For advisers the rush to achieve Level 4 status is somewhat of a distant memory (thankfully, for many). However with an increasing demand within recruitment circles for non-advisers to have a suitable Level 4 qualification has the time come for such individuals to think seriously about attaining a Diploma as soon as possible?
Since the implementation of the Retail Distribution Review the vast majority of paraplanning and compliance vacancies that we have registered have come with a simple caveat; we need someone with Level 4 status. Whilst exam progress has always been a preference the focus previously had been more on length and quality of experience than qualifications, something that has changed quite markedly in the last 12 months. As more firms aim for Chartered status and seek to provide the best possible support to their fee earners, the demand for a Level 4 qualification amongst their back office has risen sharply.
The rise in demand has though outstripped supply. Diploma qualified paraplanners or compliance professionals are suddenly likely to be inundated with calls from recruitment consultants if they register their details online. They know that such an individual is likely to be snapped up in double quick time in a market that is more reminiscent of those bullish, buoyant days of the mid-2000s, when it was the candidate who was King (or Queen). Whilst financial planners are still having to contend with a relatively low number of employed opportunities where a company can provide a good quality client base, Level 4 paraplanners and compliance professionals can now find themselves having a great deal of choice.
One major consequence of increasing demand and low supply is of course a rise in salaries. Until recently there was an invisible cap of £30,000 (outside of the South East) for experienced paraplanners with most firms, except perhaps the small number of Chartered practices. Since the RDR came into play salaries for paraplanners and compliance officers who have Level 4 status have increased into the £30,000 – £35,000 bracket (in excess of £40,000 in Greater London), suggesting that the time and cost of securing a Diploma qualification will ultimately be rewarded with a level of salary only previously awarded to advisers.
So whilst the thought of sitting down with study material fills many with dread, those individuals looking to maximise their status and package within the industry should give it some serious consideration.
For more information on how exam progress can help both your career and salary, please contact us at Exchange Street on 0161 973 6900 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a confidential discussion.