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It’s Time For Meaningful Change In The Wealth, Life And Pensions Industry

24 May 2021

A new report commissioned by EQ and authored by Padraig Floyd looks at the opportunities and challenges facing the wealth, life and pensions industry.

Like many sectors, the wealth, life and pensions industry (WLP) has had to overcome multiple challenges this last year. As consumer demands and expectations change, it has had to adapt to new ways of doing business. Yet, some of the changes facing the sector, and the resulting solutions, are long overdue.

WLP has a fantastic heritage, and many providers are looking for opportunities to transform their business models. Though this aspiration is continually hampered by outmoded business processes that try to utilise technology that is almost as old.

The industry has struggled to rid itself of legacy systems that hold it back and each year require the commitment of excessive amounts of resource just to keep the lights on. And that’s a problem.

Catching up with customers

The pandemic hasn’t only changed the way people view their relationships with family and friends, their colleagues and the workplace. It has totally transformed the way most individuals wish to interact with businesses and services.

As a result, the demand for the digital businesses of the future is already here. However, for most WLP providers and distributors, catching up with the 21st century remains a distant aspiration.

Taking a long, hard look at the industry

It is why we have produced this report. For too long, many providers and distributors have not been able to handle the changes that are demanded of them from the consumer. This is not just a problem regarding non-integrated systems and processes. The shift in consumer mindset means they must catch up quickly, or they will find it impossible to satisfy the demands of clients and consumers.

New perspectives

We all know that client engagement leads to stickier, more profitable business. Consumers increasingly want digital access above all other channels. They have found it quick, easy and, generally, safe. E-commerce has provided them with high quality user experiences via multiple touchpoints through companies like Amazon and Facebook. Now they want that kind of access when dealing with their personal finances.

The banks are reaping the benefits of implementing slick banking apps. Insurers are desperately trying to catch up with trailblazers in their sector copying the digital banking engagement model. This places new expectations on WLP to deliver similar experiences for their customers.

A warning from pre-history

Big tech doesn’t only provide useful examples in WLP. It also offers a stark warning. These retail and communication giants are thinking about diversification and have already looked at using the power of their platforms to satisfy the financial needs of their millions of customers.

If providers and distributors fail to evolve their current operations to service their clients’ needs – and those of their clients’ clients – they must accept their fate will be governed by the law of diminishing returns.

Strength in numbers

The transformation they need to make is perhaps not as daunting as they may fear. In this report, we look at the challenges facing providers and distributors and how they can prepare for their new, brighter, future.

It requires change. Quite a lot. And some of that may be painful. But they needn’t do it alone. In fact, very few businesses can keep all the plates spinning without input from outside.

Rather than leading alone from the front, the WLP businesses that adapt successfully are those that foster the right alliances. Finding the right long-term partners is absolutely essential, because together they will be stronger.

Find out more

Download the paper It’s Time For Meaningful Change: The opportunities and challenges facing the wealth, life and pensions industry

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