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28 February 2023
New Zealand’s largest locally owned life insurer Fidelity Life has today opened applications for the second intake of its financial adviser training programme, Career connect and announced four inaugural scholarship recipients.
Career connect aims to kick start the careers of New Zealand’s next generation of financial advisers and support a more accessible, diverse and sustainable advice industry for all New Zealanders.
The five scholarships, worth up to $5,000 each, are awarded to outstanding applicants from groups typically under-represented within the financial services sector including Māori, Pasifika and women.
Fidelity Life Chief Sales and Service Officer Bronwyn Kirwan says she was encouraged by the first scholarship recipients’ diverse backgrounds, spanning different regions, cultures, lifestyles, and professions.
“The interest we’ve had in the first Career connect intake has been amazing. We received almost 30 submissions for the scholarships alone and were highly impressed by the calibre of applicants.
“When determining the scholarship winners, our judging panel focused on candidates’ ability to display the soft skills needed to be a great financial adviser. These include great communication skills, strong interpersonal and relationship building skills, interest in the sector and how they hoped to serve their communities once becoming a qualified financial adviser.”
Fidelity Life’s inaugural Career connect scholarship recipients include:
- Pounamu scholarship - Marei Chaney (Auckland), designed to assist an outstanding Māori applicant. Marei is an educator, with a passion for improving financial literacy among Māori communities.
- Kōwhai scholarship - Jae Viliamu (Taupō), designed to assist an outstanding Pasifika applicant. Jae has a construction background and through personal experience, understands the value of good financial advice and wants to help his Pasifika community get financially ahead.
- Rangi Po scholarship - Jan Bliss (Auckland), designed to assist an outstanding applicant from other underrepresented communities within financial services. Jan is an accountant by trade and is committed to helping woman have greater financial security at every life stage.
- Toe Toe scholarship - Jamie Ward (Nelson), designed to assist an outstanding applicant aged 21-25 years old. Jamie is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and Political Science at Victoria University. Always keen to help others, he wants to make a positive difference through his financial advice.
“New Zealanders are beginning to realise they can achieve better financial outcomes by seeking professional financial advice. Especially in tough times like these, as recent weather events have shown and as interest rates and the cost of living continue to rise, having a good understanding of your financial position and having appropriate protection in place can make all the difference,” says Bronwyn.
“Financial advisers have a significant role to play in helping people better protect themselves, their whānau and in becoming more financially resilient. Financial matters can be highly personal though, so it’s crucial we work towards building an industry that better reflects the diversity we see in New Zealand.
“Two weeks into the programme we're already seeing real promise from our first 14 participants. We can’t wait to see all our Career connect graduates give back to their communities in a meaningful way,” concludes Bronwyn.
The inaugural Career connect intake began on 15 February, with applications for the July 2023 intake open from today until 12 May. More information on the programme, including what to expect in becoming a qualified financial adviser, will be showcased at the Career connect online career evenings on 11 and 18 April 2023.
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