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Adviser helps train up new AFAs

One financial adviser is doing his bit to help boost the number of AFAs in New Zealand.

Thursday, June 2nd 2016, 7:02AM

Duncan Balmer

Duncan Balmer has established an educational college, New Zealand Academic and Learning Institute (NZALI) in Auckland specifically to deliver the Level 5 course content necessary to become an AFA.

Students study the course content as part of the college’s Level 7 (degree-level) business management diploma.

“We assume most of them will elect to sit the AFA papers as a separate exercise (although they don’t have to if they don’t want to).
NZALI has  been granted Consent to Assess some of the papers (the consent process is something a school goes through with NZQA), and The Skills Organisation (formerly ETITO) will assess the other papers (the ‘capstone’ papers which only Skills can assess).

The students will also intern with Balmer’s division of Balmer, Jeffs & Co. This business is jointly owned with Rob Jeffs in Christchurch.

Balmer says the current intake are all foreign students, although a New Zealand resident who aspires to become an AFA could study the financial planning specialisation alone.

“Our intention is that graduating students will be able to approach New Zealand employers (most probably the migrant divisions of the big banks, and the big funds management companies, and bigger advisory businesses) with a degree-level business management diploma, the AFA papers, and internship experience with a large independent financial planning practice.

“That’s not a bad combo.”

“From the industry’s point of view, a happy side effect of what we are doing will hopefully be an increase in the supply of AFAs, to fill the gap being left by the retirement of many older advisors. And, dare I say it, we may also contribute to a modest diversification of the AFA gene pool, to better reflect modern, multi-cultural New Zealand.

“We believe advisory groups with an eye to the future are keen to employ AFAs from multiple ethnic backgrounds, if they can find them.”

The first groups of six students, all Indian, will graduate in October.

Balmer is looking for current or former finance professionals, with current or former teaching experience, who might be interested in contract lecturing work at NZALI’s Takapuna campus.

Tags: AFA financial advisers

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