M&G Wealth has taken a page from St James’s Place and Schroders Personal Wealth by launching its own adviser academy.
The academy will be part of the firm’s The Advice Partnership (TAP), which recently set out plans to drastically increase the number of advisers in the next few years, following several redundancies at Prudential Financial Planning in November 2020.
M&G Wealth believes the creation of the academy will help attract and retain financial advisers to TAP, which is the company’s self-employed advice business, as well as help them achieve competent adviser status (CAS).
TAP is led by Tom Hegarty, who was previously managing director of the New Model Business Academy.He said: “Our aim is to grow TAP by developing and expanding propositions and increasing adviser numbers through organic recruitment and the creation of our new academy. We have high aspirations for growth and expect to reach several hundred advisers over the next few years, to be scaled with some of the larger advice businesses in our sector.
“Collectively, if we don’t recruit new advisers to the sector, then the advice profession is in danger of not being able to offer services to meet a quite substantial ongoing demand for advice. Through the academy we want to demonstrate clearly the value of financial advice to clients as well as making it more accessible and affordable.”
Follows in footsteps of SJP, SPW and Openwork
In September last year Schroders Personal Wealth followed in the footsteps of SJP and Openwork by launching an academy programme for budding financial advisers. At the time it signed up 20 trainee advisers to complete an 18-month programme designed to arm them with the qualifications and skills to become SPW advisers.
Late last month, SJP announced in a trading update it had slowed the pace of adviser recruitment and paused the intake of new students to its academy programme last year due to the “challenging external environment for many financial advice businesses across the UK”.
See also: M&G creates £28bn wealth management arm
Quilter embraces digital learning
Meanwhile, Quilter Financial Adviser School (QFAS) has moved its Level 4 courses online.
This follows the FSRE4ALL initiative, which made all training material for the first module of the Diploma for Financial Advisers available online in June 2020.
The digitalisation of the education courses also means that students will be able to become Level 4-qualified in 30 weeks, rather than in 47 under the current programme.
Quilter Financial Adviser School head of training Julian Hince said: “During the pandemic we, and our students, had to adapt so they could continue their journey to becoming financial planners. We had always planned to move toward digital learning, but Covid-19 accelerated the process as the success of this period have been astonishing. We have maintained outstanding pass rates and technology has allowed for successful remote exams.
“Digital learning has the capacity to democratise the prospect of becoming a financial planner. We know many people have busy lives, schedules and commitments, but still want to pursue a career change. Through offering QFAS online we hope to welcome even more diverse cohorts of students keen to become the next generation of financial planners.”
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