New framework helps firms put culture at the heart of their businesses

Wednesday 25 September 2019

The Investment Association (IA) is helping investment management firms create a healthy workplace by launching a practical toolkit enabling firms to evaluate and shape their culture.   

The ‘Culture Framework’ – produced in conjunction with law firm, Latham & Watkins – provides a comprehensive toolkit and self-assessment framework for firms to monitor and measure the various factors across their operations which shape their workplace culture. Through this, firms can look to create working environments that attract and retain the best talent and promote good conduct, ultimately leading to better outcomes for savers and investors.

With significant regulatory focus on culture and governance in the UK, with the introduction of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, the toolkit also focuses on the direct relationship between culture and conduct within a business and the importance of strong conduct risk management. It provides a range of practical considerations to help firms address culture in a meaningful and holistic manner, including:

  • Defining their own culture by using a set of values that support the overall business strategy.
  • Measuring culture in a qualitative and quantitative way, including key influencing factors on culture within an organisation such as diversity and inclusion, effective leadership and psychological wellbeing.
  • Benchmarking their existing culture and conduct risk, which can be used to assess culture at division, department and desk level.
  • Monitoring the cultural direction over time through staff surveys, culture reviews, looking at governance and also how the business deals with potential issues.

Pauline Hawkes-Bunyan, Director of Business: Risk, Culture and Resilience at the Investment Association, said:

“Culture is the central ingredient that creates a positive environment where people look forward to coming to work, feel valued and do their best work. Although we know a healthy culture when we see one, it is important that we are able to define, measure and evaluate it over time as creating a healthy culture is not a one-off project, but a central plank to business’ productivity and success.”  

David Berman, Partner at Latham & Watkins, said:

“Over the past decade, we have spent an ever-increasing amount of time advising financial institutions in relation to their culture change and conduct initiatives; and culturally-rooted problems. While there may never be a ‘perfect’ methodology for measuring culture, as this Framework demonstrates, there is an array of measures and techniques that firms can usefully adopt in their quest to institute a meaningful, objectively monitorable, and operationally workable culture change programme.”


For the IA's two-page Culture Framework summary, click here. 

To receive a copy of the full Culture Framework, please contact the IA press team

For further information, please contact:

Helen Ayres, Communications Manager: [email protected] 

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4620

IA press office: [email protected]

T: 020 7269 4696

About the Investment Association (IA):

  • The IA champions UK asset management, supporting British savers, investors and businesses. Our 250 members manage £7.7 trillion of assets and the asset management industry supports 115,000 jobs across the UK.
  • Our mission is to make investment better. Better for clients, so they achieve their financial goals. Better for companies, so they get the capital they need to grow. And better for the economy, so everyone prospers.
  • Our purpose is to ensure investment managers are in the best possible position to:
    • Build people’s resilience to financial adversity
    • Help people achieve their financial aspirations
    • Enable people to maintain a decent standard of living as they grow older
    • Contribute to economic growth through the efficient allocation of capital.
  • The money our members manage is in a wide variety of investment vehicles including authorised investment funds, pension funds and stocks and shares ISAs.
  • The UK is the second largest investment management centre in the world, after the US and manages 37% of all assets managed in Europe.