The firm's details of its training program demonstrates how talent acquisition and development is a high-priority issue – or ought to be – for the North American wealth management sector.
Envestnet, a wealth management systems business listed in New York, says that a student training program reported record attendance this year – a message coming at a time when concerns about talent shortage continue to swirl around the industry.
The firm said 882 students took part in the Envestnet Institute On Campus (EIOC) program during the 2022 spring session. This was the highest number of participants in any session of the online career-training initiative so far, the firm said. A quarter (25 per cent) of the participants (221 people) are first-generation college and university students.
“With each passing session, we are adding to the pool of diverse, entry-level, and workforce-ready talent who are prepared to take their place among the next generation of wealth management professionals,” Jean Heath, managing director and head of the Asset Manager Network at Envestnet, and chair of Envestnet Institute On Campus, said.
The US has a wealth management talent crunch to confront. The average age of advisors has been creeping up. With trillions of dollars of assets slated to change hands over the next few years as Baby Boomers pass on, there is a need for a new cohort of advisors to pick up the baton. According to Allan R Starkie, a partner at Knightsbridge Advisors, the loss of client-facing, revenue-producing advisors in the US is “staggering.” In 2007 the country had 330,000 of them, by 2017 the number had dropped to 280,000, and continues to drop each year. Almost half of these professionals are over 55 years old, and only about 92,000 of them are focused on high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients.
Envestnet said the EIOC curriculum encompasses seven self-paced, hour-long eLearning courses with mandatory exams which are available at no cost to participating students and schools. Program participants can also receive an additional four hours of optional professional training which includes their résumés in the EIOC’s Résumé Hub. This database can be used by asset and wealth management firms seeking to hire diverse young talent for internships and entry-level positions, the firm said.
The EIOC, established by Envestnet in 2015, is now available to students at 49 participating colleges and universities across the US, including four historically Black colleges and universities.
As of June 30, more than 6,000 students have completed the program, which has surpassed its original goal of training over 5,000 students by year-end 2021.
Envestnet partners with other financial institutions to expand the EIOC program, with Franklin Templeton having recently signed on as a sponsor.
The firm’s involvement in training programs is significant, because more than 105,000 advisors and over 6,500 companies – including 16 of the 20 largest US banks, 47 of the 50 largest wealth management and brokerage firms, over 500 of the largest RIAs – use Envestnet technology and services.