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Dealer group decides to close its doors

Life insurance dealer group Planet, which grew out of Norwich Union, has decided it is time to close its doors for good.

Friday, November 1st 2019, 7:39AM

Planet was established in 1997 by a group of the top advisers of Norwich Union making it one of New Zealand's longest surviving groups.

Joint chairman John Reddiford says the group was formed originally to aggregate commissions however that has evolved over the years as a co-operative where members work together.

He says the commission benefits are no longer relevant as life companies have changed their remuneration models.

Previously, Planet was funded by overrides paid by suppliers. 

Also the life companies, and he names Asteron, Fidelity Life and Partners Life, have significantly increased their efforts to help advisers through regulatory changes. This reduces the need for Planet.

"You just don't need (the group) anymore," he says.

Planet is a co-operative of individually owned and operated financial services practices throughout New Zealand.

​The group has survived by prudent fiscal management. However, Reddiford says they can no longer be assured of making a profit each year.

"If we can't make money we are not allowed to operate." Reddiford says.

​The other factors behind the closure is that Planet's general manager Keith Walter is retiring, and many advisers are changing their business models or retiring.

Reddiford say while the group was formed by top performing Norwich Union advisers, many including himself are moving more towards KiwiSaver, Fire and General or just maintaining their existing books of life business.

The group officially closes its doors on November 30.

Tags: Dealer Groups Planet

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