Custodians map out plan for attracting millennials

Custodians acknowledge challenges in attracting and retaining millennials.
By Jonathan Watkins
Representatives from some of Europe’s biggest custodians believe the changing nature of their business will attract the youngest and brightest talent to the industry.

Speaking at the GC Leaders event, panellists acknowledged the challenge of attracting young talent to the industry, with Northern Trust’s, executive vice president, Penny Biggs identifying it as the industry’s biggest challenge.

“It is really hard to get people who are smart enough, quick enough and broad enough in their talents to deal with clients that are big, small, complex, and products that are changing,” she added.

“We are going to have to look and feel different to attract millennials. People don’t want to work like I wanted to work, they don’t want to work these length of years in an organisation or this amount of hours in a day, so we are going to have to find very different patterns to get those young people in.”

Millennials have different tendencies and respond in different ways to other generations, and the rise of FinTech firms and firms like Google and Apple are making it hard for banks to compete for the best and brightest.

Deutsche Bank’s head of global securities services, Satvinder Singh, highlighted that banking still has a lot to offer the younger generation and that success will attract talent.

“If you are a young talented individual and there is a choice of divisions you want to work for, the one you choose will be the one which is successful, has a track record of delivery, is getting investment and is also looking at the world from a different place,” said Singh.

“The new FinTech space, artificial intelligence, data mining and the use of technology, if you are a talented individual that is the kind of business you want to put yourself in.”

One attribute of millennials that banks are having to address is their desire for flexibility and mobility within their career. State Street have been one of the banks to implement a rotational experience for graduates with an 18-month to two year programme which it has put more than 300 employees through.

Moving millennials through the company in order to retain them was pinpointed as crucial by the panel. Biggs said that the industry had to accept that millennials want to stay for three to four years and then move on.

“The challenge for us is retaining them and making sure they have the next position and the next position after that,” added Singh.

“If someone comes into a front office function, giving them the ability choose from technology or operations as part of their career development and vice versa.”