It was great to be part of the 65th annual Seminar for Global Investors co-hosted by the CFA Institute and the Booth School of the University of Chicago. Our panel on Leadership Transformation included Stephanie Braming of William Blair, Kunal Kapoor of Morningstar and Shundrawn Thomas of Northern Trust. Entrepreneurial risk taking and innovation were important themes of our discussions.

With the background to our discussion being our recent blog on the topic of transforming leadership trends in the asset and wealth management business, a number of really interesting additional themes were discussed. Kapoor stressed the importance of “servant leadership” and his job as the “chief storyteller” in reinforcing values and culture during periods of rapid change. Thomas stressed the importance in “leadership skills”, well beyond the technical skills and track record of any specific role, with particular attention to the ability to motivate, influence and empower teams. Braming recounted the importance of bringing the client experience to real life for every employee, including town halls where clients of the firm and talked about the businesses and needs, in order to add a sense of mission to the culture of the firm.

Diversity was regarded as one of the real keys to success in leadership during the challenging times that the industry confronts today. Kapoor recounted an initiative to rotate the times of management meetings on a regular basis in order reinforce the inclusion of Asian colleagues, so that the burden of convening evening meetings was shared equally by leaders around the world.

We were all impressed by the overall quality of the event, including both the interactions with participants and the qualities of the other speakers. This was brought home by the incredible job Andre Perold did leading the case study discussion of Harvard Management.

Thanks again the SGI Board of Regents for including us in this fantastic event!