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Conscientious, open minded with high levels of intellect – is this your adviser?

6 November 2019

Conscientiousness has been rated the biggest driver of success among advisers, new research from Quilter has shown.

A personality survey tested 130 investment and pension advisers across five personality traits; extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, intellect and emotional stability. The survey also measured financial metrics as well as advisers’ happiness to determine how those traits correlated with levels of success.

The survey showed that advisers also display high levels of intellect and openness to experience, which proved to be beneficial in the wake of the Retail Distribution Review and marked a shift away from the extroverted sales-orientated personality associated with the pre-RDR era, Quilter said.

Using the findings, the wealth management group has created adviser recruitment toolkits for its members, helping them to attract, interview and select advisers for their business.

Mark Pittaccio, behavioural economist and business consultant, said: “The public perception of the financial advice sector is often tainted by past practices, unfairly characterising advisers as extraverted, high pressure and hard salesmen whose central goal is to sell a product. In reality, the research shows that today’s successful advisers correlate positively with high levels of conscientiousness and an ability to embrace new challenges.

“Shifting perceptions away from outdated stereotypes towards the traits of professional advisers is crucial so people who need financial advice feel they can get trusted advice.”

Scott Stevens, head of adviser recruitment and development, Quilter, added: “With 7,000 advisers due to retire in the next few years bringing more people into the industry is crucial.

But it’s not enough to just have more advisers, we need the right advisers. This research provides us and our member firms with the tools to not only showcase why being an adviser is a brilliant career, but also ensure that when candidates come to us they are a good fit.

Ensuring the resilience of the advice industry is crucial for the wellbeing of the nation as face to face advice provides not only better financial outcomes for their clients but also peace of mind.”