started the week with a catch up on the key learnings from Tim Williams of FinoComp explaining how they are harnessing microservices to revolutionise data reporting in another extract from our November AdviceTech Forum.

On Wednesday, we introduced you to AdviceObjects who are supporting our EATT2022 Conference in May. The company provide a Practice Management System alongside their own Financial Planning Tools and Client Portal. More and more advisers are looking for integrated solutions so it is certainly an option to understand more about.

Advisers can come and see the system at EATT2022, where AdviceObjects will be giving a “disturbance demo” to highlight how their technology can help transform adviser businesses. As a reminder, it is not too late for advisers to take advantage of our January sale and grab a discounted ticket before January 31st!

We ended the week by highlighting the analysis we have on OPAL, Ortec Finance’s wealth & cashflow planning tool, on our Advice Tech Hub. This is a key component of the new St James Place technology proposition so any adviser wanting to understand more should find a few minutes spent reading this analysis very helpful.

It was another very busy week for Protection Guru as insurers are quick out of the gate in the new year updating and enhancing their products. This started on Monday morning with Aegon unveiling a new fracture cover and other updates to their protection plans. We have seen some noticeable trends over the last couple of years in the ways advisers select fracture cover. Many companies believe it is primarily a benefit that might particularly attract younger clients, but looking at the frequency that this benefit is selected by advisers via our Product Features report, which is a free part of the iPipeline Solution Builder services, it is fascinating to see multiple life stages when fracture cover appears attractive and when it is not. The Aegon updates were more improvements than anything new or innovative, but we were pleased to see their Immediate Cover Facility for business protection clients extended and some positive enhancements to their income protection plan.

Later on Monday we published the first of our transcript summaries from the January Protection Forum, focusing on the new FCA consumer duty. This is a must read for anyone wishing to understand the consumer duty and its potential impact, with expert opinion from Johnny Timpson and Stacy Reeve.

LV= launched a new critical illness policy. Perhaps against the general direction of product in this area the company have stripped back their very popular high end contract to provide an economy version.  Rob Harvey provided a detailed analysis, examining the differences between the various LV= CI options, along with an expert assessment of the cover from our panel of doctors and medical professionals.

Later on Tuesday Rob published a second insight looking at age limits for relevant life cover. On Wednesday we examined what advance life insurance payments insurers offer when an estate is going through probate. This was a timely insight given the increase in probate fees that went into effect on Wednesday.

On Thursday Rob turned his attention to income protection, with an insight on how insurers compare when it comes to linked claims. This follows Aegon’s announcement on Monday, with one of their areas of improvement being linked IP claims, making it a great time to see these changes in context and which insurers are best at supporting this important benefit.

If you want to see all the earlier product announcements this month and what they mean  you can find them in my summary from last week.

Next week is the second anniversary of the launch of our Product Features report service as part of iPipeline’s Solution Builder service. The service has grown substantially over that time with over three quarters of users now accessing the service multiple times a month.

On Friday we finished the week with a round-up of insights focusing on life insurance features and benefits relevant to homeowners.

How the industry can produce clear communications is just one of the subjects at our next Protection Forum on 6th February. Click this link to get your ticket.

This week on Benefits Guru we posted a two-part insight looking at the proposed new pension statement season.

The initiative was the brainchild of the Pensions Minister and the Government has committed to introducing a pension statement season, with all retirement savers being sent annual pension statements within a short period each year.

Our latest insight article looks at the proposals and what they would mean for workplace pension providers, advisers and employers.

Part One – Tuesday

Part Two – Thursday

Have a great weekend everyone.