Canada Life  

Canada Life boss on modernising insurer's adviser ties

Canada Life boss on modernising insurer's adviser ties
Canada Life’s chief executive, Lindsey Rix

Canada Life’s chief executive Lindsey Rix wants to rewire how the company she took the helm of less than a year ago does business with its advisers.

Traditionally, the company’s segmentation by product - be that a guaranteed retirement income product, group protection, or equity release - has encouraged it to be provider-led. 

But Rix is keen to overhaul this ‘provider’ mentality, and in its place engineer a more joined up, holistic, lifetime wealth offering.

Canada Life UK has some 3.5mn customers, 470,000 pension annuities in force, and manages £40bn of equities, fixed income and property, as well as a multi-asset range through its investments division.

Last year, the business generated £4.5bn in sales and £276mn in profit.

“We've got to modernise how we interact with our advisers, and with our end customers,” Rix told FTAdviser. 

“We’ve reached an inflection point. I want the business to be more attune to horizontal customer lines. We need to go on a big journey. We’re not there yet.

“This will be quite a step change from where we've been historically.”

Coming out of Covid-19, Rix said there is a great opportunity to get out and about in the adviser market and use Canada Life’s voice more.

“Canada Life has been a very humble business. It hasn’t really risen its head above the parapet before,” she said.

Rix previously spent seven years at Aviva, nearly two of which she spent heading up the insurer’s UK savings and retirement arm.

She joined Canada Life in September last year following the departure of Doug Brown.

Other insurers have also embarked on journeys to get their names out there in the adviser community in the past year.

Zurich’s protection director, Louise Colley, told FTAdviser in November she was tasked with transforming Zurich’s “shy” and “introverted” brand into a mainstream, household name.

Growing wealth arm

Canada Life is already one of the UK’s largest group protection providers. But areas on Rix’s “big growth agenda” include the firm’s equity release arm, as well as its wealth business in the UK which consists of off-shore bonds and an on-shore retirement account.

“We’re working through how we might want to diversify that [the wealth business], and how we might want to build that out further,” said Rix.

“Because then you start to look at a very well-rounded organisation which offers everything your customers would need through their lifetime from a life insurer.”

In today’s turbulent markets, off-shore bonds - which are typically more stable - represent an attractive prospect for investors. 

“The off-shore bonds will continue to be a very important part of our offering. It sits in a good space right now. We will look to continue to build the on-shore business so advisers can talk to their customers about different investment options."