Inside IP

Join us for episode 3 of Inside IP, with Sesame Bankhall’s Executive Chairman John Cowan, where we chat about the opportunity for not only seasoned protection advisers, but also the moral obligation for mortgage and wealth managers to talk about protection, and how it offers a reason to talk to a new generation of clients. We look at recent sales figures, how the industry has changed over John’s time in the market, and the support services on offer for advisers during the current pandemic.

  • + Transcript
    • Roy McLoughlin:

      Hello, I’m Roy McLoughlin. And today I’m delighted to be joined by John Cowan, who is the executive chairman at Sesame Bankhall. John and I actually go back to, we just worked out, 1998. So we’ll come back to that story shortly. As part of our chat, we’ll be taking a look at how Sesame is supporting advisors during the current pandemic, and what struggles advisors are facing. Also discussing the latest income protection sales figures, and whether they’re encouraging, and what we can do to help put income protection at the centre of holistic advice. So, welcome John, how are you?

      John Cowan:

      Good morning, Roy. I’m very well, thank you. So what you’re speaking about, we met in a previous century, is that right?

      Roy McLoughlin:

      We did. It was 1998, and it was at your time at Scot Am, who many of our listeners probably can’t remember Scot Am, but obviously they morphed into Prudential, I think, from memory. Is that right?

      John Cowan:

      Yeah, it was just about that time. Scottish Amicable, yeah, Scottish Amicable was 1997, 1998, that Prudential acquired … that was at the time when lots of the mutuals were either demutualising or there was consolidation going on in the industry. And the Amicable went into the Prudential Group, yeah, and I became … that’s right, I became group sales director for Prudential Group at that point, having been the sales and marketing director for Scottish Amicable.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      And then the next time we came across each other, is you went over to MLC?

      John Cowan:

      MLC is part of the National Australia Group. So that was nearly 2000, actually, fascinating time. The early 2000s, when the Australians were looking at the UK market and saying the UK market is going to move from being a transactionally-based business to an advice-centric business. And that was the beginning of platforms and so on. So that was a fascinating time.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      Now I do remember back to particularly Scot Am days, your passion for protection, and as part of holistic advice. And that’s actually what we’d like to sort of pick your brains on. Has your enthusiasm for protection remained constant, got increased? How have you been?

      John Cowan:

      It’s increased actually, because I … so I’m executive of Sesame Bankhall Group, and it’s an interesting business because it’s kind of … the retail distribution review split the advice community, in my opinion, into financial planners, who … and into the mortgage market. And if you take that, in our business, you look in Sesame Bankhall Group, in the mortgage market, we have huge market share, probably well over 20% of the advised mortgage market passes through Sesame Bankhall Group. So last year, something like 250-odd thousand mortgages passed through our business.

      John Cowan:

      And my passion for that is, if customers are going to buy houses and take on debt, they need to be made aware that they’re taking on debt, and all the risks that are around that. And therefore they need a protection conversation about income, critical illness, and life cover. And then across the industry, the advice community don’t really serve the customer very well on that subject. And then the other side of our business, which is the financial planning piece, the advisors have gone so upmarket. They’re so into [inaudible 00:03:26] and inheritance tax planning and asset management, that the idea of income protection, for example, protection has really … We seem to have lost the art of talking about it. And the mortgage bits of it, because the whole mortgage process is so clunky and so disjointed, the guys simply say, “We don’t,” not all of them, but they simply say, “We don’t have enough time to devote to discussing protection with our clients,” which is a real shame. So we have got a huge drive on what we think of it. We think about it in a composite way. We want advisors to do a proper job with the clients, help them get their houses and their mortgages, and their debt, but talk to them about protection. So we’ve got big drive on that.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      That’s, if I can keep on the mortgage line for the moment. I mean, obviously it is a shame, because the mortgage market is an obvious segue into income protection. What is it about income protection in particular where you think there is an issue with mortgage brokers? Is it an assumption that people have it via their workplaces? What’s the issue here, would you say?

