The 'Young Professionals in Wealth Management' function.

With a thin pipeline of new talent entering the industry, advice recruitment firm Striver has partnered with licensee Diverger to launch a program that better introduces the profession to first year university students.

Striver ran the pilot version of its program last week, which saw 20 students attend.

Speakers at the event included Diverger managing direct Nathan Jacobsen and GPS Wealth head Tara Ross who gave a rundown to students on what being an adviser is like and why a career in the profession is worth pursuing, while another session focused solely on the professional year process.

Striver founder Alisdair Barr tells Professional Planner the event is specifically aimed at the early stages of the tertiary education process, aiming to attract students who are not settled on a specific career direction.

“There are 216,000 students are studying business or commerce, of those only 300 are graduating per year in financial planning,” he says. “Of those, only 50 per cent are making it into the profession. The problem is how do we get more of those 216,000 choosing the degree.”

The lack of new entrants coming into financial advice amidst declining adviser numbers has been well documented, with former financial services minster Jane Hume acknowledging the fact earlier this year.

“We leveraged our relationships with the universities that were working with first year students who were doing generic degrees without having chosen their major yet and being able to get in front of them and showcase why they should potentially study financial planning,” Barr says.

Planting seeds

Barr says other professions have built long-standing traditional career paths and the financial planning industry is catching up.

“There’s a real opportunity as a group of professionals which doesn’t generate immediate benefits. This is the main thing, it’s a long play here, to be working with students in their first and second year of university.”

One of the attendees who provided anonymous feedback said the event provided “incredible insight” into the industry.

“I originally went into the event thinking that wealth management/financial advisory was similar to the role of a portfolio manager. However, through the event, I learned that the role of a financial adviser is much more people orientated.”

Right fit

Diverger and Striver are the right match to co-lead the program, according to both parties, with both sharing the perspective the industry needed to take on the recruitment initiative itself.