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Why I joined the CISI Paraplanner Interest Group

6 May 2020

Siân Davies Cole, head of Paraplanning, Aspirations, became a member of the Chartered Investment and Securities Institute (CISI) in December 2019. We talked to her about her reasons for joining and what involvement in the group entails.  

PP: What made you consider joining the CISI Paraplanner Interest Group?

SDC: It was attending the CISI Paraplanner conference last year that made me aware of the CISI Paraplanner Interest Group, as they announced that they were looking for additional members, and those interested should apply and would be considered.

PP: What was the process for joining?
SDC:
It was quite informal. I spoke to a Group member at the CISI conference and she arranged for the person who organises the Group at the CISI to contact me. He contacted me a few weeks later to provide details about myself and answer a few questions about my experience and current role.
He also wanted to confirm who I knew in the group. As I’ve been in the industry a while, I had connections with a few of the group already. A few months later I got the word that I’d been accepted and I attended my first panel meeting in December (by teleconference).

PP: It’s early days but what has been your involvement so far?

SDC: So far, the meetings have focussed around the upcoming conference in May* discussing speakers and the sessions that would provide the most benefit to paraplanners.

I’ve undertaken many roles within paraplanning and financial services generally I believe I have a good understanding of the information and practical skills that would be beneficial to paraplanners.

I manage a team including administrators who are aspiring to be paraplanners, so I also have a good understanding of the range of knowledge and skills needed by most people in the profession.

PP: What are your aims in being part of the Group?

SDC: I hope that by being involved, I can help shape the paraplanner conference in the future to appeal to the whole range of people in the role and I look forward to getting involved with other issues discussed by the group.

The CISI group is different to most others in that it doesn’t require you to be a member of the CISI. Although I would like to join them, when working for a small firm it is not practical to have a number of memberships and to ensure I maintain my Chartered status I have to keep my membership with the LIBF.

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