      John Cowan:

      I think it’s the product has become difficult, became difficult. In the old days, I think, when I think back on this, I think in the old days a lot of people came out of companies like the Pru and the co-op, and they got jobs with the Amicable or Standard Life. Then they eventually left, and they set up broking businesses, and they were really good at that sort of thing. Then they were really grounded that income protection was the foundation of financial planning. So family income benefit, income protection. We seem to have lost the skill. I think the product, partly losing the skills, but partly the product, the underwriting, all became complicated. I think the industry shot itself in the foot by making the product more complicated. And it also was quite expensive for people to buy a product get their income protected. So I think it just fell by the way. And people began to become much more fashionable around critical illness, for example, seemed to become the product of choice in talking to people.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      Yeah. And that’s illustrated very much in this, in the sales figures. Because up until recently now critical illness was outselling income protection by about a factor of five to one, which of course never really made sense, because the propensity of that happening was actually the opposite. You’re more likely to have an income protection claim than a crit ill one. But so I mean, has the industry progressed in terms of simplifying the product, in your view?

      John Cowan:

      It’s made advances. I mean, it recognised, I think, that the product was not selling. I mean, it’s ridiculous. It should be the go-to product, actually. That should … any financial advisor worth their salt, that should be the first conversation, about how are we going to look after you and your family, if you can’t get income? That really is the first thing. I mean, if you die, you die, that’s it, but we need to protect your income. And I think the industry has begun to have a look at it. They’ve had several goes at it, had a look at the underwriting. Perhaps more importantly, they’ve brought in what I think of as the budget kind of income protection product, where they’re giving income for five years, that type of thing. They’ve tried to make it less expensive. And I think they’ve been partially successful in that area. But there’s more to do. And I think they’ve tried to simplify the underwriting, which got complicated.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      How important do you think therefore, the training is? Because I’m minded to go back to when we first met. The role of the broker consultant was pretty paramount. I remember we were [inaudible 00:07:11] at the time, going to endless conferences, but also your broker consultant, who was the person on the ground constantly coming into your office, was helping with part of that training. So, you know, it was the Stuart Cheathams, the Jay Wileys, the people that you introduced me to all those years ago, who’ve thankfully all gone on to be incredibly successful. But do you think we’re missing that a little bit, and that some of the insurers don’t seem to concentrate on broker consultants so much these days?

      John Cowan:

      Yes, I think that’s absolutely right. Because those people had a passion for these things, and they would, I mean, I was really interested in self-administered pension schemes at one point, for example, and got lots of brokers really fascinated, but I think that link is broken. And however, what we’re doing today is going to be a harbinger for the future. I think this kind of connection through Zoom and through Teams is going to introduce a whole new concept for the way we reach out to financial planning businesses. It’s so much more efficient. So I see great possibilities in the way we communicate in the future.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      And what about the role of case studies? I mean, you’ll be familiar with the work we’ve done with seven families, which I know you’re a big supporter of. I mean, do you think that there’s more to be done there in terms of talking about real life situations?

      John Cowan:

      Yes, I mean, it’s education and bringing the thing alive for people, and this pandemic is going to do that. You know, that’s, if I could go back to, my passion at the moment is the retail distribution review. And when I described it, it split the advice community into mortgage brokers and into financial planners. You think about it from a consumer point of view. The consumer, who wants to invest some money has to see … sees the financial planner. That financial planner has an obligation to talk to them about capacity for loss, volatility, risk profiling, all of that, bloody psychometric testing, almost, on the client before they can invest their money. The mortgage broker could sign … someone wants to buy a house in Barnet, North London. They can have a half a million mortgage, as long as you can afford that, you can get your debt and walk out the door. There’s no kind of obligation on the advisor to make that client aware of the risk that they’re taking on.

      John Cowan:

      So I think there’s going to be a huge amount of work, I think post-pandemic, there won’t be much of a need to have to go to an advisor and talk to them about, do you realize the risk your client are taking around death, and perhaps redundancy, and loss of income, because all of that will have been in the living memory. And I think that’s one of the lessons that’s going to come out of it. As well as the technological reach. I think people have lived through, will have lived through this, and seen the impact, so that talking to the customer about protecting them and their families in the future should be much simpler. We don’t have to say, we don’t have to give … okay, case studies are always important, but the reality is the British population, world population for that matter, the British population are actually living through a real-life case example.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      Yeah. And several people, several commentators have said that. Actually, if you look at the furlough scheme, if you think about it, it’s actually a group income protection scheme in itself. You know, we have the chancellor of the exchequer two weeks ago, at the dispatch box, using the word income protection, which was a bit of a Eureka moment, because I don’t think any of us would have ever anticipated the chancellor bringing up a subject matter that we talk about on a daily basis.

