BELGIUM - Self-employed "independent" workers in Belgium who currently rely on four main insurance companies for their pensions, could be better served following a new alliance described as an industry evolution.
The evolution claim relates to the alliance between OVMB, the social insurer for self-employed persons within the SVMB/Unizo-group [Organisation for Independents), and Fidea, an insurance company within the KBC Group.
Signed on 19 May 2006, the alliance has seen OVMB transfer the financial management of its insurance portfolio to Fidea, a move which has enabled it to devote more resources to sales and customer advice.
According to Patrick Grauwels, head of institutional management at KBC Asset Management, the alliance could act as a catalyst to the rest of the industry.
“The other competitors might have to change their strategy,” he explained. “There are four similar companies in Belgium who provide the service to their customers, but with the alliance the OVMB group will achieve a competitive advantage because they will be able to concentrate on selling the product.”
By Lisa Haines
Partner Insight: Members' evolving needs and expectations are driving changes in scheme administration. As the pensions landscape inevitably continues to change, how will your scheme's approach need to develop to keep pace?
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