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Mu: Exciting future for advisers

Advisers are vital to help New Zealanders get the right amount of insurance cover, says Damien Mu, AIA's chief executive for Australia and New Zealand.

Tuesday, May 8th 2018, 6:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

AIA is working through the regulatory approvals required to acquire Sovereign in this country.

Mu said the deal, once approved, would allow the two insurers to bring “the best of the best” to the New Zealand insurance industry, and work towards a goal of New Zealanders being some of the healthiest and best protected people in the world.

Some aspects of its new operation could come from Sovereign, some from AIA and some could come from ideas picked up from best practice exhibited in other markets around the world, he said.

The company would invest in its service and capacity to deliver efficiencies for the advisers and clients it dealt with, he said.

It was an opportunity to reimagine life insurance, identify opportunities in New Zealand and how the market might grow to meet the changing needs of the population.

Advisers would see increasing opportunities across the technology, product, proposition and services provided, Mu said.

Mu said New Zealand financial advisers had a huge opportunity ahead of them.

“The advice conversation is so important,” he said.

Insurers were increasingly considering multiple channels of distribution, he said, but the best scenario was that advisers would use new digital tools to help them within their own practice. “They aren’t mutually exclusive... all the multiple channels in which clients can talk and interact with you, that doesn’t come without advisers.”

If the regulatory approval was granted, the two companies would come together in the second half of this year, Mu said. It would be important that it was led by a strong team who understood New Zealand, because each insurance market had its own challenges.

While the companies were operating independently, in competition with each other, it was vital they could stand on their own, he said.

Tags: AIA

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