Partners Life has announced its upcoming offshore adviser conference in July 2019 will be its last.
In an update to advisers, Managing Director, Naomi Ballantyne, said she had been “watching on in horror” at the findings uncovered by the Australian Royal Commission over recent months.
“At the same time we have seen increased attempts by New Zealand media trying to tar New Zealand companies with the same Australian brush,” she said.
“And we have also heard repeatedly, and increasingly more assertively, from our regulators that soft dollar incentives such as offshore conferences for advisers are causing reputational damage to the New Zealand financial services industry.”
She said Partners Life has accepted that new options to support advisers must be found, options that emphasise the trustworthiness of the insurer and its advisers to both consumers and regulators.
Ballantyne noted the value of such conferences for insurers and advisers alike, which provide insights that spur innovation and networking opportunities, and acknowledged the overwhelming preference by advisers for offshore conferences to continue.
“…continuing to do so will put our industry, our advisers and our company in harm’s way, which is not acceptable to us.”
But she said, “…we have come to accept that continuing to do so will put our industry, our advisers and our company in harm’s way, which is not acceptable to us”.
“We are determined to find a new format to ensure this important relationship building can continue, despite the cessation of offshore conferences.”
Partners Life has confirmed its final offshore conference will be held in Cambodia and Vietnam.