Reports that the financial sector is struggling to attract young people have been made to look premature after new statistics were revealed about the number of people undertaking the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
It was a record year for the exam with 5,000 more people taking the level one paper during December 2015, compared to the previous year. However, the CFP Board is still adamant that more efforts need to be made to attract younger and more diverse people to the industry.
Sourcing young people may rely on developing clearer career paths and public outreach to women and different races. However, for Manulife Financial Corporation, which has a base in Toronto, attracting young people has not been a problem as it was named as one of Canada’s top employers for young people earlier this month.
Donald Arthur Guloien, president and CEO of Manulife, believes a series of programs have helped Manulife achieve its success. These include an extensive co-op program which provides fast track development programs; and a focus on technology and innovation.
“Manulife is a company where young people can make a great impact,” he said. “We value their input and ideas and we invest in their development through mentorship, networking, practical experience and global opportunities.
“Today, 41 per cent of all our employees are under the age of 35. Many of them are socially conscious and appreciate that our business, at its core, makes a contribution to society by offering great products and advice which helps people attain their personal goals.”
According to the report, 52,315 candidates took the CFA test – that’s up from 47,125 in December, 2014. Pass rates however, were slightly lower than the previous year.