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PFS Conference: AI could cut Paraplanner and admin jobs

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology could proportionately cut the number of Paraplanners and admin staff working in the profession in future but lead to more Financial Planners being employed, the PFS Annual Conference heard today.


Succession hires new execs from Investec and Aviva

Aviva-owned wealth manager and Financial Planner Succession Wealth has added two new executives to expand its senior leadership team.


Georgiou: Why inhouse and out-house Paraplanning differ

Experienced Paraplanner Christina Georgiou explains why outsourced Paraplanning is not the cut-price budget option some see it as.

Being an in-house Paraplanner is such a privileged role – there’s a high demand for your skills and you can command a high salary and other benefits as a result.

I was an in-house Paraplanner for many years, even before Paraplanning was a word. I had some great roles, where I learned a tremendous amount and built up my experience. Even the not so good roles taught me a lot too.

I joined Argonaut Paraplanning, which provides outsourced Paraplanning, in July 2021. It’s been an adjustment and I had to question my preconceived biases about the quality of the work outsourced Paraplanners provide.

I found that Argonaut’s commitment to raising the standard of advice matched my own, and so, in two short years, I now find myself as co-director with Alan Gow.

What I have noticed is a perception that outsourced Paraplanning is much cheaper than in-house and this is a reason for outsourcing. However, there are significant differences.

Although Lockdown has made us all more flexible, it remains easier for in-house Paraplanners to attend client meetings and be integral to the advice process from the start.

They may also sit on Investment Committees and have compliance duties.

By contrast, many outsourced Paraplanners join the advice process part way through and there’s a wide variation in what they do. Some are report writers, some gather information, and some will do research, analysis, gap filling and help construct advice before writing the report.

I don’t believe that an advice firm should use an outsourced Paraplanner because it’s cheaper.

I believe in the right type of Paraplanner for each firm. If that’s an outsourcer, they can provide additional capacity, experience, a second pair of eyes and will complement a firm’s advice process, potentially saving time and some money too.


Christina Georgiou is a director of outsourced Paraplanning support firm Argonaut Paraplanning. She is a career Paraplanner with over 20 years’ experience.




Caroline Stuart: Top 5 Tips for Nervous Networkers

Leading Paraplanner and former President of the PFS Caroline Stuart shares her tips on networking at events for those a little apprehensive of meeting new people. A full version of this article, which has been inspired by a LinkedIn post, will appear in the Sept-Oct edition of Financial Planning Today magazine. 

September is the beginning of financial services Conference Season, but for many, the thought of going to an event, particularly alone, can be at best daunting and at worst, bring them out in a cold, terrifying sweat.

I’ve never been a natural networker and always seemed to feel like a peanut in a packet of crisps at events. I’d be the one in the corner pretending to read a hand-out or ‘checking emails’.

That was until I went to my very first Paraplanners' Assembly in 2013, which was filled with people just like me. They were also super friendly and easy to talk to. Striking up conversation with new people was still way out of my comfort zone but I forced myself to do it and I’m so glad I did.

As a result of that very first Assembly, I now have a great group of friends, peers and colleagues and I’ve gone on to do things in my career I'd never have done if not for the confidence I’ve built, starting from that very first event. So if getting out to events feels like a real challenge, here are some of my top tips I’ve learned over the years that have helped me:

  1. Get prepared – think about a few simple universal questions you could ask anyone – where are they from?, what has been their favourite session?, etc
  2. Get Involved - If there’s an app or social media chatter about the event, try and connect with people beforehand so you have a familiar face when you get there
  3.  Take a pal! – Things are always easier with some support, can you go with a colleague or peer?
  4.  Get Introduced – If it’s more comfortable, you could ask colleagues to introduce you to people to get the ball rolling.
  5.  Remember, you are not alone – Don’t forget, others may also be nervous – if there’s someone else on their own looking a bit unsure, why not buddy up with them

Failing all of those though, if you see me at an event, you can come and practice your networking skills on me – I’m always very happy to have a natter!  


Caroline Stuart APP Chartered MSCI Caroline Stuart is the founder of outsourced Paraplanning firm Sparrow Paraplanning in Melton Mowbray. She is a multi award winning Paraplanner providing Paraplanning, report writing and technical support to UK Financial Planners and advisers. She also runs Sparrow Solutions, providing training, workshops, CPD events and operational support to Financial Planning and Paraplanning businesses www.sparrowsols.co.uk



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