Broker’s full-on frank disclosure

by Maryvonne Gray 21 Nov 2014

Broker’s full-on frank disclosure

Hamilton-based broker Hutchison Rodway Waikato says its dedication to being open about full income disclosure is behind its rapid growth since starting in 2008 – and now it’s changing its name to make it official.

The commercial insurance brokers are now called Frank Risk Management to reflect the way they operate on a full disclosure basis without hidden commissions and their belief that business owners have the right to know what they’re paying for.

“Frank is a good name for our company, because that’s what we are – upfront and frank,” said director Rene Swindley.

“From our point of view, eventually New Zealanders should see a shift in regulation that will make all insurance brokers disclose their income, as they currently do overseas. We’ve always been ahead of the industry in this respect,” he said.

Fellow director Andrew Newman said greater disclosure was catching on with other brokers, but was often a reactive measure with the disclosure being the fees charged on top of the commission that the broker receives but avoiding disclosure of the amount of the commission itself.

Frank Risk Management says it considers this odd. The lack of transparency often left clients wondering who their broker was acting for.

“This is not full disclosure,” Newman said. “Clients need to know the total remuneration so that they can measure this against the value the broker adds.”

Both directors put the company’s success down to their openness on income disclosure and also the risk management support and disaster recovery planning that they build into their overall service.

“This means our clients are less vulnerable to the ebbs and flows of the insurance market and are taking a longer term view of their risk expenses, generally with better results,” said Swindley.

“Since the Canterbury earthquakes many businesses have had a rough ride with increasing premiums and restrictive cover. Taking charge of matters pays.”

The directors said while Frank Risk Management was not claiming to provide the cheapest service, it was putting its stake in the ground as a company committed to providing greater value as a result of full income disclosure.

“Often it’s a business who has had a bad claims experience and thought that it wasn’t fairly represented who sees the importance of knowing exactly what they’re paying for and the value they’re getting out of their broker,” Swindley said.

Partner Jaden Hatwell said the seven-strong company was excited about the new brand.

“We have invested a lot of time into the change of identity, and we think it is important to emphasise the difference between Frank and our competitors,” he said.