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Editor’s Column: Financial Planning’s golden opportunity

It’s hard to find a silver lining in current Covid cloud but one of them may be a boost to recruiting the next generation of Financial Planners.

One adviser network, Openwork, has even gone as far this week as urging people working in insurance and banking facing redundancy to retrain as advisers and planners, offering the chance to achieve Chartered Financial Planner status.

This makes a lot of sense. We’ve seen huge cutbacks in the banks’ branch networks in recent years with the inevitable loss of jobs. Some insurance companies

too are increasing automation and shedding staff.

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At the same time the Financial Planning sector has been bereft of recruits and the sector has struggled to grow as a results. A bad press in the past has

deterred bright graduates from considering Financial Planning.

That’s changing. Our Financial Planning Jobs service, for example, has seen a surge in applications for trainee and junior roles over the past few months and it’s clear a change in attitude is under way.

We’ve also seen this year the rapid growth in training academies and graduates schemes from a number of Financial Planning firms and adviser networks.

There is a caveat, however. The current period of uncertainty is likely a one-off opportunity to significantly boost the recruitment of the next generation of planners but this comes with obligation.

Too often I hear people recruited into self-employed sales positions as advisers. In many cases too the cost of undergoing these schemes for young people is too high and the role is more of a sales role than a Financial Planning one.

The profession must recruit honestly and fairly and with integrity. Trainee jobs must be genuine jobs with a future, not just training schemes with no guarantees at the end.

The profession cannot afford to make a mess of this golden opportunity to recruit bright, able, enthusiastic young professionals and second jobbers.

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Kevin O’Donnell is editor of Financial Planning Today and a financial journalist with 30 years experience.  This topical comment on the Financial Planning news appears most weeks. Follow @FPT_Kevin 


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