30 May 2013 – Discovery walked off with three awards at the prestigious annual Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA) Awards held in Johannesburg tonight. The awards recognise and honour South Africa’s leading product providers in the financial services industry.
Discovery Health was named the Healthcare Benefits Product Supplier of the Year, while Discovery Life took first place in the category Long-term Insurance Product Supplier of the Year – Risk Products. Discovery Invest won top honours in the category Investment Products – Recurring Premiums – Product Supplier of the Year.
Hylton Kallner, Chief Marketing Officer at Discovery, said: “We are delighted to have been voted the winner in the Health, Risk and Investment categories. It is particularly gratifying to note that this is the first time that a single product provider has won all three awards in one year. The fact that our awards have increased over the years bears testament to our singular focus on our clients, with intermediaries recognising us for product innovation and service excellence, amongst other measures.”
Kallner said there were three trends currently reshaping the South African financial intermediary landscape – a return to growth following a prolonged tough market, an increasing number of regulatory and compliance requirements for financial advisers, and the impending review of intermediary remuneration structures by the Financial Services Board.
In response to these trends, there is now an accelerating shift towards tied distribution channels to cater for independent financial advisers who want to take advantage of corporate support in terms of compliance, IT, marketing and related services. Intermediary knowledge levels and the quality of their advice have also improved, ultimately leading to an improvement in the quality of financial advice given to clients. Intermediaries are also seeking differentiators and diversified revenue streams, with technology becoming a fast-growing enhancement to the client experience.
“In this ever-changing environment, Discovery embraces its responsibility to provide all our financial advisers with the best products, service and support. We thank all intermediaries for acknowledging our continuous efforts to assist you in providing your clients with exceptional advice across the entire financial planning spectrum,” said Kallner.
He added that Discovery aimed to provide intermediaries with the best support possible, in terms of training, as well as access to support in the form of business consultants, product specialists, and other operational and technical support structures. “These awards are a positive acknowledgement of how this support is perceived by intermediaries. This recognition strengthens our commitment to being the best in terms of both our products and the services we offer, to benefit not only the intermediaries but ultimately, our clients,” Kallner said.
In the lead-up to the awards, the FIA appoints an independent research company to conduct a customer satisfaction survey among the association's member intermediaries. The three criteria which form the basis of the customer satisfaction survey include assessments of:
- Product quality (as perceived by intermediaries and their clients)
- Service quality (as perceived by intermediaries and their clients)
- Relationship quality (as perceived by the intermediaries).
Discovery is an authorised financial services provider.
Discovery operates in the healthcare cover market in South Africa, the United Kingdom and China; the life assurance market in South Africa and the United Kingdom; as well as the long-term savings and investment market, and short-term insurance market in South Africa.
Vitality, Discovery’s wellness programme, is the world’s largest scientific, incentive-based wellness solution. It provides individual and corporate wellness initiatives in South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and China. The global Vitality membership base now exceeds 3.4 million lives.
Discovery’s core purpose is to make people healthier, and to enhance and protect their lives through financial products that clients need and want.