Education, Financial Planning

Mentor demand a boost for mature-age advisers

Despite the continued negative predictions for mature-age advice practitioners, their expertise and skills are in demand to fulfil new and emerging roles as the industry transitions into the post-Future of Financial Advice and post-royal commission era.

According to Mentor Education Group principal Mark Sinclair, regardless of what the financial services industry looks like after 2024, the need for transferable skills, knowledge and business/entrepreneurial attributes will be immense, particularly for professional mentors and supervisors within advisory businesses.

“The emergence of the financial planning professional coach and mentor discipline to facilitate business improvement as a career pathway is already well and truly underway,” Sinclair revealed.

“Mentor can attest to this based on the number of inquiries and enrolments being received in leadership, management and coaching qualifications.”

Another coaching and mentor career opportunity to arise will be derived from the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority’s professional-year requirement for new entrants before they can provide personal financial planning advice to retail clients, he said.

“The professional year will encompass practical learning of four technical competencies: technical, client care and practice, regulatory compliance and consumer protection, professionalism and ethics,” he noted.

“A mandated supervisory and mentoring role will be required within each advice business to ensure evidence is collected in a logbook and attest to the completion of the professional year.

“This is already an established practice in the mortgage-broking industry where new entrants typically appoint an experienced mortgage-broking mentor, meeting with them monthly over a two-year period.”

Mentor Education Group works closely with a number of professional mentors as part of its role and offering.

“The benefits being a fast-track pathway for the business, with productivity, efficiency, advice provision excellence and more effective client engagement/service amongst the many outcomes,” Sinclair said.

“However, it’s not a revolving-door discipline for those planners contemplating becoming a mentor, that is, retire and walk out of the advisory practice on Friday and return on Monday as a coach, supervisor or mentor.”

He underscored that industry and business knowledge, know-how and expertise need to be structured and delivered within a framework to facilitate the best outcomes for the client mentee and mentor.

“An imperative for success and foundation for providing consumer confidence of coaching, supervisory and mentoring services will be the attainment of appropriate qualifications,” he said.

“Although still relatively small in numbers, the number of mature-age planners undertaking academic study in leadership, management, coaching and mentoring has begun.

“I’m confident that the opportunity to commercialise decades of knowledge and small-to-medium enterprise business experience will attract advice practitioners in rapidly growing numbers in the years to come.”

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