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.

Read more

Focus on customer puts financial services ahead

Here is my fantasy: One day I will wake up and Eskom won’t be in the news. I will turn on lights and laptops (responsibly) and won’t think about when they will need to be charged because there is loadshedding. Eskom will have clients and competition. As a client of Eskom, they will communicate clearly […]

Read more

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, […]

Read full story

Global investor = Global adviser

Offshore investing and wealth management require a different perspective and view. If a wealth portfolio is a global does it make sense to use a global adviser? Mike Abbot, 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 […]

Read full story

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 […]

Read full story

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 […]

Read full story

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 […]

Read full story

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 […]

Read full story

Tax relief cut will push UK pensioners to move funds offshore

The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced a further reduction to the lifetime allowance (LTA) for pension tax relief in his 2015 Budget. The amount individuals can save tax-free into pensions has been slashed from £1.25-million down to £1-million in order to pay for tax giveaways. This may be bad news for UK […]

Read full story

Global emerging markets – an investor’s approach

Significant GDP growth is expected for a number of emerging markets over the coming 10 to 15 years, pointing to potentially stellar emerging market growth. This is according to Feroz Basa, Co-Head of Global Emerging Markets for Old Mutual Investment Group. He says that investors who avoid Global Emerging Markets due to their perceived risks […]

Read full story
JP Morgan march15

13 000 make a difference at this year’s J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge

Entrants in the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge® will have a spring in their step as they realize their efforts will help make a positive change in the lives of youngsters throughout South Africa. J.P. Morgan will make a donation to the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in celebration of the capacity crowd of 13,000 runners […]

Read full story

IRESS launches Smarthub

IRESS, the leading supplier of financial markets, wealth and mortgage management systems, today announces the global launch of SmartHub. SmartHub is a trade messaging hub designed to connect financial market participants locally and across the globe, covering FIX and other trading communities. SmartHub, which launches globally at today’s EMEA FIX Trading Community conference in London, […]

Read full story