AMP has announced it will no longer offer its only offshore incentive programme for advisers after this year’s intake.
Its announcement followed the recent FMA report into life insurance replacement business, (See: Industry Responds to FMA Report).
AMP New Zealand Managing Director, Blair Vernon, says the timing was right to conclude the overseas programme as the company has aimed for the last six years, to make professional development a core component of any incentive with broad-based, stricter criteria that are not solely based on sales.
“AMP is committed to promoting and supporting appropriate and transparent practices across our industry and as part of this we recognise that it is vital for providers to continue to review and evolve their sales and advice practices, including the provision of incentives like overseas programmes,” Vernon said.
“Since 2012, AMP has included a core focus on professional development as part of our offshore programme, with qualification based on a rigorous qualitative assessment of advice processes as well as sales activity,” he added.
The programme gave high-performing advisers the opportunity to experience business schools abroad including Wharton Business School, Said Business School at Oxford and the Melbourne Business School.
A total 13 advisers qualified in 2016 and this year 12 advisers are invited to participate in the final programme.
…we believe programmes of this type, where qualification is still influenced in part by volume performance, are no longer appropriate
“While there has been significant value in offering this programme given its principal focus on professional development, we believe programmes of this type, where qualification is still influenced in part by volume performance, are no longer appropriate,” explained Vernon.
Since AMP’s announcement, no other insurers have yet taken similar measures.
Suncorp New Zealand’s Executive General Manger Distribution, Cris Knell, said Asteron Life has already committed to its 2018 annual programme for top performing advisers.
“But we welcome an ongoing conversation about how life insurance advisers are remunerated and rewarded for the important role they play,” Knell said.
Sovereign CEO, Nick Stanhope, said the insurer is not proposing to alter its distribution arrangements at this stage.
“Sovereign is actively participating in the regulatory reform process with the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill and supports the continued focus on good customer outcomes and access to quality advice,” Stanhope said.
Qualification for our main recognition initiative includes quality (retention) criteria, not just sales.
Partners Life Managing Director, Naomi Ballantyne, said AMP’s organisational, product and distribution structure differed to that of Partners Life.
“We have our own philosophy, which is focused on the needs of consumers and is underpinned by our philosophy about how insurance should help people, and the role independent financial advice plays in consumers understanding how those insurance products can meet their financial needs. We work closely with advisors, regulators and partners to ensure that industry standards are met and exceeded,” she said.
Fidelity Life CEO, Nadine Tereora, said, “Fidelity Life’s adviser recognition programme is evolving to emphasise education, professional development and corporate social responsibility. Qualification for our main recognition initiative includes quality (retention) criteria, not just sales.”
OnePath confirmed it has no overseas incentives in place for insurance advisers and has not held any hosted adviser trips as incentives to advisers since early last year.