Just as demand for LNG product has robustly moved from the West to the East, the map for human capital has similarly shifted. LNG producers, investment banks, commodity trading houses, and the trading arms of utility firms are all aggressively recruiting professionals to move into these rapidly expanding markets. The war for LNG talent has never been fiercer. But the talent situation is complicated. As business contenders in the LNG arena pursue varying strategies, it is counterproductive to assume that there is a one-size-fits-all model when it comes to LNG talent. Fine-tuned recruitment and retention strategies simply make sense. Putting the right LNG team in place, however, depends upon a sophisticated understanding of both the company’s business model (and, therefore, its strategic recruitment needs) and its advantages and drawbacks from a recruitment perspective.

Looking behind the headlines, it seems clear that success in the high-stakes and rapidly shifting LNG  global arena will depend upon a company’s ability to navigate another supply and demand imbalance as well: that relating to human capital. Talent shortages are frequently cited as an obstacle to the industry’s ability to fully meet burgeoning demand. Yet despite the limited talent pool, the sector’s most effective competitors will be focused not only on hiring top-quality professionals but on putting the best type of LNG team in place in order to achieve their strategic business objectives.

Throughout the global LNG industry, unparalleled opportunities and reward potential remain intertwined, at least for now, with marketplace complexities and other uncertainties. Yet one fact is clear: Strategically oriented recruitment and retention efforts will hold the competitive edge.

With strong expertise in growth industries such as LNG, CTPartners’ Financial Services Practice Commodities Specialization possesses exceptional global breadth across all market sectors and professional functions relating to power and gas, oil, metals and mining, and agriculture can help provide talent solutions to producers, commodities houses,utilities, banks, and hedge funds.

To read the full report, click HERE.

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Capital markets management teams are well-known for their adaptability to rapidly changing environments. Today, despite the tough economic backdrop and fog of regulation, these leaders are busy doing what they do best –pursuing business efficiencies and evaluating future opportunities.

Even as banks continue their massive deleveraging and push for better risk transfer and management, capital markets management teams continue to seek ways to drive efficiencies. This includes addressing human capital costs; reviewing all aspects of risk allocations, balance sheet usage, and collateral management know-how; and fine-tuning the firm’s products and services to increase the quality, speed, efficiency, and value they deliver to clients.

Areas of opportunity for banks include:

  • Fixed Income trading
  • Enhanced connectivity between the front and back offices
  • Operating services

Among the infrastructure providers, other business and human capital trends are evident:

  • Exchanges and clearing facilities
  • Niche Service Providers

The Talent Solution
Rapidly evolving business opportunities in today’s capital markets require exceptional leadership to provide strategic insight, foster innovation, and push the value envelope. And that’s as true at the client servicing end of financial services as it is within product and service development or addressing delivery needs. Today’s environment also requires leaders who are focused on gaining and maintaining critical mass in targeted businesses while increasing business efficiency.
While the exact path forward for capital markets firms remains in many ways unclear, the key role of innovative technology and superior human capital with both strategic and technical expertise seems unquestioned. Indeed, never has retaining or procuring the best tech-savvy, capital markets leadership talent across all markets functions been more critical.

CTPartners Financial Services Practice combines front-office, technology and operations and risk expertise to help clients navigate these new waters and hire appropriate talent.

For the full report text, click HERE

The myriad regulations that are impacting the capital markets and investment banking sector have led to significant and far-reaching strategic reviews by all market participants. While banks are not required to be legally compliant with some measures for a number of years, and indeed industry lobbying may well affect the final impact of proposed regulations, shareholders and other stakeholders are seeking clarity of intent now. This is stalling the development of business plan and therefore talent planning for 2012. Not surprisingly, the current issues in the Eurozone are proving to be additional distractions.

The short paper attached below synthesizes some of the current market variables that are feeding into the strategic planning process and includes a section on 2011 compensation trends. It concludes with a summary of roles that will see investment in 2012 and beyond.

