I spoke with Rod Severn about the plans that the PAA and IFA now have to create a new representative body.
I think this is a good idea, partly, because New Zealand is a bit small for 18 different organisations to cover the interests of consumers, product providers and advisers. I think the interests of providing advice are sufficiently different from those others that I expect some division will remain. But that still leaves eight. To save space I shall use only their initials, in no particular order they are: SIA, IFA, PAA, SIFA, AAA, NZFAA, INFINZ, and IBANZ. Even between them, by some measures, they do not come close to having as members a majority of people that offer financial advice (using the broadest definition of that) because they don’t include most of the roughly 25,000 people that work in QFEs.
A new association bringing together the members of two of the largest would be a good start in building a bigger brand that may bring more members, more professionalism, and more consumer trust. More shared resources might allow for all sorts of things: more specialist resources to devote to different advice processes – the unique challenges presented by giving effective insurance advice is my area of interest, of course. As a member (associate) of the PAA I want to see how that can be enabled.
It is not given that this will happen. Members must decide to make it happen. Rod told me that the next steps in taking these proposals to members of both organisations are as follows:
Reports from the Chairs of both organisations, Bruce Cortesi and Michael Dowling
Meetings in 12 centres around New Zealand to allow discussion
A special general meeting in July
Here is a YouTube video released by IFA and PAA about their recent announcement.
Dr Simon Mayhew, Sovereign Medical Adviser, says there is no time like the present to draw a line in the sand and review how everyday choices can have a positive or a negative impact on your health.
'Launched as part of Healthy by Sovereign, New Zealand’s first health insurance loyalty programme to reward Kiwis for their everyday healthy choices, the online tool was designed to give individuals more awareness and understanding of the key components of their lifestyles which can have a positive or negative impact to their health as they age.' Says this article on Scoop.
Key insights from the research painted a compelling national snapshot of our health status.
New Zealand’s Health Age:
o National average: 2 penalty years
o Men fare better than women: average 1.2 penalty years versus at 2.2 years
o Healthier as we age: Health age penalty years are decreasing as individuals get older
o Major city dwellers are faring better than the regions.
How we’re faring – a deeper dive:
o Risk taking: women are more risk averse than men, being more likely to wear a seatbelt when driving, and more likely to take precautions to avoid sun damage and practice safe sex
o Smoking: one in ten (12%) say they presently smoke – but 9% are ready to make a change and not smoke
o Weight: almost half (48%) of respondents said their weight had increased by 1kg-10kg over the past 10 years while one in ten (14%) said they’d gained more than 10kgs in the past decade
- One in five (22%) haven’t had a blood pressure check recently
- Two in five (43%) haven’t had a cholesterol check recently
- More than half (53%) of female respondents said they always have a pap smear and a third (33%) always have a mammogram when recommended
- Only 15% of men do regular testicular check on themselves
o Energy: only 6 percent of respondents rated their energy level as excellent, while the majority of research respondents (40%) said their energy level was just OK
o Fitness: men registered the highest levels of physical fitness, job satisfaction and social life while women fared better than men when it came to strength of relationships with family and enjoyment of life.
Stress, alcohol and work pressures playing a major role:
o Money worries: top the list of stress disruptors for Kiwis, ahead of family, health, work and even personal problems
o Alcohol: Over a quarter of respondents (27%) said they have four or more drinks in one session 1-3 times each week
o Work: almost half (49%) of respondents stated they work 40 or more hours each week, a third (33%) get under 7 hours sleep on average each night and 48% said their health has impaired their work performance in the past three months – with men more likely to have taken time off due injury or illness
o Physical pain: lower back, neck and shoulder were stated as the top three body parts causing discomfort for Kiwis in the past month
o Stress: is taking hold of Kiwis in physical ways including poor sleep, a nervous stomach, tension headaches and irritability.
A link to ACC's page "Am I Covered?" an essential resource which it is worth being reminded of from time to time. Even if you do not provide advice on ACC coverage it is worthwhile knowing the boundaries of ACC coverage and being able to quickly communicate those to clients or those around you: whether you are a financial adviser or you are further back the value chain working on product design. Link.
Alan Rafe from Quality Product Research is visiting Nelson Quotemonster users on the 28th of June for the 'Uncover and Discover Series' workshop. Click here to register. Dunedin and Invercargill are next on the list with workshops in early August - details for these to be released soon.
