The Financial, Wealth and Insurance sectors are all reliant on technological changes to achieve the levels of market and product innovation that customers are demanding. A business that's not reviewing its platform and digital offering faces competitive risk and customer decline in the next 24 month period.
In 2017 across the Wealth Management, Insurance and Life & Pensions sectors, the big influencers were merger and acquisitions, regulatory change, digital innovation, IoT (Internet of Things) & data.
Many of these issues remain high on the corporate agenda but what else is going to drive change in 2018?
We’ve spoken to our Practice Leads and posed the question “what will influence your market in 2018?”
Denise Morris, Head of Strategic Accounts - General Insurance:
“2017 was the year that saw InsurTech establish itself with insurers partnering break-through start-ups alongside the drive to outsource to a service model of third party suppliers.
In 2018 we will see this trend continue but with a crowded market expense reduction, automation is also a major factor for P&C Insurers.
The implementation and use of automation and customer self-service will continue to increase, particularly in the areas of claims processing. With the standard adoption of video evidence and drones, insurers will be able to provide faster payments and offer a more offensive approach.
UBI (Usage Based Insurance), Telematics and Connected Homes are driving an insurance revolution. Insurers are moving to a new model of loss-prevention; pre-emptive services to help drive down the cost of claims.
The IoT and the leverage of the data collected will assist with keener pricing, the ability to reduce risk as well as offering behavioural rewards. Nearly 100 million drivers globally are expected to have UBI policies by 2020, with Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States leading the way.
Operational Improvement Insurers will continue to focus on operational improvements while a particular focus on increasing customer satisfaction and value will be key.
The speed of change is set to increase in the next 12 months to new levels.”
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Rupert Morton, Practice Lead - Wealth Management:
“The industry is struggling with rising costs through increased regulation, versus a rise in passive investing and lower fees, which will see big technology investments in 2018 to reduce costs and drive innovation. The investment in technology is likely to be further boosted as wealth businesses focus on putting the customer first and making their products more digitally accessible, which'll help to attract newer generations of investors.
At the lower end of the investment market there has been an increase in the availability of robo-advice solutions aiming to address the advice gap and to provide better information to those with smaller amounts to invest. While banks have been early adopters, this is largely due to their increasingly 'digitally-native' customer base. We expect other investment businesses to follow the trend and launch similar D2C propositions this year.
Key areas driving change will include an uptake in the adoption of innovative FinTech solutions, M&A activity and development of digital customer propositions."
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Mark de Lacy, Sales Director - Life & Pensions:
“The uncertainty of Brexit will affect customer behaviour and provide challenges for the wider Financial Services businesses as well.
The Life & Pensions sector has not fared well in a long term period of low interest rates and lower returns. We expect 2018 will be a quest for technical solutions to reduce unit costs and fees while increasing benefits to customers who are nervous of the impact of Brexit on their pension’s income.
This is driving the leading consulting companies to seek the best L&P Analysts, Architects, Programme and Consultant skills which is reducing availability in an already tight market. The knock-on effect is increasing salaries and a demand for specific L&P experience with implementation and client facing skills.
Highams can find these scarce skills through established candidate networks and a deep database of industry expertise, while also using targeted head hunting.
During 2017 merger activity remained high and 2018 will see that trend continue. The impact of merged companies has seen increased demand for Migration Analysts and Part VII transfer skills to speed up the transition of customers to new models and systems.”
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For over 30 years, Highams Recruitment has been a leading recruitment supplier across the Insurance, Wealth Management and Pensions sectors within the UK. Our specialist recruitment knowledge and experience means you can trust our team to quickly provide you with the expertise you need whether you’re looking for your next role or your next hire. Speak to our team today - phone (0) 1883 341144 or visit www.highams.com to look at our latest vacancies.