Financial administrators provide invaluable support for financial advice firms and financial administration should be considered a career in its own right, says Sophie Wilkin, financial administrator for Para-Sols.
‘Administration’ is a word often thrown about across many different industries, perhaps too often that people have started to overlook the fundamental importance of it. In my experience, it’s such a rewarding and fulfilling career in itself that it shouldn’t necessarily considered as a stepping stone to a ‘real job’. There’s no denying that, yes, it’s a great way to get your foot in the door of a business, allowing you to explore your options, but administration in itself has plenty of progression options without feeling daunted by the thought of having to push yourself into something you might not actually want to do.
Administration is also an amazing way to build your confidence if that’s something you feel could use a little extra nourishment (and I’m speaking from experience!). I remember when I first started with Para-Sols, I was absolutely petrified at the thought of picking up the phone and speaking to someone who actually knew what they were talking about. Now I’m more of a ‘pass the phone here, I’ll do it’ kind of gal. Who’d have thought it?! I’ve learnt it’s a great way to build trust and rapport with clients and expand my professional network.
But, now let’s talk specifically about Financial Administration.
Being a Financial Administrator consists of keeping close contact between clients and colleagues, gathering all the relevant and necessary data in relation to clients’ pensions and investments (spoiler alert – there’s a truck load!) and ensuring the recommendations/advice is there and ready for the paraplanner to translate and transform into an engaging and relatable suitability report with its fair share of graphs and illustrations (disclaimer – of course there’s are a few more technicalities behind suitability report writing but that’s an entirely different article!).
To be effective in this role, you have to be a good team player, have the ability to work on your initiative as well as part of a team and you should be impeccable at managing deadlines as this is essential for building lasting and trusting relationships with clients. We all know that things can easily get held up by missing information or providers having longer turnaround times, but a tenacious skillset means that you’re constantly on the case and always know the current status of a case. As long as you effectively communicate with everyone involved, it should be a smooth-running relationship that is transparent and highly regarded. We are usually the first and last point of contact for clients and third parties, so good people skills are a must!
I personally believe that financial administrators are the backbone of many advice firms – dealing with cases from the outset, right through to delivering the final report and supporting documents is no mean feat. We’re a vital puzzle piece in the world that is financial services. So, if there’s one thing you take away from reading this; it should be that financial administrators are like the fine wine you pair with a steak – absolutely essential and makes everything go down a hell of a lot smoother!