Seneca College in Toronto is partnering with Canada’s leading insurance and mutual fund companies to create the first program of its kind to teach financial advisors.

With a special focus on communications and marketing skills, the program is designed to teach students the foundations of insurance, savings and investment, retirement planning, personal, business and estate planning.

“Demand from the insurance and mutual fund industries created this program,” says Sam Albanese, insurance industry director for Seneca’s Centre for Financial Services. “They told us they need employees who are well-trained in all aspects of selling and marketing their products. We have Canada’s leading insurance and mutual fund providers partnering with us to design the curriculum.”

Together with Advocis, AIG Life of Canada, Desjardins Financial Security, Empire Life, Equitable Life of Canada, Manulife Financial, Standard Life, Transamerica Life Canada and mutual fund companies, Seneca has created a program that will prepare students for careers in the financial services industry.

All of the courses in the program will be delivered by industry professionals, with the first semester focusing on life insurance and the second semester focusing on mutual funds. Students will take courses in Communication Skills for the Financial Services Practitioner and Professional Selling Skills for the Financial Services Practitioner. In both semesters, students will have the opportunity of a paid placement in a financial/insurance institution where they will receive hands-on experience assisting customers with their financial planning needs.

Students will also take the Life Licence Qualification Program and the Mutual Funds Licence Qualification Program. Both will prepare students to take the exams needed to obtain their life insurance and mutual fund licences.

“Transamerica is very supportive of this program. Not only does the program educate new employees on what to know but also on how to apply it in order to be successful,” says Ray McKenzie, senior vp of sales for Transamerica Life Canada.