What BGAs Can
Do to Thrive
IN THIS ISSUE:
Building the Agent of the Future
Key Trends in Wholesale Brokerage
The Shifting Landscape of Risk Management
Ron Ridlehuber on the Future of BGAs
Look Inside for Information on FOCUS 2007
We’ve Taken a Fresh Look at Life —
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©2006 Genworth Financial, Inc. All rights reserved. Products underwritten by Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company and
Genworth Life Insurance Company, Lynchburg, VA; Genworth Life Insurance Company of New York, New York, NY. Insurance & Investment products
available from the Genworth Financial family of companies including mutual funds and variable insurance products distributed by Capital Brokerage
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is licensed in New York. Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company and Genworth Life Insurance Company are licensed in all states except
New York. FOR PRODUCER/AGENT BROKER/DEALER INFORMATION ONLY.
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ING ROP Term consists of a base term policy, policy form 1309 11/06, and a Return of Premium Rider, form #R1347 11/06. The base policy cannot be issued without the Return of Premium Rider. Form numbers and availability vary
by state. ING ROP Term is issued by ReliaStar Life Insurance Company, a member of the ING family of companies. Guarantees are based on the financial strength and claims-paying ability of ReliaStar Life Insurance Company, which
is solely responsible for obligations under its own policies. ©2007 ING North America Insurance Corporation. cn57192022008
For agent information only. Not for public distribution.
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which may result in different premiums. Pruco Life may have the right to contest the policy for misrepresentation or to apply a suicide clause.
For the education of producers/brokers. Not for use with the public. IFS-A118673 Ed. 2/2007
perspectives BROKERAGE INDUSTRY INSIGHTS MAY/JUNE 2007
22 Building the Agent of the Future
How to identify, recruit and retain agents who can open doors.
BY DEBBIE ZELKOWITZ
30 Key Trends in Wholesale Brokerage
Perspectives asks several key stakeholders in our industry to assess current trends and evaluate how
wholesale brokers are positioned to handle them.
38 The Shifting Landscape of Risk Management
Technological change, new markets, a new emphasis on the consumer—all are changing the face of risk
management. Finding a channel through this river isn’t easy, but intrepid travelers can find their way.
BY MARK PATTERSON
Special Thanks to Our
May/June Issue Team
Myra Palmer, The Palmer Agency
Jonathan Reynolds, EMSI
Bill Schnackenberg, Portamedic
44 Outdoor Cooking
Home is always the best place
to be. Here we show you how
to make the most of your
backyard—for family, friends
and associates. Presenting
great new cooking gear,
accessories and more to make
your summer nights, your
weekends, and your outdoor
dinner parties memorable
and relaxing. This is what
9 Chairman’s Corner
JOHN W. FELTON, IV
10 Executive Report
16 The View
Ron Ridlehuber on what it takes
to be a winner in the marketplace
of today and tomorrow.
51 Location, Location, Location?
Principles of trade show booth
52 NAILBA University
LAUREN M. PETERSON
Empower your people via
NAILBA’s educational arm.
54 Agency Opportunities
Critical illness insurance.
59 Business Intelligence
GRANT ANDREW AND ROBB
NAILBA Best Practices List
62 Legislative Update
Change can be good…
47 FOCUS 2007
Completely redesigned and
improved for 2007, FOCUS is
truly a meeting you should not
miss! Two educational tracks,
a great exhibit hall and the
networking opportunities you’ve
come to rely on—this year’s
FOCUS promises to be better
than ever. See you in Scottsdale
on June 7-8.
66 Index of Advertisers
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American General Life does not solicit business in the state
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“500” are trademarks of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. and have been licensed for use by American General Life. This product is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by
Standard & Poor’s, and Standard & Poor’s makes no representation regarding the advisability of purchasing this product. 1 The policy owner does not purchase interests or otherwise
directly participate in any stock market index, mutual fund, stock or other investment in securities. 2 Guarantees are subject to the claims-paying abilities of American General Life
Insurance Company. 3 Ratings current as of 8/23/06. Standard & Poor’s rating contains a negative outlook. For detailed info about our ratings, visit www.aigag.com/ratings. 4 Based on
current federal income tax laws.
