IFP Conference 2011

by Martin Vaughan on 5 October 2011

The IFP conference this year was once again held at Celtic Manor resort in Cardiff. A beautiful setting near Newport in Wales and home of the Ryder Cup golf competition in 2010. Held over three days, 1st – 3rd October the conference was sold out. It included the IFP’s AGM on the first evening and then included various keynote speeches and breakout sessions which covered a number of different topics. This allowed the delegates to choose the most appropriate session for their needs or the needs of their business.

The IFP have, particularly over the last few years, actively encouraged paraplanners to attend and have tried to ensure that there are sessions which would be of interest to paraplanners. This year was no exception with a greater number of paraplanners in attendance.

On Tuesday morning Theparaplanner.com had the pleasure of presenting the Paraplanner of the Year Award to this year’s winner, Gary Tunstall, in the opening speeches. This lends support to the belief that Paraplanners are an integral part of the Financial Planning team. It is extremely pleasing to be able to present this award at a conference where the level of support for paraplanners and paraplanning has always been extremely positive.

 The key note speeches on Tuesday, particularly those by Dan Sullivan and Nick Murray were some of the best I have ever seen. They were inspiring, educational, humorous and informative and will no doubt be remembered by all who heard them for many years.

In addition I attended a session given by our own Richard Allum on assessing risk and the role of cash flow planning. The room was filled to capacity and was excellent. Richard looked at risk, how risk is measured, the FSA assessing suitability paper and how this interacts with Lifetime Cashflow Planning. All those who attended were thoroughly engaged and came away enlightened and keen to go back to their own practices to review their own systems and risk profiling tools.

Apart from the sessions as important at any conference is the opportunity to network; to meet old friends and to make new friends. The IFP has a habit of making conferences feel like you are part of a family, part of a community and this is something we have tried to do here at theparaplanner.com.

Having attended a number of conferences over the years I have to say that this was one of the best I have ever attended. Not only because of the breakout sessions; not only because of the key note speeches which were particularly inspiring this year; not only because of the fact that the IFP warmly welcomes, encourages and provides sessions particularly for paraplanners but mostly because of the friendly, helpful and enthusiastic nature of the delegates.

Achieving any of the above would be a credit in its own right but to achieve them all is truly amazing. Nick, Katherine and the IFP team along with the extremely hard working conference organizing committee should be duly proud.

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