HR in Finance Breakfast – New York – March 2017

Author Brad Law
March 24, 2017

Maximum Management & Frazer Jones hosted their inaugural HR in Finance breakfast at the Nomad Hotel in New York on March 29, 2017. 11 HR leaders were in attendance, bringing a diversity of perspectives from an industry cross-section including Hedge Fund, Private Equity, Asset Management and Fintech firms. Participants drove the dialog, with performance management, talent development and millennials as the core focus of discussion. 

The group shared an interest in understanding progressive approaches to performance management, given the shift towards real time feedback and away from more traditional mid/year-end processes.  While some firms are experimenting with real-time models, the majority continue to leverage 360 feedback, written summaries and in-person performance discussions with managers. One firm has taken a creative approach by creating a performance review committee, with leadership coming together for an in-person talent review, enhancing engagement and calibration. The latter is potentially one means of alleviating what all view as the common performance management pain points – improving follow through from managers and interpreting what often seems like skewed data points, given natural attrition of lower performers and ratings that otherwise seem to rise to the top. 

Participants were interested in talent development across the full life cycle – from early tenure to leadership development, from general retention to longer term succession planning strategies. One leader shared her experience using an assessment tool with senior leaders to understand what a “success profile” looks like for their firm, and applying those learnings to the development of their earlier tenure talent.  Another firm has implemented an executive coaching program, providing managers with access to group coaching sessions and a personal coach over a timeframe of several months. Finally, there was agreement around the need to develop emotional buy-in, and thus loyalty from employees, in order to retain and develop them. This topic segued nicely into a conversation around millennials!

Working effectively with millennials continues to be a hot topic for many organizations, perhaps particularly for those who compete with technology firms for talent. Participants shared thoughts around if and how firms can tailor work arrangements and compensation models to attract and retain millennial talent. This notion raised questions about how these changes are received by the broader employee base, but the future may lie in internal customization for different employee populations and what they value. 

Across topics, the overarching theme was the absolute necessity for firm leadership to drive change from the top. 

Thank you to those that attended. If you would like to be involved in future events, please let us know.