Worry over lack of fresh blood entering industry

Concern is being ex-pressed about the lack of investment being made to attract new advisers to the industry.

David Mead, director at Flexible-mortgage.net, says since regulation most recruitment adverts seem to be asking for people who are CeMap qualified and have at least two years’ experience, which means there is no fresh blood coming into the industry.

Mead says: “This means firms are fishing for advisers in the same shrinking pool. Due to the high number of small IFA firms in the industry there appears to be a reluctance to train people as this means an investment in time and money. Companies may be unable to make this sort of long-term commitment.”

Mead says his company decided at the beginning of last year that it would bring new faces into the industry and since then its inhouse academy has grown to seven people. The business they generate represents about 35% of the company’s turnover.

Drew Wotherspoon, head of communications at John Charcol, says it has the money and size to invest in trainees but things could be more difficult for smaller firms that can’t afford this.

He says: “We recruit people from outside the industry and look for those with good sales skills. We are happy to invest in them and put them through rigorous training.

“You can’t keep going back to the same merry-go-round and re-cruiting from the industry. We have a lot of people working for us who did not work in the industry three months ago, and are happy with the results.”

Mead adds: “The industry has to address this strategic issue. The average age of advisers is rising. The demands modern technology places on us don’t always sit easily with some of our less flexible colleagues, and we need dynamic people to help us move forward.”