Standing out from the crowd in the Life & Pensions industry


“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they do not want to”.

Richard Branson

It may sound like a cliché or one of those internet memes, but it makes good business sense. As the life and pensions industry has been evolving and growing more than ever in recent times, it comes as no surprise that in order to capitalise on this growth, it is vitally important that you have the most qualified and experienced staff in place. During the 15 years, I spent as both an employee and a self-employed IFA in the Life & Pensions industry, it was evident that not everyone held the same opinion. I’m sure you can relate it to every industry sector, but I have observed that some failed to recognise the importance of cultivating an environment in which staff can excel, and then, in turn, wonder why they seek employment elsewhere.

From my time spent in the industry, I have found that the most successful companies live by the same mantra as Richard Branson. Those at the top of their field treat their staff as a highly prized asset, investing time, effort and training in developing their skill set, making them better, and empowering them to be better. We are living in exciting times and people are embracing education like never before. There are now more than 16,000 Qualified Financial Advisors in Ireland. The term “CFP” is now becoming almost an industry standard qualification as more and more individuals, either with the assistance of their employer or not, are deciding to invest time and money to attain this internationally recognised qualification.

Those who stand out from the crowd, with more experience, and more industry related qualifications are becoming a highly sought-after commodity. If you as an employer or hiring manager don’t realise or value this, then somebody else certainly will. Too often during my time in the industry, I would hear stories about people leaving a job because they were simply treated as a source of revenue, or no value was placed on their time or expertise. Inevitably, they would move on to an employer who valued and nurtured their abilities. One who treated them fairly, and sought to involve them in the future plans for the business. Whilst we are all living in changing times, we all have a part to play in somebody’s decision to leave a role or not.

Just as the economy is continuing to grow, and the industry is constantly seeking to improve with better regulation, industry and education standards, we cannot expect to retain talented staff, if as decision makers, we continue to act in the same fashion. As someone once said to me, “If you continue to do what you have always done, you will get what you always got”.

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