IT continues to transform every sector, including the life industry. In this article we look at how the Isle of Man is continuing to set the pace when it comes to investment in technology.
The Isle of Man is one of the world’s premier jurisdictions for cross-border life assurance and has been for over 40 years. Achieving, and maintaining, this position has been accomplished, in part, by continual investment in technology from its product provider community, something which is not set to ease off any time soon.
The international life industry is now undoubtedly customer-led and almost every customer these days is tech-dependent. Access to all aspects of a person’s life, including financial planning, is expected literally at one’s fingertips and a financial services provider will rise or fall according to its ability to meet these expectations.
For a life company, arguably more than any other type of financial service provider, data rules. Product pricing and financial management, to name just two bedrocks of life company business, rely heavily on the millions of data items that such businesses control. Operating across borders in a multi-currency environment, with multiple regulatory touch points, only adds to the complexity of the data analysis required. This is only possible with huge investment, both historic and planned, in state-of-the-art systems and this is what is enabling the Isle of Man’s product providers to stay ahead of the game.
The network of interfaces that the Island’s life businesses must maintain are mind-boggling: policyholders, financial advisers, banks, fund managers, platforms, discretionary managers, custodians, regulators, tax authorities – all of these, and more, need to feed masses of information in and out of the life company efficiently to keep costs down for the policyholder. Nevertheless, the Isle of Man’s providers are tackling this challenge head-on, and winning.
It seems only yesterday that a life company’s technology offering would not extend much beyond online valuations, fund switching and policyholder change of address. Now we are seeing AI, robotics and mobile applications in development, with enhanced customer experience the primary objective.
The Isle of Man’s life sector is ideally placed in a jurisdiction that boasts a world-leading technology and communications environment. Digital businesses are booming and form a key component of the jurisdiction’s economic success story. This leads to the availability of an abundance of high-quality IT talent and resources, all operating within a fast, secure and well-regulated infrastructure.
Operating in this ecosystem, the life companies have access to an array of Disaster Recover and Business Continuity solutions whilst the regulator lays down stringent governance requirements around succession planning, requiring the industry to respond with robust IT-led management.
For advisers and their clients all around the world, this technological excellence and security must be extremely comforting.