Case Study 2
An international private bank, investing heavily in growing its wealth management unit at its Asian headquarters, found that well-heeled and mature wealth managers were in very short supply. The situation, in itself both unique and unprecedented, was playing out across the entire industry. An acute explosion in customer demand (the industry as a whole had reported an 112% increase in assets under management over 5 years) on one hand, was at risk due to a relatively inelastic supply of senior relationship managers across the industry, on the other. The current strategy of hiring overseas talent was failing due to cost and cultural differences. Simultaneously, an ugly bidding war had begun on the ground which was driving salary demands to unsustainable levels.
The leadership team unanimously agreed that their customers were suffering and new ideas were needed. Using the Talent Economics approach, the team which worked on the company's overall talent strategy found several opportunity-areas. During the diagnosis phase, it was quite clear that this firm was addressing long-term issues using short-term solutions. This kept the wheels in motion, but did not address the core issues of poor talent supply and cost escalation.
Using the PITA investment framework from the Talent Economics toolkit, an internal team of Talent Economists helped build a short and long term battle plan which included:
- Hiring non-traditional talent (doctors, lawyers, management consultants) and investing in their financial skills development. With strong mentoring support, many went on to become top revenue producers within 18 months.
- Designing a customised financial diploma with a local university. This diploma was offered exclusively to mid and back office employees who wanted to switch to front office roles.
- Investing in technology adoption and training, which made several routine data input and reporting tasks easier, thereby raising average productivity within the current team.
- Investing in employer brand schemes - a critical but often overlooked imperative in hot job markets. This included among other things, hosting an annual summit for women in finance, which was attended by hundreds of women bankers- including many wealth managers - from across the industry.
The results were very positive and evidenced at the end of 18 months through: lower turnover, higher customer satisfaction and greater internal mobility of talent into revenue producing roles.