2023, a year in review with Howard Pepper

Momentum, Howard, Pepper

This year has been challenging pushing many to embrace a future driven by tighter FCA regulations, consolidation, not to mention ongoing global challenges.

Technology and systems have continued to transform the sector: Artificial Intelligence has emerged as a significant driving force behind operations and personalised customer experiences. Insurers are using these technologies, not only to mitigate risks more effectively but also to create bespoke solutions tailored to individual policyholders.

The regulatory landscape has responded to changing dynamics too. Stricter data protection regulations, heightened cyber security measures, and a renewed emphasis on ethical practices are reshaping the industry’s compliance framework.

Insurers are not only tasked with safeguarding their clients’ interests but also with navigating complex regulations that demand transparency and accountability.

And who can forget the many headlines focussing on consolidation.

This is influencing market dynamics and altering the competitive landscape. It can make sense to combine resources to enhance efficiency, reduce cost, and improve profitability. Digital transformation is also a major player. Consolidation allows companies to pool their technological capabilities, ensuring they remain competitive in an increasingly digital environment.

My fear about consolidation is that it can lead to a more concentrated market, with less variety and independence on offer to clients. The various stakeholders – most notably employees and clients – may find themselves in a culture they did not choose and with a service offering that does not fit their needs.

The Appointed Representative model is still the best option for those looking to start their own brokerage. We have seen an increase in interest in this particular route because of the umbrella of support principals like Momentum can offer.

Members benefit from the strength of relationships with insurers, access to market leading systems and an impressive back office. Freed from regulatory and administrative burden, appointed representatives are able to focus on their clients and growing their business. Benefiting from access to insurers through webinars, training and face to face meetings the model provides the best of all worlds.

Despite adversities encountered from the pandemic through to more recent market volatilities, and the broader economic and global environment, the outlook is positive. By embracing new technologies and enhanced working practices, I am confident the industry will attract new talent and ensure a bright future.

Ours is a people focussed industry and this remains our greatest strength.