Llewellyn sees gap in financial advisory recruitment in SA

After close to two years of research and due diligence, Llewellyn Paulse of The Recruitment Council saw a need for a firm focusing on the financial advisory sector in South Africa.

"On paper a candidate might look great insofar as his or her qualifications and background, but what makes us truly special is our highly skilled team of recruiters who know how to dig deeper in ensuring we take into account the unseen candidate requirements like barriers to entering the financial planning industry; class of business; date of first appointment (DOFA); supervision; and fit and proper requirements," Paulse tells Fin24.

"Historically, financial advisors have been remunerated solely on commission, this being a major challenge to enter the market and build a sustainable financial planning practice. We are now seeing that the market is shifting and implementing new and innovative models."

He explains that recruiting within the financial advisory space is not a simple undertaking as the requirements dictated by the industry and clients require an entrepreneurial individual, practicing within a corporate landscape.

Furthermore, a successful candidate has to have the following attributes: proven technical abilities alongside strong social and networking skills. In addition, the candidate must be able to keep abreast of industry trends and regulatory shifts such as Treating Customers Fairly (TCF).

"From humble beginnings my career has included setting up start up divisions and working for various blue chip and listed corporations that included head hunting and placing CFOs or running teams of high-level sales executives," explains Paulse.

In his view, most start up entrepreneurs underestimate the time frames required to reach profitable status as well as the costs associated with building a business that is going to last.

His advice to would-be entrepreneurs is to focus predominantly on your strengths and to outsource your weaknesses. Alternatively, find a partner that compliments you and your business plan.

"In order to become the authority and a market leader don't dilute your focus by trying to do too many things that are average to good. Rather apply yourself, your skill and service offering to become exceptional in one area," he says.

"Lastly, know why you are doing it. When the going gets tough this will keep you going on your entrepreneurial pursuit."