February 15, 2013

This week, money manager Legg Mason announced that its interim CEO, Joseph Sullivan, would remain in that position permanently, effectively ending a search that started late last year for a new chief executive. TD Asset Management is also set for a new CEO, after Brian Murdock quit this month. (He was actually named as a favorite to head Legg Mason, but later confirmed he was not leaving to join that firm.)

So, your financial institution is getting a new CEO. What’s in store for you?

The Wall Street Journal has some tips. While the advice isn’t exclusively aimed at financial institution employees, given recent movement in the upper echelons of asset management firms, here are some tips that Wall Street executives might want to follow:

1. You’ve been day-dreaming about your best Machiavellian tactics. Now’s the time to put them to work.

“Getting on the good side of a freshly hired CEO is a good idea. But doing so often requires deft adaptability—and perhaps even Machiavellian tactics—particularly since some external leaders shake up management fast,” the Wall Street Journal notes.

"As an executive, you have a 30% to 40% chance that you won't be retained after an outside CEO arrives,'' John Mattone, a leadership coach and author in Lake Mary, Fla, tells the WSJ. Yet only 4% of those displaced "will land in a better position," he warns. He based his estimates on information from outplacement firms.

2. Your new job is to help your boss succeed.

One executive highlighted in the WSJ found out that her new chief executive grew up, like her, in the Midwest, and the CEO’s prior speeches and articles shed light on his commitment to integrity and diversity.

She also discovered her boss – a former Marine - preferred one-page memos and informal interactions rather than reams of data. She also tried to help hasten his success by suggesting meetings with important customers, industry officials and community leaders.

3. Embrace strategic shifts (Though You May Disagree Behind Closed Doors)

"You want everybody rowing in the same direction, especially in a turnaround,'' according to one CEO interviewed by the WSJ. “Simply being good isn't good enough. You have to get on board with the new CEO's plan,'' John Wood, a vice chairman of recruiters at Heidrick & Struggles International Inc, tells the paper.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in ...