The next generation of Financial Planners is at last coming from a wider range of backgrounds, including graduate entry and that, mostly, is a very good thing.
After years of waiting it seems that finally graduates and A-Level students are joining the Financial Planning profession in droves.
A new poll from the CII and PFS found that about 4 in 10 new Financial Planners are joining after university.
Graduates have always been put off the advice profession by the past reliance on a sales-based approach but now they are being attracted to join and there are good reasons for this.
Salaries are soaring, training is expanding rapidly and the career potential is excellent. Many graduates have been in the dark about careers in the profession but it seems the word is getting out and that’s a very encouraging sign for the future.
It will, of course, take many years to train them but Financial Planning firms are building some excellent academies and training programmes and the momentum is evident.
Also encouraging is that nearly 1 in 10 recruits come via apprenticeships and traineeships. I am big fan of this approach as it allows firms to take on younger workers and then invest in their training and it gives younger people who did not want to go to university a chance of a good career.
Adding the two together and roughly half of new recruits to Financial Planning are from a graduate or apprenticeship background, a huge change to even 10 years ago.
Interestingly, however, changing careers is also still a major route. In the past most planners have joined Financial Planning from other professions such as accountancy, teaching, the military and other similar areas. While no longer dominant as a source of recruits this is still an important source of recruitment and a good source of strength for the sector. Each type of new recruit has something to offer.
Despite the worst that the pandemic has thrown at it, the Financial Planning profession has mostly prospered in the last couple of years and graduate recruitment has been part of this growth.
In the latest issue of Financial Planning Today magazine we talk to some of the fastest growing UK Financial Planning firms and it’s interesting to note how many have been expanding their workforces rapidly and going to great efforts to recruit the right people. Ultimately the strength of a Financial Planning firm is its people and the shift in recruitment towards younger, better qualified graduates will help propel the profession forward.
• My condolences to the family and friends of industry veteran Alan Steel, founder of Alan Steel Asset Management in Scotland who sadly lost his short battle against Covid-19 this week. He built a formidable firm over nearly five decades and that will be his most enduring legacy. He was a contrarian who loved a good debate but as many of the tributes we’ve covered today have also pointed out he could also be a kind and generous man. A true character and independent spirit who will be very much missed. Twitter will never be quite the same.