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Trainees with no family firm to join may struggle

Ben Philpott, who is 21 years old, will become one of the UK’s youngest financial advisers should he pass his final RO6 exam, just 18 months after he decided against going to university to study engineering.

He said he hoped to join forces with his dad, Huddersfield-based IFA John Philpott, by the end of the year, arguing that it would otherwise be “incredibly difficult” for a newly qualified adviser to gain a foothold in the profession.

He said: “I saw my dad’s life first-hand, and it really appealed to me because he gets out to clients, becomes friends with them and helps them in a big way.

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“Now that my dad is approaching retirement, I can take on some of his clients while he steps back. I am very lucky compared to other young advisers who struggle to find client banks and I am unconvinced that networks would want to take them on because they’ve got nothing to work with.”

Ben, who has studied towards his diploma in financial planning at the Financial Adviser School, said the exams “were unbelievably hard at first” but that his father “made him stick at it”.

Mr Philpott Snr, who is a directly authorised individual with advisory network True Potential, said: “All this moribund language surrounding the future of the profession is wrong. I have seen huge changes during my 20 years as an adviser and there is still huge demand for advice, with people still receptive and recognising they need guidance over complex products.”

BACKGROUND

The Philpotts are not the first father-and-son team to go into business together. Felix Milton, son of Philip Milton, managing director of Barnstaple-based Philip J Milton & Company, has chosen to study towards QCF level four rather than go to university. North London-based Filip Slipaczek has welcomed his younger son, Maks, to the business, having already recruited his older son, Aleks. Both will offer advice at their dad’s firm once they have achieved chartered status.