UK wealth firm St James’s Place (SJP) has supported 39 financial advisers to launch their own businesses since the government’s lockdown measures were announced on 23 March 2020.
The businesses are located across the whole of the UK, from Aberdeen to Kent, and are run by recent graduates of its academy.
The advisers range in age from 24 to 59 years-old, with some just starting out in their career and others who are second-careerists.
Over a third (38%) are female, including three who have returned to the workplace after taking a career break to raise a family, while others have come from careers in sport, teaching, hospitality and the military.
Jason Flood, academy director at SJP, said: “We’re proud to have helped so many advisers break into the industry since 2012, but particularly in the current business landscape it’s an immense achievement to have supported new businesses and helped with job creation.
“These graduates have been forced to adapt their initial plans, such as shifting face-to-face meetings to virtual ones, and it’s really impressive how they have overcome these challenges.
“We set up the academy with the goal of encouraging more people into the financial advice profession, so we look forward to seeing these newly appointed owners become the financial planning employers of the future as their businesses grow.”
Through its two-year training programme, the SJP academy helps the UK’s next generation of advice professionals to build a career in financial planning and wealth management.
The graduates then either launch their own business or choose to be an adviser within an existing partner practice.
Since its creation in 2012, the Academy has helped create 557 firms across the UK.
Footballers and businesspeople
Robbie Simpson, former footballer and associate partner at SJP, said: “Coming out of the academy into lockdown, people were telling me what a bad time it was to start a new business, but it really couldn’t have been better for me.
“I’ve had to adapt to new ways of working, in terms of using technology, and as with any new start-up there are always teething problems.
“But with the training and support from SJP and the academy, coupled with potential clients seeming to have more time on their hands to think about their finances, I really feel there couldn’t have been a better time to launch my new business.”
Naomi Haynes, former business manager and associate partner at SJP, said: “The pandemic has caused a lot of worry about people’s financial wellbeing, and lockdown has actually given me the opportunity to connect with people via video calls, as well as via telephone, to provide advice on their financial journey during a difficult time.
“I have also been able to use social media to regularly post about personal and business finance which has had a really positive response, as well as organising and speaking at webinars on relevant financial topics.
“All of this has shown me that you don’t need to be able to leave your front door to have a positive impact, grow your business, and make a difference.”