Opinion: Standing side by side
As risk specialists have taken heavy blows from all corners of the life industry, Risk Adviser has been there as a strong media ally.
It has now been one year since Risk Adviser first started publishing.
Launched in February 2015, the title was created in light of a re-emerging risk community that wanted to step away from the label of financial planners.
Risk specialists wanted to be recognised for what they provided and what affected them the most, and this is exactly what this title sought to do.
During these past 12 months – and the months leading up to the launch – the risk industry had been dealt with some heavy blows.
ASIC Report 413, which many deemed an unbalanced assessment of the true quality of advice occurring in the industry, sent shock waves right across the sector and placed adviser remuneration into intense debate.
What followed the regulator’s assessment – as I am sure all of you would recall – was the creation of the Life Insurance and Advice Working Group, the release of the notorious Trowbridge Report and now the industry reform which was so heavily debated over, the Life Insurance Framework.
Caps on risk commissions, the onerous two-year clawback period and the huge emphasis these reforms will have on advisers have been widely covered.
As these issues developed, Risk Adviser kept advisers and members of the life insurance sector updated.
Right from the position of the life offices and the FSC, the work of the industry associations and even the efforts of advisers at the coal face trying to emphasise the effects these reforms will have on the sector.
That has been a key driver for Risk Adviser, ensuring that the readers are aware of the forces that are driving the change in this industry.
Although, while news stories regarding the industry reforms featured heavily in the news cycle, there have also been stories that reveal the positive work each and every risk adviser does.
For every adviser I have spoken to, that has contributed through an opinion piece, commented on a news story or even those who now feature in our new podcast series, a want and desire to protect clients from the worst-case scenario has been a prominent theme.
We have seen advisers such as Richard Monroe of Enva share his story about the work he has done pro bono, we have seen Ben Day share his story about the importance of risk insurance, and even John Maher share his story about what lies “right around the corner”.
Bringing those stories to life and reporting on the people who work at the heart of the industry is a good reminder of the important work everyone does, and why these reforms may feel like a slap in the face for some of you.
Unfortunately, the issue of churning has hijacked the conversations about straining the life sector. It has even found its way into the mainstream media, and with politicians commenting – and rather loosely too – about the issue has not helped.
As it stands, change is coming – some of you will embrace it while others will fight it, and unfortunately some may have to leave.
But whatever happens this year, Risk Adviser will continue to be an advocate of the risk industry.
Whether it is to provide timely and regular updates of the industry reforms, new product developments or business trends, Risk Adviser will be there and will continue to stand by riskies.
In the spirit of celebrating our first birthday, I would also like to say thank you, our valued reader.
Here’s to another year of growth, challenge and change.
Scott Hodder is a journalist for Risk Adviser
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