Risk advisers are unable to grow their businesses but the future for risk specialists is “quite positive” as generalist advisers are seeking out specialists for support and the need for insurance is emphatic, according to Zurich.
Speaking on a panel at the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) Evolve conference, Zurich life and investments chief executive, Justin Delaney, said balancing the inforce management of existing customers had been an increased burden on advisers, particularly with price increases.
“A lot of the advisers we talked to, particularly who are specialising in risk are dealing with much more inforce management types of issues and customer issues meaning they aren't actually growing their businesses, which clearly is not a good place to be,” he said.
Delaney said he hoped over time the management and affordability issues would dissipate.
“The opportunity for generalists and specialists, particularly as demand we know is strong the customer need is emphatic, is that we know customers need what we provide,” Delaney said.
“I think the increasing specialisation, typically for a number of groups is certainly two new types of partnerships. The ability to scale and investing in new technology and new processes and consolidate books as well. The future for specialist risk advisers should be quite positive given that we are seeing some generalists look to seek specialists out for support.
Delaney noted there were new advice models emerging that were focused on digital engagement that helped empower clients and customers, and develop a kind of relationship that was quite different to now.
“Overall, both generalists and specialists are really important to our industry, particularly if we're looking to close that advice gap and ultimately provide advice and life insurance to all customers,” he said.