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Advisers look to shift duties to paraplanners

Paraplanners are expected to take on more duties traditionally reserved for advisers with the industry in an “existential” phase that will see their role redefined, according to Canada Life research.

The firm says 49 per cent of advice firms are currently employing paraplanners, with a further 30 per cent expecting to employ one in the future.

Two in five advisers surveyed say they would like to see paraplanners take on “extensive” roles in the next few years.

While 12 per cent of advisers felt paraplanners did not add value to a business in last year’s survey, the figure has dropped to 8 per cent in 2018.

Roundtable: The future of paraplanning

A quarter of advisers say their paraplanners should meet with clients and 29 per cent say paraplanners are adding significant value to a client’s financial strategy.

Canada Life UK executive director Richard Priestley says the profession that hardly existed 20 years aego is now the answer for time-poor advisers.

He says: “With paraplanners in half of advisers’ firms the door is clearly open for them to take on a much bigger, client-facing role. This research also clearly puts to bed the legitimacy question, if there ever really was one.”

Tom Hegarty: The gold standard in paraplanning

Two thirds of surveyed advisers say paraplanners free up their time to do more valuable activities, with 47 per cent add that paraplanners provide additional non-financial benefits, such as researching.

Priestley says: “Paraplanners are slowly revolutionising the industry and I encourage financial advisers to lean on their experience, read their articles and tune into their webinars to understand how paraplanners can help them in the long term.”

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  1. I have always wondered about this. What exactly do advisers do? It seems that the paraplanners do the work and the advisers just look lovingly into the clients eyes and hold their hands.

    This seems to result in the advisers having little clue at to (for example) which investment managers does what. What the funds are, what’s in them, how do they perform and so forth. And of course with two layers costs are increased. Indeed who one may ask deserves the better pay? The one that swans around, or the one that actually does the hard lifting? What kind of advice does the adviser actually give? Oh I think you should by an ISA, or contribute more into your pension. Dare I say that this is not regulated advice but generic. The regulated advice would seem to come from the paraplanner – who bizarrely isn’t regulated in most cases.

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