Networks move to fill adviser gap

But Mr Smith said he does not view other academies such as St. James’s Place as competition, but rather as a means to attracting more advisers to the benefit of the industry.

In 2018 95 per cent of Quilter’s students passed the first diploma exam (FSRE) and continued to CeMAP or the Financial Planning Diploma.

Of the students sitting the CeMAP, 100 per cent passed and 99 per cent of students who took the full diploma after passing the FSRE graduated.

Meanwhile, smaller networks without their own academies are also acting to boost adviser numbers in the face of the industry's looming advice gap. 

The Sense Network has made a number of changes to its administrative and recruitment processes to encourage the growth of member firms, including last month removing application fees and monthly charges in the first 12 months for new advisers. 

Phil Young, executive chairman at Sense Network, said: "We can see there’s an issue over the course of the next five to ten years with not enough people coming through to the industry, and networks were always perfectly placed to take on and nurture new recruits." 

In 2019 Sense is also removing charges for observed interviews of inexperienced advisers and will assess new recruits via an online observed interview rather than in person, in an effort to save on costs and time expenses. 

Mr Young said these changes were removing barriers which were arguably preventing new advisers from joining the industry. 

He said: "It is not just a case of running academies and schools, there is still the cumbersome process of getting trainee advisers involved with networks in the first place so the industry needs to think of ways to improve and manage that."