Winner of Adviser of the Year at the first ever Professional Adviser New Talent Awards, Jonathan Hickson entered the financial services industry in 2015 as Strategic Solutions’ first ever apprentice.

He currently helps run the under 35s financial planners’ group – a new group built to connect, develop and enhance experiences for young professionals across Dorset and Hampshire that join the financial services sector.

Adviser Points of View managed to catch up with Hickson, an independent financial adviser (IFA) at multi-award winning chartered independent financial adviser firm Strategic Solutions.

 

What are your thoughts about being nominated Adviser of the Year?

I was over the moon to have been nominated for the New Talent Awards. I had no idea until I received an email saying I had been nominated and felt appreciated as a younger adviser. The shortlisting process helped me to question my goals and aspirations for my career and gave me more focus on trying to bring new talent into the profession.

What are your thoughts on winning the New Talent Award?

I feel the New Talent Awards is a fantastic recognition of the new era of people working in our profession. I’m very thankful to have won Adviser of the Year and feel it is important for the younger advisers and paraplanners to be recognised in a profession that is ever ageing. I hope that we see more and more people being nominated for these awards as it shows that we’re embracing our younger counterparts and shows that as a profession we are looking to grow.

Tell me a little about your career path.

I feel I was fortunate to join a chartered firm and one with a fantastic culture, which I fully embrace. When I was considering a career in financial services, I was concerned about the reputation of the sector and the negative aspect that had been portrayed in the press in the past, but the actual role has been nothing like what the general public perception was.

I now feel passionate about promoting the wider value of financial planning to others – particularly in younger generations, both for getting advice but also as a wonderful profession to build a career in.

“We need to ensure that we can not only provide longevity for clients throughout their financial life, but also provide longevity for the profession as a whole.”

What do you think about the industry as whole, are more advisers needed for instance?

I think the profession is at a crucial crossroad, with regulation ever changing and the needs of clients ever increasing alongside the ‘threats’ of robo-advice and the ageing client demographic. We need to ensure that we can keep up with the movements we’re sure to see in the coming years.

I’ve always emphasised the importance of bringing in new talent into the profession and use it when I speak with my clients. With the average age of advisers quoted around 58 we need to ensure that we can not only provide longevity for clients throughout their financial life, but also provide longevity for the profession as a whole, whether that is integrating more with robo-advice models or trying to educate the younger generations not just on financial prudency but also on the importance of regulated advice.

I see too many advisers who assume that when the children inherit the parent’s money that the adviser will inherit the child as a client. I work alongside a few other young financial planners and we run a group to help new people get into the profession but also to network with their peers. I’d hope that in five years’ time we’ve dragged that average age of financial advisers down!