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Martin Vaughan: The need for paraplanners post-RDR

The new world is nearly upon us. In just a few weeks the changes which have been discussed, agreed, changed, consulted upon, as part of the retail distribution review will have come into force and anything which we hoped may have changed or may not have change will no longer be an immediate concern.

We will all be getting used to conducting our business in a post-RDR world under the auspices of the FCA.

Whatever the pros and cons of the RDR process, one thing is for certain, the way in which we operate and the way in which we provide our services to our clients for many, will have changed.

Gone are the days when it would have been possible to simply have a relationship with a client and to advise them. There now has to be much more justification and documentation not only supporting the recommendations that you make but also demonstrating the process you went through to arrive at those recommendations.

But because of this increased requirement it has become more and more difficult for a single individual to complete all of these tasks themselves. Of course, there will be those who can do this, however, for those who either cannot, or have chosen not to undertake this work, assistance from a professional capable of performing these tasks will be very welcome and necessary.

This is the domain of a paraplanner. Paraplanners have the necessary skills, experience and expertise to undertake the research, produce reports to evidence your decisions and provide justification for your recommendations. They can write the report or financial plan to provide confirmation of your advice to the client and whether they are internal or outsourced, are able to provide additional support in many ways to your firm.

A suitably qualified and experience paraplanner will allow you to spend more time with your clients, managing the relationship and working to help the client achieve their goals and objectives.

No one individual will be able to do everything and in a post-RDR world the paraplanners role will become even more important than it is already. A paraplanner can provide support, help, assistance, research, and friendship to financial planners and advisers who will have numerous responsibilities and challenges to contend with as we move into 2013.

Martin Vaughan is director and head of paraplanning at GHC Capital Markets

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