When was the last time you attended
NAILBA’s FOCUS meeting?
JOHN W. FELTON, IV
NAILBA CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
SUCCESSFUL people never stop learning,
and NAILBA always strives to provide you with learning
opportunities in a variety of formats and settings.
Perhaps our most visible learning opportunities come
through our meeting program, which includes FOCUS
and our annual meeting.
When was the last time you attended NAILBA’s FOCUS
meeting? It might have been 10 years ago or it might
have been last year, but FOCUS has changed since then.
In today’s wholesale brokerage industry, education is
the cornerstone of growth. So perhaps it’s time for you
to refocus on FOCUS—as we have here at NAILBA, restructuring
and realigning the meeting to match what
we’re learning about your shifting priorities.
Since 1984, the mission of FOCUS has been to help
NAILBA member agencies run their businesses more effectively
and efficiently. And while that mission has not
changed, the challenges and issues that confront you
and your agency every day certainly have.
With that in mind, last summer, several of today’s
leading insurance minds met. The objective? To refocus
FOCUS. The group was composed of agency, carrier
and vendor representatives, independent consultants,
and meeting planners, all seeking a clearer understanding
of the needs and values of NAILBA’s members. After
thoroughly examining the issues and trends facing
our industry, the group discussed a variety of strategic
changes for FOCUS.
The group’s first conclusion was that FOCUS needed
to parallel the natural evolution of the industry by creating
learning experiences both for agency principals
and staff. To that end, two distinct tracks of FOCUS
training were developed. Now, both groups can get the
information they need to grow business effectively and
efficiently—in an environment that’s maximally conducive
to effective and efficient teamwork.
The FOCUS track for agency principals will include
sessions on topics such as underwriting and case management
best practices and balancing underwriting
and reinsurance. The staff track will include sessions
NAILBA will continue
to identify and respond
to the changing
and educational needs
of the people who make
it all happen.
on topics such as interpreting and summarizing medical
records and making communication more effective.
Having two training tracks at FOCUS will enable
agency principals to concentrate on overall agency efficiency.
Meanwhile, key agency personnel will be able
to contribute to the bottom line by concentrating on
improving the way cases move through their agencies.
But the changes didn’t stop there. In addition to
developing a two-track structure for FOCUS, the group
decided to condense FOCUS into a shorter time period.
That means less time out of the office for you and your
staff. But don’t worry! The educational experiences for
which FOCUS has long been known will still be available—and
then some. And, just as important, we still
plan to feature a packed Exhibit Hall and plenty of networking
opportunities—two items that you regularly
tell us are among the most important benefits of your
As brokerage continues to grow its share of the
insurance distribution industry, NAILBA will continue
to identify and respond to the changing priorities,
challenges, and educational needs of the people
who make it all happen. We truly hope you benefit
from—and enjoy—your experience at this year’s
FOCUS. When you get back home, we’ll ask you to let
us know what you think.
Perspectives is published for the
National Association of Independent Life
12150 Monument Dr., Ste. 125
Fairfax, VA 22033
NAILBA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
John W. Felton, IV
Chief of Staff/Chair-Elect
Gary S. Dworkin, CLU, RHU
Mark D. Rosen, CLU
Matthew J. McAvoy, CLU, ChFC
Immediate Past Chairman
Christi M. Daughenbaugh
Thomas A. Kirke, CLU
E. Parks LaMarche
James C. McGill, CLU, ChFC
J. Michael Thomas, CLU
Jack Chiasson, CMP
Director, Meetings and Conventions
Michelle W. Jones, CMP
Director, Member and Foundation Services
Amelia A. Ragan
Manager, Member Services
Meg Rose, FLMI, ACS
Director, Education Services
5950 NW 1st Place
Gainesville, FL 32607
Publisher Chris Hodges
Project Manager Tracy Tompkins
Marketing Associate Jessica Craik
Book Leader Rick Sauers
Shaun Greyling, Paul Walley,
Jamie Williams, Jason Zawada
Editor Michael Senecal
Design Cal Harding
Advertising Art Melanie Meilleur
© 2007 Naylor, LLC. All rights reserved. The
contents of this publication may not be reproduced
by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior
written consent of the publisher.
