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SJP: IFAs need to ‘educate’ to recruit new advisers

 

Even small independent financial advisers can help the recruitment drive for new advisers by educating and guiding people about the advice profession, according to a St James’s Place director.

Edward Grant, divisional director for professional development at St James’s Place, told FTAdviser SJP did an “awful lot” regarding educating and guiding potential recruits about the advice profession, stressing that “any adviser firm can do this”.

Mr Grant said: “Go and do professional pro-bono work and expand into those areas.”

He was discussing the potential for a recruitment crisis and advice capacity crunch as increasing regulatory costs combined with a high number of IFAs reaching retirement age could see almost a third of advisers leave the industry.

But Mr Grant said there were a number of things advice firms could do to mitigate this risk such as training and developing new advisers, pointing to programmes and organisations such as the Personal Finance Society which could help this process.

SJP runs a training academy which has seen a “massive increase” in both young people and career changers walking through its doors to begin adviser training.

Mr Grant thought a bigger problem for the industry was the predicted transfer of wealth which would result in assets being inherited by those who had never taken financial advice.

He said: “We used to have a really strong savings culture in the UK and I think it’s dwindled over the years.

“There’s this big intergenerational transfer of wealth and the problem we’re going to see is a lot of issues as we see this money transfer across.”

He said the money was either going to transfer between married couples — and often to an individual who had not necessarily had a role in their finances before — or to children who had not engaged in advice.

He said: “That’s our challenge: that group of people have to be engaged.”

rachel.mortimer@ft.com & imogen.tew@ft.com

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