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Where, What, and How Work Gets Done: The Future of Work in Investment Management

The state of work — what we do, where we do it, and how it gets done — looks undeniably different today than just a year ago. The forced reality of remote working due to the pandemic has made leaders and employees think more carefully about what investment careers could look like going forward. The short-term changes have prompted firms to update their technology to enable a work-from-anywhere (WFA) environment, but what are the longer-term implications of this disruption?

CFA Institute offers the first in-depth study examining the new work parameters for the investment industry in a multi-part research series, Future of Work in Investment Management. Keep reading to download all 3 reports in the series.

woman working on tablet
An aerial view of a mother working on a laptop in her office at home with her young daughter sitting on her lap.

The Context of Work

Discover how the global pandemic has forced investment professionals to adapt new ways of working in a hybrid environment.

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Close up of business people joining hands together in unity

The Culture of Organizations

See how the absence of a physical workplace provided new insights about the core elements of good culture.

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Asian man using virtual visual screen with laptop in office

The Content of Work

Learn about the changing scope and nature of investment management roles, the skills needed for success, and how to build effective investment teams.

Read More

Investing in Resiliency

Need for skill development versus company support graph

Adaptability as a Competitive Edge

Throughout this series, we drill down deeper to answer some of the industry's most pressing questions about the future of work in the investment industry:

  • How can you navigate your career path in a hybrid work environment?
  • How will professional networks change, and who is the most at risk of being left out of the new working model?
  • With fewer in-person connections, what new trust models are needed to navigate relationships with clients and colleagues?
  • What are the operational and compliance risks associated with hybrid work?
  • What new insights have emerged about the core elements of effective organizational cultures in the investment industry?

Career Competencies for the Future of Work

Explore the new skills, traits, and work structure needed to succeed in particular investment management roles.

Explore Roles

Redefining What It Means to Be "In the Office"

Where Work Gets Done in a Hybrid Future

Where investment professionals spend their working day would have been a surprising conversation a few years ago because the answer was obvious: You needed to be in the office. While flexibility was a bit more common than outsiders to the industry might have guessed, most leaders explicitly or implicitly believed in “face time” as a measure of commitment and potential.

Following the COVID disruption to work, investment professionals have had to adapt to the new rules of a hybrid environment to manage their career path, personal brand, and professional network — and investment roles proved to be well-suited for flexibility. Now 81% of employees say they want to remain remote — at least part time.

What will work look like going forward given the social disruptions from the pandemic?

Read Part 1

Who wants to work remotely in a bar graph

Is a Hybrid Model the Future of Work?

Rebecca Fender, CFA, discusses building trust and the relationship between working from home and maintaining a high-performance culture. 

Listen to the Podcast

Re-Imagining Organizational Culture 

How Work Gets Done in Changing Environments

In the war for talent, organizational culture will be a differentiator. Half of investment professionals surveyed say they would consider work in another industry, so as skills become more transferrable it’s vital for organizations to examine the core elements of their culture.

Investors will be especially interested to see how investment organizations seeking to demonstrate their alignment with ESG principles adapt their workforce policies and consider their employees as key stakeholders. The implementation of new approaches, however, may have pitfalls, especially related to inclusion and equity. Culture cannot be taught and understood through a memo, and finding ways for new hires to learn and thrive even without the proximity of coworkers will be one of the most important leadership challenges going forward.

How can leaders be innovative in a hybrid environment — while protecting the essentials of what defines their organizational culture?

Read Part 2

Industry Leaders Weigh in on a New Paradigm for Productivity

Diverse perspectives on an industry in transition and what it means for organizations as well as for individual professionals and their careers.

Read the Article

Hedging Against Irrelevance


What Work Gets Done as Roles & Rules Evolve

Disruption is the only constant with today's workforce. Technology continues to drive skill development needs across the investment industry and firms are scrambling to keep up with the pace of change. The scope of job roles is just as unsettled - 39% of investment professionals believe the structure of their role will either be substantially different or not exist at all in the next 5-10 years.  

To facilitate this industry-wide transition into the future of work, organizations and professionals will need fresh insights into the critical skills of tomorrow.  What does the supply and demand of skills look like?  What investment roles will see an increased focus?  And how can organizations and individuals balance the need for both specialist and generalist skillsets?

The Future of Skills and Learning report explores these complex questions.

Read Part 3

Investment Professionals Need to Invest in New Skills to Be Successful

Download the accompanying infographic to explore the key findings from the Future of Skills and Learning report.


About the Report

The Future of Work in Investment Management research series is based on quantitative and qualitative data collected from more than 9,000 global investment professionals and leaders at investment organizations representing more than 230,000 employees. In addition, the series incorporates qualitative input from virtual roundtables conducted with participants from more than a dozen markets.

Special thanks to Professor Renee B. Adams (University of Oxford) and Professor Almudena Sevilla (University College London) for their collaboration on this project.

Get a Sneak Peak

Interested in seeing what the Future of Work series can do to help you prepare for the next generation of the investment management profession? Take a sneak peek at some of the high-level findings we’ll explore regarding the Context, Content, and Culture of work.