How Advisers, Life Insurers, Investment Platforms and Workplace Pension providers can gear up for the Open Finance Revolution
I am going to come to Open Finance at the end but first I don’t usually start my end of week summary by looking at our the regular “everything you need to know” study, but I’ll make an exception today as the subject is everything you need to know about our 2021 protection product ratings. The product ratings have become the single most popular area of our whole Protection Guru site, so they are clearly significantly influencing adviser thinking. The analysis takes you through to each of the different product types we benchmarked and identifies why only 71 of the 181 protection products we rated achieved our highest Gold rating. We also highlight why we have seen exceptional performance from Guardian, LV= and Royal London in this year’s study.
Earlier in the week Adam also produced a specific analysis that examined How LV= achieved gold across the board in our ratings, this include some really invaluable analysis for advisers to help them understand where the LV= proposition excels, while at the same time identifying any areas that could be improved. The fact sheets, which can be accessed via the link, can provide great external analysis to add to compliance files and support recommendations.
Also available this week is the first summary of the April Protection Forum session, which discussed Making sick pay more flexible. Some really valuable adviser views are expressed and again we are seeing these summaries becoming one of the most popular parts of the whole Protection Guru site.
We have our monthly Investment Forum next week where we will be talking with a panel of advisers discussing the lessons that can be learnt from the COVID19 pandemic, how this has changed financial planning and particularly the way the advisers work with clients. We have a great panel with senior executives from some leading advice firms and experienced practitioners, so this would be a must attend event for anyone interested in understanding how advice firms can work more effectively. On this occasion it’s probably just as appropriate for the protection industry as anyone in the investment committee, so if you haven’t got your ticket, click this link to get one.
Looking at our general insight studies this week we began on Monday with Amanda Newman Smith focusing on Helping clients keep fit – how insurers compare. On Tuesday Rob Harvey turned his attention to considering Non-medical underwriting limits for critical illness – how insurers compare and on Thursday Amanda looked at Who has the most generous guaranteed insurability options on business protection?.
Over on Benefits Guru, Jason Green looked at how Standard Life have launched an Open Finance service for workplace pensions and won gold awards from Benefits Guru across the board. This is a really significant move with Standard becoming the first mainstream workplace pension provider to deliver an Open Finance capable financial wellness service. The Edinburgh-based insurer has clearly stolen a march on their competitors and I suspect that several other pension providers will wish to move quickly to fill what is now a significant gap in their proposition.
For these pension providers the good news is that the most popular practice management system in the adviser market has now extended their service, to include a similar Open Finance Workplace Financial wellness proposition, which can be deployed specifically to insurers as well as Intelliflo’s adviser customer base. In this study Jason Green explores how and why Intelliflo have achieved Benefits Guru’s highest Gold Award for Open Finance with their initial proposition. Going straight to Gold is a huge achievement. In addition to this the company has shared with me a detailed overview of what further services are being added by the end of the year. Given Intelliflo’s strategic relationship with nearly 40% of the UK adviser market, as not only their chosen practice management system, but also supplying a built-in client portal, this should really make Intelliflo the obvious first choice to consider by any insurer or platform wanting to deploy Open Finance, not least because no other open finance, open banking or financial wellness provider can offer the same depth of relationship with so many advisers. To put this into context it was announced this week that in Q1 Intelliflo exceeded £700 billion in assets recorded in their systems by advisers worldwide.
With Open Finance powered financial wellness looking likely to become one of the key ways that financial advice can become more affordable, Intelliflo’s move presents an excellent opportunity for life insurers, investment platforms and workplace pension providers to extend their propositions, whilst at the same time building the depth of the relationship with nearly 40% of the financial advice community. The time for all insurers to prepare for the Open Finance revolution is now.
Have a great weekend