Meet Ralph – the newest member of the BlueSKY team

Here at BlueSKY we’re always looking for ways that we can improve the quality of the service you receive from us.

Our technical experts – we call them “paraplanners” – play a big role in this.

Our team of paraplanners provide technical support to our financial planners and helps us to ensure our advice is accurate. Their roles and responsibilities include:

  • Researching products, providers, and funds
  • Producing investment valuations
  • Preparing reports for clients
  • Creating and building cashflow models
  • Submitting new business.

To further enhance our service, we’re delighted to welcome our newest paraplanner, Ralph, to the team.

We asked Ralph to introduce himself and to tell us a little more about his background and experience. Over to you, Ralph!

30 years’ experience in financial services

I went from school into an aircraft apprenticeship, and four years later became a qualified aircraft engineer.

I then joined the Pru in June 1993, with my hat and cycle clips within the Wokingham branch, and I was an adviser for two years.

At this point I then moved to compliance within the Pru – a “poacher turned gamekeeper”! – and ended up training new staff.

A few internal moves later, the Pru wanted to get back to selling their annuities again direct to clients. So, a group of four (including me) headed up that team and, in 2000, I became the Pru’s first qualified internal annuity adviser. I worked for the annuity specialist team, looking after IFAs and having direct responsibility for the Pru’s top annuity writers.

After the Pru disbanded the team, I moved into the annuity pricing team and had a hand in building the Pru’s new annuity/pension proposition along with sales tools to help show the benefits.

After being made redundant in 2011, and taking six months off to help with our house-building project, I set up my own company, focusing on compliance checking and paraplanning. Now, I’m BlueSKY’s newest paraplanner!

The variety and constant learning make it an interesting role

I enjoy the variety of a paraplanner’s role, and I find I’m constantly learning new things, either about a provider’s products or different online systems.

Paraplanning is a challenge, and making the most of my knowledge keeps me on my toes, especially in a new environment like BlueSKY.

I also like the indirect contact with the clients without having a sales pitch. This gives me what I need to feel valued and feel part of a team.

I want to become an important member of the team and build on my knowledge for “pension on divorce” cases.

I like family life and “anything fast” in my spare time

Outside of work, I have two grown-up girls and we love nothing more than getting everyone together and making the most of the time with them.

Ellie is 21 and is studying sports science. She has just finished her second year within a four-year master’s course. Aimee is 18 and is a healthcare assistant at the hospital in Henley, although she is leaving in August to study nursing at university.

We have a good social life and try and get away with family and friends for long weekends, either camping or in an Airbnb, and have recently taken a couple of trips to north Wales. We walked through Snowdonia and enjoyed the Zip World in June – the fastest and longest zip line in Europe.

I love anything fast and enjoy the adrenaline rush!

Get in touch

Ralph is here to provide vital technical support and we’re thrilled to have him on the team.

If you want to find out how we can help you to reach your financial goals, email or call us on 01189 876655.