A national financial planning firm has increased its workforce as business continues to boom following a rebrand.

Former Independent financial advisor (IFA) Tony Slimmings started offering freelance paraplanning services in early 2017, before scaling up and launching The Paraplanning Hub, based in Castle Eden but serving the nation, in December 2019.

Since then, Tony has taken on five new team members across the UK to help him provide a broader service to clients in need of financial administration services.

He said: “Since 2017, the company has changed from a freelance paraplanner business to a full-service adviser support company. We offer financial administration and paraplanning support to allow single adviser firms to operate without the need for staff doing the associated admin and paraplanning.

“Our turnover has doubled and there are now six of us in the team, four of which have joined the company since the COVID-19 pandemic began.”

The new roles include a practice manager, an administrator, two paraplanners and a systems analyst, and Tony says the combination is ideal to help the firm continue to flourish.

“My aim is to free myself from day-to-day paraplanning and operational duties, to allow me to concentrate on building the business, although the paraplanners will report directly through me initially to ensure a consistent level of service.

“Additionally, having a practice manager frees me from the majority of the day-to-day operational matters, increasing my time for clients.”

Having spent 30 years in the financial planning industry, Tony felt the time was right to launch a dedicated support hub, moving away from the traditional model of the home-based freelancer.

He said: “I decided to expand the business last year as I believe the market for end-to-end support service for financial planners is significant, based on my time in financial services and having been a one person financial planner myself.

“I also feel that my experience as an IFA will give me an edge with clients, as I can relate to the difficulties many financial planners face.”

Despite having scaled-up a business during the upheaval of the coronavirus pandemic, Tony is positive that the crisis can offer opportunities for growth – and is already planning further expansion.

He said: “Personally, the pandemic created an amazing opportunity to provide a remotely-based, outsourced service that is more cost effective than employing people.

“I’ve found a simple, straight-forward way to scale the business and support more clients, and ideally we will double in size again in the next 12 months. It’s early days, but I want to grow the business over the next five years to be a market leader in outsourced financial planning support.

“The pandemic has taught me that it’s important to remember that opportunities exist, and always will – regardless of what the world is throwing at us.”