There is a range of trends, themes and issues that our industry will need to address this year.
Improving environment, but increasing challenges
The majority of respondents expect this year to be better than last year, with improving markets and economies. This was compared to 75% last year. Almost a third expect it to be similar to last year (more than the 15% last year), while one-in-10 expect it to be worse than last year, (up slightly on the previous year 8%).
The biggest concern for our people is whether their organisation can transform enough to keep up with the changes around them. This was followed by concerns over increasing competition, further regulation, changes in the industry and volatile markets.
Increased demand for administration and operations roles
The people and skills expected to be most in demand this year are for administration and operations roles. (Last year the roles most in demand were sales and marketing, and administration.)
Demand for investment management and sales is also expected to be strong. Interestingly, demand for risk and compliance as well as technology experts is expected to drop as these teams have already been developed.
The key here is not just 'filling a role, but identifying the best possible people. Cultural fit is by far the biggest challenge when it comes to identifying the ideal candidate. It was the biggest issue last year too, but for a lesser number (60%) of respondents.
There is also a need for more / improved employee engagement programs to help retain people.
Retirement requires more than money
While our industry is good at focusing on helping retirees determine how much money they need for retirement, we are not as good at helping them with social and psychological issues. We need to do more to help them once they stop working.
Boards and senior management need to do more
The era of cost-cutting is over. It has been replaced by the era of innovation and transformation. There is more to running an organisation than cutting costs and now is the time to change and learn new ways of doing business. This is why those that harness technology to empower their customers are winning.
What do you think lies ahead for the rest of 2018? Compare your views with those of the industry on the following pages.