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Optimism amongst distributors regarding pending regulations

October 17, 2017


Majority of distributors remain optimistic about regulation, recent surveys from Zurich - Middle East show

Education and upskilling seen as high priority for both business owners and advisers.


Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 17th September, 2017: Zurich - Middle East recently held two events; The Zurich Seminar of Excellence and the Zurich Business Breakfast with key distribution partners. At these targeted events, tailored surveys were carried out to gain better insight into the sentiment of distribution partners regarding the pending regulations, how this is anticipated to affect business and the level of support expected.

At the Zurich Seminar of Excellence over 150 top distributors viewed regulation as constructive: 55% were optimistic, 45% were anxious while 2% revealed real apprehension. Most of them were conscious of the need to change (43%) and Zurich was clearly identified by 40% as the relevant support to help them navigate the potentially challenging times ahead.

In line with business owners’ thoughts, Education is also a key priority highlighted by the advisers. They see training needs as an essential source of support from Zurich in particular those related to Regulatory transition (47%), and Soft skills (24%). When asked about insight and advice delivered by asset management partners, at least 50% of the respondents confirmed that they would like to benefit from financial education.

On the other hand, 15 business owners who attended the Business Breakfast, agreed that the regulation shouldn't impact their costs (65%), but they believed it will affect their recruitment policy (76%). All attendees were aligned that training and certification are the highest priority for their businesses despite views being different regarding the upward or downward trends in the number of financial advisers in their respective organizations.

In fact, as illustrated by the survey, training and certification would be the investing priority in case of limited investment (equally with Service innovation), and it is what owners expect the most as support from an insurer.

Colum O' Brien, Head of Retail Zurich - Middle East said “We have invested significantly in training and in raising awareness of the need to adapt amongst our distribution partners. This includes our adviser first initiative Zurich FutureReady, investment in third party coaching experts and most recently the launch of "The Bursary" which will see us support three distributors complete Chartered Insurance Institute qualifications and help them and their businesses become future proof. While we welcome and support regulatory change, we understand it is an unsettling time for many and therefore is of utmost importance for us to guide and empower distribution partners where we can."

Walter Jopp, CEO Zurich - Middle East added "Over the last 30 years we have remained committed to working alongside our distribution partners to deliver the best possible support solutions in the region. The recent insights show that key financial professionals continue to view Zurich - Middle East as a partner of choice when it comes to potentially challenging times. We will, therefore, remain as supportive as possible and continue to listen and respond to our partners’ needs."

Zurich - Middle East has a series of initiatives planned under the Zurich FutureReady programme over the next 12-18 months, including a microsite, training workshops, blogs, videos and a range of tools and resources for advisers to leverage from as they prepare themselves for the anticipated changes.