Norwich Union says it will invest £180m this year to move its 850 legacy products onto five internal platforms and streamline its systems.
NU has built up a large number of legacy systems as a result of the numerous mergers and acquisitions that have combined to form the firm.
Distribution director David Barral says: “You would expect that cost will go down as things improve. Our objective is to move the 850 leg-acy products off the 550 internal platforms they currently sit on onto a simplified system of just five platforms, focusing on those products that we can future-proof against.”
A small proportion of this amount has been earmarked for the three systems upgrades planned for Lifetime this year.
Barral says the move should reduce NU’s admin burdens and costs and improve service. He says NU is not keen on linking directly with distributors’ own back-office systems because it increases costs, preferring direct links with independent portals such as The Exchange, Webline and Assureweb.
Barral says: “There are not many of these requests, to be fair, but we do not see the benefit of having direct links to portals held by distribution. Why would we effectively support the cost of another portal when we can support their advisers through an existing portal? It is just duplicating costs and we are trying to drive admin costs down.”