Steadfast, a broker group based in New Zealand has announced its plans to expand its offering to the digital space. The move will see the company introduce a trading platform for local brokers in New Zealand and domestic insurers.
While speaking on the upcoming expansion plans, CEO Bruce Oughton said that the move was fuelled by enquiries from the New Zealand brokerages just before the new financial services took effect. He noted that most of the firms in NZ were small, independent players and they were already showing interest in the possible new venture.
The group offers a Steadfast Client Trading Platform (SCTP) for its Australian clientele. The trading platform supports both domestic and SME clients and the group is looking to replicate this for domestic clients in New Zealand.
“We’re going to be working hard on that over the next 12 months, and we’ve already got commitment from the insurers that deal with that domestic area that they’re keen to get on to that platform.”
Steadfast Upward Trajectory Continues
Founded in 1996 with 46 broker members, Steadfast has been continuously rising over the years. Today, the group boasts 56 brokerages under it. Further, the group has over 140 office locations in New Zealand. Over the last two years, Steadfast has been keen on moving beyond the SME market to cover a more diverse range of policies under domestic insurance.
Currently, the group holds about 15% of the premium market, which is slightly over $500 million. In comparison to the 10% they held a few years ago, this is quite the growth.
The group anticipates that the move to introduce a trading platform will increase their clientele base. The platform won’t charge the insurers any transactional charges. This way, they also don’t have to impose any charges on the customers or brokers.
Ought added that their clients are already seeing the advantages and they are keen to develop the idea within the upcoming year.
Earlier this month, the group made a major move by adding a major insurer to its trading platform. Steadfast added QBE’s SME insurance products, bringing the total count of insurers on STCP to four. The other insurers are NZI, AIG, and Ando Insurance.
Steadfast’s SCTP is a Game Changer
The SCTP allows insurers and brokers to interact with each other directly, contrary to the usual way where they have separate systems. The SCTP is faster and more efficient, since brokers don’t have to submit their clients’ information separately for each broker. You only need to enter the information once and all four brokers will get back to you with their quotes.
The platform offers documentation that provides a comparison of the brokers. This way, brokers can quickly weigh their options and pass the information to their clients.
It’s clear that the SCTP is breaking barriers in the communication processes between insurers and brokers. Therefore, it remains to be seen how the move by Steadfast group will impact the insurer-broker-client relationship in New Zealand and other countries.