Tom Baker, head of resourcing at Barclays Wealth, granted us the interview below about Barclays' Embark Programme, designed especially for people without a financial services background who want to break into wealth management mid-career.
This is what we asked. This is what Tom told us.
So, what is the Embark Programme exactly?
The Embark Programme was specifically designed to attract and recruit individuals who have a proven track record of success in their current career and are able to transfer their skills into the role of a Private Banker. While we understand Embarks may be new to the industry, we have set some key competencies and behaviours that we expect our Embarks to demonstrate and will look for during our selection process, such as the ability to build and maintain relationships, the ability to work with diverse groups of people and a passion for building a client book.
How many people do you hire through Embark annually?
We offer two programmes per year recruiting approximately 24 people annually across both our UK & Ireland and International Private Banking businesses.
Embark is only one part of the recruitment programme at Barclays Wealth. In total, we've successfully hired over 100 bankers across the UK and Europe already this year.
I understand the selection process for Embark is very rigorous. Is this correct?
Candidates must successfully progress through a rigorous selection process which includes applying via our on-line application form and completing two ability tests and answering four business questions. After applications are screened by the business, candidates will participate in interviews followed by a half day assessment centre.
What happens if you make it through the Embark selection?
Candidates who are successful during the selection process will join the 10-12 week training program, which is designed to prepare new bankers for gaining the skills, knowledge and expertise to develop their own client book, successfully manage client relationships and integrate their product and technical knowledge when creating client solutions.
Why is a programme like Embark necessary?
As well as hiring from outside the industry, we've also been very successful at hiring from rival organisations. However, the market for high quality private bankers is tight. All the research points to the fact that there won't be enough private bankers to meet market needs in future, so we're focused on growing our own, as well as hiring opportunistically from elsewhere.
Alongside the Embark programme, we've also increased numbers on our graduate scheme, a growing number of which convert into junior private banking roles.