With many advisers wondering how to bring new blood into the profession, one IFA has brought his own son into the fold.
Ross Jefferies, son of Gary Jefferies, director of Tunbridge Wells-based H&D Wealth (TW), has started as an apprentice at the business. After leaving school last year, he joined his father and began training.
‘It was a tricky decision because most of my friends were going to university, but I was not sure it was right for me. Gary wanted to build the empire with me at his side, so that decided it,’ says Jefferies, who wants to reach diploma level in three years and become chartered three years after that.
Jefferies’ apprenticeship is run through Bromley College, which provides a supervisor and funding.
As the course is mostly self-taught, Jefferies is focusing on exams and works mostly from home, where work is a topic of conversation at any time of day. ‘We’re quite similar and there’s not really a break at the moment between home life and work life, so he is inescapable,’ says Jefferies. ‘I’ve been fired about 30 times and I just carry on working. He loves it because he’s always got a scapegoat.’
The Young Directors Forum, a club run by the Institute of Directors that helps young people in business to network and share ideas, has provided an escape, including a recent event at the Houses of Parliament. He has also attended financial services seminars. ‘It’s a really good way of learning and meeting people,’ he says. ‘I’m starting to get recognised more; I’m the only young person there.’
While he has youth on his side, Jefferies lacks experience. However, he thinks he can use his youth to his advantage. ‘Anyone leaving university who can’t afford to buy a house, or clients’ children and people receiving an inheritance can be directed towards me. There is going to be a gap with no young advisers around so I have a head start. I like to think I’ll have an advantage.’
Jefferies is already building up his skills, managing cashflow analysis and preparing to build on the firm’s 300 clients as he takes on more responsibility.
He plans to specialise in auto-enrolment, visiting smaller businesses to ask whether they have their workplace pensions in place.
By Felicity Kneeshaw
30 April 2015