Slim majority of Middle East distributors ‘optimistic’ about regulation: Zurich

The majority of Middle East distributors are ‘optimistic’ about regulation, according to two surveys conducted by Zurich.

The global life and insurance specialists recently held two events in the region; The Zurich Seminar of Excellence and the Zurich Business Breakfast with 165 distribution partners.

And 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, the company said in a statement.

At the Zurich Seminar of Excellence over 150 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%), the survey found.

Education priority

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%), Zurich said.

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 event, agreed that the regulation shouldn’t impact their costs (65%), but they believed it will affect their recruitment policy (76%).

‘Future Proof’

Colum O’ Brien, head of retail Zurich – Middle East said that the company’s ‘Adviser First’ initiative Zurich ‘FutureReady’ will  support three distributors to 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,” he said.

Walter Jopp, pictured left, chief executive Zurich – Middle East, said. “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 said that it 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 regulatory changes.

Gary Robinson
Head of Video and Ezines at Open Door Media Publishing. Deputy Editor, International Investment. An experienced journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years' financial services experience, both as journalist and originally as a fully qualified IFA, Gary works across both International Investment and InvestmentEurope titles. Previous video production credits include projects on BBC, C4 and SKY.

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