People matter in the investment industry. A lot.
In 2020, we created Thread, a next-generation knowledge management software to help professional investors work better in remote settings. We envisioned bringing investment data, teams, and insights into a single interface to allow cross-pollination and real investment debates.
During our first 6 months into developing Thread, we met with hundreds of portfolio managers, analysts, and fund executives to understand their needs and problems regarding knowledge sharing and the use of technology to reach better investment decisions. And what we learned to be their biggest blocker surprised us: People.
After several day-long boardroom discussions, we came to the conclusion that while most leaders considered the digital transformation of their investment processes a crucial necessity, at the same time, they felt it came at the cost of disrupting the existing routines of the employees. And, we agreed; Asset Managers have both time and money on their side. They have long-term investment horizons to manage our pensions and savings, while consistently ranking as some of the most profitable companies in the world, sometimes with operating margins hovering above 80%. So why fix something that is not broken?
We’d expected constraints of time or money to be the largest obstacles for these firms, but it was instead the Human Element. It’s because, in the end, the asset and wealth management industry is a human-first business model where women and men can, in a matter of months, make or break an investment firm’s reputation.
Yet, talent sourcing remains a tedious routine for recruiters
Recruitment is a tedious process: designing the job description, publishing it on relevant job boards, screening resumes, conducting several rounds of interviews is just a small chunk of the big pie of tasks. Hiring is only the tip of the iceberg, and underneath it, lies a lot more work like — onboarding, training, and retaining the right talent at the right time. Most companies in the asset management industry rely on partnerships with universities and job hunters to ensure their job vacancies are satisfied. Those are expensive solutions, where a typical recruitment agency fee will be 15% to 30% of the first-year salary of the hired talent.
However, unlike most others, the asset management industry has emerged relatively unscathed from the COVID-19 crisis. Margins and revenues have remained relatively stable and its AuM grew to $112,3Tn in 2020 according to PwC figures. Meaning the industry is expected to hire a record number of analysts and advisors to fuel its growth.
Unfortunately, the class of 2020–2021 entered the worst job market since the Great Depression
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, more emails and resumes that graduates sent during their application process have remained unanswered. COVID-19 put a stop to their ambitions. Finding the right job to kickstart one’s career with had always been tough, but in 2020, it became a nightmare with new trends emerging overnight to complicate things! Paperwork in a remote setting, visa restrictions, work-from-home — just to name a few.
According to the OCDE, back-to-normal levels of unemployment is not for 2021.
At Thread, we have been in those shoes before — Some of us were looking for investment jobs in 2009 during the great recession, in 2012 during the Euro Crisis, and in 2020 amidst the pandemic. We know it’s not easy.
A program to bridge this talent gap
To find an investment job, graduates need to be noticed. And to be noticed, they need to communicate.
Over the years, we learned that leading investment funds want motivated analysts that they can rely on to make sound investment decisions. They need talented individuals with the right analytical skills and a mindset that fits their organizational culture.
So at Thread, we came up with a solution: Thread Talent.
This is a unique program where we help graduates get the investment job of their dreams.
- Talent subscribe to our newsletter
- They tell us about their interests and motivations by submitting a form
- Highly motivated candidates are invited to join Thread Talent where we provide them with the best resources (data, training, community) so they can then learn to write great investment ideas based on their own research
- Every Friday, our team of investment professionals selects the top investment cases written on our platform
- We showcase the best profiles in our newsletter that is read by hundreds of asset management organizations throughout the globe