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Advice for the advisor



We asked Discovery’s Head of Sales and Distribution, Callie Nel to shed light on how Discovery Group’s products offer the kind of solutions that make a relevant difference for clients – and for you as a financial adviser.

What makes Discovery one of the best financial services companies to work with?

Discovery is known for being one of the most innovative companies in South Africa, and it’s something we’re passionate about. We’re constantly striving towards bringing about real and sustainable change to people’s lives. As we achieve this, one person at a time, we eventually grow a community of individuals who like us, believe in the beneficial power of positive behavioural change.

At the foundation of it all is our core purpose: to make people healthier, and enhance and protect their lives. Our core purpose and the values that we live by influences the way we do business, and binds us to the highest standards of ethics, quality and value. It is the backbone that has allowed us to launch one successful business after another in areas of health, life, and short-term insurance; as well as wellness, banking and investment.

Our core purpose serves as a solid foundation, especially during times of uncertainty. Our support of the adage prevention is better than cure has been in place for a long time and allowed us to move quickly and make available relevant solutions for newly emerging risks like COVID-19. Our golden thread of shared-value could be continued – arguably with more meaning than ever through this time. We’ve proven its worth in people’s lives for almost three decades, so we know it works well, no matter the nature of evolving risks.

While our roots are in South Africa, we’ve grown to have more of a global footprint in just about every business unit of our group. We now operate in 30 markets across six continents, servicing more than 20 million members. And our sights are set on achieving far more reach across the world’s horizons.

As a financial services company we believe in dynamic structures that grow and change as life’s needs in financial planning too. We adapt our businesses in relation to how life evolves and needs change. This is our standard way of doing business while staying true to our purpose and values, and it supports the needs of financial advisers while growing their businesses as much as it does those of our clients.

What are the key factors that make Discovery’s product suites worth selling?

I’d like to highlight three key factors here. Firstly, innovation to respond to our clients’ needs is front and centre. Discovery’s range of products includes medical aid administration, investments, banking, short-term, long-term, and business insurance. Underpinning the offering of every business is the behaviour-change programme Vitality. Discovery’s philosophy is to constantly look for the most innovative, forward-thinking, evidenced-based ways to create state-of-the-art financial services solutions for our clients. Consistent innovation and thorough understanding of our markets has enabled many a world-first in multiple product suites with internationally recognised features and benefits.

Secondly, we place an importance on holistic financial planning. Financial advisers are more often than not our clients’ first port of call in their hour of need. Given our experience over the last two years, we would all agree that good financial advice is more essential than ever before.

The third factor is our market-leading and award- winning products. Our offering has consistently been recognised at a global level by prestigious institutions, receiving accolades for innovative product design and financial services. These accolades being named as offering the best cancer coverage voted by Icon for the LifeTime Severe Illness Benefit, EFMA Innovation awards in various insurance industry categories, the MTN Internet of Things Awards, Best Financial Services Group of the Year, Best Healthcare Insurance Company, Product supplier of the Year and many more.

So, as financial advisers you can be sure that you’re selling products “at the top of their game.” You effectively become part of an organisation that leads the way in intellectual capital, excellent service, valuable products and cutting-edge services.

How does all this benefit you as a financial adviser?

Discovery’s core purpose, set of values and award-winning product offering all have positively influenced growth of the business. Financial advisers are in a unique position to be a part of this journey and grow their own businesses too. Future-thinking and service innovation are not just reserved for client benefits.

In order to ensure that financial advisers succeed we offer practical, hands-on learning training solutions where you can find multitudes of online content, allowing you to complete your learning in your own time. This includes sales kits, online courses, webinars, videos and much more.

Financial advisers are provided with innovative, market-leading products accompanied by extensive marketing, sales and business collateral and support. This includes access to a specially built resource platform known as the Financial Adviser Zone (FAZ).

Regular events aimed at deepening insights around topical issues for our IFAs, such as the Global Practice Management Growth Series which kicks off in February, hosted by Discovery Invest, will give advisers insights based on international best-practice principles in business, customised for local use and will help advisers develop solutions most suited to grow their business.

Our distribution model and support tools are built to bring out the very best in your business development. The Discovery Institute of Training (DIT) is world-class in its own right, built to train and support you in the very best ways – and includes assisting with CPD content, financial planning knowledge, technical training, and even soft skills training. In these ways, advisers are better equipped to give the very best financial advice, guiding clients to make the right decisions based on their specific needs. By sharing in our ambition to make a difference, you have the opportunity to take your business to new heights.