Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Columbia Threadneedle Investments is a leading global asset management group that provides a broad range of actively managed investment strategies and solutions for individual, institutional and corporate clients around the world. With a presence in 17 countries we believe our success is primarily the result of our ambitious and open-minded people, who work together to identify and develop the best ideas and opportunities for our clients.

Attracting, engaging and developing our people

We strive to be a values-led organisation that attracts, develops and retains the best talent.

Investment management is a people business and we recognise that our success is due to our talented people who bring diverse and complementary skills and capabilities, working together to identify and develop the best ideas and opportunities for our clients. By creating an inclusive environment that values fresh ideas from a variety of backgrounds, demands input and commends teamwork, we leverage the diverse skills and perspectives of our people to generate our best investment thinking and business results. We are committed to supporting individuals who have taken a career break and are looking to return to the workplace for all our roles.

We support our employees with continuous development opportunities, both specific to their role and in other areas, through our talent development programmes. Our Talent Advisory Group comprises senior managers from across the business and oversees the career development of our employees, ensuring they are given the training, opportunities and tools they need, within the right culture, to excel. We have fostered a culture of idea sharing, collaboration and debate that is an integral part of our highly successful investment process and our success as a business. This is underpinned by our values of Client focus, Excellence, Integrity and Respect. We strive to deliver the best outcomes for our stakeholders and in our most recent employee engagement survey 89% said ‘In my department, we are committed to exceeding our client/business partner expectations’.

Ensuring a diverse and inclusive culture

Increasing inclusivity and diversity throughout our employee population is one of our strategic imperatives. Our employee-led Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group has been in place since 2013. Reporting to the CEO and regional Executive Committee, the Group champions best practice to ensure a workplace culture that reflects the diversity of our clients and employees. As a result, the following initiatives are now embedded:

  • Education and training, including unconscious bias training for all hiring managers.
  • Recruitment guidelines to ensure an inclusive selection and assessment approach
  • Improved flexible working, maternity and paternity policies
  • Active promotion of shared parental leave, encouraging male employees to take advantage of the opportunity
  • Flexible working arrangements, for example best practice guidelines for working from home
  • The ability to purchase additional holidays, supporting more flexible working
  • Mentoring to support career progression for more junior and mid-level employees
  • Support for and participation in industry-wide returners programmes
  • Regular employee events with internal and external speakers to showcase successful, diverse role models.

Smart Working

Smart Working is our approach to working flexibly across EMEA. Flexible working has been proven to boost well-being and morale, increase productivity and enhance job satisfaction and retention. Smart Working covers any type of working arrangement that gives some degree of flexibility on how long, where and when work is performed. Flexible working can vary in shape and form, from a formal contractual flexible working pattern to informal, infrequent working arrangements.

Smart Working can allow an individual to pursue a hobby or interest, enable time for school runs or nursery drop-offs, support the ability to care for elderly relatives or simply provide a different work/life balance. We believe employees who can work smartly will be less stressed, feel more valued and trusted by the company and will therefore be more inclined to stay and progress their careers with us over the long-term.

Health and wellbeing

We are committed to supporting our employees’ health and wellbeing, including physical and mental health. In addition to regular health screening and a dedicated employee assistance programme, initiatives include:

  • Mandatory health and safety training, highlighting health and safety at work as well as mitigating actions employees can take to prevent excessive stress and other common mental health issues
  • Weekly mindfulness and meditation sessions open to all employees
  • Lunchtime workshops to promote the medical and wellness support on offer through our benefits programme
  • “Lunch and learn” sessions highlighting the importance of mental health in families and providing tools that parents can use to help children through difficult situations

Employee volunteering

Around the world, employees of Ameriprise Financial including Columbia Threadneedle, generously donate their time and talents to volunteer service. In EMEA, employees are entitled to take at least one day for volunteering, with a full calendar of activities offered. We look for opportunities where the talent and professional expertise of our people can add support through skills-based and other volunteering projects, and where employees have the chance to develop new skills and network within the business, and for teams to collaborate more effectively across departments.

In 2019 over 300 Columbia Threadneedle employees volunteered, working with a wide range of charities and community organisations:

  • Preparing hot meals for the homeless with Ace of Clubs.
  • Planting more than 400 trees in London with Trees for Cities.
  • Hosting fun-packed activity days with Manorfield Primary School learning about teamwork and enterprise.
  • Organising sports days for teenagers with Access Sport including BMX cycling and hockey games in Olympic Park.
  • Supporting over 250 under-11s to learn how to code with the Institute of Imagination.
  • Providing much needed maintenance and gardening support for Thrive and Stepney City Farm

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