A Piece of Mind : Attracting younger people into the advisory world

12 May 2016Hannah Jackson

Financial AdvisoryInterviewPiece of Mind


Having decided to look towards the future wealthy, it might be helpful to have some younger people on the team. How do you go about getting them on board?

Although the level of expertise of paraplanners can range from support staff through to super smart financial analysts, the role is becoming more and more respected. Some Paraplanners see their role as a route to becoming an adviser; others are more comfortable in their back office analytical role. For those who do see it as a route to becoming an adviser, can the route be more formalised akin to the role of articled clerks within the law? Might it be the answer to getting more young people into the profession? Not exactly a new idea … but is anyone running with it?

Owen James wanted to investigate this further and was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to speak to Gareth Makemson, a young adviser who has recently joined the profession.

Firstly, let’s start with defining the basics, tell us about you!? I am 24 and graduated with a 2:1 marketing degree from Bristol UWE

Marketing isn’t exactly financial services - what made you decide you go down this career path?I have no doubt that the biggest influence was my father. When he took over his business in 2002, the role clearly offered plenty of flexibility as well as the opportunity to provide for the family. When I was in sixth form and at university, I had a number of jobs working for commercial companies that were relatively big chains and realised that I found the environment hostile and not for me.

What do you find particularly rewarding about your role?I like the fact that when you do something good, it has a great ripple effect within the company.  

How are you finding it?I am enjoying it. At the moment I am still an adviser in training, so I am getting to know the business as much as I can. I am currently doing my exams and I only have four more to go although I am finding the RO4 (pensions) really challenging.

What advice would you give others looking at this route?Go for it! The ROs can be challenging but it’s a great environment to be involved in.

What do you think the industry should do to attract more young people? It is a great industry to be in but not many younger people know about it and what it entails. I personally believe that financial education should be taught at a younger age – either school or university - to give people an idea of what it is all about!

So raising the industry profile, promoting its flexibility and the opportunity to make a difference are clearly key to attracting graduates to join an industry crying out for new blood! (Sounds a bit Draculaesque that bit!)

If you are a graduate looking to get into this space or an advisory firm with some top tips, we would love to hear from you as it has been a topic of interest at our Meeting of Minds – both Winning Advisers and Advisory Distributors.

If you would like to take part in either of these events please do give me a call on 01483 862334 or email me on hannahjackson@owenjamesgroup.com