Fidelity Life wins top culture award, and more daily news

The Technology team at Fidelity Life was awarded the Best ICT Team Culture award at the 2020 CIO Awards. Dan Wilkinson, Chief Technology Officer, has said that the award is a reflection of the team’s strong culture. Wilkinson noted that culture was the first thing Fidelity Life invested in when beginning its transformation journey. Fidelity Life has said the award represents the five-year transformation strategy in place.

“Fidelity Life’s Technology team, led by Chief Technology Officer Dan Wilkinson, was presented with the Best ICT Team Culture award at the 2020 CIO Awards, a celebration of the best of the best from New Zealand’s technology community.

Dan says the award reflects a strong, above-the-line culture right across the business.

“Our culture is the foundation for every single thing we do at Fidelity Life. It was the first thing we invested in when we started our transformation journey and it’s what gets our people out of bed every day to do the amazing things we do.

“When your culture and strategy are aligned, you will win”, says Dan.

The award represents further progress on Fidelity Life’s bold five-year transformation strategy, which is built on the idea of reimagining life insurance for New Zealanders and aims to deliver sustainable growth.

Key transformation projects include Project Watson, a $25 million investment in a new technology platform due for completion in the second half of 2021; and moving to a brand new 6-star rated green building in Auckland’s Fanshawe Street planned for September 2021.”

In other news

From Insurance Business Mag: Is it OK to give clients gifts?

RBNZ: Reserve Bank Response To Letter From Minister Of Finance

Cool insurtech developments

I like to check out cool new insurtech developments. The first two below are not just cool, but actually operating and relevant to our market: 

The first one is which offers consumers a way to corral all their insurance information in one place. This helps manage renewals, amounts, and sharing information with those that need it. Plus you can quickly spot cover gaps. It's the manila folder re-imagined as a 21st century file for all things insurance. 


The second is XY Adviser network. This is social media but only for financial advisers. A local adviser recommended it to me and I have enjoyed occasionally dipping into the questions and answers that people bring up. There is a wealth of support available here - all for free. There is a huge amount of fresh air too, because although there are many New Zealand advisers on the network, there are many more Australian advisers. There are relevant experiences to share all around. 

XY adviser

The last is not available to New Zealanders, and has little to do with life and health insurance, but I include it because it is cool, and is being developed by a friend of mine. It shows what can be achieved with some fresh thinking. Hillridge Technology offers crop insurance - but with technology crushing the whole process of applying, managing, and claiming. They have recently secured reinsurance and are at an exciting stage in their development. 



Advisers warned against cyber-attacks, and more daily news

After the NZX cyber-attacks, financial service businesses are being warned by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). The high cyber security advisory that was issued addresses the current threat and details how attacks could happen. The NCSC has said that businesses should review current plans and systems in place.

“A high cyber security advisory has been issued by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), warning financial services businesses about the current threat and outlining how the attacks could occur.

Affected entities have received ransom emails demanding payment in Bitcoin, along with a threat of a significant distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against internet-exposed infrastructure if the ransom is not paid.

The NCSC said financial services firms should review their plans for responding to a DDoS attack to ensure they were up to date, and review their systems architecture to identify any potential points of failure. ”

Katrina Shanks has said that advisers need to avoid being complacent and instead need to know the strength of their current cyber security processes. She continued by saying that cyber-attacks affect consumer confidence and that there are many options for those looking to improve their cyber security.

“Financial Advice NZ chief executive Katrina Shanks said advisers would need to understand how up to date their cyber security processes were and what protections they had in place. And should avoid “being complacent”.

She said there were a lot of options available to businesses that wanted to improve their cyber security. “You do get what you pay for.”

She said there was a risk to consumer confidence when high-profile financial services firms such as the NZX, were repeatedly felled by the attacks.” Click here to read more

In other news

Level five isn't the big issue for advisers; It's something else

FMA: FMA releases new investor guide to bonds

Deloitte: Tricky to compare NZ insurance to other markets - report prepared for Partners Life

Legal and regulatory news update for the life and health insurance sector

27 Aug 2020 – FMA announced the appointment of Paul Gregory to the newly created role of Director of Investment Management.

27 Aug 2020 - RBNZ have issued advice to the financial services sector from the National Cyber Security Centre regarding recent cyber attacks that appear to be aimed at the financial services sector. The most high profile example has been the NZX experience. However, other companies may expect to be attacked.

