The FIA Awards, now in its 18th year, is an institution on the financial services calendar. It is also an important event for members of the Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA) and the various financial services brands that emerge victorious on the night.
The awards recognise the financial product suppliers that give FIA members the best overall satisfaction based on product, service and relationship. “The winning product suppliers are custodians of good financial advice in that they support financial advisers and insurance brokers in delivering exceptional financial outcomes to their clients, South Africa’s consumers,” says Gareth Stokes, Communications Manager at the FIA.
Consumers who buy financial products and services through an intermediary do so because they appreciate the unique value in good financial advice. “The Awards is important because it draws attention to the need for quality financial advice in the wider financial services landscape,” he says.
The awards provide FIA members with an opportunity to ‘rate’ the product providers that they do business with; deliver a consistent benchmark against which product suppliers can assess their performance in the intermediated distribution space; and educate the broader public about the value of financial advice.
An award is issued in each of 10 categories to cover ‘core’ disciplines in the financial advice space, namely employee benefits, financial planning (which includes risk and investment advice), healthcare and short term insurance. Changes to the FIA Awards categories for 2016 include the addition of a new health insurance category and the renaming of two awards under the investment category.
Categories for 2016
- Product Supplier of the Year – Employee Benefits
- Product Supplier of the Year – Healthcare
- Product Supplier of the Year – Health insurance (New category 2016)
- Long-Term Insurer of the Year – Risk
- Product Supplier of the Year – Investment Product Lump Sum (Renamed for 2016)
- Product Supplier of the Year – Investment Product Savings (Renamed for 2016)
- Short-Term Insurer of the Year – Personal Lines
- Short-Term Insurer of the Year – Commercial
- Short-Term Insurer of the Year – Corporate
- Underwriting Manager of the Year
Winners are determined following an extensive survey of FIA members. The companies that feature regularly in the FIA Awards tables read like a who’s who of the country’s top financial brands. Previous multiple-Awards winners include Allan Gray, CIA, Discovery, Hollard, Sanlam and Santam to name a few.
A consumer who needs life and disability insurance, medical aid cover, personal lines insurance cover, a retirement plan or any other financial solution is best advised by an FIA member who in turn structures a solution made up of product from these and other like-minded financial services brands.
Professional financial advice practices rely on relationships to ensure the best possible service to their clients. “Our members’ build relationships with their clients by constructing and implementing suitable financial solutions that in turn depend on good relationships with the product supplier – those who perform consistently in the Awards have what it takes to assist our members in meeting their clients’ needs,” says Stokes. He wished all of the ‘contenders’ in the 2016 FIA Awards the best of luck on the evening: “To the winners, our congratulations, and to the many other suppliers that go out of their way to empower our members, our heartfelt thanks.”