Securities America announced the launch of its ‘Link to the Future’ scholarship program to inspire current advisors’ college-age sons and daughters, as well as other finance-oriented university students, to pursue careers in the financial advice industry by enabling them to attend the firm’s Connect National Conference in New Orleans from June 3-6.
The Link to the Future program will enable 30 college juniors and seniors to attend the Connect Conference by covering all conference expenses, meals and hotel accommodations, if necessary, and will provide a stipend for students’ travel. With its unique focus on encouraging and educating college-age children of current advisors as well as New Orleans-area university students, the program addresses the challenge of building the next generation of advisors by leveraging Securities America’s powerful expertise in fostering the development of successful multi-generational practices and its longstanding commitment to guiding college students toward careers in the financial advice industry.
Link to the Future is a crucial part of Securities America’s effort to address the question of where the next generation of advisors will come from, but it’s also much more than that,” said Janine Wertheim, Securities America senior vice president and chief marketing officer.
“By leveraging the energy, expertise and drive of our advisors themselves,” she continued, “Link to the Future will enable us to forge new relationships with rising college students who have a passion for building their own businesses and making a positive difference in people’s lives through sound financial guidance. And for the sons and daughters of current advisors, we believe that Link to the Future will provide the perfect catalyst to help them join the industry, so that they can take the reins when the time comes and build successful, truly multi-generational family businesses.”
Link to the Future scholarship recipients will enjoy extensive opportunities to network with financial advisors at the Connect Conference, attend general sessions, and take part in a specifically-designed curriculum of breakout sessions and workshops developed to help inspire and inform their careers. Sessions will focus on the basics of financial planning, FINRA exams, resume building, interview best practices and career paths in financial services, and will include a panel discussion featuring advisors and other financial professionals talking about the experience of working in the industry.
Each Link to the Future student will be paired with an individual advisor who they can ‘shadow’ through portions of the conference, look to for further clarity and insight on various conference topics and get to know over the course of the event. It’s likely that many of the student-advisor pairs will continue to be in touch after the conference ends, Wertheim said.
Link to the Future was developed following extensive discussions with Securities America advisors, and factored in advisors’ responses to a survey the firm conducted earlier this year to gain insights into their views on industry demographics and their own succession plans. Among other priorities, the survey indicated that advisors are eager to find new and creative ways to identify, motivate and train the next generation of advisors.
Link to the Future scholarship winners will be chosen by the end of April, with preference given to applicants who are studying business and / or finance.
Wertheim said, “Securities America’s powerful intellectual capital and thought leadership on the issues that impact advisors every day are compelling draws for growth-oriented advisors. Link to the Future provides another outstanding example of how our thought leadership translates into solutions for advisors who want to help identify and train the next generation of financial professionals.”
She concluded, “This program is a natural extension of our work in helping advisors build multi-generational practices, since we already have a strong and successful network of parent / child businesses. Link to the Future will provide a special opportunity for more advisors who hope to build family-owned practices that stand the test of time by bringing their sons and daughters into the profession. We look forward to giving back to this year’s host community for our Connect National Conference – New Orleans – through this inaugural program, and to offering Link to the Future at our conferences for many years to come.”