As fears continue to mount over the number of financial advisers set to exit the industry and demand for qualified advisers grows, the sector is forgetting a huge chunk of the market who would make for great new talent, one adviser has said.
Speaking to The Adviser's sister publication ifa, Caboodle Financial Services managing director Peita Diamantidis said the industry, in its quest to onboard qualified talent, has overlooked the people who work in lower-level roles such as support staff.
The industry needs to increase its focus on targeting support staff, who already possess the crucial soft skills and client relationships, to become advice qualified, Ms Diamantidis said.
“Support staff are already a part of the industry, already have relationships with adviser’s clients and already possess the soft skills which no degree can really teach,” she said.
“None of our conferences, facilities or general industry discourse caters to this area of the market, which is a huge missed opportunity.”
According to the Hays Quarterly Report for April-June 2017, the demand for qualified financial advisers remains strong.
“A growing number of remediation projects is fuelling demand for technically strong paraplanners and advisers,” the Hays report stated.
“There is increased demand and a shortage of strong paraplanners and senior financial planners with a degree and ADFP or CFP.”
Members of the industry have voiced concern over the current shortage of qualified talent as well as fears over how many advisers are going to leave the industry following the implementation of higher professional standards in a few years.
Financial adviser Melinda Houghton of Houghton Strategic Solutions shared a concern for what this will mean for consumers.
“There is a shortage of financial planners and paraplanners of all types – I have been looking for someone for a long time now and there's not even diploma or advanced diploma applicants out there. This is a huge problem for our industry going forward, and worse for consumers,” Ms Houghton commented on the ifa website.
“We need to create specific pathways for support staff to become advisers,” Ms Diamantidis said.