Your paraplanner is an extension of yourself, so you need to be comfortable working in a collegiate fashion towards the same objective: delivering your service proposition effectively to your clients.
For each particular case, agree first which tasks you expect the paraplanner to undertake. These can include: client reports and reviews, cashflow forecasts, transactional reports and recommendations, suitability reports, due diligence on companies, discussion documents and marketing material.
In the past compliance departments and consultants have acted a bit like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation detectives: critically assessing a case after it has been delivered to the client.
In the new world, advisory firms have service and centralised investment propositions, so it is easy to decide which segment clients fit into and what the main advice profile will be.
You and your paraplanner can pre-approve the underlying arrangements to a personalised plan, so your compliance support is involved before any problems arise, saving time, money and hassle.
There will generally be three levels of responsibility involved in the advisory process: adviser, paraplanner and administrator. It is necessary to provide a clear definition of everyone’s roles.
It is essential to establish lines of communication between these three roles. Weekly meetings are fine, but you also need to have a system anyone can access at any given time, such as your back-office system or an online spreadsheet.
The adviser-paraplanner relationship should be based on trust. Make sure the paraplanner is a good fit with the firm, but also ensure they know you appreciate the work they do.Damian Davies is director at The Timebank