Speed to market is key challenge over next 12-18 months for Life & Pensions providers, warns Exaxe®

London - 23 August 2007

More than a month and competitive advantage is lost

Dublin-based company Exaxe, the leading supplier of software and services to the European Life & Pensions industry, has today warned that bringing products to market more quickly is the key challenge over the next 12-18 months for providers.

With heightened competition in the pensions arena and extra pressure to create new types of products to adapt to shifting consumer demand, Exaxe believes that speed of delivery to the marketplace is now crucial to the success of both individual products and an overall product strategy. The changing coverage needs of consumers as well as the emergence of new types of sales channels - combined with regulatory issues - means insurers and L&P outsourcers need to improve the speed and quality of product delivery.

Philip Naughton, Business Development Director, Exaxe, said:
“Product development and maintenance should be measured in days not months – and this is a shift away from the old project-based way of developing new products. Our experience has shown that significant business can be lost if the process is not concluded inside a month.”

Naughton continues:
“Traditional Life & Pensions providers need to be more nimble to keep up with the new players in their space. It is clear that alongside brand and service it is the speed at which the life provider brings products to the market that will help create and maintain a first quartile position. Wealth management is where it’s at - and traditional L&P providers need to be bringing out new products to service the mass affluent. With this in mind, many life companies and third party administrators are going to have to review and alter their policy administration. Legacy systems will not be able to adapt to new product lifecycles. As such, life offices need to embrace new tools to bring together the key parties in product development - IT specialists, product consultants, actuaries and product developers – to speed up the “product to market” process.”

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