Categories: Better Business
Richard Griffith, IFA at Jones Sheridan in Crewe, explains how the paraplanning team allows him to focus on his clients’ needs.
Over the last six years since I became an IFA, one of the most important developments has been that of the role of ‘paraplanner’.
When I first started I did a lot of the research myself and prepared the suitability reports. This probably took on average four to five hours of my time depending on the complexity of the case and sometimes much longer.
As an adviser I really only want to be spending time in front of clients and developing relationships.
When I see a new client or I am holding a review for an existing client, I am updating the information we hold on the fact find and looking for opportunities where we can add some value to the client’s current financial situation.
Once I have gathered the information and discussed some initial ideas with the client I pass the file over to the paraplanning team. The senior paraplanner will look at the file initially and decide who within the team is best placed to carry out the necessary research.
At this stage I will generally agree a date for the next appointment with the client to discuss our findings, usually two weeks hence. This gives the paraplanning team sufficient time to put their findings together and report back to me. What I find particularly helpful is to talk through the initial findings with the individual who has carried out the research.
This will sometimes throw up other possibilities that I had not thought about or will highlight the fact that I have not put enough detail in my meeting notes to fully convey the background to the case.
In this eventuality we are able to quickly re-evaluate the findings and agree the way forward. Then the paraplanner will send the file back to me to check the research and approve or otherwise the recommendations. Once that has been done the paraplanner will then put together the suitability report with all the necessary forms, pre populated as far as possible with the places for various signatures clearly marked.
Another major way I use the paraplanners is to look at a client’s existing policies in preparation for a review meeting or as we call it ‘pro active’ research.
This could involve analysis of investment bonds for example, to check whether exit penalty periods have expired with a view to reviewing the investment planning opportunities; or transfer values of older pension plans including analysis of with profit funds and any potential market value adjustments or guaranteed annuity rates applicable.
The paraplanning team will then provide me with a full report to present to the client at the review meeting including analytical graphs comparing performance where appropriate.
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