Financial adviser network raises capital and more trends in digital for advisers

The XY Adviser network ( is a popular place for financial advisers to trade news, talk about events, and get help and support. I know several New Zealand-based advisers that love the forum and have learned many useful new ideas from their peers through it. Other groupings, collegiate groups ranging from informal breakfast clubs, through service networks, to LinkedIn groups abound. But the shift to digital broadens the reach of networks considerably. Network effects mean that the bigger the network, the more valuable it is. Hence, the profound impact digital is having on adviser businesses. Two trends are moving in parallel - from installed software to web-based systems, alongside formal knowledge sharing in person to digital knowledge sharing in an informal context. Those changes in digital are having real-world effects: adviser businesses are able to access software solutions from around the world with more confidence due to the reference expertise that these social networks provide. One kind of growth creates another: XY is in the process of raising capital, such are the demands on their services. 

If the world of adviser technology interests you, do join me, with David Greenslade of Strategi on the FSC Get In Shape series hosted by Mark Banicevich. We're talking about all things adviser technology tomorrow at 10am. Here is a link to the events page on the FSC website: if you would like to register for the webinar. 

Daily news update: Newpark at a cross road, and more stories

Bernie McCrea has said that Newpark is looking into introducing shareholders as well as private capital investors to help Newpark achieve long-term goals. Bernie has said that gaining funding from investors is a better alternative than accumulating debt.

“Chairman Bernie McCrea said it was interested in institutional shareholders who might invest in the business to help it achieve its goals. It was also open to investments from private capital investors who might have money in the bank earning little interest.

“People who have an interest in financial services but are earning zero at the moment and want to diversify … we are an option for them.

In other news:

Newpark has given members a choice of four options for their ongoing relationship with the group.

Australia: Former celebrity financial adviser charged with dishonest conduct

Here are five ways to avoid looming 'retirement time-bomb'

Advisers urged to “get their cyber-security sorted”

IFSO: IFSO Scheme names two new commissioners

BNZ to put all staff through courses

DAILY NEWS: Increased interest in digital insurance and more

Consumer behaviour is often fluid. Trends, word of mouth as well as personal experiences play a part in changing decision-making processes and purchasing habits. Similar to other purchasing behaviours, the way people are choosing to purchase insurance is changing. There is an upward trend of people relying on their own research and not seeking advice from financial advisers. Similarly, there is an increased interest in digital insurance providers.  

"Consumers of all ages are adopting a “millennial mindset,” according to Capgemini and Efma’s World Insurance Report 2020. This means that consumers are increasingly trusting their own research to source and purchase insurance products themselves. Customers of all ages are also increasingly turning to digital channels in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the report found.


“Digital adoption is no longer a function of age; for those with access to the web and social media, researching and directly procuring insurance online has become mainstream across all generations,” Capgemini said.


To remain relevant, insurers must shape their existing products to meet evolving customer needs and preferences, the report said."

Furthermore, it is reported that:

“The COVID-19 lockdown will further fuel this trend as consumers are forced to use digital channels for day-to-day transactions, irrespective of age or tech know-how,” Capgemini said. 

In other news:

Advisers haven't done enough to digitise their offering - expert

Air pollution dropped dramatically during lockdown

FSC webinar: Introducing the financial resilience index

FSC webinar: A global response to COVID-19

FSC: Spotlight on Insurance

Make better videos

Although business adaptability is a key component of success, adviser businesses were reminded how crucial digital communication is when they could no longer physically meet with clients during Level 4. Building long-lasting relationships is key in any adviser business. Building relationships and trust can be done through storytelling. You now have the opportunity to learn how to craft entertaining, inspiring and engaging story videos using their mobile phones. Even if you can’t talk to clients and prospects face to face, you’ll have these useful resources to share with them.

“This course has been designed to fit the ever increasing demands and pressures that you're now facing. In other words, you can do this whole course, in your own home, in your own time, in bite size chunks wherever and whenever you manage to get a minute to yourself. Be that in the laundry, the bathroom or tucked up in bed wearing your PJs.


Wherever you are, in this course, you'll get to watch presentations from award-winning TV Directors, Producers and Editors, so that you can

refine your storytelling skills.