      John Cowan:

      Roy, when we get to the end of it, we’re going to see people being made redundant, and that’s going to be a new reality for a lot of people. And that will be a wake-up call for loads of people to say, “That could be me, that could’ve happened to me.”

      Roy McLoughlin:

      Yeah. And there’s also a sense, I guess, that people are saying, as we de-globalize and become more insular-looking, and this is a positive insular-looking, rather than a selfish type, that people will naturally start examining our own mortality more. And presumably this subject of protection in general becomes a natural discussion to have with clients.

      John Cowan:

      This is absolutely happening now. We can see it. On the Bankhall side of our business, which is … we look after about 900 financial planning businesses. We can see the conversations that are taking place around things like intergenerational transfer of wealth. People are showing huge amount of interest in will inquiries, about setting up wills. So all that conversation is actually taking place. And that’s partly because, again, partly through the technology, where grandparents can reach out to families and have conversations about this. So people are definitely feeling more about their mortality, and they’ve got time to reflect on life. So we’re seeing a lot of change of behaviours. You know, some of the lenders I talk to, the big banks, are talking about people are looking at maybe moving out of cities or flats, and maybe wanting to be in open spaces. So there’s a lot of change of behaviours are going on.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      Just go back a couple of subjects, to the wealth managers. I mean, obviously it’s another group of people that have been pinpointed as not generally writing a lot of protection. And as you said, quite rightly, part of it is to do with the RDR. And that was probably an unintended consequence that no one had thought through, but how do we reach out to wealth managers? Because there’s a theory that says that’s great that they’re concentrating on wealth, but of course, many of their clients would become ill. How do we reach out to them and get them talking about these subjects?

      John Cowan:

      Well, the issue with the financial planning guys, is they behaved completely rationally. When advisor charging came in, they looked to the customer base. This is generalizing, of course, but they looked to their client base, and they kind of raised the bar and moved upmarket, and said, “We’re only going to deal with people who have got 300,000, 250,” whatever the number is. “We’re only going to deal with those people.” In the main, people who’ve got 250,000 and above are older, they’re getting closer to the time. And that is where the IFA community gravitated. So they went towards the at-retirement market, and therefore became involved in SIPPs and drawdown and managing people’s wealth. I think now, other than ESG, the great subject is the thinking about intergenerational transfer of wealth. Over the next 20 or 30 years, there’s going to be a huge, trillions of pounds are going to transfer from the people of my generation, my age, passing on to the next generation. The next generation will probably not use those financial advisors for their advice. They will often do something else.

      John Cowan:

      So it’s in a self-interest that those financial advisors, who are currently dealing with the wealthy end of the community, should be making the link to the next generation. And how do you make the link to the next generation? What is it you have to say to the next generation? So mum and dad might live in Guildford, and the next generation live in St. Albans, in a semi-detached house. They don’t have very much money. They might be paying school fees. So the advisors tended to look at them and go, “Well, I’ve nothing to say to them.” And I think they’re quite wrong. They’ve got loads to say to them. They should link them up as a family.

      John Cowan:

      They should think about them as, I can help you with your mortgage. And I can help your financial planning, even if it’s only life cover and income protection. And that’s actually the subject matter. That gives them the legitimate reason to speak to the next generation. For the moment they’re still thinking about, they don’t have any assets … they actually call them, they actually call them lower value clients.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      Yeah.

      John Cowan:

      I don’t have a proposition for lower value clients, because they can’t afford my service. And I think, I know some advisory businesses that are now thinking, rather than thinking about the mum and dad that have got the house in Guildford, got a few bob. They’re actually thinking about it as a family unit, and beginning to do financial planning around that. That’s a really sensible way forward.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      Yeah. And also it’s sometimes surprising to me, because many of us that have been in the industry for 30 years now, but we started off with that first group of clients. And yeah, I mean, there were things called ISOs and pensions, and that you could sell them, but obviously a lot of it was protection. And I think the worry now is just that there’s almost a generation that are being forgotten for financial advice. Now yes, some of them are going to go online and buy things. And that includes wealth management, because direct offerings like Vanguard are obviously going to be an issue, but coming back to protection, there is a concern that, with the exception of life insurance, purchasing income protection and critical illness online is very dangerous, because there are too many questions, and I suspect a lot of people give up, or maybe purchase the wrong product. What are companies like Sesame doing in terms of helping along with that education process?

