Finance and wealth management program collecting interest

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: EMILY STEWART
Finance and wealth management student Anthony Pepers (left) and program coordinator Brad Bishop (right) are happy with the collaborative program between Fanshawe College and King's University College so far.

A fairly new four-year collaborative program is gaining popularity in London, Ont.

Fanshawe College’s Lawrence Kinlin School of Business and Western University affiliate King’s University College offer a four-year finance and wealth management collaborative program. The program began at King’s in the fall of 2018.

The finance and wealth management program page on the college’s website provides details. Students begin their first year at King’s, then attend Fanshawe for their second year, then King’s again for their third year. The fourth year of the program is split, with the first semester at Fanshawe and the second semester at King’s.

Graduates earn a three-year bachelor of arts-finance degree from King’s and a two-year business-finance diploma from Fanshawe, and complete the educational part of the Certified Financial Planner® (CFP) certification. Graduates also receive prep for the Investment Funds in Canada Canadian Securities Course and Life Licensing Qualification Program.

Brad Bishop, Fanshawe College’s coordinator of the finance and wealth management program, said the program offers a “real advantage” to the industry, since the Ontario government is considering regulating who can say they are official financial planners.

Bishop added that FP Canada, which designates CFP status, is changing the requirements to become a financial planner, such as possessing a degree. The FP Canada website said that certification requirements changes will be effective as of Jan. 1, 2020, with post-secondary education requirements effective as of 2022.

“You’re really, as a student, getting the theory and practice together in a collaborative program like this,” Bishop said. “But you’re also meeting the new certification requirements of FP Canada.”

He said the program was in talks for a few years before its official launch in 2018. There are two students currently studying at Fanshawe this year as part of the program.

Anthony Pepers is one of the finance and wealth management students. Although the collaborative program goes back and forth, he took an extra year at King’s to take computer science for the breadth requirements for graduation. He’s enjoying the program so far, especially with learning about corporate finance at King’s and personal finance at Fanshawe.

“You get the best of both worlds,” he said. “So I really enjoy that.”

Pepers also likes that by doing a collaborative program and getting a degree and diploma, “you’re doing more for less,” as well as the College’s faculty.

“They’ve done things in the industry themselves so you can talk to them about it. They have personal experience,” he said. “Some profs at King’s could also be in the same situation so that’s also good. You get some knowledge on where you’re going to end up in the end.”

Over 30 students have started the program at King’s this year and will be at Fanshawe for the 2020/2021 school year.

Grigori Erenburg, the director of the School of Management, Economics, and Mathematics at King’s, said in an email interview with Interrobang that King’s and Fanshawe have a strong professional relationship and some of the King’s alumni work at Fanshawe.

“We are very happy that we found a way to join our expertise in education for the benefit of the students,” he said in the email.

He added that as far as he knows, the program is unlike any other in Ontario. Erenburg also said that the program introduces students to many types of jobs within the industry, and teaches them to be flexible.

“Nowadays, when the career landscape changes with accelerating speed, one must be able to innovate, retrain for the newly created positions and quickly adapt to new opportunities,” he said. “We believe that both types of skills, professional training, and [an] ability to quickly identify and explore new opportunities, are essential for success in the modern world.”

Bishop said the finance and wealth management program is becoming more popular now and as that popularity increases over time, the program will be more competitive. He said anyone interested in the program should think about the industry and the aging population.

“There’s going to be significant amounts of wealth change hands in the next 10 years from one generation to the next and there’s a Canadian public that is really demanding financial expertise to help with issues like estate planning to help with retirement planning in general,” Bishop said. “And we all know that everyone needs help with how to invest their money.”

Fanshawe College also offers a one-year graduation certificate in professional financial services and a two-year diploma in business-finance. King’s offers degrees in finance and economics, including a financial economics specialization program.