Skip to content

M&G Wealth Advice Academy: An interview with Tom Hagerty  

Find Your Next Job

Everything you need to know about M&G Wealth Advice academy

The Financial Planner Life has something very exciting to announce…

This week marks the launch of The Financial Planner Life Academies. An amalgamation of leading financial planning academies and entry-level opportunities within the financial planning profession.

Check out our very first academy, M&G Wealth and click here if you want to get involved.

Here’s an overview of the podcast episode.

Sam Oakes: I am joined by Tom Hegarty of M&G Wealth and we’re going to be talking about their brand-new Wealth Adviser Academy, attracting new financial planners to the profession. 

We have recently been doing some work with M&G Wealth Academy. It’s a fantastic option out there within the financial planning space. I have spoken to multiple companies over the last 15 years, and M&G is one of the academies that I truly believe is solving a huge problem within the financial planning profession, but we’ll get onto that in a bit…. 

So, Tom let’s begin by telling us a little bit about yourself… 

Well, I’m Tom Hegarty, and I’m in partnership Director at M&G Advice. I’ve got around 25 years of experience working in the financial advice sector specifically.  

I originally started out as a financial adviser back in the late 90s. And then I moved into working in the provider world working for a few product providers, and then working with businesses that support financial advisers, and help them run their businesses. I’ve always operated with financial advisers. 

More recently, I’ve been a lot more involved in bringing new people into the sector and I’m sure we’ll come on to it but there’s a huge opportunity, a very exciting opportunity for people to join the profession, which is obviously a great career choice.  

What is M&G Wealth? 

M&G PLC is a global savings and investment business. M&G wealth is a wealth management part of that business, and M&G wealth advice is a subset of M&G wealth. M&G wealth is really about the financial planning part of the business. 

Why is there a need for a good quality Academy within the financial planning profession?  

The number of financial advisers in the UK has dropped over the last few decades. We are now at a point where the number of financial advisers is a fraction of what it was 40 years ago.  

The problem that this creates is access to advice, or lack thereof. So, the challenge now is that it’s very difficult for customers to find financial advice.  

There are a couple of solutions; One of them is to grow the number of advisers that practice in the sector, and the other one is to make technological improvements to make efficiencies, so each adviser can look after more clients than they currently look after.  

There is also an ageing demographic within the advice population with most financial advisers being in their mid 50’s. So you can imagine over the next maybe 10 years, there’s going to be an influx of advisers leaving and retiring from the profession. We need to replenish these numbers.  

Existing businesses all need to do their bit to continue to attract new talent to this fantastic profession, and this is how we are contributing to it. Not just for M&G wealth, but for the future of the entire profession as a whole. 

Join Financial Planner Life Academies here.

Apply for M&G Wealth Academy here.

Who is the Academy targeted at? 

This academy is open to people that want to become financial advisers, not administrators or paraplanners (yet). 

What we have done is take all the different mechanisms or routes of how people would join the profession in the past, and we’ve created the most flexible and effective way of doing that.  

We help trainee advisers maximise their earnings potential early on and get them up and running quickly. We then spend a long time with them, coaching and mentoring and supervising that individual until we get to the point where they’re fully experienced.  

The brilliant thing about this academy is that it’s open to anybody. There are no barriers, really to anybody.

Why do you feel like your academy is different?  

T: There are two major challenges with becoming a financial adviser. The first one is the time that it takes to become fully qualified and competent in the role. And of course, during that period, the earnings potential is lower than somebody who is fully experienced. 

The second real challenge is if somebody wanted to create and run their own advice business on their own advice enterprise within another business, they’ve got to build their own client base. 

We’re dealing with both of those challenges in the M&G Wealth Academy. We’re trying to minimise study time, so you have more ability to earn. We’re also helping trainee advisers build a client bank. We have a very large customer base within the business already, so we can provide leads to the individuals to give them the best chance of building that client bank thoroughly and quickly, which will last them for, many, many years to come. 

What skills does someone need to be a financial planner?  

T: My own view which I’ve built up over several years now is that there are four main areas of competence skills that make a good financial adviser, and not all of those are covered by the qualifications.  

The first prerequisite is that we need to see that the individual has the capacity to learn technical information. In financial planning, there is a fair bit of technical information out there about regulation and product-specific areas. So the candidate needs to not only understand that, they’ve got to then maintain that knowledge as well.  

Second, to that is what I call conduct and ethics, we’re in a highly regulated sector. And so, adherence to regulation and compliance is really important. Make sure that documentation is completed properly and thoroughly, and processes are followed carefully. Remember, the client is always at the heart of the business and all the decisions that are made should be for the benefit of helping the client. 

