Investment Banking MC

Investment industry needs cultural reset: Willis Towers Watson

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Investment Banking MC


The investment industry has lagged in reforming company culture at the expense of gaining competitive advantage, a new report has said, stating asset managers can fall behind the pack if they keep prioritising short-term performance. New research from Willis Towers Watson’s Thinking Ahead Institute has noted the language and framing used around culture in the industry remain limited, despite growing weight being given to asset manager culture assessments in hiring and firing decisions overseen by asset owners and consultants. According to the report, common failings limiting cultural quality include insufficient regard for organisation’s purpose beyond short-term business results, low regard for understanding and assessing “soft” or intangible factors and limited development of language and facts necessary to communicate culture.

Further, institutional investors were said to have limited appreciation of how subcultures exist and interact within their organisations as well as weak engagement on culture in talent acquisition and development. The cultural differences between asset owners and asset managers were reported to be the most evident in the client-focused area, where asset managers over time had been increasingly drawn to more self-centred values in response to commercial pressures. “There is considerable need for cultural improvement in the industry,” the report stated.

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