MLC Life has acknowledged the impact of its technology problems on life/risk advisers and has sought to protect the revenue positions of those impacted by the changes, according to the company’s chief of life insurance, Sean McCormack.
McCormack, who was appointed to head up the life insurance business last month, acknowledged the company had struggled to implement its new information technology platform due to a combination of factors, not least Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdown which had forced personnel to work from home.
He said his appointment as chief of life insurance was a reflection of the company’s strategy to deal with the issue by creating a single point of accountability and that he was now pleased with the progress which was being made, albeit that there was still further to go.
In doing so, McCormack said he recognised the frustration which had been experienced by life/risk advisers seeking to use MLC Life products and that was why the insurer was seeking to ensure advisers were not financially disadvantaged by delays and other factors which were clearly the responsibility of the company.
“We need to do better and where delays are caused by factors on our side we’re wearing then,” he said. “We’re ensuring they don’t impact the commissions they [the risk advisers] receive.
“We do not want technology problems to drive a wedge between advisers and their clients.”
McCormack said that the reality which had confronted MLC Life was that it had embarked on a major technology program as part of its separation of National Australia Bank (NAB) and that the scale of the task had been amplified by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What we’ve been doing has never been done before, at least in Australia,” he said but suggested that it would ultimately deliver the company a competitive advantage.