Insights

Insights

It’s Frontline Leaders Who Make or Break Progress on Diversity

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Market Commentary

BCG

People often reflexively equate leadership with the C-suite. But frontline leaders—the middle managers who directly supervise line employees—can have a huge impact on an organization’s performance. A large company may have hundreds or even thousands of people performing this role, and they have the most direct influence on the day-to-day experience of employees. Frontline leaders are particularly critical in implementing large cultural changes such as diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives, where even the best-intended programs will fail if they don’t have the right support at all levels.

Unfortunately, that support doesn’t always happen. Our research revealed that over a quarter of employees at large companies do not feel that their direct manager is committed to D&I. This is a major challenge as organizations seek to hire members of underrepresented groups—women, people of color, and people with LGBTQ status, among others—and create a more inclusive workplace to support them. Even when the executive team is fully committed, employees working under a less-than-committed direct manager are far less likely to feel welcome and included—and far more likely to leave for a job elsewhere. In short, getting frontline leaders to support D&I is a huge opportunity and should be a focus of every organization’s D&I strategy.

The rest of this article can be found at bcg.com.

Asset management giant nabs Citi ETF head

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Funds Management News

InvestorDaily

ETFs business in the Asia Pacific. BlackRock has appointed Rimmo Jolly as its new head of iShares Asia Pacific, with him set to commence in the role from 4 May. Based in Hong Kong, Mr Jolly will be held responsible for growing iShares ETF market share and driving ETF adoptions among investors in the region.

He will work with the regional and global iShares network in creating local product offerings and facilitate ETF ecosystem enhancements across the region. Mr Jolly will report to Susan Chan, head of iShares and Index Investing Asia Pacific at BlackRock. Ms Chan commented: “Rimmo is a highly respected finance industry veteran and brings a wealth of experience to our ETF business development and distribution.”

The rest of this article can be found at investordaily.com.au.

March 2020: The Power of Purpose

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Newsletters

Recently BCG offered an interesting insight into harnessing the Power of Purpose, and we considered this an area that many companies within financial services have focused on over the past decade. Nowhere has the power of purpose been harnessed as effectively as the Australian superannuation industry. Within the rapidly growing Australian asset owner industry there has been a strong focus on creating a powerful brand identity with each of the super funds. Each brand identity is hinged to a macro ‘purpose’, that is historically linked to their founding member groups. This connection to purpose allows these funds to define their mission, vision and purpose. This creates investment alignment and helps the firm to broaden away from their traditional member base to attract other customers and corporates to their brand and purpose alignment. Each super fund is seeking to define their brand and purpose. Further, they are seeking to align their investment philosophy, corporate partnerships, and especially their internal staffing philosophy back to this core purpose and brand identity. From HESTA to AustralianSuper to Cbus, each Australian superannuation fund is pursuing brand identity and harnessing the power of purpose, in their own way.

If we review the power of purpose, we could also consider that the investment banking community suitably reviewed and recalibrated their ‘purpose’ post-GFC. Indeed, governments and regulators forced this recalibration away from profit as the primary motivator. This led to a realignment of values from the major IBs and a consideration of ‘purpose’ from 2009 onwards. Wealth management firms for many years have focused on increased alignment with clients goals, and in a way this has enabled firms to create purpose through fulfilment of client goals. Further, private wealth clients are increasingly seeking firms with a sense of purpose, and this is reflected in strong brand identity within wealth management with an element of purpose as the focus. We can also clearly view the increased focus on philanthropy with leading private wealth firms as an obvious sign that a focus on purpose helps to attract and engage private wealth clients.

Purpose is logically a powerful motivator for staff, and an important consideration for us in a recruitment context, in engaging with our clients and candidates. Firms with strong brand identity, including an engaging corporate purpose, are better able to hire, retain and motivate staff to reach higher levels of performance. In a world of increased corporate social responsibility, those firms that are better able to harness the power of purpose will succeed.

TelstraSuper chair calls for equality in retirement

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Funds Management MC

Investment Magazine

Anne-Marie Corboy, chair of Australia’s largest corporate superannuation fund, talks to Investment Magazine about sustainability, the Retirement Income Review and the urgent need for policies that help disadvantaged women.

Q |With 30 years’ experience as a director and chair and a former chief executive of HESTA, what policies do you think Canberra should put in place to improve the retirement outcomes for women who are disadvantaged?

A |Women in Super have very sound policies in this area which they have been advocating for some time – and which I strongly support – including an increase in the superannuation guarantee, abolishing the $450 threshold and paying superannuation on parental leave. A further important issue being discussed more is the taper rate for access to the Age Pension, just another policy decision which has a major impact on women. This policy needs more discussion and reform. I would also like to see intra-fund advice expanded so that access to the Age Pension can form part of the advice in relation to superannuation balances.

The rest of this article can be found at investmentmagazine.com.au.

HESTA hires JCP CIO to build equities team

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Funds Management News

Investment Magazine

HESTA has hired Steven Semczyszyn to build an in-house Australian equities team as part of a broader program that will see the $55 billion superannuation fund also internally manage cash and fixed interest strategies. Named general manager of growth, Semczyszyn was the former chief investment officer of Australian equity fund manager JCP Investment Partners before it wound down last year after losing several key mandates. HESTA’s new Australian equities team is expected to be implemented by 2021, while plans for cash and fixed interest will get underway by 2022.

“These changes mark the start of an exciting new chapter for our investment team,” HESTA CIO Sonya Sawtell-Rickson said in statement.“Our forward strategy embraces a hybrid model – combining internal management alongside the best external asset management partners the world has to offer – to manage a growing and significant pool of assets.” James Harman, who was promoted to the role of general manager for listed assets in 2015, will continue to oversee the remaining asset class exposures and will take on additional responsibilities as he transitions into a new role as general manager of investment corporate strategy.

The rest of this article can be found at investmentmagazine.com.au.

Fund Industry Urged to Rethink Culture

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Funds Management News

InvestorDaily

A researcher has called Australian fund managers to move beyond slight changes to investment strategies to ramp up sustainability measures, starting with overhauling their organisations’ teams. Willis Towers Watson (WTW) research hub the Thinking Ahead Institute (TAI) has issued the call to action to the investment industry this week across Sydney and Melbourne. After conducting 120 cultural reviews across high-conviction managers, TAI raised concerns with a number of them because of an “undue reliance on one individual” or a “personality cult” as described by WTW strategic advisory consultant Rebecca Bannan.

“Individual talent, superior skill and insight [have] been foundational to the success of this industry, which is why the star fund manager model has evolved and it has indeed flourished,” Ms Bannan said. “But is it sustainable? Investing has been shifting from an individual game to a team sport. Leadership in the investment industry must demonstrate self-awareness and humility to embrace the team context. “But this doesn’t mean that we’ve lost our conviction in boutique asset managers, just that we think teams are more positioned for a sustainable future and even the smallest funds can be run with a team.”

The rest of this article can be found at investordaily.com.au.

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