The newly elected president of the Personal Finance Society, Mike Fosberry says the industry needs to encourage graduates to see financial advice as a career.
In an interview with Money Marketing, he says professionalism must be embraced at adviser and firm level. Fosberry says his aim over the next 12 months is to build the “professional” brand within the IFA sector.
Fosberry, who is director of Smith & Williamson Advisory Investment Service, was officially appointed to the role at the PFS annual conference last week.
He says: “The RDR is a huge opportunity to get professionalism back into the sector. There has been an expectation that advice is free and we have to educate consumers that there is a cost to advice. I think adviser-charging is a positive move because it will provide clarity and show people that our services do have a value.
“It will be costly for firms to move from one business model to another and it will be a challenge for many financially but once firms have made the changes, they will have a business that is really worth something.”
Fosberry says during his year as president he wants to dem- onstrate the value of PFS membership and encourage more members to get involved in regional activities.
He says: “We want members to be engaged in regional events, volunteer for committees and help build a strong regional framework. The work that is already being done is excellent, but we need more bodies.”
Fosberry is keen to sponsor members to give talks about careers in financial services at schools and says the industry has to do more to encourage graduates to consider becoming IFAs.
He says: “We have not had a throughput of new talent yet. Young people do not often hear about financial services in terms of a career and it is quite important that we are more like other professions, such as law, that promote their industries.”
On qualifications, Fosberry says raising the standard to QCF level four is a positive move as long as it is relevant to different jobs in the industry. He says: “We are talking about minimum standards here and the increase should give consumers reassurance about the quality of our offering. We do, however, have to make sure that the qualification meets the needs of different roles within the industry.”