Carrick Development Academy Graduate Programme
The Carrick Development Academy (CDA) attracts the best-in-class graduates who aspire to lead wealth and capital management into a new realm of professionalism and success. The action packed 18-month paid development programme provides graduates with an opportunity to work with and learn from the best.
Understandably, the CDA’s Managing Director, Rashay Makan, is a busy man and difficult to get hold of. As he is customarily based in Johannesburg, we jumped at the opportunity to interview him when we heard he would be spending the week in Carrick’s Cape Town office for training purposes!
This is the transcript of an interview with Carrick Development Acadamy MD Rashay Makan.
Listen to the full podcast here.
Today I’m speaking to Rashay Makan, who is the Managing Director of the Carrick Development Academy, also known as the CDA. Rashay, it’s great having you in our Cape Town Office for the week, and thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for our listeners out there.
Thanks for having me – it’s great to be here.
Firstly, will you please give us a quick overview of the CDA, its founding mission, growth and vision for the future?
The CDA is a graduate development programme for young professionals and young graduates who are entering the wealth management space. It’s essentially a programme for individuals to really grow in their career and build a strong foundation in wealth management; obtaining the necessary skills, industry experience and qualifications. We’ve seen some substantial growth in the time CDA has been around. We’re currently a crop of 27 graduates in the programme.
Ultimately, the vision is to align with the Carrick Group’s greater vision of the Africa 20/20 expansion, focusing on growth in Africa. We’d like our graduates to be the frontier advisers – the frontier individuals to go into those offices and ultimately build their wealth management careers there.
Thanks, Rashay, will you now tell us a bit more about how the programme works. For example, is it full-time, where is it based and which candidates will find this programme attractive?
Sure, so it’s a 12 to 18 month programme and the gap between the 12 to 18 months is very dependent on the individual. It is a full-time graduate internship. Ultimately, as I said previously, the goal is to offer a full-time employment contract for individuals in an advisory capacity once the internship’s done, so that’s the ultimate goal at the end of the day.
We’re based in Johannesburg and Cape Town currently (Johannesburg’s slightly bigger at the moment). However, regardless of being in two offices, the vision still works as one common unit and our business and training objectives are very much the same.
Ultimately, the programme is split up into various aspects.
The first and most obvious aspect is industry qualifications. We put a big focus on individuals getting their RE5 completion, as well as CISI (which is your Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments). While we focus on levels 1 to 3 as well as any other qualifications specific to that individual’s career growth plan, the RE5 and CISI are the key ones. Along with that are any product-specific advisory exams that they would write. We’re very fortunate to have really strong companies and product providers in the CDA: partnering with asset management, trust and life companies who provide great content and training programmes for graduates.
The other focus is our mentorship programme; we’re very proud of this programme. We have a very strong senior management and directorship team and work closely with industry professionals to mentor our future advisers.
For future graduates who might be listening, please will you run us through the recruitment selection process, for example how graduates are selected and what the selection criteria for being accepted into the CDA are.
We begin an initial screening process that is very much focused on Commerce undergraduates and Commerce Honours graduates. After this, we have an initial interview followed by a panel interview. We try and do things a bit differently, so we do have case studies and group exercises. We also use personality-fit and psychometric tests, but ultimately we’re looking for individuals who are serious about a career in financial advice. At Carrick, we have advisers from a wide variety of backgrounds – lawyers, accountants, sales professionals – so it’s not a one size fits all, but we do want someone who wants to build and is serious about a career as a financial adviser.
In terms of what you need: You need strong communication and interpersonal skills. As you’re building relationships with clients on a daily basis, you need to be able to build and manage these relationships. This is vitally important skill to have.
Then there’s a strong sense of self-management and leadership in a team; we’re looking for people who are driven and disciplined in that approach. Ultimately, you’re running a business within a business and you must have a strong sense of entrepreneurship.
Thank you Rashay, that was very insightful. What career potential is there for young graduates who are considering financial advice or financial planning as a career?
From a potential point of view I think – and speaking from experience – the career allows for a strong sense of entrepreneurship, which is unique to a lot of other industries out there (even many finance industries out there).
The career really allows young professionals to grow and spur on their entrepreneurship spirit by building that business within their business. It also allows you to build an extensive book of clients, and if you do that at a young age you have an extremely rewarding career moving forward.
No day is the same, I can definitely assure you of that. And importantly, it also allows you to create your own niche – the type of client you want to assist, the type of specific niche that you want to get into in financial advice – depending on the clients you take on.
Rashay, considering that there are many graduate programmes out there, what would you say sets the CDA apart from the others? What makes it the best?
I believe there are two things that set us apart.
The first is the asset managers, trust companies, insurance houses and advisory firms that we partner with. We try and give individuals in the programme not just a Carrick viewpoint, but an industry viewpoint so they don’t have tunnel vision, thinking “this is the only way to do things”. Instead, they can see how the industry does it and what’s the best way to do it. I believe the firms we partner with are very much entwined in our graduate programme – really setting us apart.
And then we also have a strong directorship and senior management team, who are seriously involved in the CDA and the mentorship of each and every one in the programme, which really sets us apart.
Our last question for today, Rashay, how do you think CDA will align to Carrick’s goal of changing the face of the financial services industry, restoring trust in financial advice?
From our side of things, it’s all about mentoring future advisers to give the appropriate advice for clients. The answer is simple: the training involved and the CDA’s development focus combined with Carrick Wealth’s independence and clean-priced model of doing business will change the financial services industry. That’s our plan to restore trust in financial advisers.