Cover artwork © istockphoto.com/Mark Evans.
For information on advertising opportunities in
Perspectives, please call Rick Sauers at
(800) 369-6220. Please support our advertisers;
they made this publication possible.
Published April 2007/NIB-S0307/5775
NAILBA INTERIM CHIEF STAFF EXECUTIVE
change is not completely
predictable, it often happens
while we’re making other plans.
So it is with my temporarily joining the NAILBA staff
team. As Joe Normandy moves on to pursue new opportunities,
the rest of the staff team and I will do our best to
continue NAILBA’s momentum and use this opportunity to
shape an even stronger headquarters.
From my perspective, Joe Normandy has done an exceptional
job in bringing together a durable and professional
staff team capable of supporting NAILBA’s priorities well
into the future. I anticipate the transition to a new NAILBA
chief staff executive will proceed very smoothly. With your
help and understanding, I have no doubt NAILBA will continue
its success and growth.
As in all transitions or change scenarios, it is “after the
fact” that we can truly assess the worth and value of those
who contribute to each chapter of an organization’s history.
It is my believe that NAILBA’s most recent chapter will be
seen as a period of exceptional sustained growth and a firm
foundation for the even greater success yet to come.
I say this with confidence because I know Joe would agree
that NAILBA’s greatest asset always has been and always will
be the exceptional capabilities, caring, and creativity of its
NAILBA’s greatest asset
always has been and always will
be the exceptional capabilities,
caring, and creativity of its
10 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
Introducing full disclosure, only from Rumson Capital.
Numbers can be revealing. That is why we are revealing every number of every transaction.
You’ll see the full amount of the highest bid, as well as our commission. After all, our relationship
should outlast any novelty, dime-store trend.
• Comprehensive Agent E&O
• Field Underwriting Guide
• Anti-Money Laundering
• NAILBA University
• Technology Standards
• FOCUS 2007
• NAILBA 26
• Legislative and Regulatory
• NAILBA PAC
For more information on how you can
take advantage of these membership
benefits, contact NAILBA today at (703)
383-3081 or visit www.nailba.org.
317311_fidelity.indd 12 perspectives 1 MAY/JUNE 2007
3/20/07 11:02:17 AM
LISA’s Annual Conferences bring
together prominent professionals and
leaders in the life insurance settlement
industry. Industry leaders make this
the premier event to discuss and
facilitate the latest legislative and
regulatory developments, emerging
research, opportunities, and hot topic
issues in the promising secondary
market. Life settlement companies,
brokers, providers, financing entities,
service providers, investors and many
others will attend. Life producers are
encouraged to attend. Networking
©2007 The Coventry Group. All rights reserved.
Not just brushing. Flossing.
The potential for the secondary market for
life insurance is huge. And as the market leader
and creator, we are pushing the industry’s
standards ever higher. By being the first to
actively support strict legislation that protects
consumer rights. By continuously raising
due diligence standards. And by creating new
tools – and new choices – to maximize the
value of life insurance. Because we want to see
every ounce of the market’s promise realized.
And then some.
The future of BGAs who add value to brokerage is extremely bright.
have never been very successful at
I predicting the future. I predicted
that home computers and the internet
would be nothing more than
passing fancies. But what I do know
is the history of this great business
of marketing life insurance products.
