Exchange Street Executive Search is one of the leading recruiters in the UK for IFA jobs.
IFA jobs (Independent Financial Advisers) are for professionals who offer independent advice on financial matters to clients and recommend suitable products from across the market.
IFA jobs are for advisers working independently rather than representing an insurance company, bank or bancassurer.
IFA jobs are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and must meet strict qualification and competence requirements.
IFA jobs represent one class of adviser, the others being tied advisers and multi-tied advisers.
Individuals and businesses consult IFAs on many matters including investment, retirement planning, insurance, protection and mortgages (or other loans). IFAs also advise on some tax and legal matters.
The entry level is normally the Financial Planning Certificate (FPC) or its successor the Certificate in Financial Planning (CFP). The next level is the Advanced Financial Planning Certificate (AFPC) and Diploma in Financial Planning (DFP). The next level is the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning. The highest level is Certified Financial Planner (CFP).
All IFA’s also have an obligation to keep up with current developments in the profession through Continuous Professional Development. There are many advanced and more specialised qualifications an IFA may take throughout their career.
To offer financial advice an individual must request or be an appointed representative of a firm registered with the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The FSA requires that firms ensure that individuals acting for them have appropriate qualifications.
There are different ways to begin training for IFA jobs.
Paraplanner jobs within an IFA firm can provide a good starting point, which gives time to study the industry exams, understand the terminology, procedures and processes.
Product provider companies and banks can also be a good learning ground for IFA jobs.
IFA jobs can be pursued by applying to become an Appointed Representative of a Network. These are groups of smaller IFA firms who share business support functions and are contracted to work within the Networks rules. These IFA jobs are within firms called National IFA’s and are offered on an employed basis by a National IFA for which a salary is received.
For IFA jobs in which you ‘go it alone’ you need to seek direct authorisation with the FSA. This is achievable only after having gained experience in the financial services market, usually at least three years. You have to provide all your own business support functions e.g. compliance, IT, research and training and competency services and ensure you keep track of all regulatory requirements.
Earnings within IFA jobs can vary. Those with entrepreneurial flair can quickly build an independent advisory firm of quality with a financial return to match. Earnings will depend on the clients' wealth, their confidence in the IFA, expertise, experience and effort, amongst other things.