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.”


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. 

Panacea launches all new auto-enrolment microsite

New rules and regulations, which are frequently introduced to the adviser world, are often fraught with difficulties and can take an awful lot of your time to understand and act upon accordingly.

Naturally, time is money to firms, more so than ever in todays fee charging world. And that loss of time linked to a failure to understand either the regulatory direction or opportunity can manifest itself in a reduction of income.

However, the new pension reforms are providing advisers with some great opportunities for additional revenue streams in the shape of auto-enrolment.

To assist you in taking full advantage of this opportunity, the Panacea Auto-enrolment micro site has been designed with input from providers, advisers and support services to promote an understanding of what you need to ensure the ongoing success of your business in light of what the changes to pension reforms present.

It is designed to help advisers support their clients in the run up to staging dates over the next three years and will assist in identifying business opportunities in the shape of step-by-step guide so you can conduct auto-enrolment business to ensure continued profitability.

This free to use resource also includes all the latest news on auto-enrolment, legal requirements and a whole raft of useful links.

And of course more useful tools and information will be added over the coming months.

So take a look today, bookmark this invaluable resource, let us know what else you would like to see and from who. And above all let your colleagues know today.


A Panacea for Paraplanners

As we have settled into the new world, with greater regulation surrounding documentation and accountability, paraplanners have played an increasingly important part in supporting the service offered by advisers. In recognition of this, we are delighted to announce the launch of a dedicated microsite for paraplanners.

Designed in conjunction with providers, paraplanners and support services, the new Paraplanner microsite ensures existing planners, as well as those new to the industry have easy and fast access to the tools and information they need.

This new site offers a range of articles, services and tools designed specifically to assist with a paraplanner’s day-to-day role and includes technical information and learning materials to help with their professional development.

We are confident this site will be popular with our ever-expanding number of paraplanning users so please pass this on to your paraplanner colleagues as we believe that this, in turn, will provide further support to our adviser community.

For more information please visit www.PanaceaAdviser.com/Paraplanners

Today’s Paraplanner is?


Like salt and pepper, lock and key and Homer & Marge, some things in life are just meant to be together. RDR has expedited the already expanding nature of the Paraplanner’s role.

The RDR’s new regulations require increased adviser accountability, research and documentary evidence behind the advice process. The resulting benefit of time saved by working with an outsourced paraplanning firm is making paraplanners a ‘must have’ for the many smaller adviser firms who want to maximize their earning possibilities.

Owen James working on behalf of J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Invesco Perpetual has produced some excellent research on paraplanners that has enabled a better understanding of their businesses, age demographic and how they work.

Did you know for example that:

  • some 37% of those surveyed influence more than £100m of funds under management
  • some 50% have never met the client
  • that the top 3 most important influencers when selecting funds or outsourced solutions was performance, costs/charges and risk profile

Paraplanners also were keen to see a centralised place to access information on a weekly basis and this has been a key driver toward Panacea Adviser creating a place in the community for them to call home and importantly access timely, relevant, accurate and trusted information from over 70,000 pages on our site.

And importantly for our adviser members, they can now get a better idea of what paraplanners can do for them and to make contact very easily with many of the leading outsource firms via our new Paraplanning zone.


Download the report now for free and let us know your experiences too.



Valentines day, “Hug” a Paraplanner


2013 is now a reality and very recent research is showing us that after getting the exams, many advisers may be taking some time to review their business plan, their business goals and the business’s resource requirements.

This is not a process to rush, but it is a pressing one if the year ahead is to be a success.

Many smaller adviser firms may not fully appreciate that paraplanning, a huge time saving opportunity to embrace, is a vital, yet often confusing part of the business to resource – is it better to outsource or is it better to undertake the function in-house?

Given that there can be as many answers to this question as there are businesses we endeavour to provide you with some factors to consider for your business needs.

1. Do you currently have an in-house paraplanner?

  • Is this working as effectively as you would like?  If so, are you and your paraplanner on the same page when it comes to matching their aims and aspirations with yours?
  • Are they a career paraplanner or likely to want to transition to become an Adviser.
  • What could be improved?
  • Is your paraplanning process as efficient as you would like?  Is the quality up to scratch?  Do you have the time and resources to put into developing and training your paraplanner if this is required?
  • Do you have a solid, quality workflow process?

2. Do you want the additional responsibility of the requirement to manage, train and develop people or is your real passion in networking, business development and managing your ongoing relationship with clients?

3. Is managing your multi skill aspects of the business eating away at your time and energy to do the things you love and want to do?

4. Will freeing up the time you spend doing these tasks enable you to see more clients and generate more income?

5. Is business succession important and do you see the paraplanner being part of that succession plan and if so, does your paraplanner realise this?

6. Are you having trouble hiring a paraplanner?  Are you in a remote location?  Do you have the cash flow to support the level of expertise that you would like?

7. Would you like to partner with an expert in their field who has additional experience and insights that you may not ordinarily consider?

8. When it comes to the costs and cash flow in running the business is it important to you whether costs are fixed or variable?  Would you like costs to fluctuate in line with how the business is going?  Or would you like to know exactly what your costs would be regardless of your level of activity?  Do you have the capital to support – additional technology requirements, hardware, log-ins for software, office space and recruitment fees?

9. How important is it to you to control the paraplanning function?  Do you want to work on the strategy together or do you want to provide the recommendations and get assistance with the technical and compliance requirements in forming a Statement of Advice? Do you wish to have access to a “sounding board” for your strategy and recommendations?

10. How important is it to you that plans are completed within agreed turn-around times? What is your time lag between seeing a client and providing them with a Statement of Advice? Does your outsource provider give a guarantee or are your in-house paraplanners KPI’s aligned to this?

11. Are parts of your advice process heavily segmented with people in your office sure of your expectations of their work and a clear job role?  Or is your business more fluid – with people changing from administrator to paraplanner to client services depending on the needs of the business?

12. Do your staff have the expertise and training required for this?

With staffing costs accounting for over 50% of the total costs for boutique financial planning practices getting the correct mix of resources for your business is critical.

The mix of resources is likely to change over time depending on the requirements and nuances of your business.  So what is the answer for your business?  Pure in-house support?  Partnering with an out-source provider?  Or a combination of the two?

You may wish to start with a discussion with a Paraplanner, to assist in this process we have created a new zone with links to many of the leading outsource firms. Do make contact, it may change your life?

Visit our Paraplanner Zone