The industry trend towards specialisation and an open approved products list (APL) are attracting risk specialists to new kid on the block Affinia, with 30 advisers signing up in the past few months.
Life insurer TAL launched Affinia late last year but the doors only officially opened on February 14. Including TAL’s previous AFSL and the licensee totals about 70 authorised representatives.
Craig Parker, head of Affinia, said his dealings with risk specialists have convinced him the group is embarking on the right strategy.
“Affinia’s strategy is very clear in reference to being a risk-specialist licensee,” said Parker. “We want to be seen as the choice for risk professionals who want to take their business to the next level.
“We have recruited and are in the process of on-boarding 30 advisers and we are in the process of talking to several more groups.
“All of them are risk professionals with established businesses and all of them are looking for greater involvement from their licensee.”
Parker believes licensees are unable to be “all things” to all practices in much the same way as advisers are struggling to provide a full suite of services to clients.
However, interest in Affinia’s business model appears to have come from both large and small players.
“We have definitely had a lot of interest from the large institutions,” he said. “The education that is supplied to them is an issue. If I’m a risk specialist I don’t need to know what’s happening on the investment front. We have had some interest from the boutiques as well.”
An open APL also suggests a certain flexibility, which risk-specialists might need as both legislation and increased self-regulation take effect this year.
“FoFA is still important for risk advisers,” said Parker. “You still get interesting conversations with risk specialists who don’t believe FoFA is anything to do with them. But the clock is ticking and of course it does have a lot to do with them.”