A study produced last Summer by NextWealth and the Personal Finance Society has illustrated that we are the leading supplier of outsourced paraplanning, used by more than double the number of firms than our nearest competitor.
As a company, we’re absolutely delighted with this outcome as it provides recognition and testament to the 11 years of paraplanning support we’ve provided within the industry. A mixture of providing excellent service to existing clients and business growth through referrals has ensured our leading position within the industry.
Summary of the report contents
NextWealth and the Personal Finance Society (PFS) have published a comprehensive benchmarking study for financial advice businesses covering the profile of financial planners and their firms, the future of financial advice businesses, investment propositions, technology infrastructure and outsourced support.
The results are based on an online survey of 482 PFS members conducted between 11 and 24 July 2019.
Insight included in the report
- The average age of financial planners is 49 and 20% are female.
- 39% of financial advice businesses have recruited in the past year.
- 82% of financial planners use ESG solutions for 7% of client assets.
- Financial planners use between 2 and 3 discretionary fund managers.
- Between 3 and 4 weeks pass between the first point of contact and the first piece of advice is delivered to clients.
- The average cost to onboard a client is £1,543.
Talk to us about your paraplanning requirements.
Dwight Scaife – Client Relations Manager
As part of our business planning, we’ve considered what aspects of the business we might change and what areas we should focus our investment on.
With that in mind, we took a look at main priorities for the year which our Director, Jo Campbell discussed with Nucleus in this article.
It’s often said within the office that there “ain’t no party like a Para-Sols party”- and with this year being our first official Christmas as part of The Verve Group, it’s safe to say the game has been stepped up even further!
The theme: Great Gatsby. The food: Incredible. The dancing: Ok, we won’t talk about the dancing.
As always, our Christmas parties are also the time where we host our annual staff awards, so we’ve popped a little about each fabulous winner below…
Best new signing
A prestigious award within the team, as this goes to the person who has made the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time – this award was extended across The Verve Group and the finalists included three of our lovely Para-Sols team. As we know, there could only be one winner and that was Technical Researcher, Ellen Wood!
With comments from her fellow colleagues such as ‘I can’t believe Ellen has only been here six months’, ‘I honestly couldn’t ask for a better team player’ and ‘she is an asset to the company’, it’s very easy to see why Ellen was our winner. In the time that she has been here, she has made the lives of everyone around her much easier.
She’s a fantastic and reassuring voice at the end of the phone for our clients and the quality of her work is amazing. She embodies our company values and is an integral part of the team – well done Ellen!
Para-Sols Players’ Player
This award was for the person who is consistently a team player and who always has their colleagues back – there are now 32 people in the Para-Sols team, so this was always going to be a big achievement to the winner. After receiving a number of high quality and quite frankly, heart-warming, nominations from the team, the winner was our Lead Paraplanner, Peter Rhoden!
Pete has been with us for a number of years and has been a pillar of support throughout our growth as a company. A fantastic mentor to his hub, he is everything that a good Lead Paraplanner should be; encouraging, understanding and patient. Pete is the first one in the office on a morning and the last to leave at night – his commitment is something to be commended and his colleagues describe him as a brilliant hub leader and someone who always sets a good example to everyone around him.
We’re over the moon for Pete as this is very well deserved!
The Verve Award
A new award introduced for 2019 – this was for someone who had had a standout year, been consistent in their efforts, consistently champions company values and simply deserved the recognition of being amazing. Voted for by our Senior Leadership Team, this was the final award announced on the evening and, the most exciting!
The winner of this incredible award was our fabulous Junior Paraplanner, Alex Buckle. Alex received so many nominations in almost every category within the awards, showing how appreciated she is across the full Verve Group. Her quality of work is described as exceptional and it’s amazing to see how many people are personally impacted by Alex’s good nature and strong teamwork ethic.
This year Alex completed her Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning after completing our graduate programme, The Grad Scheme – which is a huge milestone that she has worked so hard towards.
Alex represents all of our company values perfectly and with ease. She is a natural hard worker with a strong desire to learn. As a fundamental part of our team, we see a bright future for Alex as a Paraplanner and we’re very proud to be part of her journey. (She’s also described as the funniest person in the office, much to the dismay of our Director of Quality and Operations, Jo Campbell).
