Don’t forget the importance of building a strong back-office, urges Continuum

Without a strong back-office team even the best team of financial advisers can only achieve so much, according to national IFA firm Continuum.

With the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment’s annual Paraplanner Conference returning today, Continuum said building a strong back-office team can often be overlooked by fast-growing advice businesses.

Continuum has grown quickly, with a 39% increase in annual turnover last year.

The national IFA is currently in the process of growing its infrastructure to support this existing business growth, as well as getting itself in the best position for continued growth.

In May Continuum has three new administration staff joining the team, as well as hiring its first dedicated in-house recruiter. The firm is also in the process of hiring several Paraplanners.

Martin Brown, Managing Partner at Continuum, said: “In the past we have been largely reliant on recruitment agencies to help us find Paraplanners and administrators. However, over the past year we have become sometimes frustrated by agencies’ focus purely on qualifications rather than bringing us candidates who had already been assessed for how well they would fit into our company culture.

Company culture is central to our business. Our people-first culture is what enables our team to strive for an outstanding client experience with every interaction. We have worked hard to create a culture where the client, advisers, back-office staff, and the business are of equal importance. For this to work each party must feel engaged and that the business acts as one.

“We decided that it now was time to also bring our recruitment in-house, with a new in-house role responsible not only for finding the right talent, but importantly also for onboarding and embedding them within the business.”

Continuum has also been undergoing a comprehensive review of its benefits packages in order to make sure existing staff feel valued and to help attract more talent to the business.

Following consultations with staff, the national IFA firm has introduced payincreases to help offset rises in the cost of living and has introduced group death in service protection.

Martin continued: “When running a rapidly growing advice firm it can be too easy to focus solely on recruiting advisers and finding new clients. But without a strong back-office and Paraplanning team the quality of client service would quickly drop

“At Continuum we recognise that without our excellent support team we are nothing.”

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