THE BIG QUESTION

How would a quotation portal for group risk affect your business?

Stephen Hackett, head of employee benefits, Bluefin

When Grid first launched this project I thought it was an odd position for an advisory body to be taking. A lot of members were concerned that providers had gone off to create something through Grid that was not necessarily going to be used by them.

But I am not sure this project, which is now being looked at by providers, will get anywhere. Most people who want a platform will create their own one.

Providers would have to share a lot of their intellectual capital, and I am not sure they would want to do that. And for what? To reach generalist IFAs with a technology-based solution? Canada Life, for example, already has this facility with Class, and an IFA with an agency agreement can already do business in this way. So why would a provider that already has a technology platform join a bropader industry one?

I cannot see why providers would create a co-operative to create a platform. It is more likely an individual provider would take the project forward.

Paul Burt, director, Xafinity Consulting

There is potential for such a system to work, but I do not necessarily see it as something we would get involved in, if it is constructed in the terms it has been outlined to us.

It would probably be useful for those advisers who do not have big group risk client books today. But my understanding is that one of the reasons Grid stood back from taking the project further is the cost.

Is it a threat to the work we do? Not necessarily. Where price is an issue, it will offer a service, and that may be of value for IFAs who do not do very much group risk business. But for businesses in the employee benefits space, we should be able to continue to be able to differentiate ourselves by the other value adds that you will never be able to get through a price portal.