Boutique CEOs hold most investment experience

CEOThe chief executive officers (CEOs) of boutique asset managers are more likely to have investment management experience when they are hired than the CEOs of larger firms, research has found.

Large asset management firms are likely to recruit their CEOs from the buy-side of financial services – but over half have never held an investment role in their career.

In contrast, the vast majority of CEOs of boutiques have held investment roles at some point in their careers, a study of 96 CEOs by Russell Reynolds Associates, an executive search firm, has found.

This reflects the fact that many boutiques are run by founders who are often investment professionals.

In further contrast with large asset management firms, CEOs of both multi-boutique and independent boutique firms tend to have ongoing, direct involvement in the investment process after being appointed to the CEO role.

Amongst large asset management firms, bank-linked CEOs "often come from buy-side and other non-asset management related parts of financial services", while CEOs at both independent and insurance-linked firms tend to come from within the asset management industry.

The study also showed that only one in five CEOs at large firms have international experience, notably lower than in other parts of financial services. In insurance, for example, three in five CEOs have international experience.

At boutique asset management firms, the CEOs of firms on multi-manager platforms are primarily promoted internally, while the majority of CEOs of independent asset managers are founders.

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