And that’s it for another year – what a fantastic evening of celebration, old sport. If you’d like to see the other winners from the evening, head over to our sister company, Apricity.
Having previously worked for a financial adviser’s practice and now as an outsourced paraplanner, I know that there are many benefits for outsourced paraplanning.
Working on an outsourced basis, I believe, requires far greater knowledge and understanding of the industry as a whole. Why? Well generally, I feel an in-house paraplanner will focus on working on cases that are part of a centralised investment proposition or have had some sort of platform due diligence carried out, meaning you generally use the same providers and strategies regularly.
However, being outsourced allows us to work for a wide range of advisers up and down the country that specialise in all areas of financial advice. This means that on any given day we could be working on a case where a new SSAS is being set up, monies are being invested into VCT/EIS investments or dealing with defined benefit pensions, including running TVC reports and cash flow analysis. This would be in addition to your more standard mortgage, life cover, pension and investment cases.
This allows you to build up extensive knowledge and experience which advisers can find very helpful. I am often asked for my thoughts on their cases, even running them by me before they decide how they wish to proceed with the case/advice.
Given the knowledge and experience we hold, we are able to push back on advisers if we think there are issues with the case or if we feel the advice is unsuitable for the client. This could be invaluable to an adviser to help them get a third party perspective.
As we deal with so many providers, we are quick to find out the latest offerings or updates to products which can help advisers who maybe are not as aware of developments in the market.
Outsourcing can help to save advisers a lot of time, which they can use to see more clients (or spend more time on the golf course!) – due to us having a top-quality data gathering team, that can deal with providers and chase all the required information on cases from start to finish. Therefore, given the adviser provides sufficient information about the client, we can take care of the full process providing them with a suitability report at the end.
Peter Rohden – Lead Paraplanner.
For more details on outsourcing your paraplanning, click here.
This month we officially hit double digits and turned ten! To celebrate in style, we combined our annual Summer Soiree with a huge tenth birthday party – full of good food, good company, dancing and maybe a drink or two (see image below for more details on that!).
With the launch of sister company The Art of Finance, formalising our group brand structure The Verve Group, as well as countless exam passes and an influx of new team members – this year has brought us many things to be proud of! With plenty to reflect upon, we had plenty of reasons to crack open a bottle of fizz – and we did just that!
At the beginning of the year, we announced the launch of latest sister company and newest addition to the group – The Art of Finance – a training solution for advisers and planners to upskill their team, as well as individuals looking to take the leap into financial services. We kicked off our first cohort in May and so far, have received excellent feedback, as the training is designed to be engaging and interactive – no death by PowerPoint!
This year has been a busy one consolidating the company brands within The Verve Group structure. For those who need a reminder, The Verve Group centralises the mission of Para-Sols, Apricity Compliance, The Art of Finance and our graduate training programme, The Grad Scheme. It’s a central platform to provide financial planners, of all shapes and sizes, with the best support services around and; shout about how brilliant a career in finance is, and provide opportunities for those wanting to get into it.
‘We’re gonna need a bigger boat’
You may remember seeing this quote a few weeks back – it was the title of our blog where we covered the recent scale-up of our team (catch that here).
As we were celebrating over the weekend, we took a moment to reflect on how the team has grown and flourished in the last year. Compared to this time last year, we’ve welcomed eight new team members in a range of roles – paraplanners, technical researchers, and business operations. There are a few more roles that we’ve earmarked for the year ahead as we develop more of our services.
Tick, tick, tick
No, we don’t mean the sound a clock makes – that’s just us ticking off recent exams passes completed by our amazing team. Everyone is making such fantastic progress and during our celebrations, one of our paraplanners, Holly, received special recognition as she recently completed her Level 4 Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning. We also presented our Colleague of the Quarter – an award voted for by the full team – so spirits were high.
We’re not entirely sure on the exact number of sore heads on Sunday morning – but judging by this (see below), we can imagine the number was pretty high. In all, it was an amazing day, celebrating amazing achievements and a full decade of Para-Sols.
Here’s to next decade – cheers!