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Wealthpoint delivers strong life insurance activity growth

Adviser group Wealthpoint reported a year-on-year production growth rate of 40% for life insurance last year and is forecasting similar growth this year.

Monday, March 27th 2023, 6:00AM

Speaking to their 50 business owners at the annual conference in Tauranga last week, Wealthpoint management reported a year-on-year production growth rate of 40% for life insurance and said they expect similar rates to continue in the coming year.

Wealthpoint head of strategy and growth, Mark Nalder, attributed this success to several initiatives that were put in place during 2022.

He said that management and the board recognised that significant opportunity existed across the network to reinvigorate risk activity after several years of minimal growth. Wealthpoint advisers operate across all advice categories, including general insurance, investments and lending, and focus had shifted to these areas in the wake of the Hayne Inquiry in Australia and FMA report on replacement business practices in New Zealand in 2018.

“Advisers possibly lost a bit of confidence in their processes around replacement business activity, making sure they could evidence risks were appropriately explained, the right level of comparison undertaken, and good customer outcomes consistently delivered”  Nalder said. In addition, the suite of technology tools and the technical support available to members needed considerable investment.

In response, Wealthpoint appointed Evan Cavanagh into a newly created head of insurance and lending role in June 2022 and he spearheaded solutions to these issues. Cavanagh, a former senior underwriter with Fidelity Life, has delivered support and technical training to advisers, co-ordinated the development of improved advice tools for Xplan and Trail – which are the two primary CRM platforms used within Wealthpoint - and worked closely with suppliers to improve engagement with the network.

Nalder says that supplier support has been particularly important factor in this growth. “Evan has done an excellent job of working closely with our key suppliers to understand their product offerings and then match-making them with key businesses in the network. Our key suppliers are all reporting strong growth in their Wealthpoint new business, so we’re pleased to see that this growth is occurring across our provider panel. In fact, our network persistency rates range between 92% and 96% across our four open-book insurers” Nalder says.

The final factor driving risk insurance growth is Wealthpoint’s success in recruitment, according to Nalder. Twenty four new advisers were onboarded in 2022 and six new member businesses between June 2022 and March 2023. Many of these are risk insurance specialists and Wealthpoint has seen a growing focus on group insurance as well as the retail market in new and existing members.

Wealthpoint’s other business lines have also performed well over this period, with general insurance in-force up by 12% and investment platform funds under advice up 17%. Mortgage settlements was the one category to buck the growth trend, with total settlements falling 20% in a tight lending market. Despite this, Nalder says Wealthpoint is committed to supporting its growing group of active lending specialists, as evidenced by Evan Cavanagh’s dual responsibility for lending as well as insurance.

Tags: Wealthpoint

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