88% of Advisers would not use an outsourced Paraplanner

Nearly nine out of ten advisers say they prefer to employ a full-time paraplanner as part of their in-house team instead of turning to an outsourced paraplanner, exclusive research from Panacea Adviser has revealed.

The survey of just under 90 advisers asked if advisers consider outsourced paraplanning an attractive option for their firm, to which 88% responded to the contrary that they currently favour having a paraplanner on board as a permanent member of their in-house team.

Less than 1% of advisers surveyed said they would consider outsourcing paraplanning in the future.

We believe that the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) expedited the already expanding nature of the Paraplanner’s role and made them a ‘must have’ resource for many smaller advice firms looking to maximise their earning potential.

Against this backdrop, we might have expected to see a sharp uptake in demand for both in-house and external resources, something which makes the lack of popularity surrounding outsourced paraplanners in our latest survey a somewhat surprising result. However, in our opinion, this does not suggest that outsourced paraplanners somehow have less to offer than their in-house counterparts, they just need to do more to shout about the time saving and other benefits that outsourcing can bring to adviser firms.”

INDUSTRY VIEWS ON PARAPLANNING

The research also gathered opinions of both paraplanners and advisers, highlighting some of the key challenges – and benefits – that using this type of external resource can bring for advice firms.

Nathan Fryer, Director of outsourced paraplanning firm, Plan Works, said:

“I can fully understand why advisers would be apprehensive about outsourcing work of this nature to a third party. In many ways if I were advising myself, and could afford it, I would most likely look to employ a full-time paraplanner too. After all, inviting a stranger into what is quite often an adviser’s “life work” can be bewildering. 

“It’s this that makes communication so key when it comes to outsourcing, explaining why many outsourced paraplanners actually offer a bedding in period for the two parties to get to know one another and identify how they can work together.

While it is also true that having someone in-house can assist with other tasks such as admin and marketing, paraplanners are actually becoming increasingly few and far between, which means that salaries are also being pushed higher and higher.” 

Morwenna Clarke, CFP from Portland Wealth Management, also commented:

“We actually have a successful outsourcing relationship with a paraplanner at present but, in the past, we have come across issues around data protection when outsourcing.

“It seems that some outsourced paraplanners contracts don’t cover the legal issues around protecting and storing customer data, which could potentially see the adviser breach certain European laws. Another issue that may deter some advisers from turning to an external paraplanner is the changing definition of what constitutes a ‘worker’ under UK law, which may make it difficult to work with an outsourced paraplanner.”

As with every element of your business, it is important to ensure when working with a third party that the proper data protection licences are in place and that advisers work closely with their outsourced paraplanners to identify secure ways of communicating and storing data. This should help overcome some concerns that advisers have around using outsourced paraplanners.

Panacea Adviser provides opportunities for advisers and outsourced paraplanners to connect via its Paraplanner Directory and at no cost.  Here, outsourced paraplanners are able to include business details and links to their own website – allowing them direct access to Panacea’s 19,000 strong community.

For more information on the Paraplanner directory please click here. 

Boring is as boring does

Panacea comment for Financial Advisers and Paraplanners

5 Sep 2016

Boring is as boring does

I recently had through my door a local magazine, you know, the type that has all sorts of information in a semi glossy, very thin A4 format about local ‘stuff and people’ that these days the internet is the ‘go to’ to find out about.

I do not know why but my wife started to flick through some of its pages before consigning it to the bin as she usually does.

A few pages in she came across an ‘advertorial’ piece from a local IFA. What drew her attention in particular to this was that the IFA in question used to work for me in his first steps toward becoming an IFA.

What attracted me to him was his personality, his enthusiasm and ideas. And above all a desire to make a difference.

But what has happened to this ‘bright young thing’ some 15 years later?

The editorial was, in her opinion, boring, lifeless, colourless and totally bereft of any encouragement to speak to him or his firm about financial advice or becoming a client.

In financial services today, to attract new clients to new businesses, or in fact any business, great marketing is essential. It should be with a digital focus and should be aimed at engaging with the client audience you are trying to attract. It should make a statement about your firm, what makes you different, what you are experts at and why they should choose your firm.

The UK finance sector was the second biggest spender online, accounting for 13.4% of total adspend (IAB/PwC adspend survey H1 2015).

In the USA, total digital advertising spend for 2015 saw rapid growth, reaching $58B. US mobile devices surpassed desktop in share of digital ad spend, accounting for 52% of the total.

The finance sector was one of the earliest adopters of Internet advertising, quick to see its exceptional accountability and numerous opportunities to build brands online.

Display, search advertising, social media, affiliate marketing and behavioral targeting are just some of the methods which key players in the sector can use to reach their audiences in an effective and engaging way.

The reason for so much mobile device engagement is due to the general mobile accessibility for consumers in their downtime- travelling, waiting, lunch breaks and of course the fact that today so many firms block private internet browsing in the office.

There are some brilliant examples out there of advisers grasping the digital way forward using video, blogs, and social media channels.

So go digital, bin the boring and engage with the opportunity the 21st century makes possible.

As Steve Jobs said Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works”

And when it works, it works very well.

Getting your Human Resources in order

A free guide to HR by Panacea Adviser

These are significant times for the advisory profession as regulation continues to drive financial services to the brink. Consequently it is of great importance that adviser firms have the right people in place and know how to get the best from their staff.

This is why we have developed this new guide, ‘Getting Your Human Resources in Order’, to try and help clear up any human resource ambiguity, as effectively managing HR is essential.

This guide takes business owners through the basic principles of how to hire, manage and get the best from their employees, to dealing with disciplinary issues, maternity leave and subsequent return to work, and finally how to handle redundancies. All key factors to ensure your workforce remains a contented one and you are safe in the knowledge that you are doing things in accordance with employment law.

In an industry where regulation is ever changing, it is important that staff do not, for they are one of a company’s best assets and when treated fairly, a business is more likely to succeed.

This guide is intended for small firms, and line and team managers in larger organisations.

Download for free at http://www.panaceaadviser.com/hrguide