The third part is around business acumen and business development. Advice businesses have to stay around for a long period of time for the benefit of the clients. It’s no good if you are not very good at running a business and you go bankrupt after a few years. A great business development opportunity may be to follow a certain type of client or have a certain specialism. There might be certain avenues to pursue so, it’s important to have that business acumen.  

The fourth area, which is probably the most important and probably most forgotten about is you’ve got to have interpersonal skills. You’ve got to be able to listen carefully, question probe, and draw sensitive information out with as much empathy as possible. As well as possess an understanding of good relationship skills.  

So just to recap on that: 

  • Technical knowledge 
  • Conduct and ethics 
  • Business development / Business acumen 
  • Interpersonal skills 

They are the key competencies that are needed to become a financial planner. 

I want to be a financial planner, but I don’t want to take a drop in my salary whilst studying for the exams, what’s the solution? 

T: The qualifications can be done on a part-time basis. So, you stay in your job, whatever that job is that you’re currently doing, and you carry on earning what you’re currently earning.  

What we expect from the candidates who we take on to the academy would be that they study for their qualifications in their spare time. We’re looking at around seven hours a week of additional workload of learning. We provide a weekly set of assignments, so it’s very clear what the learning programme is.  

Achieving those qualifications while you’re still employed means that there is no drop in earnings. You can then stay in your job all the way through to the point where you receive your qualification certificate. 

Do you cover the cost of the qualification? 

Yes, M&G cover the cost. 

The qualification journey is a modular learning programme. We use the CII diploma in financial planning, which is six exam qualifications. We provide all the study materials, and workshops and there are online apps where we can test understanding and do mock questions. It is all funded by us.  

What are my options after I’m fully qualified? 

The main idea is to become a self-employed adviser either within M&G’s firms or we will support somebody to set up their own business and their own complete enterprise. There are also employed roles available if someone would rather go down an employed route. 

What is the earning potential at M&G Wealth? 

It does come down to the individual but we would say somebody that we would take through the academy should be earning 25k in year one, 50k plus year two, and then 75k plus in year three and beyond. this is a very conservative estimate, and we expect most people to earn more. 

That can carry on increasing, depending on how well that individual does. 

As a company, you’re providing leads to these individuals. So, it’s not like you’re coming across and having to start from scratch. How many leads are provided on a yearly basis and how long for? 

When a client doesn’t have a financial adviser, we offer them the opportunity to gain advice and we’ll pass them on to one of our advisers. We will therefore be looking to provide 80 leads to a trainee adviser in their first year and then 100 leads in their second year. That could change depending on the availability of leads that we have it’s not an endless supply, and that will diminish over time.  

How long is the academy process? 

T: We’ve got several stages.  

Stage 1: The qualification journey. This will take 15 months from the start all the way to receiving a certificate to passing R01 to R06. At that point, we would then ask the trainee adviser to leave their employment and commit to M&G wealth advice on a full-time basis.  

Stage 2: A financial planning foundation programme. This is all the interpersonal skills, the business development bits, the how to run compliant client meetings, how to document things, all those aspects, and that is a full-time programme, which takes a month. So during that period, there is no ability to work on theory. 

Stage 3: Understanding our policies and processes. So there are certain ways we do things within M&G Wealth advice. We have certain advice policies, processes, IT systems. So, it’s going through all of those and making sure that the training adviser understands their infrastructure of how they run that business.  

On completion of stage three, trainee advisers are licenced to give advice under supervision. At that point, we start providing them with client leads, and they’ve done role plays and they’ve practised how they would interact with clients beforehand.  

Stage 4: The journey to becoming a competent adviser (CAS). The client meetings, the approach calls and, interactions with clients would all be monitored closely with lots of coaching and mentoring and development in the background. The journey to CAS we think would be around 12 months.  

Stage 5: The supportive journey. Advisers have demonstrated competent advice status and for the next 12 months, we would continue to support them to make sure they are fully competent in their abilities. We would then deem them an experienced adviser, and they are on their own and running their own advice business.  

S: Let’s just demystify one thing that comes up a lot and confuses people who want to become financial planners, and that’s CAS status. 

T: Competent adviser status can take 12 months and during that period, you are actually still giving financial advice, and you are still generating income.  

If we didn’t have it, that could be a concern that the outcomes aren’t quite met properly. Your adviser might say things that they shouldn’t, they might document things that they shouldn’t have done and said, and breach regulatory requirements.   

It’s all about fine-tuning and getting better, to the point where you’re a fully competent adviser.  

What’s the culture like at M&G?  

We have a caring and collaborative community with great communication. 

