Fidelity Life’s first Career connect graduates step straight into jobs with advice businesses.

Fidelity Life’s first Career connect graduates step straight into jobs with advice businesses.

Media release

8 August 2023

Five newly-minted graduates of Fidelity Life’s financial adviser training programme Career connect have walked straight into roles with advice businesses around New Zealand.

A ceremony for Career connect’s inaugural 11 graduates, all of whom have achieved their level 5 certificate in financial services, was held at Fidelity Life’s Auckland office last Friday.

Fidelity Life Senior Solutions Manager Sarah-may Butterfield says it’s rewarding to see the first group of fully qualified advisers emerge from Career connect.

“As our July 2023 graduates embark on their new careers as financial advisers, I’m so proud of the dedication and mahi they’ve put in to completing the course. Five graduates have already accepted positions, and seven are in discussions with adviser businesses, and it’s great to see our vision for Career connect coming to fruition. 

“Our Career connect participants are passionate about upskilling and helping their communities become more financially resilient, and this is evidenced through the fact that most completed the programme while also holding down full-time roles elsewhere,” says Sarah-may.      

One new graduate who’s already found a new role is Stephanie Wilson. Recently appointed as Client Services Manager at Auckland advice business Insurance Market Collective, she’s keen to help her fellow young New Zealanders build better financial resilience through making advice more accessible.

“I applied for Career connect after realising many of my peers didn’t have a great handle on their finances nor did they understand how insurance can offer them protection and how financial advice fits into all of that.

“Career connect offers such a supportive and encouraging learning environment. I found the added benefit of connecting with potential employers great, as being new to the industry, I felt a bit intimidated. I’m really looking forward to putting the knowledge I’ve gained into practice, learning how an advice business works and further growing my skillset under an experienced mentor,” says Stephanie.

Johny Winstone, Stephanie’s mentor and Director at Insurance Market Collective saw the opportunity to be part of Career connect as a mutual benefit as he looks to grow the business.

“Finding good talent is difficult and time consuming. Not only does Career connect help teach, train and qualify up-and-coming advisers, it enables us to support new advisers coming into the industry with confidence, knowing Fidelity Life has laid the all-important groundwork.

“We’re excited to have Stephanie on board to show her the ropes and already have a progress plan in place, so we can support her in becoming a successful financial adviser,” says Johny.

Fidelity Life has also announced the seven successful scholarship recipients for Career connect’s second intake, which commenced late last month.

  • Pounamu scholarship - to assist an outstanding Māori applicant: Josh Lose (Ngāti Maniapoto), Auckland. Always looking for ways to upskill, Josh was keen on the idea of helping people prepare for the unexpected, especially given the importance of whanaungatanga (kinship, familial connection) and the sacrifices Māori often make to support whā
  • Kōwhai scholarship - to assist an outstanding Pasifika applicant:Nimmi Valia, Auckland. With 20 years’ experience in general insurance, Nimmi sees this as a great opportunity to make the shift to advice, and positively impact the lives of others while having a challenging and fulfilling career.
  • Rangi Po Scholarship - to assist an outstanding applicant from other under-represented communities within financial services: Naveen Bhatia, Glenbrook. With nine years’ experience in insurance, Naveen has seen first-hand the benefits of receiving the right advice and wants to help people, especially those in the disability community, be better equipped for the future.
  • Toe Toe scholarship - designed to assist an outstanding applicant aged 21-25 years old: Kiri Venkatesh, Auckland. With a passion for helping people, Kiri wants to help educate, identify solutions and assist people in reaching their financial goals.
  • Pāua scholarship to assist an applicant who demonstrates excellence in their submission: Chloe Balderstone, Lincoln. Having always been curious about finance and getting a financial adviser qualification, after 10 years in the FMCG industry, Chloe is keen to work with people in a meaningful way to help achieve their goals.
  • Rural scholarships, brought to you by FMG – to assist two outstanding applicants with a rural connection:
    • Sara Buerki, Dunedin. A people person and current stable hand at Westwood Stables, Sara wants to help set people up for the future by providing them with quality financial advice.
    • Alice Perry, Oamaru. With a background in insurance, Alice understands the importance of good advice and wants to help others make educated and informed decisions.

“Congratulations to all our scholarship recipients. They showed incredible heart in their submissions and displayed promising abilities and attributes required to be great financial advisers - such as great communication skills, strong interpersonal and relationship building skills and a keen interest in the sector,” concludes Sarah-may. 

Career connect runs two 6-month-long intakes each year, with the current intake set to complete their studies in December 2023. To date Career connect has received over 110 applicants. With a focus on attracting those from groups typically under-represented within the financial services sector, a range of scholarships are available, including for Māori, Pasifika and women applicants.  

For more information on Career connect, click here.