What Big Investment Firms Can Teach You About Staffing

What kind of people are you likely to find working at a big investment firm? People with degrees in economics, finance and business administration, right?
Not so much any more.
Increasingly, investment firms are hiring people who are technology specialists. In fact, BlackRock, the world’s largest investment manager, is hiring technology specialists at twice the rate of all other positions combined. Why? As one industry CEO noted, “We’ve become as much a technology company as we are a bank.”
The investment industry is changing. Skilled investing is not simply about having good intuition and a solid grasp of the fundamentals. More and more it’s about analytics. Specifically, predictive analytics. Developing models to predict which variables will lead to which outcomes with what degree of certainty and at what level of risk.
BlackRock recognizes this as so critical they’ve publicly stated that failing to evolve their core technology offering in a “dynamic market for risk analytics” will lead to a loss of clients and will threaten their growth. Note: They didn’t say, “core investment offering,” they said, “core technology offering.”
Here’s the point: Increasingly, the game of business is about information and the technology to utilize that information to competitive advantage. Whether it’s the performance of investments, shaping customer behaviors, or the evolution of smart products, information – to paraphrase the English philosopher, Francis Bacon – is power.
What about your business? Is your industry evolving? Will the ability to master information become a key differentiator in your field?
Which brings us back to people. Are you hiring the kind of people who will help you meet tomorrow’s needs or just today’s? The big investment firms had the foresight and courage to change their staffing models. Will you?
Make it happen.
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