The research has been conducted by Whitecap Consulting in partnership with AFM, and involved a quantitative data analysis of all 43 member organisations and interviews with 31 of the CEOs, supported by broader stakeholder engagement and an online survey. The project was funded through sponsorship from a number of industry stakeholders: Altus Consulting, Benenden Health, Cirencester Friendly Society, Cornish Mutual, Fidelity International, Holloway Friendly, Milliman, The Oddfellows (which includes Unity Mutual), PG Mutual, Royal London Asset Management, and Russell Investments.
Key observations of the report are:
- There is a diverse AFM membership which demonstrates resilience in terms of member/ customer numbers and financial performance. In some cases, there are examples of AFM members that are outperforming the wider competitive landscape within which they operate.
- The purpose-led nature and mutual ethos of the organisations is well-aligned to the direction that society appears to be moving towards in terms of conscious consumerism and seeking to engage with organisations that offer more than just a transactional exchange.
- Commonalities exist across the AFM members, in areas such as the heritage and the ethos of mutuality, the appetite for collaboration and knowledge sharing, the developing importance of the ESG agenda, and in addressing future challenges to be faced.
- Clusters within the AFM membership can be seen in areas such as digital priorities, perception of sources of competitive advantage, and also future trends within the market sectors the organisations operate in.
The implications of each of these key areas are highlighted in the report, together with the potential opportunities for societies to consider.