      John Cowan:

      Well, we, I mean, our business is entirely predicated on advisors. So we don’t deal directly with the public. So we’ve been running … actually we’ve been running pilots. We took one of, in the Sesame network, we took one of the very big firms that deals remotely with clients. And we did it, we’ve done it as a pilot. And it’s been very successful selling income protection, actually. So we’ve now taken what the learnings were from that one business, and we’ve now operating a further, bigger pile of 20 firms who want to talk to the customers about income protection. So we’re in the middle of that at the moment, and see how that goes.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      You would have read obviously, and I’m sure you’ll be fully aware of signposting, and how that’s going to work. Is that something you would encourage? If you’ve got those wealth managers or mortgage guys that say, “Look, John, we want to stay specializing in our subject. It’s not something we want to do, but we do realise that there’s a need for protection,” is signposting maybe the solution here, so they can go and marry up with others, and have strategic alliances with other advisors who will do protection?

      John Cowan:

      I think that’s where we’re going to end up, actually. I think that’s exactly right. We’re going to see things like that with equity release as well. And I think income protection. I think that’s probably right. It’s probably better to go to the groups that have got a real passion for it, and a real specialism for it, and just refer it in there. That’s probably where we’ll end up.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      And presumably that’s relatively easy to do within a network, because if one of your wealth managers rings you up and says that conversation, you could say, “Well here’s X, Y, Z limited that tend to do a bit more protection,” and sort of put them together in a happy marriage.

      John Cowan:

      There also is a compliance issue around that stuff, isn’t it, about independent financial advisors and pointed rates. Aside from all of that, the principle still stands, that’s the thing to do. But that’s sort of building trust up between people, of course, isn’t it?

      Roy McLoughlin:

      Yeah. Yeah. And I’ve always thought the other advantage to that is that it’s very similar to our cousins who, being in the legal profession and accounting profession, where they do that naturally, anyway. Your lawyers and accountants are continually cross-referencing between themselves. And yet we seem so siloed as an industry, sometimes. It’s just a bit peculiar, but also, I guess the regulator now is sort of intervening here and saying you simply cannot … can no longer say, “I’m not going to talk to you about protection.” There is actually a duty now, isn’t there, to talk about it, with IDD and so on and so forth.

      John Cowan:

      Well, the claims management companies might be the very people who spark … because quite often, it’s an event that causes changes. And so I suspect the claims management companies who have kind of … they’re always looking for a new cause celebre. And you could absolutely see them saying, “Did your advisor not, did they not talk to you about protection?” if something goes wrong. So it’s the right thing to do to talk to the customer about protecting their lives and their families, and it’s self-interest in it as well. Everybody’s a winner.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      Yep. One thing I’m fascinated to find out about is, you also inwardly look at your advisors, and particularly with COVID. And we worry about our customers clearly, but there’s many of us pointing out that lots of IFAs may have issues with COVID and the associated problems, with working by themselves, working from home, that sense of loneliness, et cetera. Could you tell us all a bit about the COVID Sesame hub that’s been set up?

      John Cowan:

      Yeah, we … when … so the week before, yeah. I’ll tell you about that. The week before the lockdown came, we took it, we took the view as a business this was going to happen. So we got everyone working remotely from home. We got everyone with laptops, and we realized the business could actually cope, it could run, wouldn’t want this to be forever, but we could run the business remotely via having everyone working from home. But then we began to realize that most of the businesses we deal with are small businesses that don’t have the resources that we have. And so we took this view, we’re going to establish this hub, because there was, if you remember, there was lots of information coming out from the government, about loans and all sorts of regulation. And so we set that hub up, really away from product and sales, and said, “What are the particular problems that, if you’re a small business person, what are the issues they need to know about, whether they’re HR issues, how do you fill in government furlough application forms, how do I get soft loans from the government? How do I do all this stuff?”

      John Cowan:

      And so we set this hub up, got a lot of good press for it. We got over 20,000 hits on that hub, which was a good information hub. And that’s, so it was away from the daily grind of business, but to do with how to run a business, how to deal with business resilience, how do you approach the local authority to get rates relief? It was all that kind of information. So we were trying to be helpful. And I think that that proved quite successful.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      Brilliant. And what about the sort of … have you had sense of the sort of … the mental stress on your members, as the whole working from home by yourself, not being able to physically see clients?

