A pilot, butcher and student were among the first wave of intakes at M&G Wealth’s adviser academy, which looks to recruit more individuals from outside of financial services.
The academy took on 14 students in its inaugural wave, with plans to take on a further 15 each quarter.
M&G Wealth said it was keen to reach outside the financial services industry as it looks to develop the next generation of financial advisers.
The company is also reaching out to age-limited professions such as the armed forces and ex-professional sports people.
M&G Wealth announced it would set up its own adviser academy earlier this year (February 2021) and at the time said it was seeking a "new wave of talent" to the financial advice sector with plans to make the profession more sustainable.
According to the company it is keen to hear from more people, whatever their current employment background, who may wish to consider giving financial advice as a future career.
Tom Hegarty, director of the Advice Partnership at M&G Wealth, said: “A career as a financial adviser can be fulfilling and I think quite unique. Money is often seen as a taboo subject for clients. The trusted relationship they form with their adviser must instil confidence that advice received will make a real difference to their lives.
“This is not just technical and market knowledge, it’s also conduct, ethics and communication skills - and that runs right through the academy programme.”
He added: “Subject to meeting regulatory criteria and standards there are no barriers or constraints in who we are looking to enter and bring through the academy - we will look to support them in every way to be a top-class adviser.
“At the same time, we want as many individuals as possible to be able to access some form of financial advice in a way that best suits their circumstances – that is at the root of the formation of The Academy”.
The academy offers a structured training and development programme that gives trainees the relevant knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to become an adviser.
There is a two-year training period for individuals to gain mandatory qualifications, set up their own advice business as an appointed representative of M&G Wealth, or join an existing AR business within the company.
Hegarty said: “There are far fewer financial advisers now than there were 20 years ago – yet the potential demand is far greater. Added to this is the reality that the average age of an adviser has increased which will lead to a large number retiring over the next few years.
“This is a critical issue and as an industry it is our collective responsibility to bring new people and solutions through. The ‘advice gap’ is a serious issue for us all.”
Meanwhile M&G Wealth has appointed Ignition Advice to develop a low-cost hybrid robo-advice offering.