1 year ago

Blue Chip Issue 83

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Blue Chip Journal is the official publication of the Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa NPC (FPI), effective from the January 2020 edition. Blue Chip is a quarterly journal for the financial planning industry. Blue Chip publishes contributions from FPI and other leading industry figures, covering all aspects of the financial planning industry. Visit Blue Chip Digital:


BLUE CHIP FINANCIAL SERVICES Change is good, provided you don’t change what you stand for Since disrupting South Africa’s insurance industry just over 24 years ago, OUTsurance’s growth has been nothing short of remarkable. We spent some time with Danie Matthee, OUTsurance Chief Executive Officer, to gain some insight into their evolution from a direct short-term insurer to what is now a multi-award-winning, multi-product, multi-channel and multi-country financial services provider. Danie Matthee, Chief Executive Officer, OUTsurance South Africa 24

FINANCIAL SERVICES BLUE CHIP OUTsurance made a bold entrance into the market all those years ago, by changing the way people purchased short-term insurance. How does the overall business look today, in comparison? Bold – yes. But that’s how to disrupt, right? On the face of it, OUTsurance is very different from back then… we’re a larger business with a wider set of financial services products, delivered through more channels. Yet, I can say, confidently, that our core values, our culture and our focus on solving problems for customers, through the use of technology, data and innovative products, have not changed. Our purpose has always been clear – we want to disrupt the markets in which we operate, with a clear focus on simplicity and awesome customer service. This completely client-centric approach has stood the test of time, and it’s one we’ll never change. We continue creating ways to do things better, leveraging technology and the use of data to improve our operations, customer service levels, products and process design. It’s this underlying philosophy that helped us differentiate ourselves at the beginning. It’s what pushed us to expand into business insurance, life insurance, funeral insurance, pet insurance and eventually into the investment space with OUTvest. OUTvest is a great example. It’s a challenger brand with an exceptionally sophisticated technology-driven investment platform, built from the ground up, which actively helps investors build long-term wealth, thanks to advanced investment tracking and a revolutionary low fee structure. That sounds very complex, but the user experience is incredibly simple and intuitive – for clients who want to take control of their investments personally and for our independent financial advisor partners. You’re known for your direct, call-centre approach – and rightly so, because it has essentially become a template for insurance distribution success. So, why even look to independent financial advisors? Again, it’s about being client centric. What we learned over the years is that some segments of the market are comfortable taking control of their own insurance and investment needs. However, as those needs become more complex, there is a greater need for a more bespoke, in-person experience. For instance, in 2017, we introduced our face-to-face sales team of tied agents for our business insurance products. Now over 600 strong and growing, this OUTsurance Broker force is on the ground, every day, building customised insurance solutions for our business clients and, as a result, is also growing our personal lines market share. It’s the very same promise of great service and value for money that our call centre has provided for so many years, taken to a segment of the market who prefers to deal in person. When it came to OUTvest, we soon saw a similar situation. While we enjoyed some success with clients coming directly to us, most people rely on additional human face time before investing. It makes perfect sense, since large amounts of hard-earned money are often involved. So, we went about creating a co-branded version of the All of this is evidence that we appreciate the importance of a multi-channel approach, to deliver the right products, at the right price, to customers in a way they want to be served. OUTvest platform – again, from the ground up. Now we work with many independent financial advisor partners, helping them and their clients with our unique offering. During 2021, we also implemented another tied-agent sales force, called OUTsurance Financial Advisors, who are taking our investment and life insurance solutions to clients, in person. Plus, we have a fantastic partnership with the Shoprite Group, where customers can buy our funeral product from Money Market counters countrywide. All of this is evidence that we appreciate the importance of a multi-channel approach, to deliver the right products, at the right price, to customers in a way they want to be served. All while building trust and providing awesome service. And how exactly does OUTvest help independent financial advisors (IFAs) and their clients? We spent a lot of time with IFAs and soon realised their need to scale and grow their advice practices profitably, but there are limited hours in a day. So, we tackled that pain point head-on. Put simply, our digital platform allows advisors to plan a client’s investments and onboard them in a single sitting. No paperwork. We even handle transfers for them. After that, IFAs can rest assured that their clients’ investments are continuously tracked and monitored. Even annual reviews are automated. In short, more clients can be serviced in less time. As for the IFA’s clients… they benefit from quality investment funds, low investment fees and a range of products, such as our Retirement Annuity, Preservation Fund, Tax-Free Savings Account, Voluntary Investment Plan, Global Wealth Builder and, coming soon, our Living Annuity. These are all backed by good performance from our exclusive funds and our simple, transparent fee model, called the ONEfee. This can be far lower than traditional investment fees out there – as low as 0.2% per annum. Even with the addition of an IFA’s advice fee, clients enjoy an advantage. You’ve reiterated how you built the platform from nothing. How important is technology to the success of OUTsurance as a whole? It is the foundation on which our business is built. We’re extremely proud of our in-house skill and IT development capability. The 25

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