Fidelity Life opens applications for financial adviser training program

Five scholarships worth up to $5,000 each awarded to outstanding applicants

Fidelity Life opens applications for financial adviser training program

Insurance News

By Kenneth Araullo

New Zealand’s largest locally owned life insurer, Fidelity Life, has opened applications for the second batch of its financial adviser training program, Career connect. The insurer also announced the four inaugural scholarship recipients, awarded to outstanding applicants within the field.

Career connect is a program aimed at kickstarting the careers of the next generation of financial advisers in New Zealand, in addition to supporting a more accessible, diverse, and sustainable advice industry for all residents of Aotearoa. Five scholarships, each worth up to $5,000, are awarded to outstanding candidates within groups that are typically under-represented within the financial services sector, including Māori, Pasifika, and women.

Inaugural scholarship recipients

Bronwyn Kirwan, Fidelity Life chief sales and service officer, said that she was encouraged by the first scholarship recipients’ diverse backgrounds that span different regions, cultures, lifestyles, and professions.

“The interest we’ve had in the first Career connect intake has been amazing. We received almost 30 submissions for the scholarships alone and were highly impressed by the calibre of applicants,” Kirwan said.

According to Kirwan, the judging panel focused on the candidates’ ability to display the soft skills needed to be a great financial adviser. These include great communication skills, strong interpersonal and relationship-building skills, interest in the sector, and how they hoped to serve their communities once becoming a qualified financial adviser.

The inaugural scholarship recipients of Fidelity Life’s Career connect program include:

  • Pounamu scholarship: Marei Chaney (Auckland). This scholarship is designed to assist an outstanding Māori applicant. Chaney is an educator with a passion for improving financial literacy among Māori communities.
  • Kowhai scholarship: Jae Viliamu (Taupō). This scholarship is designed to assist an outstanding Pasifika applicant. Viliamu comes from a construction background and wants to help his Pasifika community get financially ahead with the value of good financial advice.
  • Rangi Po scholarship: Jan Bliss (Auckland). This scholarship is designed to assist an outstanding applicant from other underrepresented communities within financial services, which, in this case, is women. Bliss is an accountant committed to helping women have greater financial security at every life stage.
  • Toe Toe scholarship: Jamie Ward (Nelson). This scholarship is designed to assist an outstanding applicant aged 21 to 25 years old. Ward is currently a student pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in international relations and political science at Victoria University.

“Real promise from our first participants”

“New Zealanders are beginning to realise they can achieve better financial outcomes by seeking professional financial advice,” Kirwan said. “Especially in tough times like these, as recent weather events have shown and as interest rates and the cost of living continue to rise, having a good understanding of your financial position and having appropriate protection in place can make all the difference.”

Kirwan further explained the role financial advisers play in helping people better protect themselves, their whānau and in becoming more financially resilient.

“Financial matters can be highly personal though, so it’s crucial we work towards building an industry that better reflects the diversity we see in New Zealand,” she said. “Two weeks into the programme, we're already seeing real promise from our first 14 participants. We can’t wait to see all our Career connect graduates give back to their communities in a meaningful way.”

Applications for the July 2023 intake of the inaugural Career connect program are open until May 12. The Career connect online career evenings on April 11 and April 18 will also reveal more information about the program, including what to expect in becoming a qualified financial adviser.

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