With the launch of a new nationwide RIA Intern Network, TD Ameritrade Institutional hopes to arm registered investment advisers (RIAs) with tools and resources to build effective internship programs that can attract and develop young financial advisers.
The firm says it is expecting more than 30% growth in demand for financial services during the next decade—nearly twice the growth rate of all other occupations, as measured by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics “Employment Projections to 2020” study. Other research indicates that the industry is far from positioned to take advantage of the growth, with some 43% of percent of advisers over the age of 55 and just 6% of working advisers under 30 (see “Adviser Population Aging Fast”).
“If we don’t change the course we’re on, there’s a very real threat there won’t be enough young people entering the field to meet the growing demand for financial advice,” warns Tom Nally, president of TD Ameritrade Institutional. “An internal succession transition can take up to ten years to implement, which is why it’s so important that we engage students now and raise awareness of a great career opportunity.”
The RIA Intern Network seeks to facilitate mutually beneficial relationships for advisers looking to fill entry-level roles and students preparing to enter the workforce, the firm says. And by attracting tech-savvy interns to their firms, advisers can be in a better position to capitalize on the generational transfer of wealth from Boomers to Gen X and Gen Y investors.
TD Ameritrade Institutional will provide support and guidance to help RIAs build an effective training and development program within their firms. Advisers participating in the program will receive a comprehensive internship guide that outlines how to build a program that serves their firm’s strategy and creates a valuable experience for students.
Students and advisers will connect through an online portal to post resumes and internship opportunities, while a dedicated LinkedIn page will connect participants for social networking. Students can network with peers interning at other RIA firms across the country and participate in professional development and education programs through a webcast series.
The network could also benefit the RIA industry as it battles rivals in other wealth management channels for the best and brightest, the firm says.
“Even though RIA channel growth is outpacing the broader industry, advisers still face a David and Goliath battle,” says Nally. “Smaller RIA firms with fewer training resources can be challenged to compete for students who may perceive better career opportunities at the larger brokerage firms.”
The guidebook is available now to help advisers lay the groundwork for implementing a successful internship program within their firms. Advisers can download the guide from the TD Ameritrade Institutional Education Center. TD Ameritrade Institutional will launch the online portal and LinkedIn page later this spring, as students and advisers start to gear up for summer internships.