The Future of Financial Services with Jamie Hopkins


Jamie Hopkins is the CEO of Bryn Mawr Capital Management, a wealth management firm with $72 billion in assets under advisement across 116 offices. He is also the founder of the FinSERV Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides mentorship, coaching, and education to students and young professionals in the financial services industry. Jamie is passionate about promoting financial literacy and empowering the next generation of financial professionals.

In this episode, Jamie discusses the importance of developing the next generation of financial advisors and planners, and shares his perspectives on attracting young talent to the industry.

Please enjoy our conversation with Jamie Hopkins.


The Investipal Podcast is produced by ⁠⁠⁠⁠. Past guests include Peter Lazaroff, Douglas Boneparth, Nate Hoskin, Tyrone Ross and many more.

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Show Notes

Key Takeaways:

  • There is a declining number of financial advisors, with more CFPs over age 80 than under 30. However, this creates opportunities for young people entering the field.
  • University programs have helped, but companies have cut back on training and developing new advisors, which is expensive with long-term payoffs.
  • The FinSERV Foundation provides mentorship, coaching, education and conference access to help prepare students for financial advising careers.
  • In addition to technical knowledge, Jamie emphasizes the importance of soft skills like communication, client engagement, and goal planning.
  • The largest firms investing in technology are outpacing others by serving more clients with fewer advisors through efficiency.
  • To attract younger clients, advisors need to act as integrators of the total financial picture beyond just investment management.
  • For young people looking to enter finance, getting the CFP designation, finding mentors, and building peer networks early can provide an advantage.
  • The key is developing both hard and soft skills, particularly through programs aimed at the next generation of financial advisors.


00:00 Introduction and Background

00:48 Challenges and Opportunities in the Financial Profession

03:01 The Role of FinSERV Foundation in Supporting Next Gen Talent

04:39 Preparing Next Gen Professionals for Various Roles

06:25 The Importance of Soft Skills in the Financial Profession

08:07 The Future of the Financial Industry

12:10 Engaging the Younger Generation and Shifting Business Models

18:57 Addressing Gaps in Client Expectations and Service Delivery

20:45 The Impact of Fees and the Rise of ETFs

23:18 Tips for Breaking into the Finance Space

26:36 Joining FinSERV Foundation

27:12 Conclusion


Cameron Howe: Hi everyone, welcome back to the Investipal podcast. I'm pleased to welcome Jamie Hopkins on today. Jamie is the CEO of Bryn Mawr Capital Management, managing $72 billion of assets under advisement across 116 offices. He's also the founder of the FinSERV Foundation, which is helping promote financial literacy and empowering the next generation of financial professionals. Jamie, I'm pleased to have you on today.

Jamie Hopkins: Thanks for having me on today, Cameron. I appreciate it and look forward to the chat.

Cameron: You're helping the next generation of financial professionals. Maybe we could start by discussing how you're doing that.

Jamie: That's a good place to start – who's going to lead this profession forward? We're seeing a declining number of financial advisors, with more CFPs over 80 than under 30. It's concerning, but also an opportunity if you're young and entering the field.

The university system has become more involved in training, which is crucial. However, companies have cut back on their training and development of next-gen talent, despite claiming it's important. Spending on that is expensive with long-term returns.

That's why we started the FinSERV Foundation a few years ago, with funding from companies and volunteers. We have over 500 students in our Fellowship Program, providing structured mentorship, group coaching, education, and opportunities to attend conferences at no cost. Our goal is to make it easier to enter the profession and promote diversity.

Cameron: Is it gearing them up specifically for roles as investment advisors, or various finance careers?

Jamie: Most are from CFP or personal financial planning programs, which tend to lack the same resources and alumni support as traditional business schools. However, our students go into various fields like legal, investment management, fintech, insurance, and private equity. We want to equip them with skills and support for their chosen path.

Cameron: And is a lot of that more on the soft skills side, beyond technical finance knowledge?

Jamie: Yes, that's the perfect way to look at it. We don't teach hard skills like cash flow analysis. We focus entirely on soft skills – client engagement, networking, communication, goal planning, understanding personality assessments. The "soft skills" are actually the harder ones that more determine your future success in this field.

Cameron: Where do you see the industry evolving, especially with that aging advisor population? How are client needs changing?

Jamie: There's good news – the number of CFPs continues growing, just not fast enough for market needs. However, I think we'll have fewer advisors serving more people due to better practice management, processes, and technology efficiencies over time.

The largest, most tech-enabled firms are already differentiating by growing faster, serving more clients with fewer advisors and staff. Their marketing also brings in more new clients than just referrals.

I think we're heading into an era of being integrators and a convenience economy, where firms can seamlessly integrate more aspects of someone's financial life will separate themselves.

Cameron: With the great wealth transfer, are you seeing more difficulty acquiring younger clients who grew up self-directing investments?

Jamie: Interestingly, research hasn't shown much difference from previous generations at the same ages not using advisors extensively either. Big life events like marriage, job changes, or retirement tend to drive advice-seeking.

I think the truly digitally-native generation of 20-year-olds today may exhibit more self-directed behavior long-term as they grew up with online accounts and smartphones from a young age, unlike Millennials. But we're already seeing Millennials come back to private banking, homebuying, and traditional planning as they accumulate wealth, just slightly delayed from previous generations.

Cameron: To better service that demographic, firms investing in technology can leverage it for more digital client engagement while freeing up advisor time from administrative tasks.

Jamie: Exactly, disruptive technology tends to find new demographics not being served how they want to be served. Everyone has access to products now, so advisors need to pivot their value proposition toward integrating the total client experience if just providing investment products.

There are big gaps in estate planning, trusts, and tax planning – areas clients say they want but aren't getting from their current advisors. Filling those holes by integrating and analyzing the complete picture is where the advice value comes in.

Cameron: For a young individual looking to enter this space, what tips would you give on building those soft skills or breaking into finance?

Jamie: In the U.S., I still think the CFP route is good – it won't guarantee success, but removes a hurdle many employers and clients look for.

Find a mentor. Talk to successful people, and most will say they got lucky with good mentors, even if not necessarily purposeful at first. Don't hesitate to ask.

Also, start forming peer groups and masterminds as early as possible with others at your career stage. Having that support system to learn from each other is invaluable.

And always be surrounding yourself with people who can teach you what you haven't experienced yet. When I spent time with Richard Branson recently, he emphasized always hiring people to run new businesses better than he could in that domain from the start.

Cameron: Wonderful advice. For anyone interested in joining the FinSERV Foundation fellowship or mentorship programs, where should they go?

Jamie: Anyone looking to apply as a student fellow or mentor can do so at We screen everyone, but we'd love to expand that community supporting the future leaders of the profession.

Cameron: Jamie, I really appreciate you coming on and sharing these insights into developing the next generation of financial advisors.

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