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The personal finance design revolution

Lifetime Group chief executive Mike Jones talks about the changes to the group and how personal financial design is the way in which advisers de-commoditise their offer and tailor solutions around the client.

Sunday, December 18th 2016, 5:03PM

Lifetime Group is hardly recognisable from the organisation it was 12 months ago. With a completely refreshed management team, ambitious new strategic direction and an industry first training platform, Lifetime’s new world order is now well in play.

It’s been a period of radical change for Lifetime with no signs of slowing down. Such change can be disruptive and it’s not for everyone though the re-energised adviser team are embracing this progression.

The new management structure, spearheaded by Mike Jones, boasts a diverse and driven team from the digitally native to those who are highly experienced. This mix is fundamental in achieving the new technological, operations, sales and marketing developments.

Jones is leading the change process and earning the respect of his team through his inclusive and strategy driven decision making. Having taken on the CEO role after three years as the group’s CFO, he brings to the table a wealth of corporate acumen that ensures an emphasis on client focused strategies to drive growth and development.

“The development of the company over the last 15 years has ensured we have a national footprint and a strong team of advisers. The opportunity now is to create a significant point of difference for both the client, through our Personal Financial Design focus, and for the adviser through our partnership remuneration program.”

The group offers a range of financial services across all aspects of loans, insurances and investments. The new mantra of ‘Personal Financial Design’ encompasses its client-centric approach.

As the experts on prosperity and protection, Lifetime empowers Kiwis to grow and safeguard their wealth.

“Personal financial design is the way in which we de-commoditise our offer and tailor solutions around the client, meeting each of their needs at their life stages and planning for a future where they can achieve their financial goals.

“We see ourselves as set apart from others in the market, leading the charge on the stricter requirements under new legislation. We ensure our advisers are qualified and well trained,” Jones says.

“We independently advise on a full range of risk, lending and other financial and insurance needs but we’re fast becoming known for our bespoke services, customer empathy and taking a holistic approach to our client’s wider financial wellbeing.”

With the group’s new strategic direction locked and loaded, Lifetime is now implementing the initiatives required to drive this. The radical growth plans include doubling the current nationwide adviser force within two years, the greatest acceleration of which will be around the insurance and home loans teams. These numbers are required to capture the market share that Lifetime is targeting.

Recent legislative changes brought about by the Financial Management Act fits in well with the Lifetime way of business. As a company that prides itself on ethics and a client focus, Lifetime is embracing these industry standards to deliver high quality financial services in New Zealand.

The Lifetime Training and Development Programme is one example of this commitment. This program features three key pillars in a staged rollout – the Incubator, The Academy and The Lab.

The Incubator is a two year mentoring scheme where new advisers are provided the tools and ongoing support to succeed in the industry and deliver the Lifetime standard of exceptional client service. This is led by the Adviser Development Manager, Travis Hamilton, in a newly created role. The Group has identified the need to nurture fresh talent.

“The programme is similar to one built around an elite sports development squad. We undertake coaching, meaningful mentoring and work to instil a passion within industry entrants,” says Hamilton.

Hamilton returns to Lifetime after having previously been a highly regarded and successful adviser with the team. Hamilton says “the group encourages customer retention through forming strong relationships and specialising in ‘one-on-one’ advice. Our products are not commodities, rather they are fluid enabling subtle changes for customers and our business over time. This more sophisticated solution delivers greater value to the client.”

The Academy is an initiative to ensure all Lifetime advisers are highly trained and supported, so they meet the group’s customer focus and have a sharp eye on client needs. Consisting of 20 modules from lead generation to closing and claims management, this lifts the performance of all advisers from the new to the experienced.

The Lab is the research and innovation hub, where a team explores new technologies and developments that can improve product design, delivery and management. This includes web-based and digital initiatives as well as structural initiatives to enable opportunities for talented adviser partners.

With all these developments, growth, legislative change and training, Lifetime can provide unparalleled support, market share, compliance and facilities to their advisers who, in turn, will be a part of the best trained and supported team in the country.

Personal Financial Design is now Lifetime Group’s anchor stone, Jones concludes.

CAPTION: Lifetime Group chief executive Mike Jones and Lifetime Group adviser development manager Travis Hamilton.

Tags: Lifetime

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