It’s a business that I have been part
of for over 30 years. I know that
the need for our products and services
has never been greater and will
continue to grow in the foreseeable
future. History has also taught me
that the most effective way for our
clients to understand their needs
and to obtain products to solve their
financial challenges is through a financial
services professional. While
some life insurance purchases are
client-generated and completed over
Ronald H. Ridlehuber, CLU, FLMI, LLIF, served as president of North
American Company for Life and Health Insurance from 2003 through
2007. Prior to joining North American, Ron served as president of various
units of American General Life Companies, including Franklin Life,
American General Life and Accident, and American General Life.
Ron began his insurance career in 1975 in sales and marketing with
Southland Life Insurance Company in Dallas, and followed Southland
to Atlanta when ING purchased the firm in 1988. At Southland, Ron
served in several marketing-related positions, including Vice President
of Sales. In 1993, he joined Jefferson-Pilot Life Insurance Company in a
new role as senior vice president, independent marketing and was later
named chief marketing officer for JP.
Ron was born in the West Texas town of Snyder but spent most of
his youth in Tulsa, Okla. He attended Southern Methodist University
on a baseball scholarship and earned his BBA in 1975. He is also registered
with NASD and is a board member of the Illinois Life Insurance
Ron and his wife Cheryl live in Chicago.
the internet, the overwhelming majority
have been and will continue to
be sold, not bought, and the licensed
insurance agent will continue to be
the person that most American life
insurance consumers will choose to
Trends in life insurance distribution
have shifted over the last 30
years, but not as much as some had
predicted. I can recall some prognosticators
in the early ‘80s stating that
by this time the majority of financial
services products would be sold
through banks or at worksites. While
banks have been extremely successful
in marketing fixed annuities, they
haven’t had much success selling permanent
life insurance. And the story
with mass-marketed, voluntary worksite
products is similar. Those generally
have been limited to supplemental
health products and smaller face
life products. So what conclusions
can we draw from these facts regarding
the future of BGAs?
I believe the best way to predict
and prepare for the future is to look
at past successes and failures. So
let’s look at what has and continues
to generate success stories. In
the early days of life insurance brokerage,
the sales were by and large
“excess” sales made by career agents
who could not place a particular case
with his or her primary company. Substandard
shops worked, many times,
with career agency companies who
would “allow” their agents to place
these types of cases through approved
brokerage agencies. This grew
RONALD H. RIDLEHUBER
with the right
16 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
Having a partner to rely on
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help you capture your share of the market
we serve best—middle America.
Partner with us and you’ll discover a renewed,
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Contact us at 1-877-CONSECO
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© 2007 Conseco Services, L.L.C. For agent use only. Not intended for public use.
The question is not so
much whether brokerage
agencies will be relevant
and survive in the future.
It is more about the degree
to which the good ones will
thrive in the future.
into brokerage agencies who branched
out into specialty products not offered
through traditional carriers, still using
the career agents as their source of production.
These early brokerage agencies
provided a service that the agent could
not get elsewhere, which is why so many
of them flourished.
Now fast forward to the present day.
Fewer agents are “captive” than in the
past, and more companies are providing
a wide variety of products for their
agents. It is no longer a common practice
for brokerage agencies to have exclusive
deals with career carriers, and,
with a few exceptions, career agents
can have contracts with other carriers
without the restrictions of the past.
As the saying goes, the more
things change, the more they stay the
same. In the early days of brokerage,
the agencies flourished because they
provided value in the sales process
through supplying a product or service.
Today, successful BGAs are doing the
same thing, but in a different manner.
They continue to add value to the independent
agent and broker. And, more
times than not, it is more than just by
providing general market life products.
This is partly due to the fact that general
market products have become almost
generic. The value that successful
BGAs are providing is as varied as the
needs of their customers (the brokers).
