New research* from Openwork, one of the UK’s largest and longest established financial advice and investment networks, shows advisers are increasingly optimistic about the industry’s future but worried about recruiting the next generation of advisers.
Its nationwide study among advice firms found nearly two-thirds (64%) would recommend a career in financial advice to graduates and school leavers while 63% would recommend it to people looking to switch careers.
Research last year** from Openwork found just half (48%) would be happy to recommend a financial advice career to people switching jobs and 46% who would urge school leavers or graduates to look at financial advice careers.
But despite the rise in optimism advisers believe much more needs to be done to encourage new recruits into the industry and there are major concerns about a lack of younger advisers.
More than four out of five (84%) believe schools and universities should do more to highlight the opportunities in financial advice careers while more than two-thirds (68%) say networks need to invest in training.
Just one in 12 (8%) believe the industry is currently attracting enough new recruits and two out of five (42%) of firms believe the number of advisers in the UK will fall over the next 12 months.
Particular blind spots in the industry’s recruitment highlighted by the study are a lack of younger advisers and women – around 59% of those questioned say their firm needs to recruit more under-35s and one in five say they need more female advisers.
Mike Morrow, Openwork’s Wealth & Platform Director, said: “It is encouraging to see the number of advisers recommending a career in financial advice is so high and is rising.
“That underlines the strength of the industry and the fantastic opportunities it has already provided for many. As demand for advice continues to grow the opportunities will increase.
“The worries about a lack of recruitment are being addressed across the industry and at Openwork we are focused on encouraging young people and career-changers to make the move with extensive investment in training.”
The Openwork Academy has trained and qualified over 237 advisers since launch in 2014 with 139 qualifying as Wealth advisers and 98 as Mortgage advisers and has another 201 people working towards qualifications.
The average age of candidates joining the programme in 2020 is 35 and around 36% are female. Openwork Limited has over 4,000 financial advisers operating across the UK. It operates as a directly authorised, multi-panel distribution network.
* Research conducted among 117 financial advisers by research agency Pollright during August 2020
** Research conducted among 103 independent financial advisers by research agency Pollright during April 2019