More insurance companies and managing general agencies (MGAs) are set to sign up with APEXA in the coming weeks and months, ensuring the web-based solution to standardize advisor contracts and compliance platform is a total industry solution, said Dylan Friedmann, vice president, client and partner experience with APEXA.
Friedmann told the annual meeting of CLIEDIS (the Canadian Life Insurance EDI Standards) on April 5 that APEXA is actively in discussion with 12 major carriers to come online this year, including RBC Insurance, Equitable Life, SSQ, ivari and Assumption Life.
A number of MGAs are also set to come onto the APEXA system throughout the rest of the year, she said.
APEXA officially began in 2014 with the work of nine members, including life insurers Canada Life, Empire Life, Industrial Alliance, Manulife and Sun Life Financial. Also involved were MGAs HUB Financial, Financial Horizons, IDC Worldsource and PPI Solutions.
While the system was originally slated to begin in early 2016, a number of snags delayed the official launch until last August, after which it began signing up advisors.
Friedmann said there are some people who see APEXA as a disruptor, but she said the system is a way to simplify information for all involved, including insurers, MGAs and advisors.
An industry solution
Since the basis for APEXA is to be an industry solution, everyone needs to be on the platform. “And we’re getting there,” she said.
One of the big challenges with an industry solution is timing. “So for the MGAs, it’s really important that the carriers are on, and for the carriers, it’s really important that the MGAs are on,” said Friedmann.
Michael Williams, president of BridgeForce Financial and president of the Canadian Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies, said regulators are keeping an eye on all firms to ensure that they give fair treatment to Canadian consumers and that every advisor’s compliance practice is efficient.
Technology is required to do that, in large part, with the help of APEXA, said Williams.
“If we don’t step up, the regulators will tell us what to do.”