New outsourced paraplanning firm offers range of options
Integrated Paraplanning Solutions offers self-serve, modular and full paraplanning services, and pension transfer specialist work
Chartered Financial Planner and paraplanner Kimberley George has launched outsourced paraplanning service Integrated Paraplanning Solutions, offering a range of paraplanning services as well as pension transfer specialist work.
George has a 1st class law degree from Swansea University and became the youngest chartered financial planner in Wales in 2010 and a fellow of the Personal Finance Society in 2015. She also has the STEP diploma in trust and estates planning, an area in which she has ‘particular interest’, as well as being a pension transfer specialist. She has been both a financial planner and a senior paraplanner running a paraplanning team in more than one advisory practice.
George says that demand from advisers for her to provide a paraplanning service and difficulties in finding suitable paraplanners while running a paraplanning team brought home the need in the market.
The service launched on Monday 13 June. Explaining the ethos and set up of the firm, in particular the service options that she believes will help Integrated Paraplanning Solutions stand out for advisers, George says:
“What we want to do is link good paraplanners with good IFAs. By that I mean we want to work with financial advisers that want to do a really good job for their clients. I value my integrity and the integrity of the people I work with is very important to me both personally and professionally.”
The primary focus will be dealing with highly complex cases for HNW clients, including pension transfer work, as she feels this is where the firm can deliver specific value and where there are skills shortages in the market.
Four individual service areas
The main service is broken down into four areas, covering the various aspects or stages of the paraplanning process, meaning advisers can choose to use and pay for only the elements that they need for their business.
Also, advisers using the service can ‘pay-as-you-go’. “If an adviser finds they need our services one month but not the next, there is no obligation on them, other than the standard terms and conditions when using the service, to pay a retainer. The service fits with their needs,” George says.
The four individual service elements are:
1. Data gathering. This is the nitty-gritty of calling providers, pulling all the information together and “presenting it in a consistent and readable format”, George says. “We have designed a template to ensure the adviser gets all the information they need regardless of the product.”
A lot of the information will be stored in the adviser’s back-office and, if required, Integrated will access the back-office and draw down the information. George says Integrated has extensive experience and knowledge across a range of back-office systems, which makes this viable for the firm to do. “This is something that not all other outsourced operations will do; many expect the adviser to collate and send the information through to them.”
2.Research. This element of the service can be undertaken on funds, portfolios, TVAS, and tax planning, using systems like SelectaPension, O&M, FE Analytics and others, for any research and due diligence that is required.
3. Report writing. This can be for cashflow modelling, full suitability reports or discussion documents.
4. Compliance audit. George sees this service being used mainly by directly regulated firms who require a compliance check on files or a firm audit.
Self-serve option for lower value cases
For adviser firms that would prefer to do the paraplanning themselves but require some guidance and support, George has designed an ongoing retainer-based service which advisers can use as and when they want. This, she says, provides a suite of templates that advisers can access and use whenever they need. “It means for lower end work that maybe doesn’t warrant hiring a paraplanner they can do the work, ensuring they have a degree of consistency across all of their clients.
“I’m looking to give advisers access to different types and levels of service from self-service through individual components to a fully joined-up and integrated solution,” George says.
Even with the retainer-based service there is a notice period of just 14-days. “It’s important to me that we have the trust of our clients and for them to want to work with us and have an ongoing relationship with us.”
George adds that a key attribute of the service is the back-office system, which allows for case management to be done entirely online and also provides a comprehensive audit trail, updates and secure document storage. A mobile App is also available which enables cases to be tracked, as well as advisers to be sent push notifications, updates and to download documents “on the go”.