The big­gest chal­lenge

RISKSA Magazine - - News -

Through con­fer­ences and so­cial events, South Africa’s in­sur­ance in­sti­tutes and as­so­ci­a­tions al­low pro­fes­sion­als to en­hance their net­works. Ed­u­ca­tion also plays a sig­nif­i­cant role, and in­volve­ment here al­lows mem­bers to en­sure they keep up with con­tin­u­ous pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment (CPD) re­quire­ments, and con­stantly learn new things to give them the edge in busi­ness. Ger­hard van Staden, pres­i­dent of the In­sur­ance In­sti­tute of the Free State (IIFS) high­lights the value of be­long­ing to an in­sti­tute, em­pha­sis­ing that “it al­lows for in­ter­ac­tion with in­sur­ance com­pa­nies, loss ad­justers and co-mem­bers, which is crit­i­cal to stay on top of your game.” Justin Nay­lor, pres­i­dent of the In­sur­ance In­sti­tute of Gaut­eng (IIG) high­lights that the in­dus­try be­longs to ev­ery­one who plays a role in it, and the more peo­ple get in­volved, the more they con­trib­ute to­gether to mak­ing it bet­ter. In­sur­ance In­sti­tute of South Africa (IISA) CEO, David Harpur, tells RISKSA that 2014 was a pos­i­tive year for the In­sti­tute, and more good work and suc­cess is ex­pected in 2015. In tough eco­nomic times, the ed­u­ca­tion and re­la­tion­ships en­hanced through as­so­ci­a­tion be­come even more valu­able. Fi­nan­cial Plan­ning In­sti­tute (FPI) CEO, God­frey Nti, ex­plains that FPI mem­bers ben­e­fit from CPD ini­tia­tives that pro­vide ac­cess to tools and pro­grammes to stay up to date with in­for­ma­tion and re­sources rel­e­vant to the in­dus­try. The FPI has also en­gaged in strate­gic part­ner­ships with com­pa­nies to of­fer dis­counts for prod­ucts and ser­vices that help mem­bers build their brand. Th­ese range from sub­scrip­tions to pro­fes­sional in­dem­nity in­sur­ance. The FPI also has Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing’s (MoU’s) with the Fidu­ciary In­sti­tute of South Africa (FISA) and the South African In­sti­tute of Tax Pro­fes­sion­als (SAIT), which add value to mem­bers who be­long to more than one pro­fes­sional body. The in­dus­try as a whole is grap­pling with new leg­is­la­tion and reg­u­la­tion, and at present, the Re­tail Dis­tri­bu­tion Re­view (RDR) is a ma­jor cause for con­cern as it di­rectly im­pacts peo­ple’s liveli­hood. Jus­tus van Plet­zen, FIA CEO, re­it­er­ates that the RDR, pub­lished 7 Novem­ber 2014 and ear­marked for public re­sponse by 2 March 2015, will present the big­gest chal­lenge for its mem­bers, re­gard­less of the fi­nan­cial dis­ci­pline they prac­tice. “The FIA’s chal­lenge is to en­sure that the RDR al­lows for a re­mu­ner­a­tion model that ad­e­quately and fairly com­pen­sates our mem­bers – South Africa’s risk and fi­nan­cial in­ter­me­di­aries – for the value that they add to their clients and thereby en­ables them to run sus­tain­able and prof­itable prac­tices. We share the wider in­dus­try chal­lenge of pro­mot­ing the value of good fi­nan­cial ad­vice to con­sumers when­ever the op­por­tu­nity presents,” Van Plet­zen em­pha­sises. The FIA has been in­ter­act­ing with Na­tional Trea­sury, the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Board, the Coun­cil for Med­i­cal Schemes, the Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion and the Min­is­ter of Health to en­sure that they fight in the cor­ner of in­ter­me­di­aries at the high­est level. Nti high­lights that in ad­di­tion to the RDR, the FPI is par­tic­u­larly con­cerned about the de­lays in im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Tax Amend­ment bill and the re­tire­ment re­form pol­icy. “Th­ese de­lays have cre­ated great un­cer­tainty for the in­dus­try, at large.”

Con­tin­u­ing the good work

As well as nu­mer­ous RDR dis­cus­sions, the FIA was also pleased to re­ceive a re­sponse from the Min­is­ter of Health to its re­peated re­quests for a re­view of the fees paid to med­i­cal schemes bro­kers. Though it must be noted that the

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