With a distinct lack of experienced and qualified paraplanners available to employ in-house, it has become for many advisers, the norm to turn to outsourcing. We’ve seen an increase in the amount of companies providing this type of service over the last few years, and heard plenty of feedback – both good and bad! So as an advisory firm, how do you find out which is the right paraplanner for you?
We’ve created a list of things to consider when outsourcing your paraplanning, so you’ve covered all bases before you start!
First of all you want to ensure that the firm you are looking to work with can cater for the amount of research and reports you are looking for per month. By being specific from the outset about the amount you want to outsource per month will ensure you and your prospective paraplanner can work together without them having to compromise their service level agreement.
Many paraplanning firms will have set turnaround times to manage their workload effectively. Find out what they are, and if this suits you and your clients. Also find out what circumstances would affect those timescales, for example your paraplanners doing more steps in the process. What would happen if your paraplanner were on holiday? How would that be managed?
One of the key things we find when it comes to outsourcing is being clear on exactly what you want your paraplanner to do. Do they offer what you need as a service, are there any additional costs for doing more? It may be that some firms are only able to offer a report writing service, whilst others will be able to accommodate your research and admin too.
In our experience we’ve found our clients really value clear lines of communication. It’s important to establish how and when you can contact your paraplanner, and when you can expect them to get back to your queries. Establish this from the outset, so you have an understanding of how this factors in to your case management.
Qualifications & Experience
It’s really dependent upon the advisory firm as to what type of reports you are looking to outsource, but if for example, you specialise in final salary transfers or complex financial plans establish that your paraplanner has the necessary skills and qualifications to not only write the report, but look at a case and spot any red flags.
These are typically the key factors our clients have asked when initially coming on board with us, and if they haven’t asked it’s something I’ve ensured to cover off with them! Hopefully by asking these questions when searching for a paraplanning firm, will help you create a long and happy relationship.