Big News....Important News....Exciting News

Last week's big news was the announcement of two of my former places of employment joining forces. AIA acquiring Cominsure in Australia and Sovereign in NZ creates a couple of sizeable life insurers in their respective markets. With a little more vision and imagination, the transaction for Sovereign could have been completed in 1999 at a fraction of the price paid today.

Such is life.

There will be some interesting challenges ahead in the integration space and I wish both parties the best of good fortune in their endeavours. For NZ Advisers, this reduces the number of companies from which to select and it will be interesting to see how the new entity positions itself in relation to the independent adviser market.

And the question has been asked - who's next?

Important news last week - although perhaps not yet complete - was the result of the General Election. No doubt that there will be some hard bargaining ahead and the final outcome remains to be seen. Bill claimed the victory with the biggest percentage vote; Jacinda pointed at that the majority of the electorate didn't vote for National; Winston made sure everyone has his phone number. Whatever the Government eventually looks like, this has been one of the most interesting elections of recent times. Three months ago, the National Party was cruising toward a fourth term with Labour and NZ First almost attracting the same levels of support according to the pollsters. Enter Jacinda, and the Labour Party resurgence has been remarkable - almost up to the keys of the door. This new arrival jolted National out of its complacency and stimulated some fairly unattractive behaviour from certain senior figures in the National Party.

Time will tell how the drama finally plays out.

The exciting news - for some of us at least - is the announcement that SuiteBox has been integrated into the XPlan CRM platform. 

For existing XPlan users, click on the Client button at the top right-hand side of your XPlan Home Page and you will see on the drop-down menu - 'Video Meeting' - click on this and follow the instructions. If you run into any issues, contact

For prospective XPlan users, the CRM you're considering now has the ability to place you face to face with a client in a virtual meeting room, exchange, complete, and sign documents. and record the transaction for compliance purposes - and save you thousands of dollars in wasted travel time.

For Advisers generally, regulations demand that compliance documentation be completed at various stages during the client engagement process and these are unlikely to be diminishing requirements. SuiteBox is quite simply the most efficient and prudent method of delivering on your compliance obligations.

We live in interesting times!!


The Laird