Our people

Our approach

People are our most important asset in achieving our new five-year corporate strategy, delivering excellent client experience and meeting our commitments to all our stakeholders. To enable our people to do this, during 2019 we made efforts to assess, understand and actively shape our culture. In particular, we focused on the areas of:

  • engagement
  • investing in our people
  • diversity
  • wellbeing.

Our values

To underpin and drive activities in these four areas of focus, in 2019 we undertook an exercise to refresh our corporate values. Our new values were developed through a series of representative workshops with a large proportion of our employees in multiple locations. We used this approach to ensure the values are reflective of, and demonstrated by, all our people across the firm.

Our new values will act as a yardstick for who we are, what we do and how we act. Across 2020 and 2021 they will be embedded in our core people processes, to ensure we recruit the right people, and measure and reward the right behaviours.

These are the values that guide our behaviour every day:

  • Being responsible
  • Working together
  • Showing courage
  • Always professional

To read more on our people activities please see our report and accounts.

We continue to review our people-related activities and policies regularly.


We understand that critical to having an engaged workforce is ensuring two-way dialogue across the organisation. To achieve this, throughout 2019 we utilised a variety of communications channels including but not limited to:

  • regular updates from leadership to the whole firm
  • daily or weekly meetings headlining political, economic and market issues and updates focused on how these affect our business
  • management briefings and town-halls
  • a workforce engagement with the board programme
  • an engagement survey.

Workforce engagement with the board

The board’s workforce engagement programme has enhanced and developed existing engagement structures and processes to regularly engage with a broad representation of the workforce. During 2019 year non-executive director drop-in sessions were held across the country. The board representatives conducted branch and team visits, the joined ‘town hall’ meetings and reviewed the engagement survey results.

In addition, appropriate reporting frameworks have been implemented to ensure that the feedback is collated. The key themes are then discussed by the board and taken into consideration during its decision-making process.

Investing in our people

We actively prioritise the development of our employees by building and delivering high-quality programmes that enable participants to put relevant learning into practice, whichever part of the business they work in. We do this by engaging with line managers and other stakeholders across the business to understand what skills are needed and ensure that the opportunity and support are in place for employees to deploy them. In 2019 we maintained a significant average investment per person of £727 (compared to £710 in 2018). We also delivered online learning across the firm for key issues, including: anti-money laundering, data security and information security.

Our client-facing employees continue to meet and mostly exceed the required CPD targets set by our regulators. Investment managers have the opportunity to further improve their technical and supervision skills to ensure that the highest levels of client service are maintained.

Rathbones is keen to develop a pipeline of high-calibre talent to ensure appropriate skills and succession planning for the future. Programmes in place are tailored to employees whatever their level in the business. Our apprenticeship programme continues to run successfully in our Liverpool office, and in 2019 we continued an investment operations specialist programme in London, through which participants can earn their Investment Advice diploma. We also launched a new graduate development programme in 2019, on which our eight trainees will participate in a variety of placements across the firm over 16 months, gaining a broad range of experience. We will further develop our mentoring programme in 2020. Learn more about working for Rathbones


Rathbones is an equal opportunities employer and it is our policy to ensure that all job applicants and employees are treated fairly and on merit, regardless of race, sex, marital/civil partnership status, age, disability, religious belief, pregnancy, maternity, gender reassignment or sexual orientation.

We are pleased to be a ‘real Living Wage’ employer and pay Living Wage Foundation rates to internal employees and sub-contracted staff. In addition, Rathbones sponsors Investment Week’s Women in Investment Awards, which recognise the achievements of women in the sector.

Living-Wage-Logo - The Wise Group

Historically, women have been less well represented at all levels in the investment management industry and further addressing this imbalance is a key priority. To support the behaviour change needed across the sector we have launched the Rathbones diversity and inclusion taskforce and the Rathbones Included network. We have also rolled out unconscious bias training across the organisation and are continuing a training programme covering diversity, inclusion and unconscious bias.

