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Paraplanner to adviser: what’s the right ratio?

10 June 2020

Two thirds of paraplanners feel their firm has the right ratio of paraplanners to advisers, according to the Professional Paraplanner parameters survey.

The findings showed that the majority of firms have one paraplanner to two or more advisers, but respondents said that if workload were to increase they would like to see the number of paraplanners grow. 

Among those who felt the ratio of advisers to paraplanners and administrators was fair, one said: “We regularly review this to ensure that workloads are sufficiently managed from the top down.”

However, several paraplanners admitted that their firm would benefit from more administrators. 

One paraplanner said their firm had “too few paraplanners and administrators for the number of clients,” while a other respondents said their firm would operate better with one more experienced administrators.

The scope of work carried out by advisers was a deciding factor for many paraplanners on what would be a fair number. When asked what would be an effective ratio of paraplanners to advisers for a firm to run efficiently, the majority agreed that one paraplanner between one to five advisers was sufficient. Few respondents thought this number should be greater; although two paraplanners to one adviser, and three paraplanners per adviser were suggested.

However, while many paraplanners agreed that a one-to-one ratio would be the perfect set up in theory, they said it was dependent upon the work undertaken by the adviser and the duties of the paraplanner which vary from firm to firm. 

One commented: “One to one is ideal but depending on the workload of the adviser, it is definitely possible to have several advisers to one paraplanner.”

A second respondent pointed out: “As a paraplanner can have such a range of roles, I think it comes down to each firm and what they believe the paraplanner should be or should not be doing.”

Another paraplanner echoed this sentiment: “It depends on the adviser – if all they do is see the client and the paraplanner deals with the rest of the advice process, then probably 2-3 paraplanners per adviser is needed and sustainable. For advisers who have a more hands-on approach to research and paperwork, 2-3 advisers per paraplanner would work.”

The complexity of business as well as the number of clients would also need to be taken into account, with one paraplanner suggesting that a client bank of over 100 clients should possibly warrant more than one paraplanner.

What’s the ratio of paraplanner to adviser in your firm?

What do you feel is an effective ratio of paraplanners to advisers for a firm to run efficiently?

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