The initial cohort of graduate trainees at The Openwork Partnership has now moved into financial advice as the network’s ongoing investment in recruiting the next generation of advisers continues to deliver.
The first group to complete the company’s successful graduate scheme has now started new roles within the Partnership. They are either working as wealth advisers or in head office roles, after spending the past year gaining industry qualifications and supporting the roll-out of the network’s CRM system ConcertHub as consultants.
The Openwork Partnership’s first graduate scheme was launched in January 2021 and saw 14 graduates moved through a unique training schedule, gaining in-depth knowledge on supporting adviser firms to use the ConcertHub system to grow their businesses and completing professional exams.
Its 17 Class of 2022 graduates, who joined the company in October last year, are following the same route, while also learning from the first graduates. They are on a two-year plan and spent January training to become ConcertHub Adoption Consultants and will move on to rotations within head office departments in 2023.
Trainees had to balance working with studying, while also coping with the impact of the pandemic forcing everyone to work remotely but are now able to pursue their careers with firms and get back to meeting people face-to-face.
Carrie Morris, Chief People Officer at The Openwork Partnership said: “Our graduate scheme has been a huge success and it’s a real pleasure to see the first graduates move on to valued roles across the business and the network working with our partner firms.
“All the graduates bring a fresh perspective to the business, as we work to help mentor and support the next generation of advisers and specialists entering the financial services industry.”
The Openwork Partnership has more than 4,300 financial advisers across the UK and operates as a directly authorised, multi-panel distribution network. Its website includes an interactive map enabling more clients to access support from the network.
Graduate case studies
Nada Darbani applied to the graduate scheme after completing a Master’s in International Financial Development following her original degree in Economics. She now works for BSG Financial Solutions where her long-term aim is to become a wealth adviser after finishing her mortgage qualifications.
“I really enjoyed the graduate scheme and felt we got a lot of exposure to how the business works and how the industry works. There were a lot of opportunities at the end of scheme on where you could work and having the support of mentors to help you make your decision on where to go was really valuable.
“Originally I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but once I started with The Openwork Partnership I decided that was what I wanted to do.”
Harvey Butler is one of the graduate recruits now with Prosperity Financial Services. He previously worked for a recruitment company in the events industry and his job was a victim of the pandemic. Since successfully applying to the graduate scheme and learning a new career, he’s been able to buy a house.
“I always wanted to be in a role where I can develop myself, and that was the attraction of The Openwork Partnership scheme. It was hard to get on as there was a lot of competition, but it was very professionally run, and once I was in the scheme it was a great way to learn and develop. It’s been a big learning curve.
“My aim was to become an adviser from the start, and I am excited to get started. Working from home was fine for me but getting out and meeting people is better.”
Max Pascazio has joined The Penny Group in London after completing the scheme and has combined that with moving from Dunblane in Scotland, where he mainly completed his graduate training working remotely. He only visited The Openwork Partnership’s Swindon headquarters once. Initially he considered fund management with Omnis Investments but soon focused on financial advice.
“I have always wanted to work in financial services and that was the aim when I graduated, but it was during COVID, and it was a tough time to get a job until I saw The Openwork Partnership scheme. They were very quick to respond, and I got a good feeling about them from the start.
“I got used to working on Teams but it’s much better working face-to-face and meeting people. I moved to London in February and am really enjoying it as everyone is so helpful.”