With the end of the year in sight, it feels like the right time to celebrate success and end 2013 on a high note.
That is not to gloss over some of the doom and gloom that continues to surround the financial services industry. This continues to hamper the recruitment of new people as the potential career opportunities our sector has to offer are often obscured by controversy – primarily driven by the banking sector.
Closer to home, I have also heard experienced advisers warning people not to join our profession. This is understandable, given their personal experiences of increasing regulation and costs but the future of our profession depends on a fresh injection of talent and innovation.
Despite these challenges, it has been very encouraging to see the high proportion of students joining the Financial Adviser School.
I have also been impressed by the amount of industry research undertaken by candidates as part of their applications. They understand what it takes to become qualified and competent, along with the challenges of entering such a professional and accountable industry.
This augers well for the future, as does the willingness of experienced advisers to act as mentors. Success built on successive generations working together.
Over the last two years, we have recruited 125 students into The Financial Adviser School – around half from outside our industry. The first cohort of students graduated at the beginning of this year, embarking on their new careers as professional financial advisers. Theory has now become reality.
So what have their proudest and most rewarding moments been so far? I wanted to share some of their experiences of their new jobs with you. After all, this is the real reason we are here – to serve customers:
- “Making a difference. Clients have found my advice invaluable, which is what drives me to do the job. It will never be about the financial rewards for me.” Jamie Megson
- “Realising that clients really do trust me a lot and that I earned this from them. This has led to them asking me generally about different concepts they’ve heard about but didn’t know who else to ask previously and then to know what I was talking about – that was a pretty good moment in itself.” Sarah Stone
- “My proudest moment was when my first mortgage completed as this was for my mum and she was so happy with the deal I got her. I’m currently doing a protection case for a young family and a mortgage for my brother. It’s good to be able to help people with such important things in their lives.” Clare McCombs
- “Giving clients an affordable, professional and efficient service, leading to clients having a great deal of confidence and trust in the service we are providing, is extremely rewarding.” David Wells
- “I am really enjoying life as an adviser, embracing the variety of work and different challenges I face each day. Evaluating clients’ needs and helping them to achieve their goals, from buying their first home to safeguarding their family’s future.” Emma Steed
Their strong sense of responsibility in their new careers and the positive outcomes being delivered to customers shines through.So for anyone looking for a career that is customer-led, worthwhile and rewarding – the role of a professional financial adviser continues to have real long-term benefits. As Katherine Graham, the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 enterprise, famously said: “To love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything be more fun?”
Lisa Winnard is HR Director at Sesame Bankhall Group