Financial services


of financial services CEOs see skills shortages as a serious threat to growth
15th Annual Global CEO Survey

Financial services industry insights

Increasing talent shortages are holding back or even derailing growth plans within many financial services businesses. These talent constraints and their consequences are set to increase. Those businesses that are developing a well-informed and proactive approach to strategic workforce planning have an opportunity to gain a crucial competitive edge.

More business take on staff than cut back. 48% of financial services CEOs are looking to increase their headcount over the next 12 months. Only 19% are planning to reduce staff overall, though these headline findings mask more varied changes in skills needs, shortages and surplus numbers in particular locations.

Talent constraints are holding back growth. Talent shortages have forced a quarter of financial services CEOs to shelve a strategic initiative or miss out on a market opportunity over the past 12 months. With market openings being thin on the ground in the current climate, these talent constraints are holding many businesses back.
Talent constraints are holding back growth

Talent gap set to widen. The talent gap is set to grow as demand continues to outstrip supply. Forty percent of financial services CEOs believe that it’s getting harder to hire good people in their industry. Less than 20% believe it’s going to get easier.
Gaps in the talent pipeline

Talent strategies are changing. More than three-quarters of financial services CEOs want to change their strategies for managing talent. More than 40% are planning to move experienced employees from their home market to newer markets to circumvent skills shortages. Far fewer are planning longer term solutions, such as technology investments or strategic partnerships.
Talent strategies are changing


Francisco González

Francisco González

Chairman and CEO, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) SA    View profile

Our managers must be prepared to face changes, have an open, innovative attitude and must be prepared to keep learning continuously, every single day.

Andrey Kostin

Andrey Kostin

President and Chairman of the Management Board, JSC VTB Bank    View profile

We see such skills as strategic vision, quality of decision making and high performance efficiency as absolutely vital for group strategic success.

Brian Duperreault

Brian Duperreault

President and CEO, Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc.    View profile

Recognizing that the world is somewhat split down the middle between slow growth and rapid growth, you’d better be able to operate in both at the same time. You have to manage that difficult slow growth and then completely switch gears and go to high growth. You have to find ways of moving your resources—and for us it’s talent—from where it’s not being utilized to where it can be utilized.

William McNabb

F William McNabb

Chairman, President and CEO, The Vanguard Group Inc.    View profile

We have a huge advantage over a lot of our competitors with our deep pool of general managers who can do many different things. They gives us flexibility to respond to new opportunities or to respond when something changes in a way we hadn’t anticipated.

Martin Senn

Martin Senn

CEO, Zurich Financial Services Group    View profile

In life insurance and insurance as a whole, there is a potential shortage of actuaries, particularly life actuaries. As the experience of Basel II underlines, competition for key staff will escalate sharply as businesses move closer to the implementation wire, raising pay costs and heightening the potential disruption.

CEO survey: Explore the findings