« April 2016 | Main | June 2016 »

Fidelity Support NZ Breast Cancer Foundation

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:
Fidelity Bakeoff
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.
NZBCF 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 a line if you are up to anything interesting.

UK: Barriers to Consumers Accessing Financial Products

A report by the FCA has been published on the barriers to accessing financial products that consumers experience. There are lots of lessons from this report which are transferable to the New Zealand environment. Link.

Partners Life receives $200 million investment from Blackstone

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.

Disclosure Call: Not Just Financial Advisers, Doctors Too

There is a call for Doctors to make payments from drug companies public. Tim Stokes writes in this article on the need to "Let sun shine on Doctors ties". Insurance advisers worried about increasing requirements for the disclosure of commissions should take note. The movement towards greater transparency is a long-run trend in our society and should be expected.

Lack of advisers a '10- to 30-year problem'

This article on Good Returns by Susan Edmunds says 'AMP estimated fewer than 1,000 AFAs were practising and a smaller number specialised in things such as discussions about retirement and decumulation.'

Blair Vernon from AMP stated 15% of his adviser force were over 65 and that would rise to 30% by 2020. "They are unlikely to be available to help New Zealanders. That's an industry issue to confront because most of the products we talk about genuinely need advice. We have got to figure out the issue of supply but I see a very narrow pipeline of that for some time. It could be a 10- to 30-year issue given what we see in the industry and how many are about to leave."

Pain Threshold on Increase as Hundreds Await Ops

Pain thresholds are on the rise and hundreds of Kiwis await elective surgery. According to this article by Martin Johnstone, in the NZ Herald no DHB in the country manages to treat all patients promised elective surgery within the required four months. There are some interesting details - like the level of disability threshold that is required. It would be good to get a clear view of what that threshold is: then consumers and insurers could make more informed decisions about the risks and what they need to do to provide funding for the care that they want.