Commonwealth expands Talent Exchange Initiative

Commonwealth Financial Network has announced the expansion of its Talent Exchange Initiative, which aims to connect skilled students from top universities that offer certified financial planning programs with the firm’s affiliated advisers.

The initiative is an expansion of the pilot program started at Bentley University last year. It will help cultivate relationships between students and advisors and support the needs of Commonwealth’s affiliated firms, while ushering in a new generation of talented individuals.

According to a recent study conducted in partnership with Cerulli Associates, 37% of financial advisors are expected to retire in the next decade, leaving clients with less access to advisors. This study shows that educating the next generation of financial planners is critical to closing this gap.

“With a sharp focus on eliminating barriers in the student-to-advisor pipeline, we developed the Talent Exchange Initiative to build strategic partnerships with higher-learning institutions and connect students and alumni with our advisors,” David Israel, vice president, field outreach, at Commonwealth, said in a statement. “We made the decision to highlight institutions specifically offering CFP programs in accordance with their financial planning degree curricula to ensure a high standard of applicant quality.”

The initiative encourages applicants to connect with Commonwealth advisors from the beginning of the program to find common ground and build trust. The program offers a variety of benefits, such as an increased presence on the campuses of partner schools, a directory of talent so affiliated advisors can connect and engage with candidates directly throughout the year, as well as an internal development track that provides education, training and resources to new hires.

In addition, universities participating in the program and their students will be invited to join Commonwealth at its National Conference Oct. 11–14 in Aurora, Colorado. The students will meet the advisor community, network with other students and staff and leave with competitive offers for internship and employment opportunities.

Universities currently partnering with Commonwealth include Bentley University, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech, the University of Akron, Temple University, Bryant University, Delaware State University and Utah Valley University.

“Through our pilot program with Bentley University last year, Commonwealth supported connections that led to meaningful work opportunities for students in the Greater Boston area,” Israel said. “We are committed to finding a solution to the succession planning concerns the industry faces. And we support our advisors and honor their legacies by ensuring that their clients have access to the next generation of independent advice from those with a vested interest in their long-term success.”

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