Communication skills are amongst the most important skills for Investment Professionals

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute Financial NewsBrief readers were recently asked which skills sets they believed would be most essential to their success a decade from now.

The big surprise in the market research came when a surprisingly large percentage of respondents (28.8%) said that they believed that communication skills — presentation, communication, and writing — are most important and will create a competitive advantage in the Asset Management World.

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Colleen Robertson, a CFA explained: "The softer skills of building and maintaining trusting relationships with clients and colleagues, the ability to listen to genuinely understand and not just to respond, are lost but essential skills. Every wealth manager whether personal or institutional must master an understanding of human behaviour. The fundamentals, technical knowledge, and algorithms are known, followed, and dissected almost as quickly as they are implemented. Soft skills will set the investment manager apart from her or his commoditised competitors."

It is because the financial world is such a left-brained and functionally-oriented industry, that the so called 'softer skills' of engagement, negotiation, presenting and Stakeholder Relationship Management are more often than not weak competency areas and at worst blind spots for so many professionals in the Financial Services sector.

Investment professionals also tend to be more introverted and often find verbal self-expression and public speaking forums a challenge.

Weak communication and engagement skills often prove 'derailers' for investment professionals when they compete for 3rd party fund allocation, or worst case scenario, need to defend poor performance or prevent being fired.

When the numbers are down, investment professions rely totally on their communication and stakeholder management skills to stay in the game. Those that have learned the vital strategic communication skills to build stakeholder relationships and exert influence over clients have a greatly enhanced competitive ability to pitch and close, defend performance and convince risk-adverse Boards of Trustees and Investor Committees.

Communication Guru (Pty) Ltd specialises in teaching advanced communication skills in the Financial Services and Asset Management world. Whether it is individual bespoke Communication Acceleration Programmes that facilitate and fast-track individual communication skills, or group presentation, negotiation or sales training, Communication Guru trainers in Gauteng and Cape Town have developed methodologies that achieve excellent results in the Financial Services sector.

Communication Guru training programmes provide frameworks, models and presentation formulas that can help to create more strategic, impactful and captivating presentations. The focus can be specifically geared towards investment presentations and we provide the techniques and skills to succeed in Investment Committee Reviews and Board of Trustees pitches / defences.

On these communication programme you gain insights on how to focus on what's important to your audience, how to create a clear storyline, and how to actively engage stakeholders. You will soon have new skills you can use to engage with more presence and impact, and you will learn how to influence your stakeholders and accelerate buy-in.

Improve your self-confidence and learn how to have impact and influence. Contact John French at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information and customised training solutions.

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