After two successful years as a proud sponsor of graduate talent resourcing firm Grad Mentor, Zurich Financial Services Australia (Zurich) has announced it will deepen its partnership this year, helping spread awareness of financial advice as an exciting and rewarding career for university graduates, as well as providing a greater voice to young advisers who have recently entered the profession.

Head of Distribution for Zurich’s Australian Life and Investments business, Ms. Kristine Brooks, says Zurich has an ongoing commitment to celebrating and promoting best practice in financial advice and facilitating professional development opportunities for talented new entrants to the industry.

“Sharing best practice from industry leaders who are propelling the profession forward is one of Zurich’s five pillars of LIF support for advisers – our ‘Blueprints for the Future’ – and it is one of the significant ways we will be helping support advisers throughout the year,” said Ms Brooks.

“We’ve been proud to honour this commitment for the past 13 years through our sponsorship of the AFA Adviser and Practice of the Year awards, and this year we are taking it a step further by increasing our support of the ‘best and brightest’ in the new generation of young advisers through our official sponsorship of Grad Mentor.

“These partnerships are perfect complements and reinforce Zurich’s role as the pre-eminent champion of adviser professionalism in Australia.

“Last year the partnership saw 60 high quality graduates secure roles with licensees across Australia,” said Ms Brooks.

In addition to the ongoing series of ‘speed-networking’ being held in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth throughout the year to help recent graduates kick-start their careers with some of the nation’s leading advice practices, Zurich is also increasing the number of professional development pathways for young advisers.

“At a time when education standards for advisers are under the microscope, we want to give a greater voice to young advisers at professional development events, who can not only learn from some of the most experienced advisers in the industry, but also share their own unique ideas and fresh perspectives with the profession,” said Ms Brooks.

“And it’s been encouraging to see positive attitudes towards this important relationship within the profession, with results from a recent Zurich survey showing that 32% of advisers would consider providing internships for young entrants starting out in the industry.”

Grad Mentor founder, Mr. Alisdair Barr, said Grad Mentor’s intent is to raise awareness of financial advice as a rewarding profession and show what a real difference it can make in the lives of everyday Australians, and the Zurich-sponsored events are designed to support that.

“New financial graduates are getting advice from family, friends and universities that this is a great career path,” said Mr Barr.

“The pace of change and innovation within the profession – particularly with technology – is an exciting prospect and many graduates see financial advice as an attractive industry to get into as it will keep them on their toes.

“Our overarching goal at Grad Mentor has always been to raise awareness of this profession as a great career choice and to keep the next generation excited about becoming a financial adviser.

“Partnerships with like-minded industry participants like Zurich are a great way to not only spread the word, but also grow and strengthen the profession with some of the best and brightest young talent Australia has to offer.”

Zurich will host the first Grad Mentor speed-networking event in Sydney on 1 March, with additional dates scheduled in May, August and October 2016. Zurich will also provide promotional and content support.

Source: Zurich

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