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What exactly is a Paraplanner?

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If you are looking for a career in Financial Services, then you may well have come across the term Paraplanner. However, you may not know exactly what one is.

We’re here to help!

What is a Paraplanner?

Paraplanning as a job in its own right has only existed within the financial services for a relatively short amount of time. Paraplanning duties used to be carried out by financial advisors. However, today it is its own profession; working alongside Financial Advisors, Paraplanners help to create and recommend a financial plan to meet a client’s needs. They analyse and assess the information gathered from the client and discuss the possible solutions with the adviser before preparing the recommendation. The Financial Adviser then presents the recommendation to the client.

Paraplanning is a crucial cog in the Financial Services engine and is becoming an increasingly popular choice for those looking for a career in Financial Services.

What are a Paraplanner’s duties?

Day to day tasks may vary depending on the nature of your firm, but there are key tasks you can expect to be working on as a Paraplanner:

Preparing technical reports and recommendations

The Paraplanner undertakes financial products research, analyses data, and formulates financial plans. The research is pulled together into a suitability report for the Financial Advisor who will review and present the report to the client. 

Implementing recommendations

After the client has agreed to the recommendations presented by the Financial Advisor, it is the Paraplanner’s responsibility to facilitate the smooth processing of the business.  

Preparing and maintaining compliant client files  

Paraplanners prepare and maintain clients’ records and files. These must be organised detailed and meet compliance standards in order for the firm to be able to refer to the client’s records for present and future financial advice.      

Preparing annual reviews                                                                                                 

Annual reviews are provided for clients and encompass all areas of their financial situation, including any financial planning products they may have.

Paraplanners also maintain up-to-date knowledge of all aspects of Financial Planning, from taxation to legislation. They may also attend client meetings with Financial Advisors.

Career Trajectory                                                                       

Paraplanners earn a strong salary and there are many Paraplanning openings within the Financial Services.              

Some may choose to pursue Paraplanning as their career and there are plenty of opportunities to be successful if this is the path you choose. Others may view Paraplanning as a point on their journey to becoming a Financial Planner or Advisor.                                                                                      

How do I become one?

Firstly, you will need certain key skills to succeed as a Paraplanner:

  • Communication – Written communication is important when writing suitability reports in a way the clients will understand. Verbal communication is crucial when it comes to discussing any inconsistencies on the client file with the financial adviser.
  • People skills – Paraplanners work closely with Financial Advisers and other teams, so it is crucial that you get on well with people.
  • Attention to detail – Paraplanners need to identify clients’ needs and spot small details that can have big impacts on the client’s finances.
  • Be proactive – Things move quickly in the Financial Services and so when it comes to paraplanning you need to be able to think on your feet.
  • Technical – Paraplanners are expected to keep technical knowledge up to date on all areas of financial planning in the form of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

In reference to the last point above. The technical qualification you will need is the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) Level 4 Diploma in Financial Planning. Some firms will require you to have this in advance of starting your role or be in the process of completing it. Other roles, especially Trainee Paraplanner roles, typically have the training and achieving your qualification as part of the job.


If you are interested in Paraplanning check out our jobs page and be sure to stay up to date with all the latest updates from Artemis.