HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- While Generation Y may seem uninterested in what advisors do, they ironically may be the very group most suited for careers as financial advisors.
Gen Yers are community oriented and want to make the world a better place, said Betty Moon, executive director of research and business intelligence firm BISRA, in an interview here at BISA's 2015 annual convention.
"If we're thinking about trying to figure out where we get the next generation of financial advisors, maybe we leverage those characteristics of that generation and show them why a career teaching people how to make good financial decisions would be a wonderful way for them to spend their working years," she said.
As the wealth management industry looks to replenish its ranks, it should also keep in mind the changing demographics of the population. The U.S. is becoming more diverse but the industry hasn't kept pace with the changes, she said, noting that the industry is still "fairly homogenized."
"How are we going to find more diverse candidates to bring into our organizations who can meet the needs of our customers and communicate in a way that they can make connections with a more diverse population," she said, framing the issue for the industry.
As is often noted, advisors are getting on in years and not enough new advisors are stepping into the profession to replace them. In the bank channel, for example, where the average advisor is 45 years old, the number of advisors entering the industry fell 3.6% from 2008 to 2013, according to data from Cerulli Associates.
Despite the challenge of rejuvenating the ranks of advisors and other concerns weighing on the industry, Moon has never felt more optimistic. The near 30-year veteran of the wealth management industry was one of the first financial advisors in a bank branch in Ohio and has seen the evolution of the business.
"I feel more positive about our business now than I think I probably ever have," she said. "We have some challenges ahead of us, but I think that what we're doing for the banks is being recognized as strengthening the relationship with their customers."