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2024 Wealth Management Advisory market outlook

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As the Wealth Management sector grapples with a challenging economic climate, political uncertainty, and the need to deliver exceptional levels of personalisation through generative AI, we spoke to Alex Merrick, Business and Regional Manager about changing business expectations and in demand roles and skills. Having worked in the sector for over 20 years, first as a Financial Advisor, Alex has in-depth knowledge of the market and how businesses can stay competitive to attract the best talent.

For advice on the Wealth Management Advisory market, support with your hiring strategy or guidance on finding a new role, contact Alex.

What specific trends have you seen in your market?

Over the past 12 months Financial planning recruitment was steady but as time went on, we saw a slowdown. Demand for Chartered Advisors continues as does businesses looking for talent that can bring AUM and clients with them. 48% of FP’s earn a basic salary of £80k+ in 2023 compared to 30% in 2022.

What factors have affected talent attraction and retention in the past 12 months?

Increased flexibility in work arrangements is still a big factor when it comes to talent attraction and retention. Companies that offer hybrid working options will have greater success in hiring and retaining talent than those who are moving back to office working. Fluctuating market conditions and economic uncertainty / slowdown seems to have significantly impacted recruitment, with companies more likely to spread work between other employees as the belt gets tightened.

Consumer duty which was rolled out in the middle of 2023, has placed an increased burden on financial service businesses to ensure they are complying with new regulations, resource and budget requirements.

The financial services sector has a laser focus on transformation. Incumbents face an uncertain macroeconomic market environment, sustained pressure from regulators, growing concerns related to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and disruption from platforms (including embedded finance) and FinTech’s. Technology and generative AI will likely lead to more disruption for the sector. All this is creating an even more urgent need for financial service companies to consider more transformational steps towards digitalisation, ESG, and portfolio optimisation.

Which roles are most likely to be in demand?

Trainee IFA’s. With the average age of a financial planner over 55 and an expectation from reports complied by FT Advisor that two thirds of these will retire within the next five years, there is a big onus on recruiting new talent into the industry. There has been significant growth in academies being set up inhouse as wealth management firms seek to bring in graduates and nurture their own talent, due to a shortage of planners in the industry.

Chartered Advisors remain in demand as firms look to this status level to differentiate themselves from competitors.

What skills are in-demand for professionals wanting to work in this market?

The implementation of AI and the benefits that this could offer is a hot topic, however the value of face-to-face advice will remain an integral part of the consultancy process. The industry is moving rapidly away from ‘transactional’ business towards lifestyle modelling. Combining technical expertise with strong interpersonal skills, as well as being technologically proficient are key skills for candidates as the industry moves forward.

What do clients and professionals need to be aware of for the remainder of 2024?

We see a positive growth and recruitment outlook for the remainder of 2024, following a period of uncertainty due to the 2023 consumer duty changes and hike in costs.

Clients, if looking to hire, should prioritise conducting recruitment in a timely and efficient manner. Strong candidates are likely to have multiple options and the interview process needs to be slick and streamlined. Time kills deals!

Professionals need to be aware that although salaries have continued to rise over the last few years, there is a noticeable slowdown in the levels of basic pay. It’s advisable that people consider working towards a chartered status.

About Alex

Prior to working in recruitment, Alex was a Financial Adviser for 16 years. He started his career advising clients and businesses in the Bancassurance market and then worked in an IFA role. Alex has a great understanding of the Financial Services sector which enables him to provide specialist advice and knowledge to clients and candidates.

For advice on the Wealth Management Advisory market, support with your hiring strategy or guidance on finding a new role, contact Alex.