The aging of the financial advisor population is of utmost concern to those in the business. To Robert Dugger, venture capitalist and former partner in the hedge fund Tudor Investment Corp., figuring out who’s going to fill the current crop of advisors’ shoes when they retire is nothing unique to the advisory profession.
The co-chairman of the advisory board to ReadyNation, the business leader organization working to strengthen business through better policies for children and youth, believes the advisor human capital issue is part of a larger problem that American business in general faces as a result of overall under investment in human capital.
The U.S. – and American business in particular – has not invested sufficiently in its population to be able to grow its economy and compete internationally, Dugger says.
“We have a society highly organized around business needs but businesses are blind to the human capital needs that they really face,” Dugger says. “As a result, we face a problem because we just don’t have enough ready-for-life young people who have the skills necessary to will help business compete in today’s global marketplace.”
Dugger is convinced that if businesses of every kind – financial advisors included – want to have a reliable workforce with the requisite skills, knowledge and ability to carry them forward, they need to invest consistently and systematically in the youngest members of society. Otherwise, that workforce just won’t be there, “and that means no one is going to go into the financial advisory business,” he says.
ReadyNation’s goal, he says, is to “get society to understand that investing in kids is absolutely the best business idea there is,” and to any businessperson who has doubts about that goal, Dugger asks, “Can you imagine an economy without ready-for-life young adults?”
ReadyNation is co-chaired by John Brennan, Chairman Emeritus and senior advisor of Vanguard; John Pepper, former Chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble and Jim Zimmerman, former President and CEO of Macy’s, Inc.
Even before it officially became ReadyNation, Dugger and a growing number of concerned business owners from various sectors got together to discuss the dangers of a “failing workforce pipeline” and how to repair it by investing in youth human capital.