Following the return to an in-person format last year, the 2023 iteration of the ceremony saw attendees from across the financial advisory profession gather to praise those protection intermediaries who have delivered the best results for clients.
“This is a unique event on the industry calendar and we are proud to be at the forefront of celebrating all of these great results for our clients,” said Bernie Hickman, CEO of Legal & General Retail.
“The environment we operate in is always changing and has always presented us with challenges. Last year was the first post-COVID event. Since then, we have had the cost of living crisis, which has affected everyone, and many more economic and societal challenges.
“But there is one bright spot that I personally and L&G as an organization are optimistic about. And that is using technology and data to create better customer outcomes and be a positive force in society.”
Bernie Hickman, CEO of Legal & General Retail
Despite the potential that technology has to improve processes and outcomes within the protection space, there will always be a human factor at the core of the industry. As such, the requirement of human interaction with skilled and compassionate professionals to guide clients to the best outcome will continue to be essential. This is especially true with the consumer tax being introduced within weeks; the focus on great customer results was evident at the Business Quality Awards.
Those in attendance heard about Dave’s experience with prostate cancer. Although he was covered by his critical illness policy, the mental toll of a diagnosis, surgery and treatments is enormous and requires excellent support every step of the way from insurers and intermediaries alike.
“As we’ve heard today, despite the evolution of AI, the human element remains incredibly important in everything we do. And there’s nothing more important than being there as a human when life throws you headwinds,” said Julie Godley, director of intermediary at Legal & General Retail.
Intermediaries play such a key role in supporting customers in their most critical and vulnerable moments. Advances in technology and artificial intelligence are also proving invaluable for intermediaries to enable improved processes, efficiency and customer outcomes.
Nicola McKenzie, director of Dunham McCarthy
Recognize outstanding intermediate performance
The awards recognize the best business performers in the security industry who have dedicated themselves to putting the customer first. Legal & General is the only provider in the industry to award quality, retention performance and customer outcomes.
The awards are split into two categories: MI categories and submission categories. Both are independently reviewed by the Legal & General Conduct Risk team following a process of thorough due diligence.
“One of the main themes running through the award winners today is the importance of the human dimension. Julie and Dave reminded us how important that is, no matter what amazing new technologies are coming to help and support us,” said Ali Crossley, director of distribution at Legal & General Retail.
“At the core, all of our businesses will be primarily about people delivering what customers need and want.”
This year’s ceremony included a new special recognition award for Contribution to the Protection Industry. The Protection Distributors Group (PDG) praises its impact in driving positive improvements among regulators, media and insurers, particularly developing and enabling the best customer outcomes, and “ensuring that the UK’s individual insurance program always aims higher and delivers improved standards.”
Scott Maitland and Ollie Popham, Cavendish Online
Customer Excellence was recognized at Cavendish Online, which demonstrated one of the best performances on all metrics among the thousands of intermediaries surveyed, in addition to an exemplary customer score in thousands of reviews.
At the network level, Mortgage Intelligence also received recognition for “truly embodying customer service” through training, workshops and academies that showed advisors how to have better conversations about protection.
The full list of winners for 2023 is:
Extraordinary achievement: 2 Plan Wealth Management
Best recovery performance: Direct Life & Pensions
Best Customer Retention: Pure protection
Customer friendliness (companies): Cavendish online
Customer friendliness (networking): Mortgage intelligence
Data Precision: Cavendish online
Protection written in confidence: Dunham McCarthy
Special Recognition (companies): Monica Bradley employees
Special Recognition (Networking): FIRST
Excellent client result (small intermediary category): Real life advice
Excellent client result (category of medium-sized intermediaries): Northern Ireland mortgage consultancy (formally known as The Mortgage Group NI)
Excellent client result (category of large intermediaries): Future proof
Quality performance network and strategic partners: Mortgage Advice Bureau
Dear Supporting Account Manager: Nicky Shorey
Contribution to the protection industry: Protection Distributors Group