Diversity  

SJP: Academy is 'meaningless' unless firm becomes more relevant

Raising awareness about the profession

Payne said the academy refresh will help SJP become "more accessible".

He said the company was engaging with bodies like the PFS to "socialise" second career opportunities or early career opportunities in financial advice.

Payne added: “A lot of work still to be done but we are a lot more aware now of the avenues that we need to develop to get that word out. 

“Career fairs are the next stage to take that message into schools and universities.

We're not we're not hugely active there yet but there are plans to bring that.”

SJP also ran a paraplanner academy and has plans to relaunch that later this year as well.

Last year, SJP rolled out a virtual reality technology for training and role-playing across the business, allowing it to increase academy numbers.

The virtual reality role-playing was first rolled out through the SJP academy in September, alongside in-person teaching, providing a blend of face-to-face and remote-based learning during the Covid pandemic. 

Trainees are provided with headsets that allow them to experience the role of an adviser and engage in conversations with virtual clients through a series of multiple-choice questions. 

They can then watch the encounter back to increase their understanding from a client’s point of view and also receive feedback by hearing their clients’ thoughts played out.

Discussing this concept, Payne said that the success in terms three and four of its academy is what will be the key differentiator.

“Ensuring we have hundreds of advisers with proficient and comfortable skills and achieving what they want to achieve faster and better than they were.”

sonia.rach@ft.com

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