Brad Monk

Years before the Professional Year was brought into being, LifePath Financial Planning had set up its own apprenticeship pathway to gain new talent.

Lifepath [co-founder] and senior financial adviser Brad Monk tells Professional Planner the practice implemented this system to train new advisers and “take the ego out of them”.

“So when they become an adviser they don’t go ‘why can’t this be done yesterday’ because they’ve done roles and they know it can’t be done in a blink of an eye,” Monk says.

“The apprentice had to answer the phone, then had to do the client services officer role, then paraplanning.”

The legislated PY commenced at the start of 2019 setting an industry standard for the regime.

Monk is supportive of the PY program but doesn’t believe that it is sufficient on its own to make an adviser.

“The professional year is good because it gives you an outline of what to do and for someone like me who is probably more big-picture focused… the professional year outline is this is [the list of] what you must tick off, so it actually keeps us flowing through,” Monk says.

“We always tell them once you complete it, you’re not getting the book, we actually need to get your confidence up to be able to talk to clients, you actually need to feel comfortable.”

The first apprentice LifePath brought on was Brenton Gluch, who has now been with the company for a decade, along with James Larwill, who has been there for seven years.

Both are now partners and Monk explains there are two reasons for this.

“There’s a lot of equity on the table so you want to get some of it off while you can, but the other part is to keep the good ones in,” Monk says.

“I could be looking at tomorrow knowing that today is well looked after by the people that are in my business.”

The full team is comprised of four senior advisers, four advisers and three associates.

“We’ve never had an adviser move on and that’s 100 per cent my goal is to keep them on,” Monk says.