An area of interest we’ve been looking at recently is the number of female influential advisers. Females only take up 16% of the profession whereas our academy and advice businesses are more around 25%, so we’re slightly ahead of the trend.  

What we’re really trying to do is support some of our female business owners to really trailblaze and show what they’re capable of. So when females who come to us are put off by this heavily male-dominated profession, we can say, Look, this is what these other businesses have done and there is no reason why you can’t do that as well and no barriers to it.  

We would support anybody to join the business. (Obviously, we need to take them through the process of making sure that they are the right type of candidate) but we’ve got a really forward-thinking and innovative culture within M&G and a really exciting future. 

How to apply 

S: If you want to sign up and go through the application stage which I’ve been told by the candidates, is absolutely exceptional, click on this link. It is a very quick and easy application process. And we’ll put you directly in contact with the guys there at M&G wealth and you can start your career in financial planning.  

Apply for M&G Wealth Academy here.

If you’re an academy that wants to get involved in this exciting movement, you can join Financial Planner Life Academies here.

Find Your Next Job


Background: Recruit UK Limited understands that your privacy is important to you and that you care about how your personal data is used. We respect and value the privacy of all our customers and will only collect and use personal data in ways that are described here, and in a way, that is consistent with our obligations and your rights under the law.

1. What Does This Notice Cover?

This Privacy Information explains how we use your personal data: How it is collected, how it is held, and how it is processed. It also explains your rights under the law relating to your personal data.

2. What is Personal Data?

Personal data is defined by the General Data Protection Regulation (EU Regulation 2016/679) (the “GDPR”) as ‘any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified in particular by reference to an identifier’. Personal data is, in simpler terms, any information about you that enables you to be identified. Personal data covers obvious information such as your name and contact details, but it also covers less obvious information such as identification numbers, electronic location data, and other online identifiers.

3. What Are My Rights?

Under the GDPR, you have the following rights, which we will always work to uphold:

a) The right to be informed about our collection and use of your personal data. This Privacy Notice should tell you everything you need to know, but you can always contact us to find out more or to ask any questions.

b) The right to access the personal data we hold about you.
c) The right to have your personal data rectified if any of your personal data held by us is inaccurate or incomplete.
d) The right to be forgotten, i.e. the right to ask us to delete or otherwise dispose of any of your personal data that we have.
e) The right to restrict (i.e. prevent) the processing of your personal data.
f) The right to object to us using your personal data for a particular purpose or purposes.

g) The right to data portability: This means that if you have provided personal data to us directly, we are using it with your consent or for the performance of a contract, and that data is processed using automated means. You can ask us for a copy of that personal data to re-use with another service or business in many cases.

h) Rights relating to automated decision-making and profiling: We do not use your personal data in this way

i) For more information about our use of your personal data or exercising your rights as outlined above. Further information about your rights can also be obtained from the Information Commissioner’s Office or your local Citizens Advice Bureau. If you have any cause for complaint about our use of your personal data, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

4. What Personal Data Do We Collect?

We may collect some or all the following personal data (this may vary according to your relationship with us):

  • Name;
  • Address;
  • Email address;
  • Telephone number;
  • Business name;
  • Job title;
  • Profession;
  • Information about your preferences and interests

5. How Do You Use My Personal Data?

Under the GDPR, we must always have a lawful basis for using personal data. This may be because the data is necessary for our performance of a contract with you, because you have consented to our use of your personal data, or because it is in our legitimate business interests to use it. Your personal data will be used for or may be used for one of the following purposes:

  • Providing and managing your account.
  • Supplying our services to you. Your personal details are required in order for us to enter into a contract with you.
  • Personalising and tailoring our services for you.
  • Communicating with you. This may include responding to emails or calls from you.
  • Supplying you with information by email and/or post that you have opted-in to (you may unsubscribe or opt-out at any time by emailing [email protected].

With your permission and/or where permitted by law, we may also use your personal data for marketing purposes, which may include contacting you by email and/or telephone and /or text message and/or post with information, news, and offers on our services. We will always work to fully protect your rights and comply with our obligations under the GDPR and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, and you will always have the opportunity to opt out.

6. How Long Will You Keep My Personal Data?

Due to the nature of recruitment, a significant number of candidates reconnect with our organisation periodically. It is not uncommon for this to occur years after we have placed them in a role. For this reason, your consent includes explicit consent to retain your personal details until you wish us to delete your records from our database or refrain from further engagement.

7. How and Where Do You Store or Transfer My Personal Data?

We will only store or transfer your personal data in the UK or elsewhere in the EU. This means that it will be fully protected under the GDPR.

