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Adviser Evolution: Leader

If the financial advice industry aspires to be considered a profession alongside law or accountancy (although perhaps we should set our ambitions higher than that), it needs to do a number of things to make it look the part. First – and perhaps most importantly – it needs to put client rather than product first. Most advisers would claim to always put the client first but most would concede that regulation has worked against them in this regard.

Then it needs to look more like a profession in terms of its age and gender make-up. Industry conferences can occasionally look like golf club outings and new blood and a different perspective would be welcome.

Also, the industry needs to improve its range of qualifications. This is already happening with RDR but degrees in financial planning are now being offered by a

range of strong and credible educational institutions. This is useful in bringing in new people and offers an alternative route for existing advisers.

With all this in mind, in this month’s Adviser Evolution, we hear from adviser James Harvey, who is one of only 10 Kinder-registered life planners in the UK. Life planning aims to put client needs at the heart of the financial planning process by asking key questions about their desires and ambitions. He believes it ensures clients get what they really need rather than what they think they need. We also hear from the National Skills Academy for Financial Services about its new Foundation Degree in Financial Services from the Open University. It is part of a series of innovations in the industry to improve qualifications for those already in practice and to bring in graduates.

We also hear from Diane Weitz, director of Ashlea Financial Planning, about the advantages of bringing more women into financial advice.

Plus we have our regular features. Our diary this month is from Manchester-based Kevin Cannon, who shows how he is dealing with the transition of his business. Gregor talks about how he’s getting on with his exams and Nick Eatock from IntelliFlo discusses how adviser technology is shaping up for the RDR.

As always, we welcome your feedback and experiences of transition. If you have any comments, please contact us at adviserevolution@centaur.co.uk.

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  1. Therefore by implication, if you are the wrong age or the wrong gender you cannot possibly be professional?

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