The scheme is aimed at students looking to get into financial planning as a career, financial advisers looking to understand more and wealth managers wanting to find out how they can change what they currently do to offer a financial planning service to clients.
Jackie Lockie, head of financial planning at CISI, told IA: “Our experience show that many students can easily learn technical knowledge in bite sized chunks but giving financial planning advice to a client is not just about knowing your stuff, it is about applying that knowledge in a holistic manner to benefit the client.
“This application of knowledge and other skills, such as asking the best questions, are all things our chartered financial planning professionals can help with.
“The scheme is still in its early stages with over 40 individuals involved.
“We have technical support from three supporters now to cover the technical queries that might be posed by a mentee, thus leaving the mentee free to learn more about the application of knowledge and other skills needed to become a great financial planner from their mentor.”
Range of topics
The scheme, which is free to join, started on 1 January 2019.
Mentors are Certified Financial Planner-accredited professionals, while mentees must be members of both the CISI and its financial planning forum, who are looking for help and support to achieve their professional financial planning goals.
The initiative is hoping to help professionals with a range of different issues, with Schroders telling IA that it has already offered its services on a broad level.
Phil Middleton, head of intermediary business at Schroders, said: “We have already dealt with a variety of different topics and questions ranging from client solutions, reporting, fund costs and fees, administration, qualifications and fund availability.
“We are not targeting any specific issues but trying to support where possible and relevant to the individual.
“Our aim is to increase the resources available and to offer help and guidance where we can, in the hope that they are fully equipped when meeting with clients and building those relationships.
“The mentoring scheme will allow us to collaborate and further develop relationships with our clients and support the membership of the CISI in whichever direction they would like,” the Schroders spokesperson said.
The fundamental point of the scheme is for experienced professionals to share their experiences with the planners of tomorrow.
“I think that we all have a part to play in ensuring that the financial services industry continues to flourish,” Neil MacGillivray, head of technical support at James Hay, told IA. “Whether you’re a new planner just entering the industry or you’ve been in it for 30 years, having a support network, which includes mentors with varying expertise, sharing their knowledge and best practice will only strengthen the sector.”
Ian Smart, product architect at Royal London, said to IA: “At Royal London, we know the importance of advice, so being able to get involved in helping people achieve their goals in financial planning is something we are delighted to be a part of.
“We can see the benefit of new or aspiring advisers being able to bounce ideas off more experienced advisers to develop their skills and apply their learning to real world situations.
“We can help support this by offering practical experience in the technical aspect of writing protection business.
“We have a wealth of knowledge which we can share via advice, aids and tools, which complements the service the mentors will be providing.”