Register free for our breaking news email alerts with analysis and cutting edge commentary from our award winning team. Registration only takes a minute.

Adviser workshop: how to use paraplanners effectively

They are the up-and-coming experts who sit in the background, crucial to the advice process. But how should you use them effectively?

Colin says...

We call our paraplanners technical analysts. Clients do not know what the term 'paraplanner' means. But for us technical analyst does what it says on the tin.

All our technical analysts work with all our consultants and directors. We pool the resource. The downside of having one technical analyst working with just one adviser is you may have someone who is really busy and another not busy at all. Pooling is a more effective and efficient use of a scarce resource.

Each technical analyst has different experience, skills and specialisms, so we can all use those when needed. Our benchmark for technical analysts is chartered status but recruitment can be difficult because there is a skills shortage in the profession at the moment.

Another benefit of pooling the resource is that we as directors have a relationship with every member of the team. That enhances the team culture. 

We want our team to have a good work-life balance, so I try to employ people who have a commute of 45 minutes or less. There is also a degree of flexibility; the technical analyst role is more suited to some remote working so analysts sometimes work from home. This is effective because we have monitoring systems in place.

Top tip: Pool your resources for greater efficiency.

Top quote: 'As a team, the technical analysts all do peer reviews and bounce ideas off each other.'

Colin Hayden-Cook is managing director at HFS Milbourne

Colin says...

We call our paraplanners technical analysts. Clients do not know what the term 'paraplanner' means. But for us technical analyst does what it says on the tin.

All our technical analysts work with all our consultants and directors. We pool the resource. The downside of having one technical analyst working with just one adviser is you may have someone who is really busy and another not busy at all. Pooling is a more effective and efficient use of a scarce resource.

Each technical analyst has different experience, skills and specialisms, so we can all use those when needed. Our benchmark for technical analysts is chartered status but recruitment can be difficult because there is a skills shortage in the profession at the moment.

Another benefit of pooling the resource is that we as directors have a relationship with every member of the team. That enhances the team culture. 

We want our team to have a good work-life balance, so I try to employ people who have a commute of 45 minutes or less. There is also a degree of flexibility; the technical analyst role is more suited to some remote working so analysts sometimes work from home. This is effective because we have monitoring systems in place.

Top tip: Pool your resources for greater efficiency.

Top quote: 'As a team, the technical analysts all do peer reviews and bounce ideas off each other.'

Colin Hayden-Cook is managing director at HFS Milbourne

Trudy says...

Our paraplanners are given the opportunity to take all the RO exams, so they are skilled in a variety of different areas, such as tax, investment and protections.

We train other advisers and paraplanners throughout the country on how to use CashCalc (the cashflow planning tool our business developed) for cashflow modelling. Paraplanners use cashflow modelling more than advisers, but advisers translate it to their clients.

When work comes in, a team leader allocates work to whoever is most appropriate. So we do not necessarily have one paraplanner to one adviser, so to speak.

Our main focus is to work as a team. Although we each have individual cases, we support one another so no one is ever overwhelmed by their workload. We do this by communicating and using technology to streamline our processes.

My job as a paraplanner is to conduct extensive research into where to place funds in the best investment strategies; discover the most reasonable mortgages to apply for; search for protection policies, life insurance and annuities; and deal with HM Revenue & Customs for tax-related issues.

Our paraplanners have a strong focus on providing regular and clear client communication. We are constantly in touch with clients and providers. The more communication we have, the smoother the process becomes.

Top tip: Share the workload and support each other.

Top quote: 'Although we each have individual cases, we support one another so no one is ever overwhelmed by their workload.'

Trudy Jenkins is paraplanner at Niche IFA

What Twitter says...

We asked the Twittersphere for tips on how best to use paraplanners. Here are a few of the responses:

Comment & analysis

Twitter