From The Great Resignation to The Great Uncertainty - Retaining Senior Leaders in Financial Services

DEILeadership StrategiesNext Generation BoardsSustainable LeadershipIndustry TrendsDiversityCulture RiskEnvironmental, Social, and GovernanceSuccession PlanningFinancial ServicesBoard and CEO AdvisorySustainabilityCEO SuccessionC-Suite SuccessionDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion AdvisoryBoard EffectivenessAssessment and BenchmarkingDevelopment and TransitionCulture AnalyticsTeam Effectiveness
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Sean Dineen
November 29, 2022
2 min read
DEILeadership StrategiesNext Generation BoardsSustainable LeadershipIndustry TrendsDiversityCulture RiskEnvironmental, Social, and GovernanceSuccession PlanningFinancial ServicesBoard and CEO AdvisorySustainabilityCEO SuccessionC-Suite SuccessionDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion AdvisoryBoard EffectivenessAssessment and BenchmarkingDevelopment and TransitionCulture AnalyticsTeam Effectiveness
Executive summary
Almost half of senior FS executives are “flight risks”. RRA explores what’s driving them away, and strategies to retain them. 
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The financial services industry has been particularly affected by the “great resignation” trend observed globally for the past few years. In Russell Reynolds Associates’ 2022 Global Leadership Monitor survey, 74% of financial services executives surveyed said that turnover in their organization had increased in the last year, the highest across any industry.

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As the global labor market cools owing to economic conditions, we may now be emerging from The Great Resignation and entering a period of The Great Uncertainty. Investing in talent will remain crucial during this period, and the financial services industry at large still lacks solutions. Financial services leaders are aware of the scale of the talent and retention issue, with executives ranking “availability of key talent and skills” as the most pressing concern for their organization, even ahead of a negative economic outlook and geopolitical uncertainty. However, only about half of financial services leaders feel that their leadership is prepared to handle this threat.

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To date, talent attraction and retention strategies have focused on younger (and more junior) staff, from flexible working arrangements and well-being bonuses to extra days off and increased compensation. Although these strategies are important to the wider employee population, they are missing the mark for senior executives. Our research shows that the leadership ranks should not be overlooked. In our survey of more than 300 senior financial services executives, almost half indicate that they are willing to move to another employer today, and more than a third are willing to move to another industry. This paper seeks to explore what’s driving “flight-risk” executives away, and what strategies could help retain them.  

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From the Great Resignation to The Great Uncertainty

Retaining Senior Leaders in Financial Services

 


 

Authors

Beijing Zhu is a member of Russell Reynolds Associates’ Financial Services sector Knowledge team. She is based in New York.

Cem Turan leads Russell Reynolds Associates’ Financial Services Knowledge team. He is based in London.

Sean Dineen is a member of Russell Reynolds Associates’ Leadership & Succession Practice. He is based in Boston.