Careers at MAC


Author: George Richardson

Author: George Richardson

Paraplanning Team Leader

George Richardson is our Paraplanning Team Leader. In this article, he explains his career journey, what a Paraplanner is and what he most enjoys about Paraplanning. 

What is a Paraplanner?

A Paraplanner is a technical role that is unique to financial advisory businesses. Paraplanners work alongside Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) and use their knowledge to help prepare advice reports and recommendations for clients based on the financial information provided. The role is crucial as it helps IFAs deliver a comprehensive and tailored service to clients.

At MAC Financial, I am the Paraplanning Team Leader. So, in addition to research, analysis of financial data, report writing, and administrative tasks related to client portfolios/financial planning strategies, I also lead our dynamic Paraplanning Team.

What are the three skills that you need to become a Paraplanner?


Technical knowledge

a Paraplanner must have a detailed knowledge of the pensions, investments and the Isle of Man market.


Attention to detail

to produce faultless reports for clients that clearly explains all options and provides a concise recommendation.


Good communication skills

to ensure smooth collaboration between clients, providers, and IFAs.

What do you like best about your job?

Often the language surrounding finances and making financial decisions can overwhelm some people. This means that it can be hard to make financial decisions due to a lack of knowledge and uncertainty surrounding finances.  

In my role as a Paraplanner, I use my thorough technical knowledge of the Isle of Man market to propose solutions in an easy-to-understand report. The report shows the different options available for the client, based on their financial position and goals. This is the area of Paraplanning that I enjoy the most – demystifying financial decisions and making a difference to our clients.   

What does a typical day look like as a Paraplanner?

Normally, I’ll come into the office, and catch up with the Paraplanning and IFA team to see if there has been any priority work come in overnight. Then I’ll spend the rest of the morning writing and preparing suitability reports for our clients. I find that this work can be quite intense and requires my full attention, I have found that the morning is when I am most productive.  

After my lunch break, I tend to focus on completing research for future suitability reports and carrying out any administrative tasks needed for clients.

What studying route have you followed and do you plan to sit any more exams?

Like the rest of the team, I have followed the CII exam route and at the end of last year, I passed the final exam for my Level 4 Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning. My efforts were recognised by the CII in the Isle of Man, and I won the ‘Young Achiever of the Year’ at their annual gala dinner.

I have decided that while I am in the studying mindset, I am going to sit the exams for the CII Level 6 Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning.

A photo of George Richardson with the Cii Young achiever of the year award

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in Paraplanning?

My advice would be to study hard, learn from those around you and enjoy the process!

Paraplanning can often be seen as a stepping stone for people who plan to move into the role of an IFA – this is due to the deep technical knowledge that Paraplanners have.

However, we are seeing a shift to this view, and more and more people are choosing to work in Paraplanning for their whole career as it is ever-changing, technical and interesting.

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