Tech disruption and remote work have transformed industries across the board, requiring workers to adapt or risk falling behind. The investment industry is no exception, and financial professionals are considering what new skills they must develop for success, as outlined in the CFA Institute’s fourth report on the future of work in the industry.
The latest report is based on a survey of CFA Institute members worldwide conducted last November.
More than one-third of survey respondents believed their roles would be substantially different in five to 10 years, with the biggest disruptive factor being new analytical methods such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning — cited by 71% of respondents. That was followed by an increased focus on sustainability, as well as changing regulatory requirements (both cited by 51% of respondents).
Accordingly, respondents said they were most interested in developing their knowledge in areas such as AI and sustainability.
Based on the rise of hybrid work, the report said important skills to develop were efficient time management and effective influencing, persuading and negotiating. It also noted hybrid work’s disruption to industry roles.
For example, “Professionals in client-facing roles will need to reassess client service expectations given that the hybrid working model introduces more communication options and opportunities for firms to differentiate themselves,” the report said.
Overall, it identified four types of skills needed for career success: tech skills, soft skills, leadership skills and T-shaped skills.
AI and communication know-how are examples of tech and soft skills, respectively. Leadership skills include the ability to articulate mission vision and instil an ethical culture, the report said.
T-shaped skills are a combination of deep knowledge of a single domain and wider knowledge of other fields and the ability to connect them.
“Individuals with T-shaped skills are especially helpful to organizations because of their ability to ask the right questions in the right context,” the report said.
The institute challenged financial professionals to continue to build their skills and increase their knowledge.
“An investment industry that prioritizes competency, ethics and adaptability will be well-positioned to thrive now and in the future,” it said.