Having previously worked for a financial adviser’s practice and now as an outsourced paraplanner, I can see there are a number of benefits for advisers who choose to outsource their paraplanning.
It's my belief that working on an outsourced basis can equate to a greater knowledge and understanding of the industry as a whole.
Generally speaking, in-house paraplanners will tend to focus on working on cases that are part of a centralised investment proposition, or where some sort of platform due diligence has already been carried out. This means they are using the same providers and strategies on a regular basis.
However, being outsourced allows paraplanners to work for a wide range of advisers up and down the country that specialise in all areas of advice.
On any given day we could be working on a case where a new small self-administered scheme is being set up, or where monies are being invested into venture capital trusts or enterprise investment schemes.
The variety means as outsourced paraplanners we gain experience in dealing with more complex areas of the market such as defined benefit pensions, including running transfer value comparator reports and cashflow analysis. This is in addition to more standard pension and investment cases, as well as helping to arrange mortgages and life cover.
All this allows us to build up an extensive base of knowledge and experience which advisers can find helpful. I'm often asked for my thoughts on their cases, and sometimes am asked to review a case or recommendation before the adviser decides how they wish to proceed.
Our experience gives us the ability to provider constructive feedback where necessary, and to 'push back' if we think there may be issues with the case or the advice may be unsuitable for the client. This kind of third party perspective can prove invaluable.
Dealing with a lot of providers also means we are well-placed to find out the latest offerings, updates and product or market developments.
Outsourcing can help advisers save time, which they can then use to see more clients (or spend outside of the office!).
Having an external data gathering team means there is always someone to deal with providers and chase all the required information on cases from start to finish.
As long as advisers provide sufficient client information, an outsourced paraplanning team can take care of the full process, including providing clients with a suitability report at the end.