Vivine Cameron examines the CII's new partnership with the St. James's Place Financial Adviser Academy
The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) works with several equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) networks to establish collaborative arrangements, particularly focusing on the growth of new and diverse talent.
One of the most recent of these networks that the CII is now working with is the St. James’s Place Financial Adviser Academy.
The challenge posed by the declining number of financial planning professionals has been a concern within the industry for some time. CII research shows the profile of the average financial planner being white, male and in their mid-50s. There is therefore a need to attract, engage with and retain new diverse talent for a healthy and sustainable future for the profession.
The St. James’s Place Financial Adviser Academy aims to inspire, train and support the next generation of financial advisers.
Whether someone has an existing advice qualification or they are completely new to the profession, SJP’s Academy is established as the leading programme of its kind in the UK for individuals from all backgrounds to train to become a successful financial adviser.
Since launching the Academy in 2012, SJP has seen more than 1,000 advisers pass through it. They have recently taken a decade of learnings and used these to create a revamped, comprehensive new programme. Today the starting age of their Academy recruits is 34, with 60% coming from a non-financial background, challenging the myth that the ability to work with numbers is the sole skill required to become a successful adviser.
SJP’s Matt Cordas, marketing manager, is one of the key members of the team helping to run the Academy sessions. Cordas tells us: “Throughout autumn 2022, SJP spoke to students at Reading University, Sheffield Hallam University, Leeds Beckett University and Northumbria University to share insights into the financial planning profession.
“Through careers fairs and presentations, more than 500 students gained an understanding of the work opportunities and roles within the profession, as well as an understanding of the work of the St. James’s Place Financial Adviser Academy,” says Cordas. “It is also hugely valuable that they have the opportunity to hear from students who have successfully graduated and followed a path into the profession to one which they could potentially take.”
SJP will continue this work across the UK throughout 2023.
To find out more, visit: www.sjp.co.uk/academy
Vivine Cameron is equality, diversity and inclusion manager of the CII