For National Mentoring Day on 27th October, we wanted to fill you in on our recent event: Investment and Mentoring: The benefits of adopting a longer-term approach where Saker Nusseibeh, CBE, Chief Executive of Federated Hermes Limited spoke at the launch of 10Eighty’s mentoring service.
Saker is a founder member of The 300 Club, a think tank that challenges the conventional thinking on investing. He is a long-time advocate of the need for those making investment decisions to take a long-term perspective and to consider the wider implications of those decisions as they impact the environment and the communities they serve.
An avid environmentalist, a philanthropist, and a passionate storyteller started his talk by recounting when he first came to London.
Look at more than profit
He moved to London in 1979, as a student at King’s College, and took a bedsit in King’s Cross. On moving in, he found that he had not read the description carefully enough, had assumed a bathroom was included and found it was not!
It was a less than desirable area, the domain of sex-workers and drug dealers. Three decades later, the neighbourhood has been transformed and Hermes Investment Management (as it was before being acquired by US asset manager Federated Investors, Inc), equipped with the vision of Saker’s predecessor Alastair Ross Goobey, was instrumental in making it into one of the smartest, buzzing districts in the capital, with educational facilities, a school for the deaf, affordable housing, bars, and trendy restaurants. Backed by property developer Argent, and Hermes Investment Management, the development of the Kings Cross site was envisioned as not just a property development but the creation of a space for the community as a whole, including as it did a swimming pool, art centre and library.
Saker firmly believes such large-scale property investments offer huge value to both investor and those who ultimately occupy them if, say, pension funds were to take a more active role in creating ‘places’ or communities that can thrive. He told Board Intelligence magazine: “there’s no contradiction between creating a fairer, sustainable, and integrated society, and making money.”
Saker talks about diversity in terms of people and their way of thinking and argues that the investment industry should focus on the need to build greater cognitive diversity as it will improve investment decision-making and lead to better outcomes for investors.
Federated Hermes Limited looks after a well-known UK company’s pension scheme, and Saker cites an innovative approach in planning that includes trade union officials working alongside investment professionals. This, he says, provides the different ways of thinking that can make a huge difference to performance and outcomes and build trust by establishing common ground.
From a wider perspective, the power of cognitive diversity lies in a cross-pollination of ideas encouraged by collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and collective intelligence. This will strengthen any team; by challenging hierarchies, encouraging exploration, and rethinking about where the best ideas come from. It also helps us break free of groupthink and unconscious bias.
Make a difference with mentoring
Mentoring is particularly useful in helping people think differently; a well-designed programme will emphasise cognitive diversity – the diverse mental tools that arise from different identities and cultural backgrounds, experiences, education, and training. Diversity of thought leads to more innovative decision-making and the better your business is at innovating, the more primed it is for growth.
Saker, an experienced mentor, also mentions the importance of what a mentor gets from a mentoring relationship. They get a different take on life when working with younger, GenZ, mentees for instance.
Times change, the cultural context changes, but by mentoring for more diversity in thought, we are looking for new approaches and the need for a wider perspective. Cognitive diversity in teams yields more creativity, faster problem solving, and greater productivity. Hermann International research has shown that cognitive diversity makes teams 66% more productive.
A 10Eighty mentoring programme enables a more capable and resilient workforce, better equipped to adapt to change and disruption, and take advantage of new opportunities. We believe that mentoring is key to both career and personal success; and know from experience that in mentoring relationships the learning goes both ways. 10Eighty has put together a portfolio of mentors all of whom have enjoyed significant career success operating at a senior level in their organisation.
A typical programme addresses future needs and skills development for the future. Mentorship can help build a culture of inclusion and equality, facilitating the passing on of information and knowledge-sharing across a business, while building a community in the process.
If you would like to learn more about our mentoring services, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 7952 8699