Underwriting Requirements is now live on Quotemonster for QPR subscribers. You can find the 'Underwriting' tab on the 'Compare Insurers' screen as pictured below.
Please note the information shown is based on the clients details such as gender, BMI and age plus the cover amounts and benefits selected. The information included on the report is gathered from the latest versions of the insurers Underwriting Guidelines and is to be used as a guide only. Actual tests and information required may vary.
This article on Stuff used data from job website Seek which shows movement in salaries across different industries and regions in the year to April 2016. Click here to see the average advertised salary in each region and the percentage change from the previous year. Plus the list of highest-paid jobs in the country.
Fidelity Life has a history of supporting good causes. I happened to see the bake-off event being laid out as I popped in for a meeting last week:
I asked about the event and here's the news:
We held the day to support the women and men we all know and love who have been effected by breast cancer. We as a company have raised $1010.
As a company that deals with the realities of variations of cancers every day, we thought it was important to bring awareness into the company – with education and some events to raise a sense of awareness amongst our colleagues.
is a non-for-profit company that gets no funding from the New Zealand Government, and with a huge NFP business force of over 97,000 registered NFP organisations, to fight for funding is somewhat a challenge. Breast Cancer will effect 1-9 women in New Zealand, and with that will affect the families of millions, to be able to educate our employees of the benefits of self-awareness we can hopefully save a life of our own, or someone we love.
This cake wasn't allowed to win because it was well known before-hand that Michaela, the artisan, is not exactly an amateur:
Described as 'tastefully naughty' this cake takes hours of planning and about four hours to make.
We are delighted to support and publicise the fundraising efforts you are engaged in at your insurer or advice business. Drop me us an email if you are up to anything interesting.
The following items are due to be updated in the next version of the QPR database, set to be released early next week:
- Southern Cross – Life, Trauma, Wellbeing One and Two updated
- Partners Life – All products
- Westpac – TPD accelerated, own occ
- Fidelity Life – Mortgage Protector Deluxe added
- AMP Lifetrack – Terminal Illness policy wording update
Today Accuro posted this press release about their new group insurance products - StaffStay and StaffAssist.
'Accuro Health Insurance launches market-leading group insurance products to cater for SMEs.
Accuro GM Sales & Marketing Kelleigh Aston spotted a large gap in the market to help New Zealand’s smaller businesses. “Accuro is a medium-sized not for profit, and there are a lot of other small to medium businesses out there taking care of New Zealanders. Accuro noticed that no one was taking care of these smaller businesses. Our new product StaffAssist was created to specifically cater to their needs.”
Key benefits include specialist appointments, physiotherapy, GP costs, prescriptions and more. Accuro has also announced lower group numbers for their other products.
StaffSmart: 5–14 employees (three-year stand-down for pre-existing conditions).
StaffCare and StaffCare+: 15+ employees.
This is interesting, however:
Kelleigh also noticed that a lot of these medium-sized companies were bringing in a lot of non-resident employees. “All the non-residents I spoke to were paying large sums for travel insurance, and we knew there had to be a way Accuro could help them.”
Non-residents of New Zealand are generally not covered by the public health system if they get sick. That’s why Accuro has created StaffStay health insurance especially for employers wanting to provide cover for their non-resident employees.
Accuro has defined their target:
Accuro CEO Geoff Annals says that other health insurers tend to focus on the big companies, and Accuro wants to be there for the smaller organisations that make up the bulk of our workforce.'
Partners Life has just made this announcement:
Partners Life receives $200 million investment from Blackstone
We are very pleased to inform you that the Blackstone Group has agreed to a NZ $200m investment commitment into Partners Life. This investment will result in Blackstone holding a significant minority position in Partners Life. The $200 million is all new capital, meaning existing shareholders will remain co-invested alongside Blackstone.
The New York-headquartered Blackstone is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is one of the world’s largest asset managers with more than NZ$500 billion (US$344 billion) in assets under management. Blackstone is also one of the most high-profile private equity groups globally which in itself will bring significant reputational benefits to Partners Life. We have included an introduction to the Blackstone Group with this Update.
This investment by Blackstone is a significant endorsement of the successful business we have created over the past five years.
The release continues discussing the opportunities which Partners Life can now explore.