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Trainees v experience - which offers the best growth avenue?

by Danielle Levy on Dec 20, 2012 at 07:00

Trainees v experience - which offers the best growth avenue?

One unforeseen consequence of the credit crisis has been the emergence of a higher quality and more competitive graduate market, creating opportunities for wealth management businesses looking to invest in fresh talent for the future.

However, as wealth creation stalls and firms seek an immediate boost to assets, has there been a tendency towards hiring experienced managers that can bring a client bank with them?

As the civil service, banks and other professional service firms reduce their graduate intake, we asked if firms are grasping the opportunity to snap up quality graduates and what their balance is between hiring experienced staff versus investing in trainees for the future.

Charles Stanley is one company that advocates both options, arguing they are essential for future growth and not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Che Stoddart, a senior recruitment adviser at the national wealth manager, says it is always keen to take aon teams of brokers with their own books of business, and points to the short-term benefits but also the contribution to long-term growth.

However, Charles Stanley balances this strategy with its trainee scheme, which the firm made more formal around five years ago, with dedicated posts around different parts of the business, including research, compliance and operations.

‘We have a fairly even split, as we are interested in both. Obviously with trainees it is a long-term investment and you have to be patient, whereas if you bring someone in with [a book of] business, you start to see results pretty quickly,’ Stoddart said.

The company takes in around three to five graduates each year with a view to them eventually becoming discretionary managers. It favours those that have a financial degree and solid extracurricular experience that suggests a strong interest in the industry.

‘This is about new ideas and attracting a new generation of clients,’ Stoddart added.

Client banks disappoint

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