What role do academies have in the future of advice?

Addressing the fact that most academies were currently run by large, vertically integrated advice businesses, Lord said there were alternatives for smaller businesses to breed the next generation of advisers.

She said: "We all recognise our profession is quite an interesting gaggle of different types of businesses that make it up. You've got the really large nationals, typically vertically integrated and many looking to consolidated but the core of our professional is the smaller businesses, the more regional and local.

"The challenges for those [smaller] businesses is affordability. Affordability of time - these businesses just don't have the time to invest - and also the affordability of cost, being able to run a mini-academy.

"That's where we do face a challenge as a profession and I do think that is an area where apprenticeship schemes can help by having a structure around the apprentices."

Jordan added the Openwork academy was a "hybrid" because the network's membership consisted of smaller and larger firms and they could "reflect the individuality" of their firms. But he said there was a danger of trainee advisers coming through academies being "sheep dipped".

He said: "That can happen if you are too vertically integrated. Everyone comes out looking the same, talking the same, with the same knowledge. Nobody wants that. That's a scary place to get to so we definitely need choice and a variety of individuals left at the end of the journey."

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