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The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

True when the phrase was first coined in the 1800’s by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr and still true today. The Richest Man in Babylon written in the 1920’s leverages 4000-year-old parables that are still relevant. And now after 35 years of exposure to the financial services industry, I find within significant change, certain principles still hold true. Information that is not just relevant at a point in time, but are general principles that exist and have relevance in perpetuity. Having recently reflected on a “body of research” Zanetti Recruitment & Consulting completed in conjunction with Griffith University in 2016 and close to the completion of more valuable market research regarding new entrant pathways, there seems to be a consistency worthy of consideration. Below are two exerpts from the paper and my further comment. Excerpt 1 – Graduate transition into financial planning has been found to be difficult and expensive for both students and prospective employers: “It may take years for a new graduate to become worth more than an entry-level wage; therefore, the employer pays a wage in excess of the value actually contributed by the graduate. In addition, employers incur costs in the form of in-house training, certification and licensing, supervision, and turnover. Employers hope to recoup these expenses when the graduate becomes more productive by paying a wage that is lower than the value of the employee to the firm at that time, typically within two to three years. It is at this point that many employees leave their original mentors for greener pastures with employers more willing to recognize the current value of their newly acquired skills....
Will graduates meet the demands of financial planning businesses of the future?

Will graduates meet the demands of financial planning businesses of the future?

As a panelist in this recent webinar, I had the opportunity to listen to other insightful presenters including successful business owners and academics. It reinforced the importance of a balanced business approach to the sustainable recruitment of both experienced and graduate staff. Not just today, but well into the future. In such a difficult environment, academia are working hard to ensure they educate and nurture capable, future ready people. I have some strong opinions regarding the future of the industry and insights we are happy to share in support of businesses recruitment effort. My short answer to the headline above is “yes they can” and they will be the future of the profession (Like many reading this article were as young men and women). As a business, how you position, attract and assess appropriate individuals is key. Thank you to the Wiley team for inviting me to participate and hope my contribution added value to the audience....
To a Brighter Future

To a Brighter Future

We felt it appropriate to share some observations that could be of value. We have been hugely encouraged by conversations with our clients and the selfless behaviour of many in the community. There is a lot of good coming from difficulties if we look for it. The new world is interesting and uncertain. What is certain is that we will “come out the other side” and without being too philosophical, there will be much learning for the better!! The narrative has clearly now moved from sensationalism and hysteria (taking advantage of the uncertainty) to greater understanding, acceptance and education of how to successfully navigate troubled waters. Having worked closely with many clients over the last 5 weeks, the mood is considered but confident. Some delays in recruitment while others are still filling critical roles with all businesses progressively planning for the future. In summary, strong businesses are saying their strategy is responding to the current environment but still having the same focus/goal. Having personally reflected on experiences post 9/11 and the GFC, it seems most businesses have learnt a lot from history also.   Keeping Powder Dry – Most businesses are very well placed to manage through this period of uncertainty. Many have restructured fees to lessen the impact during a market downturn. We get the sense they have strong balance sheets and are doing all they can to keep staff employed. We are still being engaged to fill critical roles. Others want to progress the candidate assessment process with a start date post June and yet others have pulled up the reigns. What is encouraging is their business...
Remove all conflicts of Interest? You’re Dreamin’​!

Remove all conflicts of Interest? You’re Dreamin’​!

It is unfortunately too easy to find trade press reflecting the wrong-doing of an individual or organisation in the financial markets. Should the nature of any indiscretion or activity be measured by degrees, or is it outright fraudulent? Is being ignorant of “Best Interest Duty or Reasonable Basis” any better than knowingly disrespecting this lawful responsibility when a financial adviser? A recent article was titled “The idea that commissions are not conflicted is akin to the argument that guns don’t kill people“. Having read the article it made sense to me and is clearly consistent with the direction of the industry. Interestingly, in reading to the end, the author represents an association that supports independent advice (and names his individual business also). This is the world of educational/content marketing as a means to an end – in this case to grow their membership and promote his business as a responsible independent service. Arguably, is it not a subtle conflict of interest to write this article as it promotes the association and his business? Conflict of interest is difficult to avoid. Not just for the financial planning industry & the nature of human behaviour is that people lie. In fact, a fantastic documentary titled “(Dis)Honesty – the Truth about Lies” (Available on Netflix) is a great depiction of human behaviour. It features individuals sharing their stories on the outcomes of their lies (at the time they lied, it was seen in some circumstances as in the best interest of themselves, their family and not hurting anyone else). People lie to protect themselves, not look foolish, avoid conflict, to preserve something they...