      John Cowan:

      Yeah, we can. Yeah, we can see it from our own staff, and we can see it from the advisory community, but definitely people are … I think it was a bit of a novelty at the start for people, that working from home, “Oh this is kind of interesting, cool. Don’t have to put my suit on anymore,” or all that stuff. And I think, as I said, they managed to continue doing business. I know wealth managers, for example, I was talking to a wealth manager last week. Actually a financial planner, and chief executive of a large financial planning business. He told me about, not only were his advisors coping very well using Zoom and doing client reviews, but they were actually winning clients, in fact. Not telling any tales out of school, but he said one, he got an investment of 2.4 million from a client they’d never seen, and had been a recommendation.

      John Cowan:

      So the business is kind of going fine. But I think there is a weariness now beginning to creep in for people, because utterly all of these businesses, certainly the kind of sales and marketing end of it, are very people-oriented. And I think people are really missing the buzz of getting out and meeting clients and talking to clients. I don’t think that’s going to go away. I’m sure in the future, we’ll use the technology to do client reviews, and keep in touch with clients. It will make things better, but I think people are really getting very weary of it now. They’re missing the kind of the contrast, and the stimulation you get from meeting people. And that’s definitely true. And our own staff at Sesame Bankhall Group, there are some people who are quite comfortable working from home. But the kind of field people want to eventually, they want to get out and meet people.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      Yeah. Yeah. Question, another question to ask you is, I think there’s a worry that our industry is getting older and older, and it’s not just wealth management, it’s the industry as a whole, and that there isn’t as much young blood coming in as there should be. You meet a bunch of graduates as chief executive of Sesame, and they’re undecided about their careers. Why should 22, 23, 24 year olds start looking at financial advice as a potential career, would you say?

      John Cowan:

      I think this is a fantastic industry, actually. I mean, because if you start with thinking about the clients, or start thinking about the UK population, the need for advice, for financial advice and guidance and help is just, it’s just, I don’t think there’s ever been a greater need for it than there’s ever been. The state’s pulling back. People have largely got to be self-sufficient. Things are meant to be getting simplified, but the world’s getting more complicated, to try and plan your lives. There are less financial advisors around, so that you take the combination of that, and there’s less financial advisors around, and there’s a growing population. There’s an aging population that requires help with retirement. We’ve got generation X and generation Z’s coming up with different values, different approach to life. So if you enjoy meeting people, and you enjoy helping them, and help them demystify finance, then it’s a fantastic industry. If I was starting all over again, I would be absolutely delighted to get back into it. And also the whole kind of qualification processes, professionalize the industry. That’s the spinoff above the art. It’s some terrible unintended consequences, but it’s actually raised the standard, I think. So I think we’ve got a better-qualified coterie of people giving advice to the public. I think it’s a great industry.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      And you rightly mentioned the fact that society is moving to much more of a self-sufficient place of existence. I mean, I would argue the heart of self-sufficiency should be income protection, because the reliance on either state or employer is probably diminished, and arguably will diminish further after we’re out of this crisis. So would you agree that therefore income protection should ideally be at a higher … top of the hierarchy of financial advice?

      John Cowan:

      You know, the great problem with this is we’re dealing with human beings, and none of us think we’re going to get made redundant or are going to die, or we’re going to get ill, and it’s always manana, isn’t it? We’ll do it tomorrow. I’ve got football to watch on the telly, it’ll never happen to me. And so I think … I don’t think, I mean, wills people might self-serve, and they might go in and do the investments. And they will do, some people will do that. But the majority of people, the majority of people are just ordinary people doing ordinary things, day in, day out. It will require a bit of stimulus to say, “You ought to write a will. You ought to protect your family. You ought to do these things.” And which, I’d rather book my holidays and look up a new car, or buy a barbecue, or whatever it is. I’d rather do those things. How do you get it to move up the priority chart? Usually in our life, it’s someone has come along and said, “You should do this, John,” or “Roy, you should do this.” And that’s what the salesmen did, actually. That’s what the Pru man did. They approached you and said, “You ought to do this to protect your family. Have a funeral policy.” And I don’t think the world’s changed that much. That is still there for advice.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      And that just reemphasizes your training point from earlier, doesn’t it, in the fact that we need to get the training ratcheted up, actually, for protection in particular. I mean, do you get a sense of the fact that the insurers realized that they’re integral to this training process?

