From today, we're called The Paraplanners
In 2002, paraplanning barely existed.
But in 2012, whether it's a discipline that's employed in-house or is outsourced, paraplanning has become a widely adopted feature of financial advice.
But what will a leading paraplanning service look like in 2022?
That's the question we asked ourselves just over a year ago.
And, to answer it, we've talked with our financial advice clients - many of whose support I've enjoyed since I first began providing outsourced paraplanning services back in 2002.
We've also taken a good look at the professional and regulatory environment, and weighed up its likely effects on the design of our service in the future.
And finally, we've considered how the changes we've witnessed in the professional advice landscape over the past fews years will influence the service expectations of financial advice practices in the future.
The past has been about taking away. The future's about giving.
By 2022, we believe paraplanning will have undergone a transformation as marked as the changes we've experienced over the past decade.
We believe that the last ten years can be characterised as a decade of 'taking away': paraplanning services designed to take away tasks that would, otherwise, occupy the time of financial advisers and planners: things like research, and the generation of recommendations and reports.
Once upon a time, that was a valuable role. Today, it's a basic requirement that is expected of any paraplanning service.
We believe that a paraplanning service - from now on - will not only be measured by what it takes away but what it gives.
And today we're setting out the principles which underpin our brand of paraplanning service. This is what we give. These are our promises which - while we may not always get it spot-on day in and day out - you can be sure we are relentlessly seeking to keep:
Knowledge you can trust: We're an ever-ready source of technical knowledge, research and analysis which seamlessly plugs in to your financial planning process. Our ideas and opinions may be challenging at times but they're based on thoughtful application of insight and a relentless attention to detail.
Part of your team: We're here to help contribute to your reputation for outstanding financial advice. We'll work side-by-side with you to play our part in keeping the promises that you make to your clients.
Dedicated professionals: We believe professional standards for paraplanners should be at least as challenging as those for the financial advisers they work with. Over the past year we've sought out talented paraplanners - welcoming Kim Bendall and Kat Mock to our team - whose dedication to ever-higher professional standards is something you can be sure of.
Play to our strengths: We're calling time on the idea of paraplanning as administration. Our paraplanning professionals are focused upon financial planning; our administrative professional, Gemma Dennis, is focused upon delivering an administrative service. That service is designed to help you reduce administrative to-and-fro whether it's plugged-in as a stand-alone service for your business, or in tandem with our paraplanning services too.
So what will a leading paraplanning service look like ten years from now? Who knows?
But what we do know is what our brand of paraplanning will look like: dedicated professionals who are part of your team with knowledge you can trust because we play to our strengths.
From today, we're called The Paraplanners. This is what we stand for.