Absa bridges the skills gap

03 October 2011 Absa

Absa  announced that, as part of its contribution to skills development and job creation in the financial services sector, it has successfully trained the first group of Financial Advisers through the Absa Insurance and Financial Adviser Academy.

The first group of the trained Financial Advisers will now be integrated into Absa, where they will provide the much-needed financial advice to clients.

“This will complement the number of advisers who will be able to provide informed financial services advice to existing and potential customers and, thereby, boost the culture of savings and investments in our country,” says Izak Smit, Managing Executive for Absa Distribution, the business unit that houses the Academy.

“Established in 2010, the academy presents us with an opportunity to grow our own talent from grassroots level in order to meet the scarce and critical skills in the financial services sector,” says Smit.

He adds: “The role of Financial Advisers can never be over-emphasised. Absa has adopted a customer-focused approach to continue to provide an excellent customer experience. Having the services of fully trained Financial Advisers is one of the initiatives that will assist us in providing a high-quality experience to our customers.”

Commenting on the successful training of the Financial Advisers, Head of the Academy, Rabbia Sarang, said: “This marks a very significant milestone in the relatively short existence of the academy as it will continue to develop high-calibre, professional advisers with the necessary skills and competencies who will be able to meet the evolving needs of our clients.”

The academy recruits trainee Financial Advisers in line with business requirements. Since its establishment, there have been three intakes, namely, in October 2010, February 2011 and October 2011.

The trainees undergo a rigorous and intense programme to allow them to develop the skills needed to assume the responsibilities expected of a competent Financial Adviser, while ensuring that they comply with the Fit and Proper requirements of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act.

Development Managers who possess extensive financial planning skills, knowledge and extensive industry experience, coach and mentor the trainee Financial Advisers in all key aspects of financial advice.

“In providing industry-recognised training to our financial advisory staff, Absa is ensuring that our academy will ultimately benefit the investment choices and portfolios of our customers,” concludes Smit.

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