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IT Talent Retention Requires Shared Ownership

With good technology talent hard to find, a wealth manager finds innovative ways to reward and retain employees.

While shiny new IT tools grab the biggest headlines, the regularity of rip-and-replace cycles makes retaining IT talent important as the systems themselves.

"None of the primary pieces of technology in our industry talk to each other," says John Appleby, managing director for Captrust Financial Advisors, a Raleigh, N.C.-based firm. "So, the challenge isn't just integrating them, it's doing it all over again when you outgrow a system."

"This makes retaining good application developers critical to the success of the business," he continues. "When people walk out the door, you lose a lot of institutional knowledge."

[For more on how Captrust approaches technology implementations, read: Wealth Manager Finds Growth With New OMS].

Further, Captrust faces a tight talent market. "In our region, there is a greater need for talent than there are people," says Appleby. "There's always someone dangling an attractive offer in front of your employees."

Captrust combats this reality by fostering a culture of shared ownership. "Of our approximately 250 people, almost 100 have some equity ownership in the firm," he says. "We offer various bonus programs, have employee-friendly policies and maintain a company foundation that's employee-operated."

In IT, Appleby works to provide opportunities for his staff to develop a variety of skills. "We keep it interesting by ensuring there is more to do than just working on the same piece of code day after day," he says. Anne Rawland Gabriel is a technology writer and marketing communications consultant based in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. Among other projects, she's a regular contributor to UBM Tech's Bank Systems & Technology, Insurance & Technology and Wall Street & Technology ... View Full Bio

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