The Paraplanner – On the Road!

by Martin Vaughan on 17 June 2008


The Paraplanner has been up and running for virtually 2 months now and during that time has established itself as the primary resource for all things paraplanner. We have had excellent feedback to the site along with lots of fantastic ideas and ways to improve what we do.  As you can imagine it’s very difficult to put everything into practice immediately and some things are taking longer to organise than others but we hope to have implemented the majority of your ideas in the very near future.Your ideas are very, very important to us so please keep them coming!

When we set the site up we always wanted it to be much more than just another website and it was always our hope that we would be able to set up regional meetings where paraplanners who are geographically close to each other, would be able to meet, share ideas and best practice, receive some training and discuss the burning issues of the day. It has been very pleasing to see that a number of you also felt that this was a good idea and asked us to let you know when this was likely to happen.

Well, it’s happening!

We are hoping to run a number of roadshows/workshops/get togethers throughout the UK towards the latter part of this year and need your feedback to ensure that they are what you want and are held where you want them.

We would like to start planning the days to make sure we give you what you want so if you could register your interest by adding a comment below or on the forum and let us know what you think about the following:

  • Where is the most convenient location? (e.g. 30 mile radius of Manchester)
  • How long would you like the event to last? (e.g. full day, half day, couple of hours)
  • What time would you prefer it to be held?
  • Are there any specific topics you would like to see covered?
  • Are there any specific topics you would like to see excluded?
  • Would you be prepared to pay to attend to help cover the costs?
  • How many other paraplanners do you know who would come with you?
  • Are there any particular industry professionals you would be interested in meeting/hearing speak?
  • Would you be willing to help organise an event?

Please pass this message on to anyone else who you think may be interested. Thanks for your help, we look forward to hearing from you all very soon.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Roger Barlow 17 June 2008 at 10:50

Hi Martin, I think its great that you are looking to hit the road and look forward to meeting some of you later in the year. Location is likely to be based around the bigger cities, which generally will employ a higher proportion of paraplanners. This is where feedback from other paraplanners is very important, as it will provide a geographical map of where most are based and will help plan where you visit.
With regard to industry professionals, I always enjoy listening to market commentary and views on future expectations, particularly from investment managers. Also product providers presentations on specific products. Perhaps another benefit of having product providers attend is the potential for them to sponsor the roadshow?

Cheryl Wade 17 June 2008 at 11:26

Hi Martin. Great to hear that you are pushing forward with the regional meetings. I agree with Roger and would suggest that the meetings are location around the larger city centres. I am based on the south coast (Fareham) and think that a good location for a southern region meeting would be Southampton.
I am sure that product providers will sponser the events as we have always found them willing in the past! I personally think the event should be a half to a full day, especially for the first round of meetings where we will all be getting to know one another. I am always interested to hear what product providers have to say, be it product or fund specific.

Richard Allum 17 June 2008 at 11:33

Thanks for your comments so far. We are negotiating sponsorship with a couple of providers at the moment. Interesting that you both are keen to hear from product providers – my initial thought was that people would not want that. I guess we will have to reach a consensus about what sort of products and what providers etc. We are all looking forward to these – keep the comments and ideas coming.

Roger Barlow 17 June 2008 at 12:07

Hi Richard, I can see the problem with getting product providers involved. There are so many products out there, and paraplanners will have their own preference on who they might want to see present. I like to see providers for products that are new to the market, or have an interesting offering (like Hartford for example). But pleasing everyone could be a problem!

Kristina Morrell 17 June 2008 at 17:15

Hi, I too find that investment outlooks are very helpful and makes it easier for me make recommendations to my advisers with regards to fund selections. There are normally seminars held in Bristol and/or Bath which covers the area that I am working in – I have noticed that the closer the locations are to major roads eg motorways, the more people attend (just a thought!) I think that having a session with any major regulatory updates is also helpful. As with Roger, I would be interested in seeing providers who have something a bit unique to offer. I know that Scheme Pensions are up and coming at the moment and I would like more information on those and how they work logistically as the advisors seem very keen on them and there are not many people who do them. I agree with Cheryl that the seminars should last either a full/half day in order to make them worthwhile.

Martin 17 June 2008 at 23:56

Hi Guys
For Northern Ireland, Belfast would probably be the best location. Happy for product providers to attend to keep the cost down as long as their presentation is geared more towards a generic presentation ie asset allocation, market commentary, technical presentation ie SIPP opportunities or changes in the market place.
From experience Standard Life are good at this thing without ramming their products down your throat.

Aimee Parkes 18 June 2008 at 10:29

Hi, I also work on the south coast (Bournemouth) and would be interested in attending the regional meetings, but wouldn’t be prepared to travel any further than Southampton. I agree that the first meeting should be a full or half day, with following ones for a couple of hours in the morning. I don’t think it would be an issue if they were sponsored by providers, as this happens at PFS regional meetings and there is always a good balance on content and provider specific.

Richard Allum 18 June 2008 at 11:28

Some replies from a user in Glasgow posted so you know where others are at!

Glasgow is good and half day best to start with then maybe 2 hour meetings. Mornings good. Like to cover research, useful websites and report writing. Would like to hear from freelance paraplanners, knows other people who would like to come and is happy to help organise.

Charlotte 18 June 2008 at 14:02


Excellent news, easily accessible places a must so that will generally include the larger city centres and for my area somewhere along the A12/A120/M11 corridors would be good!

As well as providers with more interesting offerings, how about something on where to get started with research, report writing(what must be included), fund selection etc etc. It may be old hat to some but there may be a few tricks we are missing.

Research / Software providers – may also be a source of sponsorship?????

Full day for the first one and then half days thereafter??

Charlie 19 June 2008 at 15:51

I would happily attend a seminar in the Birmingham area. The topic of greatest interest for me is research tools and software. Fund presentations and predictions from fund managers just don’t move me. Sponsorship would be welcome. It would also be best restricted to a half-day. Most one-day seminars seem to stretch material over 8 hours that could be contained within 4. Many thanks for inviting comments.

Ed 27 June 2008 at 9:23

I agree that presentations on generic subjects like asset allocation, fund research tools and report writing would be useful. I think most important would be the technical updates as there’s always the chance of either missing an important issue or not quite grasping the potential impact of the changes.

With regards to product providers, in my opinion the most worthwhile presentations would be by those providers new to the market and/or those offering a new/unique product. I’m sure we are all hounded enough by our regional reps wanting to update us on their mainstream product offerings.

Working in Stoke-on-Trent I’m not sure there would be enough demand to have one here (although it would be brilliant if there could!!!!) therefore guess Birmingham or Manchester would suffice!!!

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