Benefits of the taking this course:

  • Market your business or idea
  • Build connections within your organisation
  • Make educational videos for your classes or teams
  • Sell a product or even a house
  • Inspire others with your personal stories
  • Create mementos of your time in lock down for years to come
  • Or simply create special messages for Granny and Grandpa to let
  • them know that you love and care for them?"

Click here to enrol in the course

Click here to find out more

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Southern Cross report on the effect COVID-19 has had on members

Southern Cross has reported that more than 1,000 of their policyholders have applied for the premium relief for redundancy and loss of income policies that the insurer has introduced. To better accommodate customer needs Southern Cross has been working alongside members to understand their needs during this time.

“Nick Astwick, Southern Cross Health Society CEO, says the company has redoubled its relief benefit offerings to all its customers, and “softened” the initial eligibility requirements to reflect customers’ growing need for financial relief. He also noted that while Southern Cross does not cover for acute care, it would still cover for any potential aftereffects experienced by affected customers.

“We’re here to compliment the services provided by New Zealand’s public health system, so there’s no cover in our policies for acute care,” Astwick explained.” Click here to read more

In other news:

Tower: Tower follows AA Insurance's coronavirus lockdown profit pledge

nib: nib Joins Forces With Top Footy Talent To Ignite Wellbeing Conversation

How insurers are supporting their advisers during lockdown

Insurers weigh up pandemic impact

Fidelity Life: Millennials Most Anxious About Post-Covid-19 Future As App Launched To Support NZers’ Wellbeing

How video technology is changing the way advisers interact with clients - and you can too:

Advisers now have the option of learning how to create engaging videos for clients. Although finding new ways of attracting and retaining clients is a key component to business longevity, knowing how to engage with clients when face to face interaction is not a safe option is vital. Real TV is offering a course that could change adviser communication strategies.

Video Marketing is by far the most effective form of persuasion in the digital world. People are looking for new information and content and watching more of it. They also TRUST a video more. As a form of creating a trusted and likable personal brand it is incredibly useful.

But, for many people, the idea of using video to help promote themselves and their business is intimidating. It’s a limitless area of expertise with an overwhelming amount of advice available – much of it contradictory, and there’s a huge number of suppliers.

Agencies are expensive, whilst young videographers are often ignorant of business and sales requirements – preferring fancy gadgets and cool looks over the business and communication needs of their clients – and they can still cost thousands of dollars. The end product regardless of price, may or may not be fit for purpose.

That’s where the idea of an online course came from. How to help business owners to make their own high quality, authentic videos with compelling stories to help boost awareness and sales.

The course strips away all the competing noise out there from self-proclaimed experts, and simplifies what to do and how to do it. It guides you every step of the way. You don’t need a camera, lights, microphone or editing computer. You can do it all on your iPhone. Everything - Interviews, shooting, and editing – with one tool.

This way you can create content as often as you like, and crucially, your messaging will be spot on, not misinterpreted by a camera crew, an editor and an account manager. Nobody will care about your business as much as you.

The course is made to be fun, simple and empowering - you’ll learn the core principles behind every great story, and how to adapt your own business needs into messages that fit within that story framework. You’ll learn the technical basics for video making in simple language with simple concepts and practical examples. There is no need for complication.

By the end of the online course, you’ll know how to pick your story, distill your messaging, and create a structure for telling it. You’ll learn how to think about your audience and how to keep them interested. You’ll learn how to interview, shoot and edit a compelling video from start to finish including adding music and simple graphics.

The course is in modular form and you can go back and re-watch modules again and again, all from the privacy of your own home or office and in your own time.

The course was made with beginners in mind. But its designed and taught by Real TV – a team of TV documentary makers, with 20 years experience making shows for TVNZ, TV3, BBC, and National Geographic. They also make videos for some of NZ’s largest companies including Mitre10, BNZ, Genesis Energy, Southern Cross Health Society, Mainfreight, Fisher & Paykel etc. So, you are in safe hands.

The course has videos and workbooks and at the end of the course, you’ll have made your first short movie. You’ll schedule for a coach to watch it, give feedback and discuss it with you – the pros and cons and how to continue to improve.

AND, for those who choose the bonus option, we can be on-call advisors as you continue to develop your secret weapon for sales – compelling video content. Storytelling skill is forever evolving, and we can be there with you as your partner helping you along the journey

Click here to enrol

We’re familiar with Rueben and his team and we think you’ll get a lot out of this course

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