Meet the Paraplanner | Martin Vaughan

by Richard Allum on 1 October 2009

Martin 2Martin is the featured paraplanner in Professional Adviser this week which has recently introduced a paraplanner section.  It’s good to see another publication recognising the importance of paraplanners and dedicating resources.  Here is what he had to say.

Martin Vaughan is founder of Paragon Paraplanning.  He is also co-founder of, the UK’s first website dedicated to paraplanning.

How did you become a paraplanner?

I have been working in financial services for 17 years, initially as a financial adviser for Prudential, HSBC and others. I reached a point, around nine years ago, when I wanted to get into the IFA field. I looked at where my strengths lay, and found I was best suited to research, writing reports and other tasks which we now associate with paraplanning. I have not been a regulated individual since then, and worked as a paraplanner for a several IFA firms before setting up on my own last year.

Has the role changed much over the years?

The role, and its profile, has changed dramatically over the years. When I first started doing this nine years ago, paraplanning wasn’t really a recognised career in the UK. There have been paraplanners in the US for about 25 years, and they became common in Australia around 10 or 15 years ago, but in the UK paraplanners have only started to become a major part of financial advice in the past five or so years.

The actual tasks a paraplanner undertakes on a daily basis haven’t really changed, but the profile of the job has increased as we can see from steps taken by the IFP to formalise the role.

I think advisers are really starting to see the value of having a paraplanner to work alongside them. It is a more cost effective way of delivering advice, as the adviser can spend more time doing what he is good at and the paraplanner can focus on what they are good at. It is all about making sure your business has the right people, at the right price for the right job.

What do you think of the IFP’s new paraplanner qualification?

Bearing in mind that I helped put the qualification together, I think it is superb. It’s a step in the right direction for the industry as it helps recognise paraplanning as a role in its own right. It identifies paraplanning as a job that requires specialist skills and knowledge, filling a vital role within a business.

The development of this qualification shows people in the industry they can go on and take more advanced qualifications without necessarily becoming an IFA. You can move up in the financial advice sector without becoming a regulated individual, and it can open doors to other related careers, such as compliance or office management.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of being a paraplanner is helping advisers create a fantastic solution for clients. It is especially satisfying when you have a tricky case as you work with the adviser to examine everything needed and you come up with an excellent plan and clients really appreciate it.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Thomas Tan 21 October 2009 at 3:34

Dear Sir/Madam,
Could you please inform me what is Financial Para Planner as I am looking for a job as Financial Para Planner. Kindly inform me what is the requirement to be a financial Para Planner. Kindly in form me to my email address as follows:
Thank you,
Thomas Tan

THMOS TAN 16 July 2012 at 0:06

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