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March 29, 2019

More wealth managers will change jobs in 2019 as pay packages go up

By Asena Degirmenci

There is a renewed interest from asset and wealth managers looking to find a new job in the US, as over a half saw salary increases over the past year.

Research from Kathy Freeman’s 2019 Annual Talent Trends Report shows investment industry professionals are 20% more willing to consider new opportunities than last year.

The results are based on a survey of 300 professionals working in asset management, wealth management, alternative investments, private banks, trust companies, fintech and industry service providers in the US.

In 2018, 13% of respondents moved to a new firm—up only three percentage points from 2017.

Overall compensation continues to rise, with 52% of respondents saying they saw their pay increase in 2018, up from 49% in 2017. Of those that saw an increase, 54% experienced a jump of between 11% and 25%.

Interestingly, half of the respondents said that no progress has been made in the investment industry in terms of increasing workforce diversity.

In light of the #MeToo movement, respondents were asked whether sensitivity about gender equality has had a positive or negative impact on the industry: 70% said they believe it had a positive effect.

Lack of talent has been an ongoing conversation in the wealth and asset management industry. Almost 80% of respondents acknowledged their firm cannot source the talent they need to fill open positions: 39% believe the shortage is moderate, 33% say it’s mild, and 7% say it’s severe.

The research found that an elevated level of M&A is likely to continue in 2019, and act as a catalyst to the redistribution of talent throughout the industry. As firms seek to scale through consolidation, there will be duplication of roles resulting in workforce reductions.

Only a small fraction of respondents change firms each year. Although the number of individuals who changed firms increased by 3 percentage points, it is still insignificant in the bigger picture and reflects a continued reluctance to make a change.

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