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Firm crafts innovative approach to lure students into advice

A financial services firm has come up with an innovative approach to address the adviser shortage problem.

In a bid to reverse the rapid adviser exodus, Templeton Financial Services has crafted an innovative way to lure new entrants into the industry from a young age.

Speaking to the ifa, CEO Rob McCann said Templeton Financial Services plans to launch a program for high school students across a limited number of Sydney schools in a bid to encourage interest in financial planning.

“We have reached out to schools as well as the Financial Planning Association of Australia, who have been fantastic and given us ready-made presentations to help recruit the next generation of advisers starting from high school,” Mr McCann explained.

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According to the financial services professional, ensuring high school students understand the value of financial planning, investments and risk is paramount to getting them interested in working in the financial services industry.

“We want to create opportunities for seniors at school level – to undertake work experience with our advisers and to explore other opportunities should they want part-time work during their study period,” Mr McCann said.

“The industry must take steps to get school-leavers interested in doing an approved university degree in financial services. All licensees need to become involved and work with the schools and, ultimately, the universities on placement opportunities following graduation,” he noted.

The adviser exodus has seen over 11,000 professionals depart the industry since 2018, taking the total number of advisers to just 17,000. But Mr McCann believes a further 2,000 to 3,000 experienced financial advisers will leave the industry by the end of this year. 

And while the Labor government has promised to relax the university education standards for those with significant experience, Mr McCann is concerned about the next generation of advisers.

“Where will the next generation of advisers come from? 

“I believe the new entrants education standards are fair. If we are ever going to become a profession, we need to embrace these standards while at the same time work towards addressing this important question,” he said.

And while some licensees have taken on the challenge of luring new entrants, in 2021, the number of new entrants entered on ASIC’s Financial Advice Register was below 300.

This, Mr McCann said, is a sure sign that things need to change.

He is also proposing the creation of a forum where advisers can collaborate and potentially draft solutions.

“We still have a lot of work to do as an industry to change the perception of financial planning in the country’s education system and to encourage potential new entrants into the industry. Schools and universities are just one of many avenues in which the industry can do this,” Mr McCann said.

“Our industry was strongest when we had many competent advisers servicing a growing need for advice. We have undertaken the necessary changes for the future viability of the industry.

"Now is the time to rebuild and urgently get fresh and motivated advisers into the industry.”

Firm crafts innovative approach to lure students into advice
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