Career options in financial services

The financial services industry offers a range of career options and many people will start in one area of the industry and move onto others as their knowledge and skills increase.

The most common roles are:

Financial adviser

May do some or all of:

  • Help clients identify or clarify their short, medium, and long-term financial goals.

  • Prepare suitable financial plans/statements of advice to help clients achieve their goals.

  • Review and (depending on specialisation) make recommendations on clients' taxation, retirement planning, sources of income, estate planning and insurance needs.

  • Monitor clients’ progress towards their goals – reporting to clients on a regular basis and encouraging them to keep to their plans.

Paraplanner / Adviser assistant

Works with financial advisers to complete the non-client facing tasks such as preparing the financial plans for clients, including undertaking research, and reviewing progress. Note paraplanners do not provide any advice to the client.

Practice manager

Manages an adviser practice undertaking standard office manager duties, but also duties related to advisers such as commission payments, ensuring regulatory compliance of advisers.

Compliance officer

Oversees the policies, procedures and controls of an adviser practice/company to ensure all regulatory compliance requirements are met at all times. May also develop and put in place those policies and procedures and must keep up to date with all changes to legislation and regulation, and industry best practice.

Career paths

For those starting out in the industry, possible career steps and relevant study for an adviser would be:

Career path Study
Customer services / teller in a bank Start your NZ Certificate Level 5 study with Core Strand.
Assess bank mortgage lending applications
Advise the bank’s clients on mortgage applications Complete the Residential Property Lending Strand to gain your Level 5 Certificate.
Move to a private company to advise on mortgages Complete the Financial Advice Strand to gain wider knowledge on professionalism when providing advice.
Leave and start your own mortgage advisory company Complete the Investment Strand and/or the General Insurance Strand and apply for authorisation. Follow up with ongoing professional development training.
Take on more advisers/staff, offer investment and insurance advice Undertake further continuing professional development.

This is just one example of how a person may start in the industry, undertake relevant study, and build a rewarding career. If you would like advice on building a career based on your personal situation and career aspirations, contact us to discuss your options.