Read the full paper HERE.

According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) 13th Annual Global CEO Survey 2010, 79% of the companies surveyed intend to revise their strategies for managing talent. An equal number responded that they plan to increase their focus on, and investment in, managing people through a process of change; meanwhile, 68% of those companies surveyed plan to increase investment in leadership and talent development. This corporate focus on gaining and retaining top talent will become ever-more critical as labor shortages, and particularly shortages among highly trained and experienced professionals, exacerbated in emerging markets, continue to increase. Even governments are taking note and formulating talent management strategies of their own (see ‘China’s Blueprint’).

How are human resource professionals placed to help formulate and execute these strategies? In IBM’s 2010 Chief Human Resource Officer Study, CHROs across the globe and across sectors cite the ability of their organisations to develop future leaders, to rapidly develop workforce skills and capabilities, and to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing as being some of the most important factors in future success, however, these executives confess that they are relatively ineffective in supporting these activities.

It would be good to understand whether this problem is due to an environment of: absence (that is, low CEO, low senior business-line manager and low human resource professional understanding and capability); presence (low CEO, low senior business-line manager but high human resource professional understanding and capability); or dissonance (high CEO, high senior business-line manager but low human resource professional understanding and capability). The next challenge, then, would be how to transition this situation to one of resonance (high CEO, high business-line manager and high human resource professional understanding and capability.) For more background on relevant concepts, please see Paper Two in this series.

The creation of a virtuous circle of influence and impact in the management of human resources starts with the understanding, attitude, and commitment of the CEO to creating a successful environment for the management of human resources. This must then flow through senior business leaders and their teams.

The human resource function should be reviewed, unbundled, and staffed with: a competent and credible CHTO/CTO/TD; equally competent and credible Talent Management Advisors and Specialists; and an efficient, effective Employee Services offering.

Additionally, the management of human resources should be seen, at least at one level, as the management of people-related risk and this should be undertaken through dynamic, business-driven Talent Portfolio Management, supported by the application of appropriate metrics.

Finally, a review mechanism should be designed to ensure both objective and subjective feedback (see sidebar).

The importance of managing human resources has been discussed for many years, however, it is mainly during the past decade that we have seen significant progress in CEO and senior business leader recognition of its importance. This has been driven by a number of factors, including: increased regulatory oversight, a growing scarcity of talent, and an increased use of employee engagement metrics by equity analysts to determine the value of companies (Barber & Strack, 2005; CFO Research Services 2003; Nalbantian, 2003) (see ‘HR Function Satisfaction Surveys’).

These factors have caused CEOs to ask more of their CHROs. Concurrently, many CEOs have increased their investment in human resource professionals and the infrastructure that supports them. If human resource professionals rise to the challenges that are being placed in front of them, they will transform the perception of their value once and for all. As one CHRO put it.

‘It’s not a question of being at the table, we have been at the table for a while now, for some the challenge is knowing what to do next.’

Read the full report HERE.

The first paper of this three-part series focused on the role and influence of CEOs and senior business leaders in creating an environment that supports the development of a virtuous circle of human resource management. This second paper looked at the role of the CHRO and other human resource business partners, and established what key competencies are required for them to earn the credibility that is required to establish the partnerships with business line managers which will allow them to exert influence on firm decision making. It also addressed the priorities and challenges for CHROs and examined problems associated with the implementation of the human resource business partner role.

As the expectations on CHROs are increasing, the expectations of CHROs are also on the rise. Where they can articulate the impact of Talent Portfolio Management on the organisation’s bottom line and significantly drive these results, the CEO seat will seem to some to represent the natural next step in career progression.

Read the full report HERE.

The starting point for a virtuous circle of human resource management is with the CEO and his or her ability to ensure that senior business leaders embrace the message and implement its conclusions.

