Ladenburg’s National Conference in Washington, DC served as host to 21 college students this past August. The students in this year’s program represented 20 different universities including John Hopkins, UConn, Syracuse and Roger Williams. Forty percent were the children or grandchildren of affiliated financial advisors who were able to share valuable insights about the industry with their peers. All the students were juniors or seniors majoring in a field of business such as Finance, Economics or Business Administration. About half the group were on the path to becoming a financial advisor while the remainder were interested to learn more about the profession.
The agenda for this Link to the Future program included a foundational session covering regulation, licensing, common terminology and an in-depth look at five key roles in the financial services industry: financial advisor, advisor support, wholesaler, investment banking, corporate finance, and broker-dealer executive. A panel representing these areas shed light on the diversity of roles available to students who are still exploring their career options. Ted Talks from four advisors with distinct business models helped students grasp the concept of being an independent business owner and the decisions involved in running an advisory practice. The students particularly enjoyed the open discussion with the advisors, using their time to gain perspective on the day-to-day functions of being an advisor and garnering best practices for getting started. Finally, students were introduced to technology and how it is impacting the advice industry in innovative ways. This topic sparked immediate interest and lots of questions from the students who had not fully considered this concept.
When students weren’t in dedicated sessions, they were engaging with their advisor hosts; networking with over 500 financial advisors, vendors and industry executives; and listening to discussions on topics ranging from economics to politics to investment products to strategies for success. All were immensely excited to hear form General Colin Powell as a keynote speaker.
This smart group of young people demonstrated interest and enthusiasm for our industry. Three are currently working in a broker-dealer home office, one is already working as an assistant to a financial advisor, three are exploring more about our industry through the Envestnet Institute on Campus program, and one will attend the Ladenburg Institute for Women and Finance Link to the Future program to network and learn even more.
The future looks bright!