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New crop of advisers looks promising

Scott Stevens

Scott Stevens

The new wave of financial advisers entering our industry largely comes through our school in two forms: a young recent university graduate, or an older second careerist.

If you are the principal of a company and are interested in bolstering your ranks, do you go for a still newly qualified but older financial adviser?

This could still be their first foray into financial services, but they might already have a wealth of skills pertinent to the job.

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Alternatively, do you instead take a punt on a younger graduate with bundles of energy and ideas but perhaps less life experience to back it up?

It is understandably a difficult question to wrestle with as both options will have their merits.

We have recently seen our first cohort of students go through our more intensive, three-month, full-time fast-track course.

The fast-track course targets career changers. In general, these students chose this expedited route into the industry because they were willing to deal with the extra intensity in a bid to start their second career more quickly.

Interestingly, our fast-track students posted some of the most impressive exam results we have ever seen in our school and they all passed.

There are various reasons why this might be the case, but one is that many of them came to us already imbued with a range of soft and transferable skills.

This ultimately meant they could quickly soak up parts of the course that might take someone else a bit longer to take on board and can hit the ground running.

However, the feedback from our longer, 14-month, part-time courses, which often have younger students, continues to be incredibly strong.

The reason is that a company can benefit hugely from this type of new entrant into the industry.

Their youth, drive and loyalty can modernise businesses and bring in new types of clients who might prefer this approach.

At the Quilter Financial Adviser School, the average age of our students is 32, which is significantly lower than the industry-wide average of 58.

While we are proud that this figure remains low, we recognise the benefit of any new entrant into the industry whatever age or background.

We need top-class talent, whether it comes in the form of a graduate or second careerist, to replace the worryingly fast stream of advisers retiring.

Both types represent great opportunities for any company and, importantly, for the industry as a whole.

Scott Stevens is head of adviser recruitment and development at Quilter Financial Advisers