The head of HR at a top investment bank explains the importance of soft skills on Wall Street

Author

Frank Chaparro

March 16, 2017

The ongoing digitization of the financial services industry has increased the demand for workers with hard technical skills on Wall Street.

But Liz Lieberman doesn’t think this spike in demand for tech skills will make soft skills less important.

Lieberman recently joined RBC Capital Markets in October 2016 as managing director and Head of US Human Resources. And before that she held top HR roles at a number of high-profile Wall Street firms including the Royal Bank of Scotland, Merril Lynch, and Lehman Brothers.

RBC Capital Markets finished 2016 ranked 10 for investment banking fees in the US, according to Dealogic, increasing its market share. According to data firm Coalition, the firm ranked ninth for total investment banking revenues, including banking and sales and trading, in the Americas in the first half of 2016. 

In an interview with Business Insider, Lieberman said that Wall Street will still have a strong demand for people with soft skills in the future. 

“People skills are essential: how to manage people, how to collaborate, how to inspire and influence. We call them the softer skills but they are, in fact, very important skills,” she said.

Lieberman believes the key to a successful and well functioning team is a diversity of skills. 

“[N]obody is good at everything and that’s why you build a team with people who have diverse skill sets,” she concluded.

Here’s the relevant passage from the interview:

Chaparro: What skills do you expect to be in demand in the future?

Lieberman: People skills are essential: how to manage people, how to collaborate, how to inspire and influence. We call them the softer skills but they are, in fact, very important skills.

I’m hesitant to place a value on some skills over others since we need different people with different skill sets from different backgrounds. Diversity is essential! We want to be looking at problems from as many different angles as possible so we arrive at the best solution possible.

And my last thought on skills is this: nobody is good at everything and that’s why you build a team with people who have diverse skill sets.

 Read the whole interview here.

This article was written by Frank Chaparro from Business Insider and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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