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Paraplanner focus: Meet the client-facing paraplanner

02 October 2019

Ben Kehoe of north London’s Equanimity recounts a typical day in his life as a paraplanner...

Man annotating notebook

Morning

Most mornings start the same way – by explaining once more to my housemates exactly what a paraplanner is. After the fifth Batman and Robin analogy I leave the conversation feeling defeated once more, but excited for what another day of working in financial services holds.

After a short cycle into the office and a subsequent change into office attire (Clark Kent style) it’s time to begin the day. At Equanimity the paraplanners are more client facing than most, which is genuinely fantastic and one of my favourite parts of the job.

By virtue of this, the first task of the morning generally involves responding to any client emails received overnight. Once complete and breathing room is attained it’s time to see what the day has in store. We use Apollo as a workflow management tool and the day’s tasks – client meetings, client emails and professional development where possible – are generally dictated by this.

Depending on the layout of the calendar I like to spend the morning working through all of the relatively simple tasks. In our office the paraplanners have oversight of the admin staff, so the simple tasks involve checking over their work, setting up new workflow using Apollo, perhaps getting through a simple recommendation letter, doing some fund or product research and (at the time of writing) tuning into the BBC for The Ashes (how good is Steve Smith?).

Afternoon

Lunch is typically spent grabbing a quick sandwich and staring at my fantasy football team for an hour wondering when the proverbial phoenix will rise from the ashes that are my hopes and dreams for the season. Upon realising it’s hopeless and I should stick to cricket, it’s time to crack on.

Client meetings are scattered throughout the day. As paraplanners we are responsible for preparing for these meetings which means reviewing the client’s file and putting on our adviser hat to think of all the things that we should be discussing with the client.

We also get involved in preparing the financial modelling in advance of review meetings. As a big fan of pretty colours and graphs this is one of my favourite parts of the job. I think modelling adds so much to the end client experience and having a role in putting their plan together is fantastic.

We also sit in on client meetings, taking notes and chipping in where relevant. Following the meeting we’ll write up the notes which confirm the action points for both us and the client. And the cycle begins anew. From those notes we’ll go off and do the relevant research, write up the recommendations, oversee the implementation and manage the client relationship.

Evening

After all of that it’s time to wrap up for the day. For me personally that usually means doing a bit of admin for the Facebook page that I run, Aussies in London. Admin in this case is a very loose term which refers to meeting people in the pub – it’s tough.

If I’ve got a night off from that it’s usually straight home to watch Bake Off or similar with the housemates, followed by a mandatory viewing of any number of Batman films and so we come full circle.

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