The financial markets are poised to impose new pressures on top-management teams. We’re not talking about hitting earnings targets, contending with share-price gyrations, or engaging with activist investors. Those imperatives will not go away. But in the coming decades, they’re likely to be joined by something quieter yet perhaps more sweeping: an era of overall investment returns that are substantially lower than those of the past 30 years. The implications are significant for a wide range of stakeholders, and they will spill over to large employers in ways that extend beyond pension management to the heart of many companies’ talent equations.