Paraplanning – not just a one size fits all profession

The Exchange

The information contained in this page is for professional Financial Adviser use only.

Rachel Allen reflects on the varied and evolving role of the Paraplanner as a central element of the advice process. 

In September, Ascentric took part in the 6th Paraplanners Powwow, deep in the Northamptonshire countryside. We supported the ‘Build a Paraplanner’ session which delved in to what this relatively new, but critical role really involves.

It quickly became apparent that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ description of what Paraplanners do, and this means it’s difficult to articulate to clients – and the wider public – the value that Paraplanners add to the financial planning process.

So, how to start to define the Paraplanner role…

The session facilitators, Quietroom, who specialise in helping to bring ideas to life by turning them in to ‘stories’ recommended starting with the bigger picture – what’s the problem that a Paraplanner is trying to solve?

The suggestion was that Paraplanners, like Advisers, work to make sure their clients achieve their financial aims. So with their raison d’etre proposed, the discussion moved on to the detail of how they contribute towards the end goal.

It’s clear that the role has moved far beyond administration. Technical expertise, analysis, and the ability to be an all-rounder and solution finder were all major features of the conversation. In fact, the variety of descriptions of their day-to-day roles highlighted that the Paraplanning profession covers a huge variety of tasks and responsibilities.

What did we take away from the Powwow?

It’s clear that Paraplanning is a developing profession and that Paraplanners form a distinct group within the financial services community.  We’ve been sharing our learnings from the day with colleagues and we’ll be looking at ways that Ascentric can support the Paraplanning community, so look out for updates over the coming months.

The information contained in this page is for professional Financial Adviser use only. If you are a private investor, please visit the Private Investor section or contact your Financial Adviser for more information.

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