31 May 2015
Teresa Crew was recently appointed by Attivo Group to oversee the recruitment and development of its paraplanning team. Here she outlines what she hopes to achieve at Attivo Group, including helping the team move through the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning to attain Chartered status
It is only more recently that the role of the paraplanner has been better understood by financial companies. Due to the many changes in the financial planning landscape, the benefit and value that paraplanners add to the financial planning process is more apparent than ever.
The paraplanning role requires a high level of technical and analytical knowledge and skill, so many paraplanners are highly qualified and vital in supporting the financial planner in preparing and implementing the client’s financial plans.
We are seeing a growth in the number of paraplanners as their role and its associated benefits become more fully understood. Firms and advisers are relying more on their paraplanners and using them to their full potential. Advisers can spend more time with their clients whilst the paraplanner concentrates on the research and formulating aspects of the advice driven by the adviser, who is the regulated individual.
I joined Attivo because they believe, as I do, that a high level of qualifications, skill, and technical competence is an integral part of the advice process. The group genuinely does put the client very much at the centre of its business, and our whole proposition is built around this premise. Whether a direct enquiry, referral, or a new client, they are first met by a member of the client engagement team. This face-to-face meeting is a key component to starting the client relationship and results in the most appropriate paraplanner and financial planner being allocated to ensure the best possible client experience and advice.
I believe paraplanners need to be diverse in their expertise and their experience to be in the best possible place to support firms who fall into two main areas: holistic financial planning (starting with cash-flow oversight and moving on to assist the client with all areas of financial planning, such as investment, pension, and estate planning), and focused financial planning specialisms.
Qualifications & CPD
Attivo Group recognises the importance of attaining the highest levels of qualifications for both financial planners and paraplanners. We support each staff member involved in the client process, aiming for 70 hours CPD a year, and are committed to each member of the paraplanning team gaining the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning in order to achieve Chartered status. They are given their own individual study programmes and in-house training support delivered through Attivo’s own Academy. This will result in paraplanners being able to better support financial planners.
Since I joined Attivo Group just two months ago, we have recruited three Chartered paraplanners and will continue the growth within the team to support our growing number of financial planners.
My main objective at Attivo Group is to build a strong technical team of paraplanners who not only support the financial planners but also client services and other key client-facing teams within the organisation. Together with building up technical expertise, I will ensure that communication between financial planners and paraplanners is closely aligned, and in so doing we can achieve the best result for our clients.