Financial services industry must focus on university graduates or face extinction

From

Kris Martin

Following tighter industry regulations after the Royal Commission, a financial services beacon is concerned that industry employment is in decline, and is calling on more investment into the career of students nearing the end of their degrees.

Kris Martin, Managing Director of KDM Financial and Estate Planning, says the new requirement to hold a Bachelor’s degree by January 2026 “to transition our industry into a profession, will grow greater respect among the public, and will make financial planning a more desirable career choice for those entering the workforce.”

“In the past financial planners have been treated with contempt due to our reputation of being more concerned about own interests than that of our clients. I expect this will change.”

In addition to the requirement of a Bachelor’s degree (or an education standard equivalent), and in further reassurance to the client, practitioners now need to adhere to a Code of Ethics. Existing advisers also must pass the FASEA Exam before five months are up to remain in the industry.

“Because of these stringent educational requirements, many financial planners are leaving the industry, because they are unwilling or unable to adhere to them,” Mr Martin said.

“I am concerned we are in big trouble and see it as the time to make changes in order to ensure longevity of the financial planning sector in Australia.”

Mr Martin suggests looking at incentives for young advisers to join the profession, such as KDM Financials’ adoption program where a senior adviser provides an information seminar to local tertiary education providers, with the aim of educating those studying finance or economics on financial planning, and what makes it a rewarding career choice.

“On the back of the seminar, we will then look to employ university graduates into our intern program, where they are placed into a “POD” management style program which includes training for 12 months from a senior adviser.”

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