HR directors with a global or Europe, Middle East and Africa remit who occupy senior positions within the financial services sector will ordinarily have enjoyed a successful first career elsewhere, before moving across and starting their ‘second’ one.
As the strategic importance of HR – and all of its constituent parts, which includes talent attraction, retention and development – grows in recognition and importance in the world of financial services, the area is becoming increasingly alluring for true HR high flyers.
Whatever people say – rightly or wrongly – about trading floors still being bastions of male dominance, in these days of diversity and equality it’s gratifying to report that the typical financial services HR director is equally likely to be male or female.
And age is not a barrier to success either, with roles being filled by the brightest and the best who are typically aged between 35 and 65.
In terms of early career, such people will traditionally have had a strong educational background with at least a first degree gained from a red brick university.
In addition to the usual CIPD post-grad qualifications, they may well have been sponsored by their employer at the mid-career stage to study for further academic and commercial business qualifications such as an MBA, with the specific aim of bringing more commercial nous to the role and strengthening their CV at the same time.