ParaplanningFeb 24 2023

'AI will change the role of a paraplanner'

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'AI will change the role of a paraplanner'
Frazer Cronin, technical analyst at First Wealth (Carmen Reichman/FTAdviser)
ByJane Matthews

Artificial intelligence will change paraplanning, but those in the profession should embrace this, according to one paraplanner.

Speaking to FTAdviser, Frazer Cronin, technical analyst at First Wealth, said he is ready to welcome all artificial intelligence can offer paraplanning with open arms.

“It’s going to be one of those things that help make our jobs a little bit more seamless,” Cronin said.

“The impact this is going to have on most professions is going to be profound. When you look at its capabilities, I think the role of the paraplanner will of course change.

“It will take a lot of the arduous jobs - say suitability writing - away from the paraplanner. The ability to really dive into a topic and understand clients needs and objectives will become the key point of the role, and paraplanners will have to become a hybrid between the technology and the adviser.”

Cronin believes the advances AI will bring will mean that paraplanners need to focus more on the personable side of the role as the days of “sitting behind a computer and doing calculations” will be over. 

Cronin said: “I don’t see why in the future AI won’t be able to do calculations. Obviously a lot of a paraplanner's job is to be able to do tax calculations and the like, so I don’t see why it won’t seep into there and take away that element of the role. 

“I don’t know when this will happen but it looks as though it is on the horizon, which I find exciting.

“I imagine a paraplanner’s job 10 years ago was totally different to what it is now, in terms of how firms have evolved their processes.”

Cronin believes paraplanning is not well known more widely because it is not seen as a career in its own right (Carmen Reichman)

Cronin first started at First Wealth as a client relationship manager back in 2020 during the pandemic with no experience in financial services, having come from a marketing role in the travel and tourism industry. 

He spent the first two years at the firm learning the skills of the trade and completed the Chartered Insurance Institute diploma in regulated financial planning in the space of 12 months. 

Back in July, he was promoted to a technical analyst/paraplanner and now is studying to gain chartered status with the CII. 

Cronin told FTAdviser that he is not one of those people who fell into the world of financial advice, it was a career he actively aimed to get into after becoming absorbed in a number of finance books and podcasts.

“I don’t know if you have listened to Pete Matthews before? He’s a financial adviser and I listened to a podcast he did around the time I was becoming dissatisfied with my job.