We continue to develop our plans to align with the recommendations published in the Hampton-Alexander review and are working hard to appoint more women in graduate trainee positions. We are also trying to encourage more applications from women to our work experience and financial career programmes. We continue to target the progression and development of existing female employees with opportunities for leadership and management programmes.

We have three female directors out of eight on the main board and two of them are on the group executive committee (GEC) and have thus exceeded our commitment to meet the 33% of female board representation for FTSE 350 companies.

When we signed up to the Charter in September 2018, we had 15.6% female representation.  As of August 2020, we have 23.7% female representation in Senior Management.  We are on track to meet our Charter target of 25% by our deadline of 2023. 

Rathbones continues to focus on diversity and inclusion and during the past year has made some further steps forward.  Initiatives have included the inception of a diversity task force, increasing the gender balance in promotion panels and we have started using redacted CVs in recruitment, with personal gender identifiers such as name removed. 

We set a target for our 2020 Graduate intake to include at least 40% female members which we have exceeded.  Rathbones hosted a ‘She Can Be’ event this year to give 14-18 year old women the opportunity to learn about working in the City and to challenge any perceptions.

We continue to review our recruitment and promotion practices and are focusing on the development of our internal female talent pipeline.

We published our gender pay gap report in June 2020.


Rathbones recognises the importance of an appropriate work-life balance, both to the health and welfare of employees and to the business. Whilst our engagement survey results suggest the vast majority of colleagues feel they strike the right balance between work and home life, we have continued to grow our employee wellbeing offering.

Given the importance of our employees’’ wellbeing we have introduced trained mental health first aiders in the firm who are go-to people for our employees, helping those who feel stressed or anxious, or have mental health concerns. Employees continue to have access to a free, independent employee assistance programme (EAP) offering confidential advice and support to them and their families. In 2019, we increased the range and number of training, one-to-one and drop-in sessions available on wellbeing-related topics, including: building resilience, using mindfulness, managing stress, and protecting mental health.

We offer a comprehensive remuneration package, which is regularly reviewed to ensure that our employees are fairly rewarded, and a wide range of core benefits to our employees.

Looking after our people during COVID-19

Rathbones has over 1,500 employees across the UK and Jersey, most of whom continue to successfully work remotely. Where employees have returned to the office we have ensured they are able to do so safely, in line with the government guidelines. Read our staying COVID secure statement for more information.

We recognise at this time that all of our employees are working under different and varied conditions, which create new both new opportunities and additional pressures. Contact and meeting frequency has been high, and we have undertaken surveys to assess the working conditions and productivity of our staff. Findings from these many interactions are assessed and responded to by a dedicated committee. We have reprioritised investment in IT solutions and infrastructure that facilitate home working, foster digital communication and provide physical equipment to employees at home as necessary.

We recognise that a proportion of our people will find remote working particularly difficult. As a result, we have strengthened our support networks for them. The Rathbones Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a confidential service provided by an independent organisation (CiC). It offers support to employees, their partners and dependant family members whenever it is needed and across a broad range of issues ranging from stress or depression, to relationship issues or financial concerns. The EAP provides support in three different ways: a 24-hour advice line, a self-help website and a telephone helpline for managerial advice. The EAP can also offer support through confidential counselling sessions. Our healthcare provider, AXA PPP, is also running a range of live question and answer sessions to give further support to employees and their wellbeing. Further information is held on our intranet. 

We also offer support through an internal network, the Rathbones Mental Health First Aiders (RMHFA). These employees are trained to sign-post our people to suitable support. A shared email address and clear contact details mean that employees can make direct contact if they wish. The RMHFA also circulate regular emails on how to take care of and improve mental health. We also partner with Mindfulness in the Workplace, who run online sessions and offer access to a mindfulness app.

At times of high pressure, we understand that bringing our employees together for fun remains important. Our Sports and Social Committee continue to organise regular virtual events for all employees that have been very well received.

We publish updates on our response to COVID-19 on our dedicated page.