Building Brunel: Our new People Strategy 

Gina Filipe
Head of Human Resources
28th October 2022

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Two things have changed dramatically since we founded Brunel five years ago.

First of all, we have changed. Brunel began with fewer than ten employees and zero assets under management. We now have more than 60 staff collectively responsible for £35 billion in AUM across our ten clients. We have a weighty fiduciary responsibility.

Secondly, the labour market has been transformed by Covid and lockdown. The workforce is radically more mobile and flexible today than it was in 2019. The change has been profound for our industry, and we believe it will endure.

Beyond these fundamental shifts, we also face immediate challenges, among them high inflation, and a candidate-led market driving salaries up, which poses a particular challenge to companies like Brunel.

However, we already know from a staff survey in 2021 why people choose to work for Brunel: first and foremost, our values. Those values need to run through how we engage with all our stakeholders, not least employees. That means continuing to review our practices and to improve – thus our new People Strategy, agreed and launched this year.

“Our new People Strategy aims to integrate our core values into how we provide for and develop our staff, across a range of practices and initiatives,” said Laura Chappell, CEO. “We know that investing appropriately in our staff will help Brunel to reach our full potential. The new People Strategy will enable us to do that better.”

The new strategy commits us to:

  • Excellence and innovation
  • Individuals’ wellbeing
  • Collaborative working
  • Fostering a diverse, inclusive environment
  • Inspiring people to help shape Brunel’s future

It introduces a new framework that delivers a far broader remit to corporate HR at Brunel. In line with this, the new strategy identifies five key focuses as we seek to improve our working practices:

  1. Technology – Ensure achievement of organisational objectives by introducing effective technological improvements
  2. Capability – Support the development of internal capability by establishing robust succession plans, career development pathways and defined development objectives
  3. Efficiency – Enhance business agility to enable us to adapt to change with the right tools and processes to support client needs
  4. Relevance – Create and promote a supportive and caring culture by developing soft skills and emotional intelligence
  5. People – Collectively advocate and communicate our strengths and celebrate our culture

The Strategy is a first step. Across each category, we will develop targets and measures for those targets, so that we can monitor our progress – just as we do on our RI themes across our portfolios. Only by setting out strong ambitions, and regularly reviewing our progress, can we ensure we are continually building the capabilities of our staff – and of our company more broadly.


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