Evergreen Investments is looking at innovative ways to ensure its employees stay on board in what it describes as a very healthy job market. Maryann Bruce, president of Evergreen Funds Distributors, said the issue of "talent management" has been a continuing focus of the firm this year. She added that employee retention in the investment management industry is particularly important as individual relationships are key in distribution. "It's changed. Employers had the upper hand. But in 2006, employees have the upper hand," she said. Evergreen is investing in employee development and training so it can offer employees better skill sets and reasons to stay at the firm.
Bruce also emphasized that a comprehensive line of investments, including separate accounts, is important for employee retention, not only clients. Distribution and sales executives don't want to feel they're losing business because they don't have access to what's in demand, said Bruce.