The managing director of paraplanning outsourcing firm, the Paraplanners, revealed that the collaborative format of the firm’s Powwow conference, held on 19 September, has encouraged participants to set up similar regional paraplanner events.
The first of these events will take place in Leeds on 15 October, with dates due to be confirmed in London and Bristol.
According to Mr Allum, these seminars will encourage paraplanners to set the agenda and debate issues under Chatham House Rule.
Mr Allum said the rest of the financial industry should now “dare to be different” in how they organise events following the success of the original Powwow event.
He said: “Many financial services events are pretty much the same – you sit and listen to a speaker all day. This was a completely different event that received excellent feedback and I would hope that providers and organisations would pay attention to this.
“Organisers need to start thinking more about what participants will get out of it and whether their events can stand out in the crowd.”
Mr Allum suggested that the progressive nature of the first event, which was held in teepees, was helped by having a diverse audience. He added: “More than half of those who came were women and the typical age of paraplanners is relatively young.”
Damian Davies, director of Herefordshire-based The Timebank, a paraplanning outsourcing firm, said it would be the “next step” to create a national association of paraplanners, given how much the profession is “maturing”. He said: “People are viewing paraplanning as a profession in its own right and not just a stepping stone for the advisory world. Once you have established careers in this area, the next step would be to have a professional body representing paraplanners. The question of who would organise that is up in the air, however.” He suggested the Institute of Financial Planning and the Personal Finance Society could both have a hand in creating a paraplanning offshoot, given their increasing support for the profession in recent years.