Look to sports for adviser recruitment

Darren Smith

Darren Smith

In the UK there are just 20,000 financial advisers for an estimated 15m people who could stand to benefit from financial planning.

This advice gap should, in theory, make it the perfect time to join the industry. However, attracting skilled and young talent has proven difficult. Fortunately, the tide is starting to turn as a result of the sector exploring new avenues of recruitment.

The backgrounds of some of our graduates at Quilter's Financial Adviser School are now incredibly diverse and we have found that career changers, such as ex-sportspeople, the military or people returning to work after taking a career break find financial advice a flexible and exciting second career.

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The sector as a whole benefits from this new blood as they bring different experiences and outlooks to their clients and the industry.

For example, in recent months we have seen the likes of ex-Manchester United football player Danny Galbraith and former Newcastle Falcons rugby player Tom Schofield go through the Financial Adviser School.

Mr Schofield, like many sportspeople, had picked up a raft of transferable skills during his sports career such as diligence, people skills and commitment, which Ablestoke Financial Planning saw during the recruitment process and subsequently sponsored him to do the programme, allowing him to gain on-the-job experience while also completing the course.

Mr Schofield found out about the financial advice industry through speaking to family members after returning from a stint playing rugby in Sydney.

Looking for a new opportunity, he spoke to an uncle who had had a career in financial services and suggested that financial advice could be a good fit for both his academic and social skillset.

He was fortunate to have a family member who understood the industry as our research* shows just 47 per cent of the sportspeople we interviewed said they had received information on getting any form of second career, yet in practice 53 per cent of respondents would consider a career in financial services, showing that sports could be a ripe arena for recruitment.

As an industry, we need to do more to make sure that we are highlighting the benefits of a career in this sphere.

Doing so will help the financial advice industry tap into perhaps previously overlooked pools of talent, which in turn will improve the diversity of thought and people in the industry.

Darren Smith is head of Quilter's Financial Adviser School