      John Cowan:

      Yes, they do. They absolutely do that. Yeah. And a lot of them are … we’ve got very good connections into the product manufacturers. They are really, really keen to be that sort of training academy and help us. So I think we’ll … and I keep going back to this technology. I think as this technology improves to television standards, both with sound and visuals, I think we’re going to see lots, lots more of education being made to the advice community.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      Yeah. And alongside that, encourage people to do whatever protection exams are around.

      John Cowan:

      Yes, and I think some of the technology will be used to actually beam it straight into consumers’, into clients’ homes, and say, “Listen, if I was an advisor, I’d say ‘Watch this podcast for 10 minutes, to talk to you about …'” almost the widow’s story, if you remember.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      Yeah, yeah.

      John Cowan:

      Almost watch that. Yeah.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      Yeah. Which ultimately was what seven families was about as well. And all we did, how we came up with that was we just picked seven stories, and a similar thing. So obviously having been around, I mean this with all due respect, for a little bit, a little part of time, have to careful how I say that, what … you have that magic wand, the proverbial magic wand. What have you learnt from the past that you would change in particular with income protection, just to bring this through to, either the consumer or the advisory community? What’s your magic wand moment?

      John Cowan:

      I would probably bring back early PR. I’d bring back … I’d bring tax incentives, I would bring a tax incentive. I mean, it has to be in the state’s interest that the public look after themselves. So if I had to wave a magic wand, there was a chancellor, I’d bring tax relief in on premiums. That’s what I would do.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      And a lot of people agree with you, because they say one of the reasons auto enrolment has been such a success is because there’s something in it for everybody, and that’s called tax relief. Maybe that’s a subject that we need to go back to government. I guess we’d probably have a more sympathetic ear at the moment, because of the self-sufficiency argument you’re talking about, along with the demographics. So maybe have some sort of incentive for some of these products.

      John Cowan:

      I agree with that. I think just lobbying, it will fall on deaf ears. I think there has to be a kind of win-win for government and for the public. So I think I would, if I was the magic wand, I would argue for tax relief.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      Okay. And my final question to you, before we let you go is, we’ve mentioned mortgage brokers and wealth managers, and no problem with either of those groups sticking to what they’re really good at. Would you still make a plea to them despite that, to look at protection a bit more, whether they signpost or take it on board themselves? Because I guess the worry here is, if they don’t, and their customers, clients, whatever you want to call them, die, get ill, have critical illnesses, ultimately you’ve let that person down to a certain extent. What would you, what would your plea be to those two groups in particular?

      John Cowan:

      Well, my two points are, with the mortgage broking community, then I think they’ve got, personally, I think they have an obligation with a small o to their clients to help them acquire the houses that they want to buy, and the mortgages. And there’s a kind of almost a moral obligation to talk to them, even if the customer says, “Thank you. I can’t afford that, I don’t want it,” or whatever, “I’ll take my chances.” I think they’ve got an obligation to explain the risk they’re running in taking on debt. So they should talk to the customer. And I think a group like Sesame Bankhall Group almost certainly is moving to a position post-pandemic that says, “If you are a member of the network, and you are a mortgage broker, it’s beholden on you to do this,” to at least offer the client, give them an idea of what income protection looks like. In fact, you should do a risk profile on them, so they understand the risk they’re taking. So they-

      Roy McLoughlin:

      Which we have to do with our investment plans. We have no choice. It’s a legal obligation.

      John Cowan:

      Yeah. So that’s where we would like to go. Do a risk profile on the clients, make them self-aware of the risk they’re running in taking on debt, whether it’s an income or mortality or critical illness. Talk to them about it, let them make the decision. And therefore we have to get better at delivering the skills to them. And on the financial planning side, as I said, the clients tend to be older, so that the natural link to raise income protection is talking to the next generation. That’s how they should do that.

      Roy McLoughlin:

      Brilliant. Thank you very much, John. John, thank you so much for your time. As always, you’ve been an incredibly useful and thoughtful person to talk to, in the same way you were 22 years ago. And I’d like to say personally, thanks, because I do remember having those conversations with you when I was a much younger IFA than I am now, and protection was at the heart of it. So I would encourage anyone listening in, particularly who works for another insurance company or a network, to take a leaf out of John’s book. And trying to put these, I think what we’re trying to say here is, it’s just put protection back on the map a little bit. And I like the idea of obligation. We have a small O, so it’s subtle, but I think that’s a good strap line. But thank you so much for your time. And thank you listeners for your time, as well. If you’d like to listen to Inside IP, subscribe via usual channels. And we hopefully will see you soon.

Previous Podcasts