Investing in the ongoing professional development of your staff takes time and often money. So is it worth it? Recruiter David Tait thinks so. Tait is the managing director of Redmill Group, which hires for the wealth management industry. He also runs Redmill Advance, a digital learning platform that encompasses the full suite of regulatory learning across the CII and CISI. Here he lays out the argument.

Why should advisers upskill?

Firstly, there is a clear issue facing the financial services industry, particularly post RDR and it centres around the ever-decreasing adviser pool.

The ‘advice gap’ between people who need and can afford advice is partially attributable to advisers focussing on high net worth clients since RDR, as well as the collapse of bancassurance and direct sales teams.

The gap could, in theory, become even wider should the industry fail to bring in a new breed of adviser over the next five years to offset the loss of advisers due to retire soon. One way to tackle this issue is to look internally at the opportunities to develop and upskill existing members of your team.

By investing in the upskilling of your team you are protecting the future of your business. Financial administers upskill to paraplanners and, sometimes, paraplanners to advisers. But not only does upskilling your people protect the future of your business - it also embeds the existing team.

By investing in your employees’ future, you are demonstrating your commitment to them, their career and their professional development. You should never underestimate the power of this for your business. Looking at these two points in tandem it’s difficult to argue how upskilling existing employees is anything other than essential.

You are sending a clear message to your team as to how important they are to you and the future of the company they are a part of. You are supporting their professional development and future career. You are ensuring you will have the right talent and skillset in your business to support the growth and development of your client base and as such protecting the future of your own business.

To me, this is a win-win and quite frankly a complete ‘no brainer’ as there are only positive outcomes to this approach.