At Informed Financial Planning, we take pride in our staff and their achievements. As of August 2020, we now have a full team of CII Diploma Qualified, Senior Paraplanners!
What is a Paraplanner?
The role of a Paraplanner consists of a number of responsibilities that are essential in a client’s financial planning strategy. They are responsible for the research into whole of market products; preparation of the recommendation reports; cash flow forecasts and working closely with the advisers on assessing the suitability of our client’s investments.
You can find out more on what a Paraplanner does, here.
MEET THE TEAM!
All of our Paraplanners joined Informed Financial Planning through our Graduate Scheme which allows them to excel in the world of Financial Services early on, after leaving University. This consists of six exams to achieve the CII Accredited Diploma status.
These exams cover:
- R01 – Financial Services, Regulation & Ethics
- R02 – Investment Principles & Risk
- R03 – Personal Taxation
- R04 – Pensions & Retirement Planning
- R05 – Financial Protection
- R06 – Financial Planning Practice
We asked our team of Paraplanners how they found the exams and what it means to them now they are all qualified!
Georgina Stocker BA (Hons) DipPFS.
Georgina is the most experienced member of our Paraplanning team. She joined IFP in 2016 after having R01 and shortly R02 already under her belt. From there on she was “determined to go on and pass the remaining exams as quick as possible” and achieved her Diploma in Financial Planning in just 18 months. Since achieving the DipPFS status, Georgina has gone on to sit AF7 which awarded her the title of “Pension Transfer Specialist” and is soon due to take another Chartered Exam before the end of the year!
Georgina’s reason behind her motivation is:
“The more knowledge you have, the better job you can do. Although I did find studying, being a single parent, and giving my all into my amazing new role as a trainee paraplanner unsurprisingly challenging, knowing that I had my foot in the door of such a growing exciting industry with vast opportunity and a lifelong career is very rewarding. I believe the more valuable of an input you can have on your client’s circumstances, the better the outcome will be for that individual. That is something I most definitely want to be a part of.”
Ashley Biglin BSc (Hons) DipPFS
Ashley joined IFP in 2017 after graduating with a degree in Accounting from the University of Hull. Ashley, along with Lewis and Rachel, achieved his Diploma in Financial Planning in November 2019. He is now on the road to becoming chartered by starting AF6! Although he had somewhat of a relevant degree, the financial services industry was still all new to him and like many young graduates he “wanted to hit the ground running and expand my knowledge on the products and services” to ensure the work he was providing was valuable.
Ashley’s motivation to achieve Dip was:
“I joined IFP without knowing what the industry entirely provided for our clients. I felt the best way to tackle this was to get my head in the books immediately. With some of the other members of the team at that time already on the road to achieving Dip, studying and speaking to them along the way definitely helped during those times when I found it difficult to juggle work and study life, I thought I’d left all that back at Uni! Every time I passed an exam, I would find that I was able to get more involved in the conversations in the office, offer my knowledge to other peers and produce better quality work. The day that you get the email to say you have achieved the Diploma definitely makes it all worthwhile! Now we are onto the next chapter, chartered!”
Rachel Naulls BSc (Hons) DipPFS
Rachel also joined IFP in 2017 after graduating with a degree in Archaeology from the University of Leicester and achieved her Diploma back in November 2019! Rachel is our prime example at IFP that your degree and experience does not define what a great asset to the team you can be! Rachel achieved her Diploma within two years of joining IFP and has already booked two more exams for October!
Rachel has said she was motivated because:
“It’s rewarding to know what you can achieve when you put your mind to it. I would consider myself a perfectionist and in order to practice what I preach I needed to know the ins and outs of the Financial Services Industry. Although I came across some hurdles along the way, I knew I had to keep pushing and not let it get me down. I can’t lie, it was a long and hard two years but the sense of achievement and the confidence it has given me to continue is absolutely worth it. All those Sunday study groups in the office was worthwhile!”
James Foston BSc (Hons) DipPFS
James joined IFP in 2018 after graduating with a degree in Economics from the University of Sheffield. He has been known to say that at this point he “hadn’t a clue what an Independent Financial Adviser does!”. James achieved his Diploma in Financial Planning within two years, passing every exam first time and achieving an average 88% in qualifying for his diploma. This is the highest average IFP have ever had!
James’ motivation came from:
“When I first joined IFP, conversations filled with financial services jargon would take place in every corner of the office and truth be told I felt a little bit lost. I decided the best way to deal with this would be to begin studying for my Diploma straight away and it was the best decision I ever made. Although the exams are difficult and fitting them in around your personal life is a challenge, the impact they had on my confidence and the quality of my work for our clients was amazing. Now I have completed the Diploma I feel set up for a great career in financial services with the confidence to give first class technical support to our advisers and clients.”
What does this mean for IFP?
Informed Financial Planning now have a full team of qualified Paraplanners, who have shown determination, dedication, and a great deal of commitment to us as a firm and to our clients.
Last year, the team had their most productive year on record for IFP. That’s pretty good going for a team who were studying for the majority of that!
If you are studying for a Diploma in Financial Services, or think you might be interested in doing so and are looking for some study tips, we have an article by our Compliance Assistant Lewis (who also achieved his Diploma in just two years!) that may be able to help you, here.