Your Industry 

Bringing in young blood to financial advice

Scott Stevens

Scott Stevens

Switch on the TV on any given day and you will see a raft of headlines understandably stating we are in the midst of some sort of crisis, whether it is to do with housing, social care or the environment.

Unfortunately, unless there is a rapid injection of young talent into the financial advice industry, we might soon be heading towards a crisis of our own.

Today, there are just over 26,000 financial advisers in the UK, while there are around 15m people who could stand to benefit from receiving advice.

The problem is actually even worse than it first appears as the average age of those advisers is 58 and retirement is very much on the horizon.

The result is that over the next three to four years the financial adviser community is set to lose around 7,000 members to retirement.

Many might point the finger of blame for this impending problem at the Retail Distribution Review, as since implementation there has been an estimated 23 per cent drop in the number of advisers in the industry.

Although the figures speak for themselves, some of the consequences of the RDR could, in fact, be the silver bullet the industry needs as it is now more appealing to younger generations than ever.

The reason being is that the RDR has resulted in an increased focus on professional standards and, typically, younger generations and university graduates want to go into a profession where they can measure their progress and be proud of how they help people.

Financial advice is now a career rich with professional development opportunities, such as the path to chartered status.

Subsequently, this boosts the appeal of financial advice not just as a job, but as a profession, similar to law and accountancy.

The average age of a Quilter Financial Adviser School student is currently 30.

While we do not want to discourage anyone of any age starting a career in advice, we are excited to see the wealth of hungry and talented advisers going through our school.

Each one is doing their part to fill the sizeable hole left in the industry as the old guard hang up their advisory boots.

Scott Stevens is director of adviser recruitment and acquisition at Quilter Financial Planning