It is important to recognise that this applies to every individual in the company. Different roles have different responsibilities and require different knowledge and skills. However, each employee makes a contribution to the overall success or failure of the company and so it is paramount that every individual understands and adopts the values of the company.
Most advisers that we acquire that do not embrace the approach of putting the client first or have the necessary skill set to be successful in a world where they have to justify their worth to clients through charging transparent fees, tend to leave us very early of their own volition.
Our approach to the organic acquisition of advisers also needs to be stringent. We are looking to recruit top quality advisers or those with the potential to be top quality advisers.
We want Towry Law advisers to be recognised in the industry as being the very best in terms of their knowledge, experience and ethics and we are working quickly toward that, with the introduction of our Master’s Programme, a specifically tailored training academy that gives every employee in the company the opportunity to realise their full potential, and the emphasis we place on technical knowledge and examination qualifications.
While there are some excellent advisers in the industry, the overall quality is very mixed and we do not wish to restrict our search for talent to that particular pool. This is why we have launched the Return to Work initiative, which aims to attract individuals from the big and relatively untapped market of mature, predominantly female, professionals who have taken a career break or wish to change career path.
This initiative allows us to target candidates that are likely to have the right skill set to become excellent advisers and to fit with the corporate ethos and values of JS&P Towry Law.
We aim to take on six candidates at a time, with the next intake due in September. They will be given a structured career that will, in the initial period, incorporate studying for and passing the five Certificate of Financial Planning exams. During this period, they will also be allocated to a senior practitioner or manager who would act as a mentor and would supervise their development.
Having completed the initial five exams, the candidate would move to a role within the company working alongside an experienced adviser. They will be expected to take advanced qualifications and will also start to accompany the allocated adviser on client meetings and assist in preparing financial planning recommendations and strategy. The next step will be for the candidate to meet clients alone, with the likely time for this depending on the progress of the candidate.
To make the Return to Work initiative more attractive to our target candidates we try to accommodate flexible working hours and locations, will offer competitive salaries and also pay for all training and examination costs.
The initiative fits with our culture of bringing change to the financial advisory industry. The field of financial services is particularly male-dominated and has fallen behind the times of business generally where women are significant players in management and client-facing roles. We want the best advisers in the industry working for JS&P Towry Law and initiatives such as this represent a clear break in favour of professional advisers and away from the traditional adviser mould of transaction-based selling.
Patrick Connolly is marketing and PR manager at JS&P Towry Law.