The rising financial prowess of young millenials, Generation Z and women - who are set to overtake the number of men that are millionaires this year - means there will be a need for much better wealth management and advice that serves them in the coming years.
And it is imperative that employees have an awareness of the behaviours and desires of these future wealth holders in order to ensure they are serving them well. Yet all too often unconscious biases within the recruitment process means some investment firms are ‘hiring in their own image'.
Speaking as part of Investment Week's Diversity Debates series, Catherine Morgan, a qualified investment adviser whose market base consists mainly of women between the ages of 30 and 50, believes many asset managers and investment firms are continuing to use an "old-fashioned recruitment process of CVs and qualifications" to judge the right candidates for a job. In many cases this process means employers are missing out on picking the best candidates for the role.
"The millennial generation do not feel they can go and seek advice [from and advisor] because they cannot afford it...or there are not many firms that can deliver advice aimed at their age range. [There is also] a trust gap and clients want to see a financial adviser whose focus is going to be on specific types of products suited to them. We need to manage [these needs] and ensure we serve this consumer base."
A candidate may offer opportunities around gut instincts, intuition, which would be amazing to bring into a business
Catherine Morgan, adviser
Yet Morgan believes many asset management firms' recruitment processes remain stuck in traditional methods, using templated CVs and application form and often only judging candidates based on their educational qualifications.
"There is today hugely exciting technology about how to understand the cognitive biases that affect us as human beings at all levels. And actually a candidate may offer opportunities around gut instincts, intuition, which would be amazing to bring into a business in some form."
Michael Akinwotu, proposition owner at Smart Pension and formerly of Boring Money a told the panel his own personal experience of working in the industry emphasised the need for a new way of thinking when it comes to recruiting younger candidates.
"I personally wanted to work somewhere with a steep learning curve where I could make an impact. At Boring Money, it was quite easily tangible to see the benefit it has on people. We are looking to help consumers make better financial decisions and we are going to use our interactions with consumers to help the investment industry make better products that speak to consumers."