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Advice firm looks to graduates for growth plans

Advice firm looks to graduates for growth plans

Advice firm Unique Financial Planning is looking to young trainees in a bid to bolster its growth plans in the coming years. 

The advice business, which currently has more than 30 advisers managing in excess of £500m in assets, has plans to recruit graduates alongside its acquisition strategy. 

Philip Martin, managing director at Unique Financial Planning, said the median age of the firm's adviser base was 42 years old. 

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Mr Martin said: "We got it down to that number because we have a mechanism for bringing through younger people and graduates, starting to train them and also then give them the skills to advise - which we can do within a bigger practice.

"So a key part of our strategy is how do we bring new advisers in, because not only does that replenish those advisers who might want to leave but it also helps us build the longevity we are looking for."

Mr Martin said there were "fantastic" skills available to the industry as he called on other advisers to begin the process of supporting new entrants to the sector.

He added: "I would be encouraging all of our peers to start looking far more at how to bring young people in, rather than looking to grow either by acquisition or by bringing existing advisers who may be further on in their careers into their business.

"But a caveat to that is it does need an investment of not just cash but also time, and I think you need to be a business of a certain size to be able to have the scope and the bandwidth to invest time in to younger trainees and give them all the skills.

"It is very difficult to do that if you are a small practice where you have got to earn money yourself in order to make the business viable and therefore it is very difficult to find the time to be able to train and nurture people."

Mr Martin said the bigger the advice business, the more capable it was of absorbing the cost and time of on-boarding trainees and graduates. 

Last month Unique Financial Planning hired former Openwork business development director Mike Gummerson to spearhead its acquisition and recruitment plans.

Earlier this year FTAdviser reported adviser academies were witnessing record intakes and summer spikes as the government desperately moved to protect the jobs market from the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

It came amid reports advisers were struggling to fill more experienced job vacancies, but were being inundated with applications for trainee roles as school leavers struggled to settle in a jobs market struggling against the tide of the pandemic.

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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