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What are companies doing to nurture FS talent?

Fully qualified financial advisers with a competent adviser status – particularly personal financial advisers and personal financial planning managers – are highly sought after. The majority of demand comes from the banks, although there is also significant demand from independent financial advisers, mortgage brokers and life and pension companies.

The industry is demonstrating signs of a recovery and employers are keen to be on the front foot with recruitment. They are looking to fill positions that were not replaced previously, following people leaving through choice or redundancy.

The retail distribution review (RDR) is making employers increasingly selective about their hires; many will only recruit qualified financial advisers who have made a start with their diplomas in financial planning, or those who are planning to do so. Employers are also keen to recruit advisers who can demonstrate that they exceeded their targets last year despite market conditions.

Organisations are reluctant to lose their most highly skilled advisers and are doing all they can to retain them, including sponsoring their studies towards a diploma and tying them into their roles contractually. As such, many professionals are extremely hesitant to look for a new role, which has resulted in a lack of movement in the market. Although banks are offering consistently strong remuneration packages, this is often not enough to persuade those who have academic commitments to move.

For those professionals who can be tempted to move, employers need to offer more than an attractive salary and enhanced bonus structure. Incentives may be the provision of an innovative working environment, greater management and administrative support, or state of the art IT systems to ease the burden of pre- and post-sales work.

So, what is the solution? Companies need to be prepared to invest in people and encourage new talent into the financial services industry. For the past few years, the employment market has been stagnant, a problem that has been exacerbated by the effects of the recession.

It is now time for employers to be proactive. One option is to bring in more junior level professionals who can be fast-tracked through training. Some of the biggest banks in the UK have already opted to do this, releasing various opportunities for part-qualified trainee financial advisers. These employers have decided to recruit trainees and develop them through their own intense training programmes.

Looking forward to 2012, financial advisers who remain in the industry and become qualified to RDR standard will have more confidence to move around; however, this is subject to change if more legislation is introduced after the election.

Employers must take the lead by helping to create the financial advisers of the future through the development of their training academies and the hiring of part-qualified advisers. A number of existing financial advisers will undoubtedly leave the industry as a result of RDR, so the time to nurture new professionals is now.


Money Marketing Careers Brief -20th May ’10 edition.