Meeting Sean Hanlon, Executive Director, BrightRock

  • Q: How did you get involved in financial services - was it always something you wanted to do?
  • A: I was a school teacher before I got into financial services in 1991. I initially got into it because I thought it had exciting career opportunities. I joined Liberty as an associate financial adviser and, as I rose up the ranks there, I came to appreciate the value of good advice more and more. I became very passionate about the life insurance industry. Insurance is about protecting the people that are most important in your life. It gave me a platform to help people make the best financial decisions for their families.

  • Q: How competitive is the local long-term insurance market - does this benefit the end user?
  • A: The South African long-term insurance industry is highly competitive. We’re world leaders when it comes to innovation and product development. BrightRock was born out of the need to give consumers the most cutting-edge needs-matched solutions in market. We’re constantly moving forward with our product development and the way we interact with our policyholders. So yes, I think that the competitive nature of our industry definitely benefits the user in the end.

  • Q: What makes a good long-term insurance product?
  • A: There are many elements that make a good life insurance product. Transparency is one of them; clients must be aware and understand the products they are buying. A lot of products in the market today are based on price instead of quality. The client should be able to get value for their premiums and that makes the product more sustainable long-term. The needs and risks of clients change as their lives change and their insurance policies should change with them. When clients buy insurance policies based on price instead of value, they lose out in the end.

  • Q: How (and why) important are independent financial advisers to the SA financial services industry?
  • A: Quality financial advice as a whole is essential in our industry. Clients need advisers who’ll be able to help them plan for their future while taking all of their needs into account. Independent financial advice helps clients because they know that the person who’s giving them the advice isn’t incentivised to sell one product over another. The value of independent financial advisers in our industry is that they keep the industry as a whole honest and accountable to the end-user.

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Financial smarts

I quite like Zwelinzima Vavi’s call – don’t mourn – organize. I know he didn’t mean it as such – but I think it should be applied to our finances. Actually – I think it could apply to a lot of things in life. Of course there is a time for mourning – and how […]

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Global investor = Global adviser

Offshore investing and wealth management require a different perspective and view. If a wealth portfolio is global does it make sense to use a global adviser? Mike Abbott, head of Sable Wealth, says that an international adviser can give advice when various jurisdictions are involved, and can build and manage a global portfolio. A growing […]

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In the upcoming issues of Money Marketing

In our June and July issues we take a look at investing for income and growth, hedge funds, critical illness and the short-term insurance industry. For more information click here.

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South African Investment Panorama study launched

Major investment institutions and leading asset managers have welcomed the recent launch of the South African Investment Panorama survey. The study, which is a project spearheaded by international strategic research company Insight Discovery, is designed to identify the issues that have an impact on South Africa’s Independent Financial Advisors. Nigel Sillitoe, CEO of Insight Discovery, […]

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Late-starters guide to saving for your child’s education

Life happens. Before you know it, your child is six years old and ready to start Grade R…and you realise you haven’t put a cent away for their education. “We sometimes find it difficult to prioritise education savings because of urgent financial commitments. Very often paying off a mortgage bond, utility bills, medical and grocery […]

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No silver bullet

Beware of too high cash allocations in post retirement savings. This can be a problem for an investor who needs growth and doesn’t take a holistic view of their investment portfolio. Saving for retirement and managing wealth in retirement requires specific objectives and skills. Business development manager at Grindrod Asset Management, Marc Thomas, says that […]

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Don’t wipe out your wealth in an uncertain environment

Preserving one’s wealth for current and future generations is a constantly changing ballgame – particularly now as more and more global investment opportunities present themselves. Derek Alton, Portfolio Manager at Old Mutual Wealth Private Client Securities, says it is more important than ever for high net wealth individuals to ensure they have strong legal structures […]

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Am I saving or investing?

Frank Magwegwe – Segment CEO: Momentum Retail has provides an easy to understand explanation of saving and investing This post was inspired by recent conversations with clients who came to me for financial advice. Most of them used ‘saving’ and ‘investing’ interchangeably. After these conversations I found myself thinking about one of my favourite chapters […]

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estate planning

Understanding your Estate, Estate Duty and taxes

There is sometimes confusion as to what will actually constitute your estate for Estate Duty purposes after your death. How and on what amount will Estate Duty be calculated and how quickly after your death must this tax on capital be settled? David Knott of Private Client Trust, the fiduciary services division of Private Client […]

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Gap cover – A few questions answered

By Anthea Towert, CFP®| Financial Planning Institute’s Healthcare Competency Committee Chairperson Introduction The public has a constitutional right to insure themselves against any financial risk, but often they are unaware of the subtle differences between a health insurance product and a medical scheme. The belief is that a health insurance policy offers the same protection […]

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Unreasonable delays can prejudice taxpayers

There is an often quoted legal maxim that, “Justice delayed is justice denied”. In a recent judgment, Ackermans Limited v Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service, the Gauteng High Court was asked to review and set aside a SARS decision to raise additional assessments. Ackermans’ main ground for review was that SARS had unreasonably […]

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