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Lighthouse says military cutbacks could be used to boost advice sector

Advice firm Lighthouse Group says the cutbacks in the armed forces could help meet the shortfall in financial adviser numbers.

Last month the Government announced 1,400 redudancies across the armed forces, in addition to the 4,500 jobs that were cut last year. B the company says the advice sector has lost 10,000 employees in the last 18 months and this provides good career opportunities for ex-military personnel.

Lighthouse Group chief executive Malcolm Streatfield says the advice industry has historically attracted ex-service personnel and says they have many personal skills and qualities that can transfer to financial services.

“Their attributes fit very comfortably with being an adviser. They are used to being around people; they have the work ethic; they are disciplined and skilled in problem solving.

“Over the last 10 to 15 years they have been involved in operations overseas where they use these skills virtually every day of their lives,” he says.

Lighthouse Group financial adviser Andy Stafford-Smith, a former flight sergeant with 20 years’ service in the RAF, believes a career in financial services would be a viable move for many ex-services personnel.

“For those that enjoy meeting people want to have some control over their earnings and don’t particularly want a job with fixed hours, this is the perfect career for them,” he says.

Capital Trust Financial Management partner Bruce MacFarlane says: “I know three people who have been officers in the army and have done well in financial services. They seem to excel not at the small IFA level, but in the banking sector as team leaders.

“Their army background – leading a team of soldiers and being in pressured situations – has helped them run a team of financiers.”

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