates, an opinion survey of 133 experts, and inputs from more than 100 participants in industry roundtables and individual interviews.

 

Below is a summary of the key sections in the Investment Professional of the Future report. Visit the Future Professional interactive site to read our findings on what the future job of the investment professional will look like.

Investment Industry Trends and Size

This report focuses on “core investment professionals” who are the central actors in the investment ecosystem, making influential decisions in such areas as investment strategy, portfolio construction, and trading. We comment on upcoming investment industry trends and their impacts, including:

  • Growth of the job market for core investment professionals
  • Changes in compensation for core investment professionals
  • Shifts in CFA Program candidate and CFA Institute member numbers by region
  • The influence of fintech and technological innovation and disruption on the industry

Changing Roles in the Investment Industry

The roles of investment professionals are expected to change over the next 5-10 years. This report examines what industry changes will be the primary forces impacting the roles of investment professionals. More specifically, we discuss the impact of technological innovation, changing organizational structures, the influx of millennials in the investment workforce, globalization, and the growth in Asia Pacific on the core investment professional’s role in the industry.

Changing Skills and Careers in the Investment Industry

Individuals speak of skills in the industry, but employers will often reference “competency models” in which competency is associated with “knowledge, skills, and abilities” to describe the exact needs of the job and its function. In this report, we examine the importance of various skills and abilities based on responses from industry leaders in investment management. Additionally, we explore how individuals can differentiate themselves with their abilities to work with technology in the evolving investment management landscape. We also provide strategies for gaining new and desirable skills and our perspective on how career management must adapt to this new environment, based on our findings.

Changing Workplace Cultures and Organizational Context for Investment Professionals

As the investment professional evolves, so does the work environment and culture; investment firms must evolve to cater to the individuals who work there. Based on our study, we determine that these environmental changes should take into consideration workplace intelligence, the effectiveness of teams, the impact of technological advancements on the work environment, employee motivations—such as work-life balance, compensation, and training—and workplace design.

Next Steps for Investment Professionals and Firms

Based on the insights in this report, we have developed next steps for investment professionals to take to help prepare them for the future of the investment industry:

  1. Keep learning and adapting (see the career flywheel below)
  2. Invest in new-era skills
  3. Be tech-savvy by navigating and harnessing new technology

Additionally, we have developed steps that investment firms and organizations can take to evolve with their employees:

  1. Enhance the employee experience by cultivating a stronger culture
  2. Invest in empowering leadership
  3. Be change-savvy by transforming your worldview

As the pace of change in the investment industry accelerates, the investment professional of the future will need to take a more proactive approach to career management. The career flywheel below can help explain the constant give and get between the individual and the organization over time.

Career Flywheel

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