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Seven out of 10 advisers recommend their profession

Seven out of 10 advisers recommend their profession

Advisers are increasingly optimistic that the market will continue to grow but fear not enough is being done to encourage new recruits, research from Prudential showed.

The study found nearly two out of five financial advisers – 38 per cent – expect the number of advisers in the profession to increase over the next 12 months.

This is a turnaround in expectations in 12 months – with more than half, or 51 per cent, expecting numbers across the profession to fall last year.

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This may be because of increased confidence in recommending financial advice as a career, with around 70 per cent of those surveyed saying they would urge others to join the industry.

But there are concerns about where the new adviser recruits will come from, with nearly a third of advisers – 31 per cent – believing not enough is being done to encourage people into the profession.

Paul Harrison, head of Prudential’s business consultancy for advisers, said: “Consumer demand for financial advice is increasing and this is reflected in the dramatic turnaround in advisers’ expectations over the past year, with evidence of increased optimism about the growth of the profession and recruitment levels in the next 12 months and beyond.

“Supporting advisers is a priority for us and an important part of this is working with the Personal Finance Society on its Aspire development programme to help bring fresh talent into the profession.”

Advisers said trade bodies and providers bear most responsibility for attracting new recruits – around 83 per cent of those questioned wanted to see co-ordinated action to encourage more people into the financial advice sector.

Prudential has partnering with the Personal Finance Society on Aspire, the professional body’s financial adviser development programme.

Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, said: “It’s encouraging to see that advisers are increasingly optimistic about the future growth of their profession, supported of course by evident consumer demand and the growing recognition by government and policy makers of the key role that financial planning has to play in society.

“We need to support this growing demand and the need for succession planning through attracting and developing new talent which is vital to the ongoing success of the profession.”

Around 69 per cent of advisers said providers should invest in more apprenticeship schemes while nearly three out of four advisers (74 per cent) said schools and universities should do more to promote financial advice as a career choice.

Meanwhile 58 per cent of those questioned said the government should consider supporting and sponsoring a campaign to recruit more financial advisers.

The research was conducted among 101 financial advisers in August 2017.

damian.fantato@ft.com