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Getting organized…

05 June 2005 Angelo Coppola

Speaking at SAFSIA’s Industry Recognition Awards banquet Chris Busschau, SAFSIA’s new president, said the time has come for the insurance industry to align itself with other industries by professionalising its interactions with clients.

In an initiative to bring greater professionalism to the insurance industry, the South African Financial Services Intermediaries Association (SAFSIA) has developed an agreement for intermediaries to use with their corporate and commercial clients.

In terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act (FAIS), insurance intermediaries are required to formalise their relationships with clients so that each party knows what is expected of the other. SAFSIA supports “best practice” and has recommended to its members a methodology that is aligned with the intent of FAIS.

Notes Busschau: “Clients need to be aware that they also have certain responsibilities related to the management of their insurance portfolios. The SAFSIA Terms of Trade Agreement formalises the relationship between intermediary and client by outlining their respective roles.”

Busschau says the agreement also gives intermediaries responsibilities post-engagement with the client. “It defines ownership of the information and access thereto even after the intermediary and client may have parted ways for whatever reason.

Ben Rossouw, managing director of SAFSIA says that SAFSIA supports ongoing interaction and discussion between the intermediary and client so that both can make informed decisions.

“Intermediaries are a vital cog in the insurance industry wheel. It is an intermediary’s job to fit an insurance product with the client’s needs, to make sure they get the right cover and do not end up paying for cover that is not required.

“Most of our members are small to medium sized businesses who need the support of associations such as SAFSIA. They do not have their own regulatory departments churning out these sorts of agreements on a regular basis so they look to us for guidance.”

** Note: A Terms of Trade Agreement aimed at the personal lines insurance market is currently under development by SAFSIA and should be released in the next few weeks.

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The second draft amendments to Regulation 28 will allow retirement funds to allocate up to 45% of their assets to SA infrastructure, with a further 10% for rest of Africa; but the equity & offshore caps remain unchanged. What are your thoughts on the proposal?

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