  • We store all data in specific company applications unique to us
  • All application access is via secure password or biometric control
  • In line with our Data Retention Policy, your data is deleted once

a) we no longer have a relevant use for it
b) it has passed the relevant expiry date

8. Do You Share My Personal Data?

We will not share any of your personal data with any third parties for any purposes, subject to one important exception. In some limited circumstances, we may be legally required to share certain personal data, which
might include yours, if we are involved in legal proceedings or complying with legal obligations, a court order, or the instructions of a government authority.

If any of your personal data is required by a third party, as described above, we will take steps to ensure that your personal data is handled safely, securely, and in accordance with your rights, our obligations, and the third party’s obligations under the law.

9. How Can I Access My Personal Data?

If you want to know what personal data we have about you, you can ask us for details of that personal data and for a copy of it (where any such personal data is held). This is known as a “subject access request”.All subject access requests should be made in writing and sent to the email or postal addresses shown below.

There is not normally any charge for a subject access request. If your request is ‘manifestly unfounded or excessive’ (for example, if you make repetitive requests) a fee may be charged to cover our administrative costs in responding.

We will respond to your subject access request within 14 days and, in any case, not more than one month of receiving it. Normally, we aim to provide a complete response, including a copy of your personal data within that time. In some cases, however, particularly if your request is more complex, more time may be required up to a maximum of three months from the date we receive your request.

You will be kept fully informed of our progress.

10. Contact details

Contact us at [email protected]
Alternatively, you can contact us by writing to us at:
GDPR Compliance Officer
Recruit UK Limited
Newminster House
27-29 Baldwin Street

11. Complaints procedure

If you have a complaint about the way your data is stored or handled by Recruit UK Limited, please
contact us at [email protected]
Alternatively, you can contact us by writing to us at:
GDPR Compliance Officer
Recruit UK Limited
Newminster House
27-29 Baldwin Street

Escalated Complaints
If you remain unhappy with the handling of your data, you can complain to the ICO.
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

12. Changes to this Privacy Notice
We may change this Privacy Notice from time to time. This may be necessary, for example, if the law
changes, or if we change our business in a way that affects personal data protection.
Any changes will be made available on our website


Inclusivity and fairness are of paramount importance to us. Recruit UK embraces equality, diversity and inclusion and will seek to promote their benefits in all of its business activities. We will further develop our business culture to encourage, value and manage that belief. 

We intend to eliminate discrimination and encourage diversity amongst our workforce. Our aim is that our employees will be truly representative of all sections of society and each person feels respected and able to give their best.

Our policy purpose:

Not unlawfully discriminate because of the Equality Act 2010 protected characteristics of:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage or civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race (including colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origin)
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation


Oppose and avoid all forms of unlawful discrimination. This includes:

  • pay and benefits
  • terms and conditions of employment
  • dealing with grievances and discipline
  • dismissal
  • redundancy
  • leave for parents
  • requests for flexible working
  • selection for employment, promotion, training or other developmental opportunities


Who is responsible for equal opportunities?

Achieving an equal opportunities workplace is a collective task shared between the employer and all its staff. This policy and the rules contained in it, therefore, apply to all staff of the employer irrespective of seniority, tenure and working house, including all employees, directors,

consultants, trainees, homeworkers and fixed-term staff and any volunteers or interns (referred to as staff).

All staff have a personal responsibility to ensure compliance with this policy, to always treat colleagues with dignity, and not to discriminate against or harass other members of staff, visitors, clients, customers, suppliers and former Recruit UK, employees.

Managers and Directors must take all necessary steps to:

  • Promote the objective of equal opportunities and the values set out in this policy.
  • Ensure that their own behaviour and those of the staff then manage complies in full with this policy;
  • Ensure that any complaints of discrimination, victimisation, or harassment (including against themselves) are dealt with appropriately and are not suppressed or disregarded.

Our Commitments

  1. Encourage equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

  2. Create a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation, and unlawful discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, and where individual differences and the contributions of all staff are recognised and valued.

    This commitment includes training managers and all other employees about their rights and responsibilities under the equality, diversity, and inclusion policy. Responsibilities include staff conducting themselves to help the organisation provide equal opportunities in employment, and prevent bullying, harassment, victimisation, and unlawful discrimination.

    All staff should understand they, as well as their employer, can be held liable for acts of bullying, harassment, victimisation, and unlawful discrimination, in the course of their employment, against fellow employees, customers, suppliers and the public.

  3. Take seriously complaints of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination by fellow employees, customers, suppliers, visitors, the public and any others during the organisation’s work activities.

    Such acts will be dealt with as misconduct under the organisation’s grievance and/or disciplinary procedures, and appropriate action will be taken. Particularly serious complaints could amount to gross misconduct and lead to dismissal without notice.

