Gloves off: Aggregators battle it out for market share

by Mackenzie McCarty30 Mar 2012

Aggregators are going head-to-head in their bid for greater market share - so how can brokers ensure they're getting the best deal? Australian Broker TV speaks to Chris Slater of AFG and Mark Haron of Connective for their thoughts on competition in the industry.

Video transcript below:

Donna Sawyer, Australian Broker TV
Donna Sawyer:
 The gloves are off as aggregators battle it out for greater market share.  Mark Haron of Connective says competition for brokers’ business has been fierce and that’s been a wake up call for some aggregators. 

Mark Haron, Connective
Mark Haron: I think because there has been a fair bit of movement and transitioning of broker groups between aggregators that really has heightened that sort of competition a little bit and some aggregators who were losing a lot of broker groups have finally sort of realised and are trying to do something about it.
Donna Sawyer:  Chris Slater of AFG says even though the competition is tough between aggregators, it’s good news for brokers.
Chris Slater, AFG
Chris Slater:  If you look at a typical AFG broker, they have got access to better technology today than they have ever had, they have got access to better marketing support than they have ever had and better on ground support than they have ever had.  So the fact that we have had to continue to invest and we have been forced into a more and more competitive environment, I think it’s been a really good thing.
Mark Haron: Ultimately it’s great for the brokers in terms of them are just getting their services, aggregation services at a  less, a cheaper cost.  It also means that they are getting improved access to systems and technology.  I think all, you know majority of aggregator groups and certainly Connective, we are always looking to improve our service, improve our systems and so as we are sort of leading the way with that.  Of course the aggregator groups are having to lift their game, so overall I think most brokers are finding that they should be getting better service from their aggregator and if not they should be asking them why not and get them to lift their game.
Donna Sawyer:  The top tier aggregators are fighting for business on a number of fronts including commissions and IT support.  So what should brokers be looking for in an aggregator to get the best deal?
Chris Slater:  Technology and investment in technology to help brokers become more efficient about the way they handle licensing and the way they run their business.  Marketing and marketing support so helping them retain their existing customers and obviously try and find new ones and I think on the ground support is really really important.  So they are probably are the three key areas, but I really think overriding all that, what I have really seen in the last probably 6 months is a flow to transparency, a flow to security and brokers are just becoming more and more aware that we have seen a few organisations that basically ran their business model on saying, “look our offering is better than everyone else’s in the market, we are going to give a lot back, a lot more back”.  And those organisations have fallen over.  So brokers are now starting to say, we actually do want to see some transparency about your business.
Donna Sawyer:  This is Donna Sawyer reporting for Australian Broker TV.