Three new faces for PFS Paraplanner Panel

6 July 2021

The Personal Finance Society (PFS) Paraplanner Panel has recruited three new members, increasing the number on the panel to seven.

Joining are Lyndsey Fraser (Senior Paraplanner, Rathbones Financial Planning), Catherine Esland (Senior Paraplanner, Succession Wealth) and Sasha Wakefield (who is about to start a new role), with experience of paraplanning of three to 15 years.

In March 2021, Caroline Stuart, founder of Sparrow Paraplanning, who heads up the panel and is a vice-president and board member of the PFS, put out a call through Professional Paraplanner for individuals with “a passion for paraplanning”, who could commit time “both to help their fellow paraplanners and to develop our amazing profession”.

Following the recent recruitment the full PFS Paraplanner panel now consists of: Caroline Stuart, Sparrow Paraplanning; Martin Green, Chadney Bulgin Financial Planning; Alan Gow, Argonaut Paraplanning; Rebecca Tuck, Paradigm Norton; Lyndsey Fraser, Rathbones Financial Planning; Catherine Esland, Succession Wealth; Sasha Wakefield.

Caroline says: “The Personal Finance Society Paraplanner Panel is now in its sixth year and I am so proud of all the things we have achieved over this time.

“As you would expect, there have been members come and go over the years and following the departure of one of our members due to a change in his role, we had a vacancy come up.

“We had a rigorous two-stage screening process to find the right person, and we were so thrilled to find not one but several people we thought were really good.

“We somehow managed to whittle down these candidates to a final few people but then they all seemed fantastic for the panel too.

“So we invited them all to join. We’re so thrilled to have Catherine, Lyndsey and Sasha as part of the panel. We know they’ll bring lots of fresh ideas of how we can help paraplanners and the profession, and by doing so, improve the service we all provide to our clients.

“We welcome them all aboard and we can’t wait to get started working with them.”

From today we’ll hear from each of the new panel members. 

We start with Lyndsey Fraser BCom (Hons), ACII, FPFS – senior paraplanner, Rathbones Financial Planning.

Lyndsey says: I have been working as a paraplanner for over 15 years and I am a Chartered Financial Planner and a Fellow of the PFS. I love working as a paraplanner as I enjoy working with numbers and problem solving and the role is varied and challenging, so I never get bored.

Also, I think it is fantastic that paraplanning is becoming even more interesting and rewarding, due to the way our profession is changing and moving away from the transactional type of advice of the past, towards a client-centred, value-based financial planning model.

Why did you want to join the panel?

I ran into an old colleague a couple of years ago and he asked if I was “still just working as a paraplanner” and it was about time I became an adviser. I have no desire to become an adviser – I am proud to work as a paraplanner.

Paraplanning used to be seen as just a stepping-stone to becoming an adviser but increasingly it is being seen by a large numbers of professionals as a career choice in its own right, in the responsibility paraplanners have, their technical knowledge and skills, the tasks they undertake and the fact that advisers now depend on them for support.

I want to keep developing as a paraplanner and to raise the profile of paraplanning and becoming a member of the panel was the next step in this process.

As a member of the panel I want to make a difference. I would like to bring the knowledge and experience I have gained over the years to share my ideas with other paraplanners, to celebrate and promote paraplanning and to help build an industry of knowledgeable and dedicated paraplanners.

What do you see as the role of the panel?

As paraplanning becomes ever more important, we have to not only bring in more people to meet the demand for paraplanners but also, we need to have in place a benchmark as to what a paraplanner is and should be capable of doing. I think this is the only way we are going to be able to build a real profession and this needs some guidance from a body like the PFS.

Furthermore, keeping up-to-date with technical skills, calculations and changing legislation can be challenging for paraplanners. We often struggle with balancing the need to get the work done and on time, with keeping on top of self-development.

It is vital to keep our knowledge sharp and relevant, as well as share our knowledge and experience with other paraplanners, and the panel can help to do this by providing ongoing and friendly support and regular technical and networking events around the UK.

Tomorrow we hear from Catherine Esland and later this week Sasha Wakefield.

Professional Paraplanner