    Further, sexual harassment may amount to both an employment rights matter and a criminal matter, such as in sexual assault allegations. In addition, harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 – which is not limited to circumstances where harassment relates to a protected characteristic – is a criminal offence.

  4. Make opportunities for training, development, and progress available to all staff, who will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential, so their talents and resources can be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the organisation.

  5. Review employment practices and procedures when necessary to ensure fairness, and also update them and the policy to take account of changes in the law.

  6. Monitor the make-up of the workforce regarding information such as age, sex, ethnic background, sexual orientation, religion or belief, and disability in encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion, and in meeting the aims and commitments set out in the equality, diversity and inclusion policy.

    Monitoring will also include assessing how the equality, diversity and inclusion policy, and any supporting action plan, are working in practice, reviewing them annually, and considering and taking action to address any issues.

Agreement to follow this policy

The equality, diversity and inclusion policy is fully supported by senior management at Recruit UK.

Details of Recruit UK’s grievance and disciplinary policies and procedures can be found in the employee’s handbook. This includes with whom an employee should raise a grievance – usually their line manager.

Use of the organisation’s grievance or disciplinary procedures does not affect an employee’s right to make a claim to an employment tribunal within three months of the alleged discrimination.

Achieve your career goals

Once you have the knowledge, soft skills, practical skills, and qualifications needed for pursuing a career in Financial Planning, we will provide you with guidance toward a suitable path to follow to achieve your career goals.
You can confidently apply for job opportunities with a high-quality CV knowing exactly where you sit within the market with inside intel about salary expectations, buzzwords for specific leading firms and referrals from experts you will meet along the way. You will also have the opportunity to utilize the Financial Planner Life recruitment services, giving you further specialized advice and putting you forward for roles which align with your intrinsic values and career goals.
Don’t put it on hold, join the community today and discover your potential.

Discover your path.

We understand that there isn’t a one size fits all approach to a career in financial planning, which is why we are here to make sure that you’re taking the right route into the profession.
We’ve calmed the process down so you can stay within your current company, start studying towards your qualifications and begin to get a real understanding of what the landscape of financial planning looks like in respect of your career.
Whether you have aspirations of being an employed adviser, running your own business or doing a more back-office focused role such as compliance, we can help guide and support you down the right path, matching your experience, your network and your intrinsic values.

Uncover your potential.

It starts with taking your qualifications and what we do within the community is support you to pass your qualifications first time. The Financial Planner Life community is all about supporting people’s different learning styles and taking into consideration life’s commitments such as finances, family and existing employment.
We believe in offering a personalised learning experience, which is why our program includes study support for industry-recognised exams. Our aim is to ensure that you are well-prepared to pass exams such as the CII-regulated diploma in financial advice, the CII Certificate in Mortgage Advice and the CII Certificate in Paraplanning.
Train to become a financial planner with the use of online resources, networking within the community with well-established professionals as well as frequent webinars and Q&As with Sam Oakes and industry-leading professional guests.
[Download the full academy prospectus here]

Connect with the Community

Welcome to the Financial Planner Life Academy where well-being, honesty and transparency are at the heart of what we do.
We’re here to support you on your journey into a career within the financial planning profession. Whether that’s administration, paraplanning, financial advice or even mortgage advice. Our expert trainers and community will support and educate you and train you to A, pass your qualifications and B, make the right decision about your first employment in the financial planning profession.
It could be going down the route of being restricted, or becoming an IFA, you may even have aspirations of running your own business! But what does that look like?
We understand that from the outside looking in, it can be daunting to find the correct route into the profession to become a financial planner. The Financial Planner Life Academy is completely independent, allowing you to connect with hundreds of financial planning professionals with different backgrounds, at all levels of experience.
You will learn all about the different options you can take, mentored by a diverse mix of professionals so you are equipped with the essential toolkit to be able to make an informed decision about your career path within financial planning.

Apply for this position - M&G Wealth Advice Academy: An interview with Tom Hagerty  

Name of individual registering
Max. file size: 100 MB.
Do you currently work in financial services?(Required)
Recruit UK is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy, and we’ll only use your personal information to administer your account and to provide the products and services you requested from us. From time to time, we would like to contact you about our products and services, as well as other content that may be of interest to you. If you consent to us contacting you for this purpose, please tick below to say how you would like us to contact you:
In order to provide you the content requested, we need to store and process your personal data. If you consent to us storing your personal data for this purpose, please tick the checkbox below.

Apply for this position - M&G Wealth Advice Academy: An interview with Tom Hagerty  

Financial Planner Life

Academies sign up