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INSURER Zurich Life Singapore says it will be doing away with its tied agency channel and transfer all its 160 financial adviser representatives to Nexus Financial Services Pte Ltd, a new financial advisory (FA) firm that is the insurer's long-standing partner.
Oscar M. Carrillo, the ad interim CEO for Zurich Life Singapore says this strategic initiative is a decision made in tandem with local market trends and developments.
"Zurich will be entirely independent of Nexus, ensuring a unique model that addresses the market needs for wider product choice and higher quality advice."
The move will have no direct impact on Zurich's customers, Mr Carrillo says, adding that all existing customer commitments remain the same and they will continue to be serviced by the same representatives.
Zurich does not have stake in the new FA firm, which is part of the Nexus Group. The group was established in 2006 by Mahmoud Nodjoumi, via a management buyout of the Zurich direct sales force in the Middle East.
Currently, Nexus Group is the largest FA firm in the Middle East offering a composite suite of insurance, savings and investment products to local and international clients and corporates.
The Singapore FA firm will be led by CEO, Gary Harvey, who has more than 26 years of experience in the financial services industry, of which 13 years have been in Singapore.
The new FA firm has ambitious expansion plans for the local market. It is looking to build a strong adviser network across multiple client segments, with its initial focus on the mass affluent market before expanding into the high net worth market segments.
Mr Harvey says, "The Singapore market presents a number of exciting opportunities for the growth of the Nexus business outside the Middle East. Not only is the dynamic local life insurance market attractive, but Singapore offers a well regulated and governed marketplace, a growing population of wealth and good geographical access to the rest of Asia."