News in Brief

  • Final Chapter for Former Insurance Broker;
  • Partnership Approach between Insurers and Super Funds Critical;
  • TAL Contributes to Global Sustainability;
  • MDRT Down Under

Final Chapter for Former Insurance Broker

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has permanently banned former insurance broker, Bruce Wickett, who was convicted of serious fraud offences in August.

Mr Wickett, who was the Director of Wickett Insurance Broking and Wickett Investments, was previously sentenced to 18 months jail, having plead guilty to three charges of theft, totalling more than $660,000 (see: Former Insurance Broker Jailed).

ASIC has now confirmed that it has issued a permanent ban to Mr Wickett, preventing him from ever engaging in financial services.

Mr Wickett will serve a minimum of 8 months in jail before he is eligible for parole.

Partnership Approach between Insurers and Super Funds Critical

Deloitte has thrown its support behind APRA’s recently released draft guidance on group insurance inside superannuation, saying a partnership approach is critical in order to contain the recent spike in group premiums.

In December, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority issued ‘LPG 270 – Group Insurance Arrangements’ for discussion (see: APRA Focus on Group Insurance). Deloitte Superannuation Leader, Russell Mason, said that Deloitte supported the overall message contained in LPG 270, particularly in light of recent industry trends.

“In the current market we’ve seen group premiums for superannuation funds increase by 30% to more than 150%,” Mr Mason explained. “To make sure that we contain these increases and stop insurers from withdrawing from the Australian market, it is important that we closely examine and develop a new approach to these group insurance arrangements.”

Deloitte Actuaries & Consultants Managing Partner and Insurance Practice Leader, Caroline Bennet, added: “Insurers need to adopt better risk management practices when writing group insurances. I see more of a ‘partnership’ approach between the superannuation funds and insurers as a key ingredient of future success in the group market.

“We are already seeing insurers declining to quote and, in some cases, unable to get reinsurance support. So LPG 270 is a step in the right direction, and will encourage super funds to work far more closely with their insurers, as soon as possible.”

TAL Contributes to Global Sustainability

A representative from Australian insurer TAL was among a number of international stakeholders who met in Beijing recently to discuss the role of insurance in enabling a healthy, safe, resilient and sustainable society.

The United Nations’ Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) Board is charged with developing a framework of standards for the global insurance industry in relation to delivering better environmental, social and governance outcomes. The PSI Board is made up of 11 representatives, including TAL’s Chief Corporate Governance Officer, Peter Noble.

Mr Noble said the purpose of the PSI initiative was to “…enable the global insurance industry to better understand, prevent and reduce environmental, social and governance risks, and better manage opportunities to provide quality and reliable risk protection”.

At the second PSI AGM, the Board agreed to a three-year PSI strategy, developed in consultation with the PSI signatories and supporters worldwide, to set the direction for the global initiative in the immediate future.

Mr Noble said that while he was not in a position to divulge details about the projects of the PSI at this stage, the initiative was developing a roadmap for the global insurance industry, with work in 2014 aimed to deliver a framework of standards.

MDRT Down Under

The Million Dollar Round Table will kick off its 2014 calendar with the Down Under Tour, visiting all mainland capital cities in February.

A number of high profile international speakers will present at the events, with the aim of inspiring attendees with new ideas, concepts and best practice processes. According to MDRT Australia, early bird registrations for the event have already exceeded the expectations of the organisers.

Sue Paterson, MDRT Australia Deputy Chairperson, said one of the reasons behind the interests was because the program of main platform speakers, interactive workshops and content had been developed specifically by MDRT members for their peers.

“There is an amazing diversity, depth of experience and industry insight amongst MDRT’s members throughout Australia and across the globe and what ties us together and sets us apart is our passion to be the very best providers of financial advice and exemplary client service,” Ms Paterson said.

“It is therefore really important that we share our experiences, knowledge and expertise with fellow advisers as our personal stories and life journeys can motivate fellow advisers to achieve greater heights of personal and professional success and achievement.”

To find out when MDRT Down Under is in your nearest capital city, click here to visit our Events Calendar.

 

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