LONDON, August 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
For many, the career path you choose at 18 or 21 can often dictate the next 40 years of your working life. As you gain more qualifications and salary, and your knowledge and experience of your industry grows, you slip into your "comfort zone" and perhaps lack the confidence to challenge your self-imposed status quo.
Making a career change, whether enforced through redundancy, or voluntarily through a desire to explore new horizons, can be a daunting prospect. However, taking that "leap of faith" may not be the chasm you fear.
Consider, for example, a career in wealth management. You may think that this would take intense study and a deep-seated interest in economics, but this is only partly true.
Yes, of course, you need to be well-informed and have a good grasp of what's happening in the wider financial landscape, but this knowledge can be gained and awareness maintained. Indeed, the forthcoming implementation of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) which requires all financial advisers to meet diploma-level qualifications by the end of the year in order to carry on practising in 2013 and beyond, has compelled providers to step up their game in the Training and Development department, or face an adviser exodus.
What's not so easily learned, however, is personality and charisma. Wealth management is essentially a "people-business". An adviser may have all the knowledge, facts and figures in their armoury, but if they lack the basic social skills to build relationships and engage with their clients on a human level, they can really only expect limited career success.
The general profile of an individual seeking wealth management expertise - as opposed to "financial advice" - is often a high-achiever, usually more matured in years and often financially-astute. The challenge from the outset, therefore, is to nurture mutual trust by striking the right balance of professionalism and confidence, juxtaposed with sincerity and affability. To build a successful wealth management career a wealth manager needs to be an astute judge of character and possess the instinct to adapt their personality to motivate and connect with their client on both a personal and professional level.
That said, a career in wealth management is by no means an altruistic career choice. Many wealth managers may operate as self-employed individuals and consequently, they need to possess the focus and ambition to build and develop their own business model. Building a fully-operational and compliant enterprise from scratch can be an immense challenge in terms of training, marketing, client acquisition, adherence to regulatory processes and procedures. However, the rewards - both personal and financial - are certainly there if you're committed to a few initial years of dedication and hard graft.
The St. James's Place Academy offers a dedicated and structured training programme to prepare fledging wealth managers for the post-RDR advisory world. It's a unique offering. Through training, qualifications and continual support, individuals are empowered to create self-employed businesses within the culture of an elite brand.
Fundamentally, the organisation recruits candidates that epitomise the strength of character and go-getting attitude synonymous with the St. James's Place Partnership (the collective name for their advisory channel). After 20 years of growing into one of the most successful start-up companies of modern British business history, they are astutely aware that their reputation and status is intrinsically linked to the professionalism of their wealth managers.
SOURCE St. James's Place