Ph.D. David Pla-Santamaría is the director of the “Master in Financial Advice and Insurances” in the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. In its last edition, this master implemented T-Advisor as a learning tool for the students. Pla-Santamaría underlines the quality and professionalism of T-Advisor and how it approaches the students into the real work as a financial adviser.
What is the origin of the master? How many editions have been taking place? Tell us about the history and relevance for the future advisers.
The master comes from a shorter course organised by the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia for the managers of Fidenzis in 2007. The group was so satisfied with the course that they intercede with Bancaja to organise for this bank a 200-hour-course. The own professionals designed the programme for the course based on the daily needs detected by them.
The relevance of these courses for future advisers is clear: the programme includes and exceeds what EFPA (European Financial Planning Association) asks for the EFA (European Financial Advisor) level. EFPA is a main player in the regulation of the financial advice as a profession in Spain and Europe. A good trainee validated by them is key to grow professionally in this branch.
How do you know about T-Advisor? Why did you decide to implement to your master? What did T-Advisor provide?
We knew the brand and the relevance of TechRules as a provider of information management for the financial sector for years. We also knew that it was a main player in Spain. We have clear since the beginning that the implementation of T-Advisor to allow our students “learn-doing” and apply all the knowledge from our course was a strategic decision. We used other tools in the former editions, but we needed a more professional one and with more quality. That is why we chose T-Advisor.
What positive aspect do you underline from T-Advisor for your students?
T-Advisor opens the door to a wide universe of assets to work with and to design personal solutions to specific problems or needs for real customers. Moreover, it focuses in a quantitative way the students in the decision-making and allows them to optimise portfolios, analyse their decisions, quantify their mistakes and good choices and, really, feel like a real financial adviser with a professional asset management platform at their disposal.
What would you propose to T-Advisor so that students had even a better experience to the real work as adviser with the platform?
I will use some of the answers of the students from a survey that we have conducted amongst them:
- Add a wider universe of assets, above all, ETF and investment funds.
- Include non-quantitative information for some assets, as the RF index.
- More intuitive operations and graphic representation of the portfolios.
- Include some orientations about the tax effects of the financial decisions.
How do you evaluate the T-Advisor proposal to be used in university courses as a tool?
It is very interesting in all levels. The possibilities of T-Advisor to round out and strengthen the learning in the classroom are key for a better training of the future professionals of the financial branch. Although the student use later the own platform of the entity where he works, he always will be able to continue making independent analysis with T-Advisor. This will allow the student to improve the quality of his advice for his customers. T-Advisor is a good tool to reduce the adviser conflict of interests between the customer and the entity.
When are you going to open the next edition of the master?
The editions of the Master in Financial Advice and Insurance in the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia are from October to December of the following year (15 months). That is why the next application period will be open in July 2016. However, we are aware that there are many people interested in getting a specialisation in financial advice that cannot wait till those dates. That is why we have an alternative course called “Financial Adviser Course” that covers the whole EFA level of EFPA. The application is open the whole year. The main difference with the Master is related to the teaching methodology and student monitoring.