The future of skills and learning in a transforming investment industry

  • Investment and HR professionals from different markets, including the UAE, give their thoughts on the future of skills in the investment industry

Abu Dhabi – The CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, recently released the fourth report in its Future of Work series, exploring the context, culture and content of working in the investment industry.

Advanced technologies and hybrid working continue to change the shape of careers in finance. The Future of Work in Investment Management: The Future of Skills and Learning draws on CFA Institute survey data to identify the skills and learning equation for developing talent and careers in a changing investment industry. The report highlights the current gaps between the supply and demand of skills in the investment industry, examines learning trends and proposes changes for investment teams to better leverage the diversity of talent and the combined power of discrete but complementary skills.

The comprehensive four-part series on the future of work draws on responses from a combined group of more than 11,000 investment professionals worldwide across three surveys. The series also draws on feedback from leaders of 41 investment organizations representing more than 230,000 employees. Additionally, more than 100 investment professionals and human resources professionals from the investment management industry provided qualitative feedback through virtual roundtables in the following markets: United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom United, the United States, Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and Uruguay.

Less than half of survey respondents receive support from employers to develop the new skills they need. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, decentralized finance and sustainability present some of the largest gaps between the interest in learning and the supply of expertise today. Investment managers and those in fintech/IT, trading, sales and accounting positions are those most expecting significant changes in their roles.

Guillaume Tohme, The ‎CFA Institute’s Senior Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa, said, “In a dynamic and ever-changing environment, we need to constantly re-evaluate and re-evaluate how organizations operate. With a focus on continuous development programs, investment firms should review their talent decentralization programs to seek out and retain top talent in this competitive industry.

By taking the opportunity to invest in professional development, employees can always be aware not only of new technological advancements that are slowly emerging in the industry, but also of the soft skills needed in people’s daily tasks such as negotiation. and persuasion, which have become more prevalent in the new world of work.

Main conclusions:

  • The impact of new analytical methods on roles: More than a third of CFA Institute members surveyed believe the role they will play will be significantly different in 5 to 10 years, and that the biggest disruptor will be new analytical methods, including AI and technology. machine learning.
  • The skills path: Hard skills are most important at career entry, soft skills, leadership skills, and T-shaped skills (a combination of deep knowledge in a single area and broader knowledge in other domains and the ability to connect them) growing in importance over time.
  • Highly sought after skills: New sources of data will affect the skills needed for investment decision-making. The skills most mentioned by investment professionals include a fundamental understanding of AI and machine learning, as well as knowledge of sustainability issues. The most important category of soft skills is that of influencing, persuading and negotiating. Other skills that have become more important in the new world of work include time management, direct communication and being more resourceful. Managers and leaders will need to adapt their skills to succeed in a more flexible and dispersed work environment.
  • Availability of skills and areas of development: Investment professionals are interested in new skills but are limited in time. Among the 16 trending skill areas, notable differences between “saying and doing” are evident. For the AI, for every person pursuing the skill, three more intend to do so. Currently, about 20% of respondents say they are continuing their education in AI and machine learning, indicating how much respondents anticipate AI will change the investment landscape. Data sustainability and visualization saw the largest overall increase in interest levels over the previous two-year period.
  • Talent factors: Employers are looking for a combination of skills, courage and experience.

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