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21 November 2022
New Zealand’s largest locally owned life insurer Fidelity Life has announced five new scholarships worth up to $5,000 each, aimed at helping broaden the mix of financial advisers to more closely match the rich diversity of New Zealand’s communities.
Scholarship recipients will reflect groups typically under-represented in the financial advice industry, including Māori, Pasifika and women. The five successful applicants will be part of the 20 candidates selected for Fidelity Life’s new financial adviser education and skills programme, Career connect.
Fidelity Life Head of Solutions and Services Trecia Brown says Career connect was developed to help drive a more vibrant advice industry to better meet New Zealanders’ growing need for professional financial advice.
“Studies from regulators and industry associations have shown that New Zealanders who access professional financial advice are consistently better off than those who don’t. In these challenging economic times, we want all New Zealanders to have better access to financial advice.”
According to research by the Financial Services Council (FSC) released in February 2021, more than 80% of adviser respondents were male, just under 87% identified as European and 73.5% were aged over 50, indicating a clear lack of diversity within the sector.
“Money matters are personal, so people need to feel comfortable building a long term relationship with an adviser they can relate to,” says Trecia.
“For example, a report in 2019 from the Commission of Financial Capability (CFFC) discovered Māori to have the lowest rates of insurance in New Zealand. Some of this is thought to be down to cultural values of manaakitanga, which sees communities band together in their time of need.
“Currently only around 2% of financial advisers identify as Māori. We want to support the provision of advice to all New Zealanders, so we can help raise awareness on risk protection and how insurance can help whānau if the unexpected were to happen.
“That’s why our scholarships are designed to support greater diversity in our industry, so our scholarship recipients can be supported to serve their communities, provide relevant and accessible advice, and help close the under insurance gap in New Zealand,” concludes Trecia.
About the scholarships.
The five new Career connect scholarships are:
- Pounamu scholarship – to assist outstanding Māori applicants.
- Kōwhai scholarship – to assist outstanding Pasifika applicants.
- Rangi Po scholarship – to assist underrepresented communities within the financial services sector.
- Toe Toe scholarship –to assist outstanding young applicants aged 21-25 years old.
- Pāua scholarship – to assist applicants who demonstrate excellence in their submission.
Each scholarship is valued at up to $5,000 and will cover the costs of the two formal qualifications – the NZ Certificate in Financial Services Level 5 (Life and Health) and Financial Advice New Zealand’s (FANZ) Ethics course – in addition to some support payments to assist scholarship recipients during their six-month part-time Career connect study.
About Career connect.
Designed to attract, train, and connect fresh talent to the sector, the first Career connect intake will take place in February 2023, with another scheduled for July 2023.
Fidelity Life will select 20 candidates, including up to five scholarship recipients, per intake, based on applicants’ registrations outlining why they’re interested in becoming a financial adviser.
Qualified Career connect advisers will be given networking opportunities with existing adviser businesses for potential employment and are not obliged to sell or distribute Fidelity Life products.
Candidates without a scholarship are only required to pay for their formal certificates (approx. $2,300), with all other wrap around support provided by Fidelity Life at no cost.
Ahead of the February 2023 intake, Fidelity Life has hosted two online career evenings to provide more details on the programme, along with what it’s like to be a practicing financial adviser. The career evenings attracted people from a range of professions including teachers, engineers, nurses, business owners and more.
Those looking for a career change or interested in finding out more are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications to the programme and scholarships close on 30 November, with successful candidates announced in January 2023.
For more information on Career connect visit: www.fidelitylife.co.nz/our-story/career-connect/
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