In Focus: Future Talent  

How to train the advisers of the future and comply with consumer duty

  • To describe what effective training looks like
  • To communicate the benefits of good adviser training
  • To describe how training needs will evolve under the consumer duty
How to train the advisers of the future and comply with consumer duty
(Buro Millennial/Pexels)

It has been 10 years since the inception of the Retail Distribution Review and while there have been many positive changes in the financial planning profession, the consumer duty is the latest attempt to right the wrongs of the past. 

A key part of its success will be the update to ongoing training, coaching and support firms afford their advisers and support staff; but have we really moved with the times and upped our game or are we still adopting the same practices from yesteryear?

Let’s start with a quick trip down memory lane.

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It is 1997, Britpop is sadly coming to an end and I am about to embark on my first role as a company representative in bancassurance.

The first week was spent teaching us how to hand over a business card, go through every piece of documentation verbatim and type a thirty-page fact-find.

This at a time when savers could get 6.5 per cent on an instant access account and entry to the two (poor) funds on offer was 5 per cent.

The training was completely compliance orientated with no focus on myself as an individual or the client demographic we would be advising.

As my career progressed and I started providing coaching and training, I realised that more emphasis should be placed on understanding the training and coaching needs of the adviser – with greater focus on the client as an individual and not just what we perceived their financial situation to be.

Even in that environment, investing over the medium to longer term in a risk-based solution was right for certain clients who had the need, want and capacity to invest.

And this approach, from advisers who were inquisitive and really wanted to get to know their customers, was invaluable as we moved into the low interest rate era post credit crunch. 

Paul Sylvester-Evans, head of training at The Verve Group





There is no doubt that RDR brought higher levels of professionalism and transparency, as well as enticing some relics from the 80s and early 90s to call it a day.

The past 10 years has given firms the opportunity to align their business models to their client base, succession plan by building culture and support all their teams through investing in their training and development. And I mean every role.

I mainly look after advisers and business owners under our enable training and competency service, but I also have a number of administrators and paraplanners who not only are the cornerstone of a successful financial planning firm but who, in my experience, end up becoming the best advisers.

Why spend time and money on the lottery that is recruitment when you can promote those from within who already understand your clients, your proposition and your firm’s culture. Investment in people pays dividends in the future.

Approaching clients

RDR aimed 'to ensure financial products and services delivered to clients were clear, transparent, and met their needs as well as promoting standards of professionalism that inspire consumer confidence and build trust'.