Mutual & Federal calls for the promotion of a proudly insurance industry
In his presentation to delegates attending the 2012 Insurance Conference at Sun City today, Peter Todd, Chief Executive Officer of Mutual & Federal urged the financial services industry to market itself more positively to the public.
“Ours is a noble industry with a noble purpose”, Todd told delegates. “However, the public has a negative perception of who we are and we need to do something to change that”, he continued.
According to Todd, the industry is facing a crisis of public confidence that started showing four years ago. Among other issues, the public is of the view that most company executives are ‘fat cats’ who are only interested in their personal financial gain – rather than promoting the good that their organisations are doing on behalf of their customers, the industry, and the public in general.
Referring to the famous John F. Kennedy quote of 1962, which alludes to the fact that consumers’ views are often not heard, Todd cautioned the industry against ignoring public opinion. He said that social media platforms are fast becoming avenues for consumers to air their views against corporate behaviour. “There is no place to hide”, he stressed.
Todd also called on the industry to re-examine itself and question whether the way it is currently responding to the crisis of public confidence isn’t fuelling the fire in any way. To illustrate, he mentioned that the industry spends about R115bn on advertising annually. “But how much of this promotes our industry”, Todd asked.
He also spoke of a war on talent that is prevalent in the industry, as companies in the financial sector are failing to attract the right candidates.
In his conclusion, Todd praised those who are promoting the industry positively and urged other delegates to take the lead from them. He said the industry needs to stand united behind its noble purpose and thus promote a proudly insurance image.
Mutual & Federal is a member of the Old Mutual Group and one of the leading short-term insurers in southern Africa.
The Insurance Conference is an annual event that offers delegates the opportunity to debate issues facing the industry. This year’s conference will end on 12 June 2012.
The Firehouse Communications
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