The Pog is used by companies to consolidate the para-subordination of the agents
Things of limited significance often occur as they are apparently exhausted in themselves, but over time prove to be of far more significant political significance if associated with others that, at first glance, seemed completely disconnected. I refer in this case to the well-known question of product governance which is even discussed before the new European Directive came into force. From the outset, Sna has clarified that the role of producer (manufacturer) should only be attributed to companies, since agents and their company representatives cannot independently determine the significant elements of a new product or modify an existing one. No space then, for the Trade Union, to the imaginative hypotheses that have gradually appeared on the market about the assimilation of the intermediary and therefore of the agent, to a de facto producer, perhaps because he is individually involved, or together with colleagues who are part of commissions, in the conception and technical elaboration of a policy.
In fact, the ANIA has argued without hesitation that the IDD in general and in particular the POG, would have generated an ever greater integration of agency networks with their respective principals. The association of companies, concealing the real strategic objectives under the veil of the vaunted objectivity of interpretation of the mandatory rules of community origin, has put in place the attempt to use to its advantage a Directive which in the intention of the legislator goes in the opposite direction and that is, to make intermediaries increasingly independent of the factories produced. Innovation, according to the vision of the insurance industry, does not concern products, of which no one is essentially interested, including Ivass, but rather the processes immersed in the logic of multichannelism, favored unabashedly by the obligation-faculty to identify the distribution channel suitable to offer the specific product to the relevant customer target.
The specialized press echoed the multitasking vision - you will surely remember the frequent recourse to this definition by the Ania distribution manager - of the market that would allow companies to simultaneously follow more distribution dynamics and did so feeding the tendentious reading of a growing as well as inevitable integration between principal and agent.
The Supervisory Authority, probably inclined to the corporate approach, believed it was good to bind agents to compliance with the instructions given by the respective principals in terms of product distribution. This is not even thinking for a moment that almost all the agents operate today under the multi-mandate regime and / or collaborate with other intermediaries registered with Rui and that, consequently, the application of often conflicting procedures is actually impractical. This also rebounded in the sector press, which gave ample credit to the theory of increased liability for agents, resulting from the obligation to report any inconsistencies and inadequacies of the products that it would configure, according to this thesis to say not very questionable , the involvement of agents as a de facto manufacturer.
I do not want to make it longer because the topic is complex and would take us too far, but it is clear that there is an overall strategy aimed at reducing the autonomy and above all the impartiality of the agents in their professional consultancy services to customers.
An attempt to bring the total integration of agency networks back into the window in the principals' strategies thrown out of the door by the exclusivity ban proposed by Bersani, the collaboration between intermediaries introduced by Monti and the Antitrust investigation into the behaviors implemented by the dominant brands that operate in Italy to the detriment of the development of competition and the normal unfolding of its positive effects in favor of consumers. So why different corporate groups do not immediately stop the companies' attempt to return from the window through the obligations imposed on their agents through the provisions on supervision and product governance (POG) the restoration of an even greater para-subordination thrown out of the door by state laws?
The stakes are very high and we cannot afford slips due to guilty distraction or in the name of good industrial relations. Dear fellow executives of Gaa prudence, Sna is vigilant and oversees all known situations, but it is up to each of you to prevent the objectives of the insurance industry from passing through the Trojan horse of the captious application of rules which, moreover, in the understanding of the Community legislator, they had to go in a completely different direction. The faculty to decide its own distribution practice is part of the free exercise of the company-agency and cannot be subjugated to the will of the principals who are building an approach to the client centered on the so-called multiaccess, that is access to the insurance service through multiple gates, between whose agency plays a role addressed, in the desires of companies, to be increasingly marginal.
Attention then, in the second level negotiation there is nothing technical, in it there is only the ability of the company managers to pass as such what in reality is largely political and in disseminating the tables of the negotiations of pitfalls in which the Business groups must not fall because they have the interests of the category in their hands. And consequently they risk doing irreparable damage, such as when they agree that "the agent is responsible for the approval and application of this document (the POG, in fact, ed.) As well as all subsequent revisions and modifications": is there more para-subordination than this?
The Presidents of the Agents Groups will have the pleasure, the time, the mental brilliance to investigate the exposed topics and, before deciding the path to take, to assess the irreparable damage that individualism and personal selfishness can cause to the entire category of colleagues, even if with different mandates?