Risk Advisers Optimistic About 2012

Risk advisers are optimistic about the coming year, according to a survey commissioned by Zurich’s Life and Investments business.

The survey of over 300 active life risk writers found that the majority were ‘moderately positive’ about the outlook for themselves and their practice.

The advisers were asked how they felt overall about five key areas.  The average rating for each of these areas, with a maximum of up to 7 for ‘Extremely positive’ was:

  • Consumer demand for advised life insurance – moderately positive: 4.75
  • The adviser’s current sales volume – moderately positive: 4.59
  • The regulatory environment – moderately negative: 3.09
  • Likely sales volume for the next quarter – moderately positive: 4.9
  • The long term viability of their practice – positive: 5.2

Advisers were most concerned by the current regulatory environment, with 63% saying they felt negatively towards this issue.  In contrast, advisers were overall very optimistic when it came to the long term viability of their business, with three quarters responding positively to this question.

The overall average sentiment was 4.5 out of 7, which Zurich says equates to a ‘moderately positive’ outlook.

Colin Morgan, Chief Executive Officer of Zurich’s Australian Life and Investments business, said he had always admired financial advisers for their resilience and positive outlook in what he described as a challenging profession.

“These results show that, despite facing stagnant financial markets, low consumer sentiment and remaining uncertainty around FoFA, risk advisers are looking forward with optimism to the opportunities that 2012 may bring,” Mr Morgan said.

This generally positive outlook contrasts with last week’s news that only 3% of advice practices are looking to recruit a risk adviser this year (see Low Demand for Risk Advisers in 2012).