In addition to the orientation of top management to people management skills, the extent of CEO and senior business-line management influence on the management of human resources one study, (Antila and Kakkonen, 2008), looked at five other factors.  These included:

  • the expectations that line managers have about human resource professionals (Truss et al, 2002; Buyens & De Vos, 2001) in terms of: external factors, such as the economic environment; technology changes, culture, line of business, internationalisation, and competitors (Kane & Palmer, 1995);
  • the expectations that line managers have about human resource professionals (Truss et al, 2002; Buyens & De Vos, 2001) in terms of: internal factors, such as size structure, history, power, and politics (Kane & Palmer, 1995);
  • the skills, abilities and competencies of human resource professionals in the following areas: professional and technical, business orientation and ability to make business focused decisions, and, interpersonal and political skills (Hall & Torrington, 1998; Kelly & Gennard, 1996, 2001; Kane et al, 1999; and Brewster et al, 2000);
  • the interpersonal skills of human resource professionals: as they help to create networks and increase their credibility, power ,and influence in organizations. This is especially significant with regard to their personnel relationship with the CEO as this is an important channel through which to raise issues relating to the management of human resources (Purcell & Ahlstrand, 1994);
  • the human resource function and its characteristics. One study (Truss et al, 2002) found that the following issues impacted the roles of human resource professionals: expectations by others in the organisation; the nature of human resource function leadership; resources possessed by the human resource function and the way these are used; the level of human resource professionalism; the business knowledge of human resource professionals; the power of human resource professionals and willingness to act in a strategic role; and communication, visibility, structure, and effective administrative support.

The above factors relate to both individual human resource professionals and the human resource function as a whole and its characteristics.

The second paper in this three-part series will go on to address the role and influence of human resource professionals, and will examine the competencies these professionals require to form the partnerships with business-line managers that are required to facilitate their influence on decision-making and create a virtuous circle of influence and impact.

Read the full report HERE.

The importance of managing human resources has been discussed for many years, but the past decade has seen significant progress in CEO and senior business leader recognition of its importance.

This has been driven by a number of factors, including an increasing scarcity of talent, increased regulatory oversight and an increased use of employee engagement metrics by equity analysts to determine the value of companies. Executive compensation, succession planning, and leadership development – are hot buttons for CEOs and boards across all industries in Asia.

According to The Conference Board CEO Challenge 2011 study of 700 CEOs around the world, Asian CEOs said that the most critical challenge they face is talent – attracting it, retaining it and rewarding it – in a time of rapid economic development and change.

Such factors have caused CEOs to ask more of their CHROs and many have increased their investment in human resource professionals and the infrastructure that supports them. If human resource professionals rise to the challenges that are being placed in front of them, they will transform the perception of their value once and for all. As one CHRO put it, “Its not a question of being at the table, we have been at the table for a while now. The challenge is knowing what to do next.

As the expectations on CEO’s increase, the expectations of CHRO’s are also on the rise. Where they can articulate the impact of Talent Portfolio Management on the organisations bottom line and significantly drive these results, the CEO seat will seem to some the natural next step.

To view the full article in HRM Asia, click here:  http://www.hrmasia.com/news/features/next-step-for-hr-leaders-the-ceo-seat/117606/

The ‘war for talent’ in Asia-Pacific is one of the most critical for organizations wishing to establish or build a presence there. Despite economic tensions China is a must have country and the price of talent across all levels in all sectors continues to rise there despite having passed the point of sanity a few years ago. Indonesia has replaced India as the next most sort after destination, at least for international banks, and talent remains scarce across the region.

The Human Resource function should have a lot to contribute in terms of strategic thinking and winning tactical battles around talent acquisition so how are they doing ? To address this the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) recently published a study entitled ‘New Generation HR: The growth option: turbo charging HR’s impact in Asia’ which concluded that human resource management Asian style could teach human resource professionals in the West a thing or two.

I have written a paper that critically examines the results and while there are a number of questions around method, methodology and the presentation of results the report makes good reading, is a useful addition to extant research on human resource management in Asia-Pacific and points to interesting areas of future research.

