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‘Paraplanners are now professionals in their own right’

Salaries soaring as demand for good paraplanners outstrips supply

Paraplanners are now highly sought after professionals in their own right who can command “top-dollar” salaries from IFAs, say recruitment specialists.

Darren Mackie, senior consultant at recruitment firm Envision, says the term paraplanner has become a buzz word used to describe a spectrum of professionals with varying levels of experience, from senior support administrators to top-end AFPC-qualified technicians.

He says demand for good paraplanners is outstripping supply, leading to a significant rise in salaries in recent years. He says a good senior support/junior paraplanner with an FPC3 qualification and three or four years’ experience would command salaries in London of £24,000-£28,000.

A senior paraplanner with extensive experience who is AFPC qualified and able to advise and carry out most of the duties of an IFA will command almost double that.

Mackie says: “It should be noted that paraplanning is now a profession in its own right, not just a passageway to becoming an IFA. In our experience, the calculation shows the ratio of paraplanners to IFAs in the recruitment marketplace is one for every two to three IFAs and we all know how easy it is to recruit a good IFA.”

Reed recruitment executive Keith Enright believes paraplanners have become professionals in their own right and estimates only 20-30 per cent use their job as a springboard to becoming an IFA.

He says: “IFAs are paying top dollar for paraplanners now. In Birmingham, the top five paraplanners for the top five IFA firms are earning up to £30,000 compared with £25,000 three years ago. Salaries will continue to go up because there is no new blood in the industry and IFAs will have try to attract paraplanners from other roles.”

Lowland Financial Planning managing director Graeme Mitchell, who has just recruited a new paraplanner, says: “One difficulty we had is that there is no definition of what a paraplanner is or does. I am looking for someone who is perfectly happy to do administration so I have more time to give advice. Good administrators are worth their weight in gold but they don’t have to be qualified. The fact that they often are does mean we have to pay them higher salaries.”

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