The Role

Fairstone is an Independent Financial Planning firm based in Newcastle Upon Tyne and we are currently recruiting for graduate trainee paraplanners to join our firm.

Paraplanning is a lesser known but rapidly in-demand career that has grown in recent years. Financial products and the legislation which support them are becoming more and more complex. It is now very difficult for financial planners to keep fully in touch with the ever-changing market while also maintaining strong relationships with clients and pursuing new business opportunities.

In step with this, regulatory changes have increased the technical burden on financial advisers. A paraplanner is an individual who works with a financial adviser to do a number of their non-client facing tasks involved in preparing and administering a financial plan or report for a client.

A paraplanner completes the research and analysis of financial products for our clients, documenting the output in a report to ensure the client is getting the best advice and the adviser is getting the best support to help them advise the client.

Great paraplanners will be meticulous and analytical, enjoy research and process-driven work and can source, analyse and summarise a great deal of information. Given the nature of the role, you should be the type of person who revels in the detail and is an enthusiastic problem-solver.

Key Responsibilities

  • Extract client data from fact finds
  • Obtain information, quotes, illustrations, and product details, and provide comparisons for analysis
  • Assist in identifying areas for planning and identify solutions suitable to meet the client’s needs and objectives
  • Research, analyse and complete recommendation reports for the adviser
  • Prepare, research, and produce annual reviews, including for drawdown pensions
  • Review the client’s investment portfolio, performance, asset allocation, risk profile etc and measure against Fairstone’s current risk criteria – Defaqto
  • Ensure that all research documentation is on file and that records are organised appropriately
  • Fully understand the Fairstone compliance procedures

The Ideal Person

Qualifications

First 24 months

 

The list below details the ideal competencies you must have in order to be able to carry out your role as a graduate trainee paraplanner effectively.

  • Have an understanding of the financial planning process
  • Able to work within defined business processes
  • Able to achieve agreed outcomes without supervision
  • Prioritise and plan own workload
  • Have attention to detail and accuracy
  • Be able to communicate effectively with colleagues and clients
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, both written and verbal
  • Ability to multitask and prioritise effectively
  • Good IT skills being fully competent with MS Office suite of products
  • Ability to assess information, make comparisons and identify critical features
  • Ability to acquire update and apply new skills and knowledge
  • Set own goals and want to deliver agreed targets
  • The aptitude to quickly build rapport
  • Ability to engage in independent study to achieve industry recognised qualifications, CII DipPFS

 

Your initial qualifications will be under the CII (Chartered Insurance Institute) www.cii.co.uk.

We’d expect you at the end of the two years to achieve the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning (6 exams)

  • RO1 – Financial services regulation and ethics
  • RO2 – Investment principles and risk
  • RO3 – Personal taxation
  • RO4 – Pensions and retirement planning
  • RO5 – Financial protection
  • RO6 – Financial planning practice

Once you’ve got these, you can then explore a whole host of different qualifications with the CII or other examining bodies – with the ultimate task of becoming a fully qualified chartered financial planner.

Fairstone, in addition to your salary, through the Fairstone Academy will cover the cost of training and your exam sitting, meaning the costs aren’t a barrier to unleashing your full potential.

Month 0-6

In any role we always start with learning the basics first – it’s the best foundation for success. For this role, that means learning all about Fairstone, the multi-billion-pound finance sector and the importance of people receiving sound financial advice.

Probation

On completion of your [6 month] probation period, you will become an official graduate trainee paraplanner.

We will work with you to agree your own personal development programme for the rest of the year, with the expectation you will start to revise for your first exam pretty much straight away.

Month 6-12

You will be working on real client cases and completing annual reviews.

Annual reviews involve reviewing the investment profile of existing clients with regard to their individual circumstances and demonstrating the value provided through financial advice. A good annual review will show a transparent analysis of the previous 12 months activity and consider performance, asset allocation and charges. It is important that the client’s current objectives, risk and capacity for loss are also captured.

By completing annual reviews as a first step you will learn to appreciate the financial planning journey and which tax wrappers are important at different stages of a client’s life.

You will learn about different providers and investments and develop your knowledge of the financial services industry.

Software is a huge part of a paraplanners role as we are analysts at heart. Annual reviews will involve the main software regularly used; FE Analytics, Defaqto, IRESS and Cashcalc and allow you to refine your skill on these individual platforms.

Month 12-24

By your second year, you will be moving on to more complex cases and certainly have a few exams under your belt!

After two years we would expect that you will be an expert in researching the market and making recommendations, be an accomplished report writer, volunteering to tackle the tricky cases and manage your own workload. As well as being a role model to the newest wave of graduates!

Apply to be a graduate trainee paraplanner

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