By Richard Lander | 09:18:21 | 14 August 2008

I had the good fortune last night to bump into Heidi Witham who has just left the McCroddan Partnership after its acquisition by Conforto Financial Management. Heidi is now setting up a new business, Absolute Paraplanning, ‘after discovering a gap in the market for freelance paraplanning.’ As the Absolute Paraplanning website puts it: Financial advisers can find recruiting the right paraplanner difficult, expensive and time consuming. Outsourcing can be the preferred solution to many developing businesses that then have the advantage of
paying for what they require rather than bearing the ongoing costs of a full time employee. Which all sounds logical to me. If you’re interested, drop Heidi a line at heidiwitham@absoluteparaplanning.co.uk


Tom Read 09:52 | 14 Aug 2008
Heidi would be an excellent choice if you need a report written. She is very professional and has a good depth of knowledge. Highly recommended.

Martin Vaughan – theparaplanner.com 11:33 | 14 Aug 2008
I just wanted to wish Heidi good luck with her new venture. Sometimes setting up on your own can be pretty daunting! We also look forward to meeting her on theparaplanner.com – the website designed to help and provide support and information for all paraplanners whether they are freelance or employed. We will also look forward to receiving her entry into the Paraplanner of the Year awards. Launched in association with Institute of Financial Planning they were created to recognise the skills and professionalism of paraplanners. Good luck Heidi, we look forward to meeting you soon.

Stephen Peters – Not a big gap in the market 15:06 | 14 Aug 2008
Given there was an article in money management about the freelance paraplanning industry about 18m ago, it can’t be that big a gap. East Herts is obviously a hotbed of paraplanning skill given How Why When is also based there. I’ve heard they are very good.

Tony Devitt -Business Development Manager, Winterthur – mind the gap! 17:13 | 14 Aug 2008
Stephen, Heaven forbid we should encourage anyone who wants to make our industry more cost effective, efficient and professional. According to our database at Winterthur there are over 1000 registered IFA firms in the geographic location, excluding central London, so even if there are more freelance paraplanners than the one you mention, I would suggest there was a sizable gap in the market.

Richard Allum – Mind the gap 21:58 | 14 Aug 2008
Glad to welcome Heidi to the freelance side of paraplanning. Not sure how long she has been looking before finding the gap though, we started Adviser Assist in 2002 after seeing a gap then since when there have been plenty of individuals and firms starting up and offering a range of paraplanning services. We are still seeing a huge demand so the gap is still pretty big with room for us all.