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Finding the Right Formula

“You might not think that's cricket, and it's not, it's motor racing.” – Murray Walker


While flicking through the TV channels over the weekend I was able to take great, if unexpected, delight in what was an uncommonly eventful Formula One motor race. I would certainly not be considered an enthusiast and, in the same manner that I enjoy watching Ice Skaters falling over at the winter Olympics, take greater pleasure from the minor mishaps and downright cock-ups rather than appreciation of the finely honed skills of the participants.

Nevertheless, the last couple of years have become something of a golden era for British motorsport as Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton go head to head every other week vying for title of world champion. Last year Jenson Button finished the victor, taking the acclaim of a proud nation along with his £6million salary. The plaudits rolled in one by one, an MBE, second place at sports personality of the year and even a street named after him (Jenson Avenue in Somerset).

Now, while I am sure that Mr Button possesses no shortage of skill, do we really think he would have achieved such repute with a Ford Cortina and a few gallons of four star? The generally held perspective on the sport seems that success or failure is determined more by those unsung heroes behind the scenes than the familiar faces on the podiums. Indeed a typical Formula One race team employs over 500 members of staff, from the designers and mechanics to the strategists and pit crew, it takes the culmination of collective hard work and shared goals to ultimately place a driver in the best possible position to win.

In a similar manner, success in IFA jobs and financial adviser jobs can often be put down to the level of support they receive from their employer. Indeed the most common reasons for advisers changing jobs include lack of paraplanning and administrative support, making it no surprise that paraplanning jobs are once again high on many firm’s agendas.


\"I'm applying intelligence and observation to the situation...\" – Murray Walker


As we move closer to 2012 and with IFAs considering the prospect of a purely fee based model, the question of how to offer a cost effective yet commercially viable service renders the need for high quality support staff even greater. With a requirement to offer increasingly high service levels on an ongoing basis, organisations must decide whether to reduce the number of clients they work with or to increase staff numbers to satisfy a greater need.

The responsibilities of many paraplanning jobs include a comprehensive post fact find service to include extensive analysis and product research allowing the paraplanner to make accurate recommendations to advisers before completing reports and suitability letters. With around 61% of paraplanning jobs filled by individuals who have achieved or are working towards DipPFS, IFAs will usually agree with these recommendations leaving them the confidence to focus on client development. Furthermore, in most fee based models the charge rate for employees in IFA jobs will often be higher than those in paraplanning jobs thereby making well supported consultants a more cost effective proposition for clients.

With the prospect of RDR having more and more influence on financial services recruitment practice, not only have we seen a growing requirement for Diploma qualification in IFA jobs and Financial Adviser jobs but more recently we are also receiving greater numbers of paraplanning jobs with this stipulation.


“Well, now we have exactly the same situation as at the beginning of the race, only exactly opposite.” – Murray Walker


Although an adviser will, like Jenson and Lewis, be the face of a practice and the first point of contact for many clients, it is clear that those in administration and paraplanning jobs will become increasingly important to the success of a practice in a post RDR world.

Maybe next time I’m watching the Grand Prix, rather than gleefully smirking at the millionaire stalled on the starting grid I will take a moment to consider the mechanic trying to get him started again and all those who worked so hard to get him there in the first place. Or maybe not.




If you are a practice looking to recruit experienced technical support staff or an individual looking for paraplanning jobs, please call us on 0161 973 6900 or feel free to explore www.exchange –street.co.uk for further information and a full job search facility.

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We often need to identify, attract and recruit highly experienced technical personnel who are able to grasp the need for innovation and service delivery. Exchange Street consistently correctly ascertain the requirements of the role and source candidates who both meet the criteria and also truly want to be considered for the position. Their expertise and attitude has resulted in them meeting most of our recent recruitment needs.

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