talent Articles

To Truly Assess Gender Pay Gaps, Companies Must Dig Below the Surface

In most cases, you can’t begin to fix a problem until you understand why it exists in the first place. This is certainly true for the complex challenge of addressing gender pay equity. It’s time for companies to carefully examine their data and work outside the confines of basic pay comparisons to find and fix specific root causes. Once organizations actually start to dig deeper, we’ve found that the following issues are the most significant drivers of both real and perceived gender pay gaps.

The Troubled Waters for Retail Banking

Incentive opportunities and the mix of pay continue to be examined as the effectiveness, administrative burden, and risks of low dollar programs are under scrutiny in retail banking.

Further Ramifications of New DOL Fiduciary Ruling on FA Training

In addition to the compensation implications discussed previously, another area demanding firms' attention will be roles and training. Compliance departments will require additional staffing, including new roles dedicated to all things fiduciary.

Implications of New FLSA Minimum Salaries and DOL Fiduciary Ruling

It's certainly not a stretch to call 2016 a very challenging year for HR / Compensation professionals in the financial services industry as they respond to two sweeping regulatory changes: the Department of Labor's new fiduciary standard for Financial Advisors and new FLSA minimum salary rate for exempt employees.

Regulatory Update: Solvency II – Remuneration Requirements

Our consultants have summarized the Supervisory Statement (SS) on Solvency II remuneration requirements, released today by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), and what it means for insurance firms in the UK.

McLagan Alert: The UK Decides to Leave the EU

On 23 June the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU). This historic decision is creating near-term volatility in the capital markets, but it is important to note that the full impact of this decision for the UK and European financial services sector will unfold over a period of at least two years as the UK negotiates the terms of the exit.

To Rate or Not to Rate: A Thoughtful Guide

In recent months, with increasing frequency, we have read of firms eliminating performance ratings and "blowing up performance management". Few trends in Human Resources have had more momentum and, while this might not be a popular thing to say, have been misunderstood or done with less forethought. Support for dismantling traditional performance management approaches has been informed by employee feedback, research, and positive intentions. But what sometimes feels missing in firms' change processes are rigorously defined desired end states, and thorough reviews of the role that performance management and ratings (specifically) play at those firms. We believe there is a sweet spot between "transformative" and traditional performance management. It will look a little different for each firm, particularly in financial services, where highly differentiated compensation is at the very core of how firms operate—but the sweet spot can only be achieved through rigor and not a rush to join a crowd. In this paper we will look at what is changing, what are the intended outcomes, who are the stakeholders in this change, and what are the specific implications for rewards at financial services firms. 

Competing in Hong Kong

The Competition Ordinance (Commencement) (no 2.) Notice 2015 was published in the Gazette on 17 July 2015, which declares 14 December 2015 as the effective date for the rule. This Ordinance, first outlined in 2012, restricts four types of conduct that are described as anti-competition - pricing manipulation, market division/allocation, output restriction or control, and bid rigging. Though not specifically targeted at employment matters, it is clear that the Competition Ordinance (CO) restricts practices like wage-fixing, formal and informal sharing of pay or benefits related information with competitors, industry-wide negotiations that impact wages and employment terms, and no-poaching agreements.

The Technology Talent Demand Convergence

It wasn’t so long ago that information technology (IT) was a back office function at most firms and, while companies would look at Apple or other innovators with envy or admiration, information technology was seen primarily as a way to execute or operate more efficiently – particularly at financial services and consulting firms. While there were pockets of innovation and firms dabbled with client-facing technology solutions, the overall IT focus was on automating repetitive tasks, storing and analyzing data, and running communication systems. As a result, the market for technology talent at financial and professional services firms was a relatively soft one.

Breaking the Digital Banking Talent Code

Innovative digital developments have had a profound impact on the day-to-day lives of individuals, including retail banking customers. In response, the banking industry has begun to embrace the digital era, where mobile apps and smart ATMs are no longer a luxury but have become a necessity. The wave of digitalization has led many banks to reevaluate their business and talent strategies to attract, engage, and reward a new generation of staff that can successfully transform their existing platforms and provide the digital experience their customers have come to expect.

Changing Times: Quantifying Research

Research continues to form an integral part of a firm’s product offering, although, like all functions, it has come under intense pressure over the past 4-5 years as the dip in firm-wide revenues has pressured margins. While the economics of providing research improved in 2013, driven by a rebound in equities revenue, firms are still considering whether to categorize research as a revenue producing function or a cost centre.

The Innovation Requirement

Since the crisis of 2008 we have seen significant change within financial services, however, much of the action taken by market players has been reactionary and defensive. Although a great deal has been said about the excesses and errors of the past, the current focus for banks, in particular, must be on the need to innovate or risk becoming stagnant and losing the ability to compete for exceptional talent. In this matter, banks should take a lesson from today's leaders in technology.

New Banks: License to Skill

​For the majority of 2012 and 2013, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has seemed reluctant to take decisive action on policy issues and monetary mechanisms. It finally managed to rouse the banking industry in India, by giving the go-ahead for corporates and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) to apply for new banking licenses. This decision has been long debated and even longer awaited, coming after a hiatus of 10 years.  The RBI had issued only two licenses in the early 2000s and prior to that its last activity was in 1993-94.

