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Off-shore conferences off the cards

The Financial Markets Authority seems to have got its wish - overseas trips will soon be few and far between for insurance advisers.

Tuesday, October 30th 2018, 6:00AM 3 Comments

The issue of international conferences offered as sales incentives to high-performing advisers has come in for increasing attention from the regulators.

An FMA probe earlier this year found insurers spent $18 million on offshore conferences in two years, and the regulator said it was worried advisers were chasing trips rather than focusing purely on what was best for clients.

Director of regulation Liam Mason said many insurers' soft commission incentive schemes would be untenable under the new advice regulatory regime.

But the major insurers have all now stepped back from the schemes, anyway.

Asteron Life confirmed on Monday it had no plans for offshore conferences after next year.

"In May 2018, Asteron Life commenced an in-depth review of our sales incentive programmes for life insurance advisers," a spokeswoman said.

"As a result of this review, Asteron Life made a number of key changes to the qualifying criteria for the 2019 overseas programme to ensure we are creating value for advisers while delivering good customer outcomes. The 2019 programme includes a two -day executive education programme focused on managing potential conflicts of interest, elevating the customer, and building trust and confidence in the life insurance industry.

"Asteron Life has no plans to continue the overseas programme beyond 2019, but we remain committed to supporting advisers to continuously develop their businesses and expertise, both now and in the future."

It followed a similar statement last week from AIA: "How AIA and Sovereign recognise top achievers, and how that ultimately serves our customers’ needs, is something we continue to consider our position on, and refine where appropriate. There are currently no plans at this stage for any overseas conferences beyond 2019.”

Partners Life also revealed it would make next year's conference its last, after previous high-profile trips.

AMP was the first to move, announcing earlier this year that it would no longer offer offshore trips for advisers.

The Reserve Bank and FMA are also working to finalise their review of insurer conduct, which was sparked by the revelations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry in Australia. 

Tags: AMP Asteron Partners Life soft commission

« Advisers welcome Partners' move to cancel tripsBiggest claims paid by health insurer »

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Comments from our readers

On 30 October 2018 at 10:37 am Donald said:
It is great to see providers in support of each other in the overall cessation of the offshore incentive programs. However I do note that the above article is an unnamed tweet where the writer has attempted to sensationalize the past with untruths. I was fortunate enough to be on the LA conference trip with Partners Life but don't recall going anywhere near the Playboy Mansion, it was never on the itinerary, or damm it, did I miss the bus that day.
On 31 October 2018 at 9:29 am Bikedude said:
By crikey FMA, you're on to it. By the way a fried of mine who is a builder got taken for an all expenses paid trip to the Bathurst 1000 in Australia by Placemakers, one of his suppliers. Im sure my house renovations would be much cheaper. Do you think you can get on to that ASAP before the final account is provided so I can get a cheaper build price. BTW, I suspect the plumber is getting kickbacks from Plumbing World too, but I suggest a cloak and dagger approach to detect that one. Also a friend of mine got a neat fishing trip from his farm supplies company. Ive notice the price of milk is pretty high so can you fix that as well.
On 31 October 2018 at 11:17 am Ron Flood said:
Hi Donald.
You didn't miss the bus as it didn't go to the Playboy Mansion. The mainstream media found out about the propossed venue, and once exposed, it was very quickly withdrawn from the conference programme.

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