Ian is currently in Las Vegas for the iPipeline Connections conference, so it’s my turn to do our weekly wrap-up. According to Ian, there is a fascinating difference between the protection and wealth advisory sectors in the United States and the United Kingdom, with each sector having huge opportunity to learn from the other. I am sure Ian will provide us all with more information in the future.

I’d like to start this week by recognising International Women’s Day, which took place on Tuesday. The theme for this years day was #BreakTheBias and aim’s to “celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality”. At AdviserSoftware.com we are especially proud of the women in our business that are a vital part of the team. Poppy our COO, Sam our Head of Operations, Jess our Business Analyst and Emma our Research Associate each have vital roles in the business, without which we wouldn’t be able to provide you with the analysis and research we do.

This week on AdviserSotware.com our focus was our AdviceTech Forum

We started the week by looking back at our February Forum which focused on the trials, tribulations, and innovations in getting client data.

The key learnings from this session were:

  • The benefits, costs, and realities of building your own technology solutions as an advice firm.
  • The future of platforms and data ownership and access.
  • How companies like CashCalc and Origo are modernising the process of gathering and transferring client data.

I would encourage anyone who wasn’t able to attend the session, to have a read or listen to the full session audio.

On Friday, we announced our March AdviserTech Forum – “Building Best of Breed Tech”.  The session will take place on Tuesday, March 29th from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM, via Microsoft Teams.

During the session we will be discussing how some advice firms are approaching their technology strategy and, in particular:

  • A single end-to-end solution doesn’t always deliver what some firms need, leading some to look at “best in breed” as an option.
  • What does this term mean? What does the journey for identifying, selecting, and implementing this strategy look like?
  • And ultimately, does it deliver a better outcome?

If you work for an Adviser Firm you can reserve a free space here

In big news for Protection Guru, this week we launched our 2022 product ratings. This year we have broadened our ratings to include an additional income protection rating focusing on income protection for clients with fluctuating incomes.  With more and more protection products available to advisers, these ratings are designed to help quickly differentiate between the different propositions and understand the strengths of each product. As always there were some stand out results and both LV= and Guardian stood out for achieving gold medals in every category where they offer a product. 

Elsewhere on Protection Guru this week, on Monday Rob published an insight looking at joint life insurance separation options. This was a useful follow-up to last week’s insight on whether advisers should recommend single or joint life cover.

Following Zurich’s announcement this week of a new fully digital business protection trust, Tuesday’s insight gave a detailed overview of when this business trust would be appropriate, as well as information on how to actually complete the trust.

On Wednesday, to mark No Smoking Day, Rob turned his attention to smoking rates and protection insurance. This detailed and informative insight provided data on when insurers apply smoker rates, ex-smoker rates and what the processes are for switching to non-smoker rates if the client quits smoking.

Thursday was the launch of our ratings, but continuing with the usual insight content we also marked World Kidney Day with an insight covering how kidney disease is covered in critical illness plans. Importantly, this insight also examined what support services and benefits insurers offer that could help clients maintain or improve their health to prevent the risk of kidney disease.

We finished the week with a round-up on our life insurance ratings, bring you the overall life ratings, mortgage life, family income benefit and business protection ratings.

Our next Protection Forum will take place on Tuesday 15th March, between at 1pm. If you’ve not yet registered, advisers can click here for their free ticket.

On Benefits Guru, we started the week with the second instalment of our ‘savings vehicles – what ISA products are available from providers and how do they work?’ insight.

On Thursday we looked at how providers can drive member engagement by better communicating when contributions are made and the value of these messages.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable and relaxing weekend!