December 12, 2022

Money managers seek young talent to grow their firms 

BPTW winners emphasize student debt help and diversity in their recruiting

By Christine williamson

Money managers are working hard to entice young people to join their firms amid on ongoing talent war, and are adding or expanding summer or yearlong internship programs with an eye to luring diverse talent, offering flexible work arrangements, developmental programs and mentorship from senior employees.

Attractive perks with internship programs often include free lunch, paid transportation to work, college tuition reimbursement and student loan refinancing, managers said as part of the 2022 Best Places to Work in Money Management survey.

“Building the team with the current and next generation is a pipeline strategy for us,”  stressed Mary Ellen Stanek, managing director and co-chief investment officer of Baird Asset Management and president of Baird Funds, in an interview. Baird Asset Management, Milwaukee, placed No. 3 among money managers with 100 to 499 U.S. employees in the BPTW survey.

The manager, a division of Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc., has had an internship program since 2014 and hosted total of 55 interns over that eight-year period. Of the division’s current employees, 15% started as interns, said Warren Pierson, also a managing director and co-CIO of the asset management unit.

In 2022, Baird Asset Management had 11 summer interns and across all of Baird’s units, a total of 236 interns worked at the firm, including the asset management unit. In addition to working with universities, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Marquette University and Emory University to advertise the firm’s internships, Baird also has a one-day-a-week program for high school students during the school year.

As other money managers said, Ms. Stanek said Baird is searching for students of diverse backgrounds as well as for traditional candidates, “noting that diversity, equity and inclusion is an opportunity to cast the net wider.” 

Baird Asset Management had $121 billion in assets under management as of Nov. 30.

Ninety One Ltd. began its paid summer internship program for undergraduate college students in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2017 and later expanded the program to its London and New York offices for a total of up to 19 students each year.

The company also runs a year-round program for six to eight graduate students in the U.K. and South Africa.

The company offers internships as a way to attract aspiring talent to the money management industry with a focus on women and people of diverse backgrounds, said Philip Anker, CEO of the Americas in an interview from his office in New York.

“What young people want is an opportunity to make a difference in the industry. They want to move the needle and we want to expose them to having a flexible work schedule and a good culture. We stress that diversity is very important and should be celebrated,” Mr. Anker said.

Ninety One, a winner in the BPTW medium category, 50-99 U.S. employees, managed a total of $148 billion as of Sept. 30. 


Summer internships
Minority-owned private equity manager Palladium Equity Partners LLC, New York, has been using a diverse focus in selecting candidates for its eight- to 10-week summer internship program for MBA students. 

“Private equity recruitment is different than it is for other money managers. Most people spend two years in investment banking after completing their undergraduate degrees and seek an MBA,” said Kathleen Gardner, Palladium’s vice president of people operations, in an interview.

The firm, also recognized as a BPTW winner in the medium category, hires promising candidates from its MBA internship cohort. 

Undergraduate internships are arranged on an ad hoc basis through association support from organizations such as the National Association of Investment Companies, Ms. Gardner said. NAIC is an association of diverse-owned alternative investment firms.

ESSENTIAL: Kathleen Gardner said Palladium finds diverse intern candidates with the help of the NAIC.

“We want to look at candidates others don’t see,” Ms. Gardner said, adding that “it’s essential that we grow as a firm over the next five years.”

“It’s really important to know what candidates and employees want. It’s really important for attracting new hires,” Ms. Gardner said, noting that in addition to competitive compensation, one key component that Palladium offers is flexible working policies, which require that employees work in the office 10 days a month. 


Other perks include paid transit to work; paid lunch; and learning, development and executive coaching programs, she said. As of June 30, Palladium managed $3 billion. 

New York-based Star Mountain Capital LLC offers college students fully paid, yearlong internships. Interns work full time for 12 weeks during the summer and part time — between 15 and 20 hours — during the school year, said Susan Starr, director of talent and human resources, in an interview.

“The advantage of a long internship is that you get to vet the interns over the 12-month period and really get to assess them,” Ms. Starr said, noting that the firm has a focus on DEI in selecting interns.

The company, a BPTW winner in the medium category, may choose to hire interns when their yearlong commitment is done, she said.

The firm’s internship program began in 2016 and there have been more 100 interns over the time period. In 2022, there were six full-time interns, she said. 

Like other money managers, Star Mountain has relied on various universities including Columbia University and New York University to provide interns, but the company recently opened an office in Tampa, Fla., and Ms. Starr said the company also will work with University of South Florida and University of Tampa. Star Mountain managed about $3 billion as of June 30. 


College scholarships
Another popular perk offered by some money managers to their employees or prospects, especially younger talent, is money for college education.

PGIM Inc., Newark, N.J., for example, created the Ron Andrews Diversity Scholarship Program in 2020 to advance diversity in the asset management industry by providing scholarships to 10 incoming interns from diverse backgrounds who need financial assistance. Mr. Andrews is the retired head of human resources for the U.S. businesses of Prudential Financial Inc., the parent of PGIM. 
Winners receive a 529 savings plan funded at $10,000, a paid internship, mentorship, and professional development opportunities. 

“The interns in PGIM’s internship program are very focused on their communities and philanthropic activities and said they are doing purposeful work,” said Matthew Alexander, director of early talent acquisition for PGIM and Prudential, in an interview. 

PGIM also funds a student loan reimbursement program for employees, and PGIM and Prudential Financial also will contribute up to $5,000 toward for repayment of outstanding, qualifying student loans for full-time employees who have been at the firm for at least a year, PGIM said in a statement. The asset manager ranked No. 3 among the largest money managers (1,000 or more U.S. employees) in the BPTW program.

PGIM has been involved in early talent acquisition for over 30 years, said Pamela Sinclair, vice president and global head of human resources in an interview, noting that “several senior business heads came through the program 30 years ago and still work here.”

PGIM continues to have a strong recruitment program and “the spirit goes on as we hire the best and the brightest,” Ms. Sinclair said, adding “the quality of our interns is very strong. The quality of the next generation blows me away.”

PGIM managed $1.2 trillion as of Sept. 30.

Alternatives manager Hamilton Lane Inc., Conshohocken, Pa., has had a seven-week summer internship program in place for six years and of the 20 interns in the class of 2022, 12 are in a position to be hired, said Kristin Brandt, chief human resources officer, in an interview. Since the BPTW program started in 2012, Hamilton Lane has been recognized every year.

The firm pays about half, or $125 per month, of college student loan costs and also offers reimbursement for SoFi Technologies Inc.’s loans, “to help employees refinance their private college loan costs,” Ms. Brandt said. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the changes Hamilton Lane made to accommodate workers include three-day work-in-office weeks and early office closure on Friday afternoons. 

Hamilton Lane had $824 billion in assets under management and supervision as of Sept. 30 with $107 billion in discretionary assets and $717 billion in non-discretionary assets.

Reprinted with permission from Pensions & Investments. © 2022 Crain Communications Inc. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. Click here to read more about Pensions & Investments 2022 Best Places to Work in Money Management.