Alternatives to Pay that Reward Employees and Increase Engagement

As premiums for working in financial services shrink and demands on staff grow, morale and motivation are becoming a daily challenge for line managers and HR alike. Many banks are currently considering new approaches that effectively reward and engage without pay.

Software Development Lessons from the Technology Sector: Banks Consider New Sources of Talent

Major financial institutions are increasingly viewing the technology sector as a source of talent for key roles such as low latency trading, cloud computing, security, mobile applications and other development/architecture roles.  At the same time, in light of flat or reducing total compensation levels, banks are concerned that they, in turn, will lose staff to the technology sector and are looking to find alternative ways of motivating and rewarding key talent.

Emerging Regions Update

A team of our consultants provide an update on emerging regions including Brazil, Russia, India, China, Middle East, and South Africa.

How Motivated Is Motivated Enough?

Prior to the financial crisis, most people outside of the sector likely never gave compensation and incentive plan design a second thought. As the crisis unfolded and the government set out to identify the contributing factors, however, evaluating compensation practices became an important exercise for regulators and banks. The government’s point of view was that banking organizations often rewarded employees for increasing revenue or short-term profit without adequate regard for the risk those activities posed to the organization and the financial system at large.

A Case for Rigor in the Glow of the Pipeline

2010 was a bounce back year for many Investment Banking firms focused on M&A, particularly smaller "boutique" shops. After painful years in 2008 and 2009, with low deal volume, scrambles to assemble restructuring teams, and speculation about the merits of countercyclical products and services, firms are bullish on the M&A pipeline and focusing on expansion. If the anticipated deal volume comes to fruition, this will likely be a prosperous year for the vast majority of firms in this space. There will be a small set of firms that will make the most of this opportunity and some that will simply ride the wave up and then slide back down.

Brazil Update: A Superheated Talent Market

As the world economy struggles to gain its footing, Brazil is in the midst of a new “golden age”. Having overtaken the United States and tying China as the most favorable country for investments as well as playing host to the Olympics and the World Cup in the near future, the stage is now officially set for Brazil to further cement itself as a prominent world player.

Today’s Compensation Environment – 2010

This is the 9th edition of Corporate and Consumer Banking Consulting Practice White Paper on current compensation trends in the banking industry. Since beginning this annual publication (originally published by Amalfi Consulting and sponsored by the American Association of Bank Directors) we have focused on specific trends in compensation with a detailed year-over-year analysis. However, with the industry continuing to face challenges on numerous fronts, we also comment on the state of the banking industry, along with the resulting impact on compensation.

Refining the Employee Value Proposition

Over the last 18 months, a number of forces—regulatory reform, firm economics, share availability and public perception—have forced large-scale shifts in the form, level and mix of compensation in financial institutions. Many of these changes were made in haste and out of necessity. As competition for talent heats up, firms are under pressure to define, benchmark and optimize what they use to attract, engage and retain employees―their Employee Value Proposition.

2009: A Year to Forget? Are There Lessons to Be Learned?

By all accounts, 2009 was a year that most of us want to forget. The credit crisis came home to roost, government intervention and regulation reached an all-time high, executives in general and bankers in particular were vilified, and so many things that we took for granted were turned upside down. But, from all this, are there lessons that we can learn?

What Do They Mean By Unreasonable Risk?

Virtually every regulatory body has come out with some pronouncement or other admonishing financial institutions to curtail compensation programs that “encourage the taking of unreasonable risk.” Two parts of that statement are problematic.

Can We Please Stop This Craziness Now? The Case Against Punitive Taxes on Banker’s Pay

It was a big week in Washington—lots of hoopla and press and plenty of opportunity to take pot shots at the “fat cats” on Wall Street. But, it’s a new week and calmer heads must rationally get down to the business of saving our financial system.

Asset Management 2008 Recap: A Look Back At A Profoundly Changing Industry

While 2008 was a profoundly challenging period for the asset management industry, the impact of the stock market chaos in the latter part of the year is only partially recognized in the financials of our benchmark firms. This document summarizes public data collected for twelve asset management firms in a report titled Asset Management — Quarterly Financial Benchmarks.

First Quarter Optimization

After working harder than ever, in the most stressful year-end environment any of us have seen, it would be nice to say that we can coast a bit in the first quarter of 2009. But we can’t – there is still much work to be done.

Crisis in Asset Management

Building on results of Performance Intelligence, McLagan and Casey Quirk's annual study of asset management company financial performance, this paper highlights the challenges facing asset management firms. 

White Paper: Why Work?

If you won the lottery, would you quit your job? Our latest white paper draws on insight derived from interviews with CEOs at leading financial services firms and academics, to investigate the role pay plays in how and why executives work, especially in the absence of economic needs, and how this can help you retain and engage your top performers across your organization. 

White Paper: The Quiet Corner of Financial Services

Past sales practices within many banks are no longer tenable given the lack of transparency, risks, administrative burden, and confusion most incentive plans have instilled. This white paper explores the complex landscape of retail banking, including the values of the firm and the HR systems that support them. We have provided recommendations for navigating the gaps that exist. 

Building a Meritocracy

Most firms pride themselves on being meritocracies, yet financial services firms are increasingly struggling to rationalize a pay for performance culture.

 

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