News - 20.10.2022

LFF report examines future roles and skills in finance

  • The Financial Centre

More than ever the financial services sector plays a crucial role in fostering economic growth and creating jobs. From managing the economic consequences of recent geopolitical events and financing the growth of businesses across the globe, to helping companies hedge their risks and facilitating the transfer of money, be it B2B, B2C to P2P. All these activities benefit the global economy. The sector’s importance is set to grow in the coming years as it acts as a key facilitator of the transition to a net-zero global economy.

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To meet the current and future demands, the sector is evolving and so too are the roles and the skills, with technology and sustainability leading the drive. Innovations are accelerating the pace of change, the automation of financial services, and are generating significant benefits for users, businesses and economies. The technologies are not only altering how people engage with financial services in their day-to-day lives, but also the talent needs within the sector.

The new report by Luxembourg for Finance (LFF), entitled Future Skills and Jobs in Finance, examines the trends that are reshaping the financial services workplace and details via a sectoral and cross-sectoral analysis how specific roles are adapting to this new environment and which new jobs may emerge.

A notable mismatch between current skills and those required in the next five years exists, with advanced data analysis and mathematical skills high on the agenda for employers. Additionally, reskilling programs at employers are most often focused on building critical thinking and decision-making skills, as well as leadership skills.

Clear trends shaping the future include:

  • Highly skilled staff who are able to work closely with technology, particularly in developing and deploying technologies linked to automation will see high demand – this will require not only significant reskilling and upskilling on an industry level, but also a shift in the education that financial services talent receives.
  • Financial professionals will spend more time on activities that require social and emotional skills, all the while leveraging on their expertise: be it technological, financial, people management, and others.
  • Leadership skills, as well as demand for professionals who are able to take initiative, are set to increase.
  • Despite the automation drive, and the increased focus on client engaging activities, robust financial literacy and solid quantitative skills remain key to analysing, understanding and providing clients with recommendations based on financial data.
  • Beyond their fiduciary duty to their clients, financial professionals also have a growing responsibility towards society and financing the transition towards net zero. Sustainability skills will therefore be key going forwards, not only to properly assess investments, but also to build internal ESG strategies.
  • The financial services landscape is becoming increasingly complex as regulations evolve and impact all areas of the sector. The functioning of legal and compliance teams is changing as well, forcing professionals in this space to become more strategically minded and tech-savvy to meet new demands.

While professionals will need to be equipped with the right skills to harness new technologies, meeting shifting client demand, adapt to new and complex rules, and contribute to the sustainable development of the economy, the onus is not only on them.

Facing new needs, financial institutions much also make significant changes in order to meet shifting work demands and ensure they are able to continue to attract top talent. Financial services firms will need to shift the way the approach business in order to align their organisations’ values with themes that are aligned with the new generation of professionals. Top talent will increasingly expect a personalised work experience which is stretching existing operating models. Firms will increasingly need to jump from a management concept to a leadership concept.

Nicolas Mackel, CEO of Luxembourg for Finance, commented that “financial organisations play a fundamental role in financing economic growth and the transition to net zero they are on the lookout for talent who can adapt to ongoing evolution. We hope this report provides a valuable contribution for people looking to start, or further, their career in financial services by identifying both hard and soft skills that will be critical for the future of finance.”