RB Paraplanning Team Leader Dan Willers shortlisted in 2020 Professional Paraplanner Awards


Despite the extraordinary challenges we have faced in 2020, there has been one big silver lining this year for the team at Robertson Baxter: the industry recognition our team members have earned for their outstanding work.

In February, we were finalists in no less than three categories at the Yorkshire Financial Awards. In May, our Financial Adviser Gillian Shirt and Financial Controller Liz Townend were shortlisted for the Professional Adviser Women in Financial Advice Awards.

Now, we are delighted to reveal that in June our Paraplanning Team Leader Dan Willers has been shortlisted in the ‘Paraplanner of the Year’ category as part of Professional Paraplanner Magazine’s 2020 Awards.

women in finance 2020

Dan Willers (DipFA) CertLTCP MLIBF, Paraplanning Team Leader

Dan outshone scores of candidates from across the country to land a place in the final three, in what the judges described as ‘the most highly competitive’ contest to date. Not only did the judges receive ‘the highest number of entries ever’, but the calibre of entries was unusually high, which the judges feel reflects ‘the incredible talent in this profession’.

What does a great paraplanner bring to a financial advice firm?

Part of the assessment process for the ‘Paraplanner of the Year’ award required Dan to answer this question successfully. Still a relatively new and growing profession, not many people outside the industry are aware of what a paraplanner does. Even within the financial advice sector, not all firms have fully embraced the wide-reaching benefits highly qualified paraplanners can bring.

Dan’s response was that the best financial advice firms out there today often depend on paraplanners to enhance their service proposition. In his words:

‘A great paraplanner allows financial advisers to focus on what they do best, by researching and recommending suitable products aligned to the needs of the client.

Paraplanners add an extra layer of depth to the advice relationship between the adviser and the client, and the client and the firm. Clients can feel more valued if introduced to a paraplanner, as they feel they have two sets of eyes dealing with their financial plan.

Get it right and a paraplanner will ensure that clients receive the best possible service and the most appropriate financial solution.

Value can be added at multiple levels.’

This is borne out in the varied and multi-faceted role Dan has evolved into during his time at Robertson Baxter.

What does Dan bring to Robertson Baxter?

Dan has been with Robertson Baxter for 5 years now, and in that time has gone from being a Technical Assistant to the Paraplanning Team Leader. He is one exam away from achieving Chartered Status, the highest level of accreditation it is possible to attain in the financial advice profession.

In addition to his leadership role and research and report writing work for clients, he also heads up the quarterly Investment Committee, where client portfolios are closely monitored to ensure they are performing in line with our expectations.

Dan embodies all the qualities of a great paraplanner as set out in his Award entry. He is valued by colleagues and senior management alike as a kind, diligent, tenacious and dedicated team member, who goes out of his way to excel not only in his own role, but to help others excel in theirs.

Also, no matter how challenging the circumstances, Dan can be relied on to lighten the mood with his self-deprecating sense of humour and dry wit (we are yet to confirm whether the Lancashire-born comedian Jon Richardson is not in fact just Dan wearing a disguise – the personality likeness is uncanny).

Above all, Dan is a huge asset to the Robertson Baxter team, and is trusted and respected amongst clients as a point of contact they can turn to in addition to their financial adviser.

We are delighted, but not surprised, that Dan has been recognised as an outstanding paraplanner, and we are sure he will continue to outshine as he progresses in his career.


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