The industry needs people. The financial planning sector is losing about 3,000 to 4,000 advisors annually who aren’t being replaced, creating an “acute crisis,” as Pershing Advisor Solutions CEO Mark Tibergien told the audience at the Deals & Deal Makers Summit this fall.

With a shortage of experienced wealth managers to recruit, one key solution is to recruit and train new graduates. But as advisors know, finding the right people and cultivating their development is a challenging task.

Over the last year or so, I noticed that some firms were doing a particularly good job at this — and that those firms were succeeding by developing close-knit relationships with the educational institutions bringing people into the business.

A story last year featured Richard Brown of JNBA Financial Advisors in Minneapolis, which has helped shape the planning program at the University of Minnesota at Duluth. Planning students benefit from using an off-campus financial planning learning lab, where Brown teaches the semester’s capstone course; in turn, Brown and his partner (and wife), Kim Brown, can pluck the top students to hire as younger associates.

Pioneering firm Evensky & Katz, similarly, benefits from partner Deena Katz’s status as an associate professor in Texas Tech’s well-regarded planning program; two of her firm’s three Texas-based advisors are Tech graduates.

As we approached our Great Schools issue this year, we wondered: What other firms are working closely with those institutions to mentor, train and eventually recruit young planners — and what best practices do they have to share with the rest of the industry? 

We also, of course, present our annual list of schools with strong planning programs. And elsewhere in the issue, columnist Glenn G. Kautt and contributor Christine Gaze offer specific tips for hiring and training new advisors.

Now it’s your turn. The CFP Board currently certifies a whopping 372 financial planning educational programs. Look through their list, find a school near you, and get involved — offering guest lectures, hosting interns and mentoring students.

And let us know how it works out. Your firm might be part of the story in the future.

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