Tower's new adviser partner 'ticks the boxes'

Relationship in place indefinitely

Tower's new adviser partner 'ticks the boxes'

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

Tower has added a new adviser partner under the New Zealand insurer’s lucrative referral model, and here partnerships managing director Jonathan Beale (pictured) talks about how his camp gets along with Kiwi Adviser Network (KAN).

Beale, who regularly receives partnership pitches, told Insurance Business shortly after their new alliance was announced: “KAN was one that we actually went after. We wanted to work with them. They’re in growth mode. But at the heart of it, we have the same philosophy around looking after customers; simple, rewarding experiences; doing the right thing by the customer – all those types of things – and we got on.

“They’re what drives a partnership: you have to have common values to start with, and then the partnership will be very successful… We can’t partner with everybody, and we don’t want to partner with everyone. There needs to be value for the customer in the first place, and value for us. And KAN ticks those boxes.”

So, how does the Tower-KAN partnership work? Essentially, Tower will be in charge of KAN’s general insurance advice needs while the network’s advisers zero in on the likes of life coverage or mortgage.

“A lot of the KAN advisers focus on lending advice or life and health advice,” noted the partnerships MD. “So, we’ve partnered with them about general insurance. A KAN adviser will be talking to a customer, they’ll identify a need for house and contents or motor, and they refer to Tower and then we take care of the advice and the service for that customer.

“And we make it really simple for the KAN adviser, because there’s a portal that they can use. It takes them less than a minute to complete it, which makes it really easy. They put their name, the customer’s name, what the customer wants to talk about, and it comes into our workflow and we outbound-call the customers.”

Beale went on to explain: “We have an ever-growing team who contacts the customer, gives them the advice, and then we feedback to the adviser so there’s a loop that goes back to them. It’s a really simple referral model for the adviser, which is important because general insurance tends to be not their specialty. So, they focus on the other types of advice and then we take care of general insurance.”

The benefit of that, said the managing director, is the fact that the customer gets to speak to the right specialist and gets the right advice they need, all while the client maintains their relationship with the KAN adviser.

“The adviser is the point of contact for looking after the customer,” clarified Beale. “But for the advice piece on general insurance, Tower does that for them. So, the customer still stays with KAN as an advice customer, but we’re offering the right general insurance product to them.

“Because legislation has changed so much in New Zealand now, advisers need to be authorised to give advice on particular types of products. They’re not authorised to give advice on general insurance or Tower products, so we do that. They simply refer to us so they can spend the time on making sure the mortgage is right or the life cover they’re putting in place is right.”

According to the Tower leader, there’s been a significant growth in this channel used by the insurer. In fact, Beale said there are nearly 2,000 advisers in New Zealand who refer business to Tower via the referral model. One of the company’s long-time partners is NZ Financial Services Group.

For Beale, such partnerships are a transfer of trust, and what’s key is to keep the conversations going.

He told Insurance Business: “They’re trusting us with their customer to have a conversation, and so we need to be getting better and being really good all the time. Because there’s the adviser and there’s the customer and there’s us. And if we can make it easier for the advisers, that’s certainly something we focus on.

“We want the advisers to have the conversation about, ‘Hey, I’m going to refer you to Tower’. As long as that’s happening, then we know that the customer is going to get the right product and the right advice, and we’ll both be very successful, and the customer will get a great outcome. We focus on the conversation side of it, making sure it happens.”

Tower, which is already getting daily referrals from KAN advisers, is partnered with the network indefinitely, i.e. the tie-up isn’t bound by a yearly contract or any such timeframe. Things are “working really well at the moment,” said Beale, who highlighted that they would innovate and make the relationship “better and better” in time.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!