The CISI has announced Pippa Oldfield, paraplanner and assistant manager at Mazars, as winner of the professional body’s Paraplanner of the Year award 2020.
Pippa was named the winner of the award at the end of the first day of the CISI’s annual Paraplanner conference, this year held virtually via Zoom from 24-25 September.
Jackie Lockie, head of Financial Planning at the CISI, said it had been a highly contested competition this year and that the judges had commended runner up Joe Lund of Investec Wealth Management.
The awards process consisted of a first stage where candidates answered a number of set technical questions in a multi-choice format. The five entrants achieving the highest marks in the multiple-choice paper progressed through to the next stage which was to tackle a case study. Two candidates then went forward to be interviewed by the panel of judges.
Pippa said she was “blown away” at winning the award and had not expected to get to the final let alone win the award. “It’s a lifetime achievement for me,” she said.
She recommended paraplannners enter awards if only for the experience. “The whole process was great to go through. It was a massive learning curve but also massive for my confidence as a paraplanner.”
Pippa said she had entered “speculatively” because she liked the idea of answering the technical questions. The case study, she said, she found challenging. “There were a lot of areas I’d not dealt with as a paraplanner before, such as vulnerable clients, and through researching for the case study I learned so much. It really was worthwhile.”
Asked what it meant to her to be a paraplanner, Pippa said she had entered paraplanning 10 years ago “not having had a proper career before.
“Since becoming a paraplanner I haven’t looked back. I really love what I do; it’s really challenging and fulfilling. I’m really keen to encourage people into the profession.”
With the small cash sum that comes from winning the award Pippa said she would probably “buy a truckload of chocolate.”