For full report:  Human Resource Management in Asia-Pacific

 

Well now I have your attention … The execution risk involved in senior executive hiring should be acknowledged and action should be taken to minimize it.

Some of the seeds of a failed search process are sown early, while others come out of the blue.

With the highest completion rate of any major international executive search firm, CTPartners is well placed to discuss this topic and recently published a white paper covering the 10 most common risk factors:

  1. Lack of internal consensus
  2. Lack of momentum
  3. Misunderstood candidate motivations
  4. Poor compensation expectation management
  5. Missing details
  6. Inadequate referencing
  7. Change in personal circumstances
  8. Counter-offer
  9. Competing bids
  10. Leaks

With the war for talent becoming evermore competitive this particular area should be well thought out by all those involved otherwise someone could be calling for some heads to roll …

Read Here:  CTPartners Whitepaper | Managing Execution Risks in Executive Hiring

2010 bonuses have been announced and distributed and many top bankers in Capital Markets and Investment Banking are feeling less than elated with what they received for their efforts in 2010.

Sound familiar? Are you wondering how to position yourself and how to demonstrate your true market worth? In refelecting on this it will pay off to review your performance not only at an individual level but also on your contribution across the platform. Here’s why.

There is a huge premium on one’s skills, experience and relationships in Capital Markets and Investment Banking. So there are always the standard things that banks will look out in your resume; amongst other things, your client relationships, your experience and education, your external social networks and your intellectual capital. One must not forget that however, many skills and competencies do not just rest on single individuals. The collective skill sets of many employees as they work together and the environment they work in also count – including the bank’s culture, internal networks, policies, systems and processes.

Indeed, banks often assign a franchise value to each seat and better brands with superior infrastructure and internal connectivity only pay bonuses based on the alpha created above this threshold.
Recently in the Capital Markets and Investment Banking sector, there has been a tendency to move towards greater cross-desk collaboration to tailor solutions for clients and fewer points of contact with customers. As such, the importance of teamwork is just going to increase more and more and this is a point that some bankers will use to their personal advantage.

If you can demonstrate how you help build add additional value to your bank’s year-end performance by being a team player in addition to having outstanding qualities as a star performer then your revenue impact will be greater and your bonus discussions more fruitful . Selling yourself only an individual star player may not always be the best way forward.

Looking at it another way, it is always worth remembering that while you maybe a ‘rock-star’ part of your ability to generate revenue is partially dependent on the social capital you build up in your organisation. For instance, ongoing academic research by Boris Groysberg (Harvard University), Jeffrey T. Polzer (Harvard University), and Hillary Anger Elfenbein (Washington University in St. Louis) examined Wall Street sell-side equities research analysts. They found that groups benefited—up to a point—from having high status members, controlling for individual performance. With higher proportions of individual stars, however, the marginal benefit decreased before it became negative. This pattern was especially strong when stars were concentrated in a small number of sectors, likely reflecting suboptimal integration among analysts with similar areas of expertise.

Banks are increasingly aware of the need to build teams that can outperform the market. It is not just about attracting only the ‘rock star status’ bankers, but the need for creating teams and the teamwork for better collective results. When you hear about a bank’s requirement for “self-motivated team players that have what it takes to exceed expectations in commitment to our company”, do take it seriously because the bank probably does.

So in your next interview be prepared to demonstrate how you are also a team player – how you pass on knowledge, work collaboratively with your teams, encourage open communication and more.

Twitter: @DrPAldrich

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About this blog

The capital markets and investment banking sector has significant opportunities in developing economies and emerging markets. However talent is scarce and expensive relative to financial centres such as London and New York.

I have the privilege of visiting many financial centres on a regular basis and after each trip I will post a short update on business trends and the associated impact on talent retention and acquisition.

CTPartners provides our financial services clients with global reach combined with informed local knowledge.

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