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Bringing down the barriers to a career in advice

This article is part of
Guide to the future of advice

Andy Payne, head of St. James’s Place Academy, agrees there needs to be promotion around what a financial adviser actually does. "There’s a complete lack of visibility over the role and how it helps people. Much of this rests on demystifying the role of an adviser and promoting it far and wide.

“To this end, every single person in our profession can play a role in the active promotion of our sector, the opportunities it brings, and how it genuinely changes peoples’ lives.”

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Going back to school

Sarika Dhanjal, head of training and competence at Progeny, says the key to attracting the next generation of advisers is to showcase financial advice as a profession in schools and colleges.

"I recently presented at a local secondary school and outlined the subjects that students would need to be focusing on, as well as the range of core skills.

“Younger people will often equate being a financial adviser with needing to be good at maths, but would never consider that strong problem solving, analytical and interpersonal skills are also required. 

“What the students I spoke to recently seemed to connect with most was my story about my own career path. If we want to attract young people into our profession then we also have to be willing to step outside our office walls and act as role models. 

“On my school visit, I was essentially using myself as a case study, and as an Asian woman, this in itself helps to bring a more diverse picture of financial services to life.”

Gemma Harle, managing director – network advice business at Quilter Financial Planning, likewise says ensuring the population of advisers better mirrors the UK population will help to attract more advisers from diverse backgrounds.

“Boosting the number of role models in the industry will encourage more people to pursue becoming a financial adviser and subsequently help bridge the advice gap.”

How businesses are attracting advice talent

Nicola Chart, associate director at Saunderson House, says most of the business's advisers have joined through its graduate trainee financial planner scheme.

Chart adds that supporting individuals with their chosen career paths, and ensuring they have access to the relevant training and support towards qualifications, is key to developing successful advisers.

Besides a graduate scheme, Lucy Whitehead, chief client officer at Kingswood, suggests developing internal talent. “It provides motivating career paths and key learning, which is incredibly important to both attract and retain colleagues.

“At Kingswood, we are looking towards those individuals across a range of roles in house who are interested in progressing through their exams and this can be from a number of roles, from paraplanning to administration teams.