Aviva expands distribution network with launch of Aviva Advisors
Aviva's recently launched initiative, Aviva Advisors, will see them entering the tied agency market, providing Singaporeans increased access to needs-based financial advice from the insurer. The advisors will have access to Aviva's full suite of life, health, and investment products. Aviva is the only life insurer in Singapore to also have its own unit trust platform, Navigator.
The expansion comes in the wake of Aviva's strong performance in Singapore last year, which saw the insurer double its life insurance sales.
Aviva currently distributes their solutions through independent financial advisory firms, as well as partnerships with organisations like the Singapore Armed Forces. Their successful bancassurance agreement with DBS Bank, which began in 2001, was extended in 2009 for another 5 years. In April last year, Aviva also changed the general insurance market by being the first insurer to offer car, travel and home insurance solely online, direct to the customer. Aviva Advisors will add to the insurer's extensive distribution network.
Simon Newman, CEO of Aviva Singapore, said, "We know our customers want choice as to how and where they buy their insurance and investment products, so, at Aviva, we develop solutions that go to the customer where they feel the most comfortable. Some of our customers prefer the familiarity of DBS Bank, some may prefer independent advisors, and yet others will prefer to buy direct from us. Aviva Advisors caters to customers who choose to get quality financial advice directly from us."
At present, the Aviva Advisors team comprises 50 advisors. The insurer is looking to keep the team at an optimal level to maintain a high level of support and training for each advisor, and for customers to benefit from a dedicated service. The team is also backed by a dedicated call centre to assist and serve customers.
Aviva Advisors is helmed by Principal Advisor Alvin Nathan, who's been in the insurance and investments industry since 1994.
"We aim to make a positive difference to our customers' lives. This starts with selecting the right people as Aviva Advisors. Through a stringent recruitment process, we hire only certified and experienced advisors with a strong understanding of customer needs and the insurance industry," explained Nathan. "To stay on as an Aviva Advisor, there are also a number of benchmarks to meet that serves to ensure we're treating our customers fairly and offering the best possible, most relevant advice to help Singaporeans plan for their future."
One of these benchmarks includes the number of full fact-find processes the advisors must complete, where solutions are recommended only after a thorough consultation of the customer's financial situation, lifestyle and needs.
Aviva has also invested in tools to help customers make informed decisions. For example, the insurer offers over 400 funds through its investment-linked products and unit trust platform, Navigator. They have commissioned external consultant, Mercer, an award winning investment consultant firm, to segment all the funds, such that customers are able to easily identify which group of funds are suitable according to their risk appetite and investment goals. A glossary of the various criteria in which customers can use to further narrow their fund selection has also been created to simplify the fund-choosing process.
"We equip our advisors with the right tools to help simplify financial solutions so customers understand and can take charge of their financial future. Already, Aviva Advisors have the skillset and experience to provide professional financial planning over a wide range of insurance and investment needs. This will mean they are able to follow customers through their various life-stages and provide holistic advice, whether it's for protection or wealth accumulation," added Newman.