Insurance Daily | July 2024

The world of financial consultancy continues to set one record after another, its success is linked to at least three factors.

The first lies in the figure of the financial consultant, a single-firm agent, who despite his working autonomy can count on effective support from the principal.

The financial advisor is a winning figure from the client’s point of view because thanks to his innate proactivity and the absence of positional income he represents the bank that goes to the client and not vice versa.

The activism and proactivity of the financial advisor were fundamental at the dawn of the profession, when banks were comfortably dozing on position income.

These characteristics are even more important today in the face of two phenomena: that of banking desertification (over 10,000 bank branches have been closed in recent years) and that of the poor digitalisation of Italians (only 60% use home banking).

The second factor lies in the fact that financial advisor networks are more streamlined, modern and less hierarchical structures than banks and insurance companies: they are relatively young (the oldest is 50 years old).

It is known that working in a less bureaucratized and efficient structure is easier than in one with opposite characteristics and this makes consultant networks a sought-after destination.

The third factor lies in the satisfaction of financial advisors with their work which is significantly higher not only than that of bankers but also that of insurance agents and sub-agents.

And insurance sub-agents could represent a potential pool for financial consultancy.

This is a real army made up of just under 200,000 professionals registered in section E of the RUI (Single Register of Insurance Intermediaries) held by IVASS.

Compared to insurance agents, with the appropriate distinctions from company to company, the sub-agent is on average less satisfied with his work position.

There are essentially four reasons: 1) 34% would like to be able to count on their own customer portfolio; 2) 25% would like to grow professionally through dedicated training activities; 3) 22% require greater support from the agent; 4) 19% would like more economic incentives.

Some networks of financial advisors seem to focus very decisively on an offer that includes, in addition to savings management and credit, protection: a happy astral conjunction.

If we consider that the financial consultancy sector is constantly looking for new talent, given the significant growth potential, it is reasonable to think that in addition to bankers, many sub-agents could consider this option.

Upon closer inspection, the profession of financial advisor – if practiced successfully – is able to satisfy the four needs most felt by sub-agents today: management of their own client portfolio, training activities, support of the principal and adequate economic incentives.

The support of the insurance company to the sub-agent, being mediated by the agent, on average fails to produce – even with the necessary exceptions – that sense of belonging, loyalty and satisfaction which are the true secret of the success of financial advisor networks.

Nicola Ronchetti