The global association of investment professionals surveyed more than 3,800 of its members and candidates globally and found 48% expect their role to be significantly different or nonexistent within five to 10 years.
Among its financial adviser members, however, that rate is 58%.
Some 89% of industry leaders said an individual’s job roles will be transformed multiple times during their careers, making adaptability and lifelong learning essential skills for future success.
Over two-thirds (69%) said they expect that investment firms will need to increase training and development in the next five to 10 years, while 87% of investment professionals said that training and development opportunities are one of the most important aspects of an employer.
Paul Smith, president and chief executive of CFA Institute, said: “In a disruptive and complex environment, knowledge decays more quickly and skills must be deepened.
“The ability to see opportunity in disruption is vital for today’s investment professionals.
“This report offers valuable insight into how employees and employers in the industry can adapt and thrive.”
Within the CFA survey, respondents said that the biggest factor accelerating change in the industry is AI, which is displacing and/or enhancing investment roles.
Routine tasks will increasingly be performed by machines, and the human element of judgement will become more important.
“By understanding the trends affecting future professional roles, we can evolve the CFA Programme and our lifelong learning resources to prepare current and future professionals for the industry of tomorrow,” said Smith.
This survey comes a few weeks after International Adviser’s recent UK regional piece on solving the advice talent pool drought, where the chief executive of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI), Simon Culhane, said the increasing use of fintech will see “hundreds of thousands” of jobs lost in the financial services sector.
“There will be a reservoir of talent of those currently working in the financial services profession who will need to be retrained and reskilled,” Culhane said.
Soft and T skills
Among survey respondents, the most common skills being pursued today are soft skills, alternative investments, and portfolio risk optimisation.
Despite the current tech bubble, only 17% are currently learning data analysis coding languages like Python, R, and Matlab, and only 12% are currently learning data visualisation like Tableau and Qlikview.
On the demand side, more than 130 industry leaders gave input on the skills that will be most needed and those that are most difficult to find.
The most important skills going forward will be T-shaped skills, which were ranked 3.5 times higher in importance than technical skills.
T-shaped skills are those that give professionals the ability to work outside of the core area in their jobs. The vertical bar on the letter ‘T’ represents the depth of related skills and experience, while the horizontal bar means they can collaborate across disciplines with experts in other areas.
The CFA said in the report that “T-shaped professionals have both domain-specific specialist knowledge and wider professional connections, understanding, and perspective”.
Developing new skills will be “essential to be competitive” and investment professionals “must adapt or risk obsolescence”.