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Last Article Uploaded: Friday, December 3rd, 9:22PM

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Mann on a mission to diversify financial advice

White, middle-aged, affluent interests are overrepresented in the New Zealand financial advice industry, says The Advice Hub's Dylan Mann.

Tuesday, October 19th 2021, 6:00AM 6 Comments

The company has launched a new scholarship to help improve diversity across the industry. Mann says the industry desperately needs more diversity, particularly from women, Pasifika and Māori, so The Advice Hub is offering up to 100 fully paid scholarships  – particularly to those displaced by Covid – as a pathway into the financial services industry and to help uplift some of New Zealand's less affluent communities.

Mann says Covid-related job losses and career changes have caused an influx of Kiwi’s seeking personalised financial advice, and New Zealand doesn't have enough people qualified to deal with this influx.

Compounding the Covid issue is the looming Baby Boomer bubble of Kiwis about to leave the workforce and retire.

"The fact is that most financial advisers are middle-aged white men over 55, who will focus on the wealthy," Mann says.

He says advisers who will work with people from all walks of life and income levels are desperately needed and women, Pasifika and Māori financial advisers are rare, "and this needs to change".

"Giving personalised financial advice to local communities needs to come from a new generation of financial advisers that can best communicate, educate and offer researched working strategies to their problems.”

Mann says The Advice Hub has a formal agreement with the Open Polytechnic to fund the course fees of 100 scholarships, enabling recipients to become licenced financial advisers.

The online course takes between three and six months and includes a tutor from the Open Polytechnic and a senior financial adviser mentor from The Advice Hub, followed by full-time employment within New Zealand.

The scholarship will include:

- The entire cost of the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services (Level 5) qualification.
- Financial Markets Authority registration fee.
- Criminal, insolvency and credit checks.
- The required malpractice and professional indemnity insurance.
- The required Financial Ombudsman service.
- And all the financial adviser tools “needed to be amazing”.

“This new generation of financial advisers will be empowered to help their family, friends and wider community," says Mann.

"The only way we are going to improve outcomes for all New Zealanders is to make personalised financial advice available to more diversified groups, as well as to people on lower incomes and the average-income Kiwis."

Mann says he grew up with no financial stability after he was born to a mother who was only 16-years-old at the time.

Experiencing that lack of financial stability drives him to help others from underprivileged situations.

"There is nothing more rewarding than sitting at a person's kitchen table, hearing their financial worries and then coming back to provide personalised financial advice to protect and benefit that family."

Mann says he is on a mission to change the world by making personalised, high-quality financial advice accessible to all people to ensure that everybody benefits from the kind of financial advice only the wealthy currently enjoy. 

For applications, click here.

Tags: diversity Dylan Mann Financial advice financial advisers Scholarship The Advice Hub

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Comments from our readers

On 22 October 2021 at 7:52 am Tony Vidler said:
An excellent initiative with a worthy objective is undermined with stereotyping. It is a good recruiting strategy for sure.

Damaging to the rest of the industry's collective reputation thoiugh isn't it?

Back up the statement "The fact is that most financial advisers are middle-aged white men over 55, who will focus on the wealthy," - what is your evidence to support this?

I would content that it is not a fact at all, and this sort of outlandish claim damages the public perception the industry as a whole.

I have interacted with literally thousands of advisers in NZ over the years, and the overwhelming majority of financial advisers in my experience do NOT focus on working with the wealthy, but on middle income Kiwis. Your point is valid that there is a significant proportion of Kiwi's who do not get served well by the industry as they haven't risen to "middle income" - there are literacy issues in vast segments of society, and affordability of accessing or delivering advice - for both the consumer and the adviser - is problematic for those segments. However the majority of financial advisers are actually very small businesses, and while they do deliver a disproportionate amount of pro bono assistance and advice they are not social workers whose objective is to re-shape society at large by delivering their expertise to all who need it. Every hour they deliver of un-charged financial advice and assistance comes at some risk to them personally, and at a cost to them personally...and that is not for the benefit of the "wealthy" in NZ society.

The majority of advisers do not focus on getting the "wealthy". The majority of financial advisers don't even offer wealth management services I'd suggest. The majority focus on delivering great value for money advice to the middle market.

Initiatives such as this would get a truckload more support from the advisory community by and large if they didn't begin by stereotyping and alienating the majority of the advisory world to begin with.

Get real with the market and play fair I say.
On 26 October 2021 at 8:25 am Bikedude said:
Well said Tony
On 26 October 2021 at 10:19 am Backstage said:
Many points well made Tony and I know many advisers over the years have really attempted to assist some of these communities and often affordability becomes a major issue. I wish Dylan well as he is not the first adviser to feel this is an opportunity. I would suggest he also develop a free budgeting advisory business to support his marketing and perhaps if Insurance becomes apart of a solution that his business takes the commission payments as, "as earned". Also negotiate with his suppliers regarding possible persistency issues to ensure their support. I feel these markets are very good one for our Banking friends. The thing is, it can take a lot of work to give advice and just using premium as a measure of possible revenue. it can take me as long for a $25 per month advice placement as it could a $450 per month and, the liability is the same. I hate to sound commercial but I do have a responsibility to my other clients my family and shareholders to stay in business. Lets check in in 5 years to see how this, "bold initiative" runs through.. I do wish Dylan all the best as the facts are various communities require good financial advice.
On 26 October 2021 at 5:33 pm Tony Vidler said:
well said @Backstage. There are already some good advisers working in those communities; and not just advising, but recruiting new to the industry advisers from within the community and managing their development very well indeed. So stuff is happening there which is positive.

The real issue is not making advice accessible; but rather lifting the financial literacy rate to begin with. People will only seek advice when they have the means as well as identified needs, and even if they have the means they will not seek out advice if they do not understand the needs for which advice can add value.
On 27 October 2021 at 11:23 am Backstage said:
I can't help thinking that this space could be very well served by banks and or eventually AI unfortunately. I am aware that Dylan is from Australia, perhaps he could draw on possible effectiveness with their indigenous community?
On 29 October 2021 at 10:12 am JPHale said:
Well said Tony.

As a bald white guy, I'm going to end up in this demographic, but I've been an adviser for nearly 10 years and I started in my late 30's. And many of the newer people in the last 10 years have been well under the age of 50.

And the very nature of risk advice is you're talking to people that don't have sufficient wealth not to need insurance, and that means we are working with the vulnerable every day, be it financial, medically, or psycologically.

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Last updated: 3 December 2021 8:16am

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