The findings, drawn from a survey of 250 advisers, confirm that a fifth of advisers believe that Covid-19 will trigger a bigger industry exodus than the Retail Distribution Review.
This got me looking for what sort of numbers left at that time (December 2012).
What sort of figures should we be comparing any potential reduction in adviser numbers to? Looking back to various articles written at that time, it looks like the number of retail investment advisers fell from just over 40,000 at the end of 2011 to just over 31,000 at the end of 2012, a fall of 23%.
Interestingly, the report highlights that those with more than 30 years’ experience expect a larger exodus. Is this a reflection of the bigger issue in financial services?
I’ve no idea on the figures, but the average age of an adviser just seems to increase. So, are those with 30 years-plus experience, looking at themselves and seeing themselves as typical of the industry, with retirement on the horizon? Does this actually have anything to do with Covid or are they planning their exit anyway?
We constantly talk about the need to bring new blood into the industry. If we’re not replacing those that leave, either through the strains of massive events like Covid or through retirement, of course we’re going to see reducing numbers and less choice for consumers.
I’m proud to say that the Jane Smith Financial Planning team have continued working, albeit from home, throughout the crisis. We’ve continued with all client meetings, giving us opportunity to reassure our clients.
We’ve not hidden from the bad news, but have held our clients’ hands (metaphorically, of course). We’ve changed our communications so that we’re in touch weekly, rather than monthly or bi-monthly. We’ve basically adapted to the situation and the business has held up well. I’m lucky to have a fabulous team around me, but equally lucky to have some fabulous clients who are supportive of us.
I think the one thing to take from this latest survey is that although some may be pessimistic about their future in the profession, I and the team at Jane Smith Financial Planning are extremely confident about our future and about our capacity and determination to continue to look after our clients into the future.
Thankfully, it’s a few years until my planned retirement, we’re financially strong, have built a resilient business and we continue to grow and support our team in their development.
Nicola Watts APFS Chartered Financial Planner, Chartered Wealth Manager, CFP Chartered FSCI - director of Jane Smith Financial Planning
After joining the family business in 2000, Nicola qualified to provide advice in 2001, and has been a director of the business since 2006. Since the retirement of her mother (Jane Smith), Nicola bears sole responsibility for the management of the firm, and the advice provided to clients. Nicola is married to David and has two young children, Emily and Olivia, and Poppy the black labrador.