Agencies are now offering service and
support, sales packages, specialized incentives,
access to markets, affiliation
with other brokers and agents for idea
sharing, and, in some cases, new agent
training. I could give you examples of
top quality brokerage agencies who are
achieving strong double-digit growth
year after year by providing value to
brokers and agents in ways other than
through acting as a conduit for general
market products. I am tempted to list
such agencies, but I would invariably
leave some out, so I will resist the
But let me be more specific. The
agent’s most productive time is when
he or she is directly working on solving
18 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
How long has
it been since
back from your
2006, Nationwide Financial Services, Inc. All rights reserved.
a client’s financial challenge. This is
where the agent provides the most
value to the sales process. It is not in
running illustrations, tracking down
outstanding requirements, dealing
with home offices, or even searching
the market for the best product. This
continues to be the value many brokerage
Other successful agencies have
found their unique ability is in developing
sales concepts and markets
for their agents. Examples of this
would be the college funding market,
specialized premium financing
plans (full recourse, not STOLI) for
wealthy clients, wealth transfer programs,
business insurance programs,
and specialty product outlets for
out-of-the-ordinary needs. In short,
they are either providing a value
they can’t get elsewhere or they
are creating an environment that is
best suited to the broker’s needs.
The value-added list also includes
searching carriers and products that
fit the specific needs of a particular
broker or sales situation. Top-quality
brokerage agencies know the
carriers, they know the executives
in the companies, they know the
chief underwriters and chief actuaries,
and they know the products and
services in the market. Linking the
right company with the right sales
situation is something the brokerage
agencies do better than anyone.
To me this brief analysis about
the future of life insurance brokerage
agencies says that the future is
extremely bright, especially for those
who realize that they will get exactly
the amount of business from their
brokers that they earn, no more or
no less. They will earn it by providing
a value equal to or greater than the
overrides they will be paid. It is my
belief that those agencies that rely
only on being a conduit between the
company and the broker for general
market products will find it very tough
to thrive in the future. But for those
who add value to their brokers, their
potential for growth is unlimited.
Fortunately for our industry and
for the American consumer, we have
many life insurance professionals who
are leading agencies and understand
this concept. Evidence of this is the
growing number of NAILBA members
who invest their time and money to
improve their value to the broker.
So the question is not so much
whether brokerage agencies will be
relevant and survive in the future. It
is more about the degree to which the
good ones will thrive in the future.
And it is my privilege to have been in
this great industry for over three decades
and to have observed your tremendous
success. But I truly believe
that the best is yet to be.
We listen. We deliver.
WE’RE METLIFE INVESTORS!
As you prepare your clients for the
many “ifs” in life, we want to be
your partner of choice and help you
grow life insurance sales through
your organization the only way that
matters— your way.
For the if in life.
For Producer or Broker Use Only. Not for Public Distribution.
Life insurance products are issued by MetLife Investors Insurance Company, MetLife Investors Insurance Company of California, MetLife Investors USA Insurance Company (collectively and singly, MetLife Investors), MetLife Life and Annuity Company
of Connecticut, MetLife Insurance Company of Connecticut (MetLife) and in New York, only by First MetLife Investors Insurance Company (MetLife Investors) and MetLife Insurance Company of Connecticut (MetLife). Products are distributed by
MetLife Investors Distribution Company, 5 Park Plaza, Suite 1900, Irvine, CA. 92614 BDVL 3768 LCN: 4222 (exp. 12/07) 0610-2784 PEANUTS © UFS, Inc.
20 322255_metlife.indd perspectives 1MAY/JUNE 2007
3/14/07 1:30:52 PM
Reach for great things SM
Not “summitting Everest” great.
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© ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/JEFFREY SMITH
22 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
How to Identify, Recruit
and Retain Agents Who Can
exist without the
who locate customers
and make sales.
BY DEBBIE ZELKOWITZ
The consumer landscape is changing. More single moms than ever
are their families’ sole source of financial support. Nontraditional
and multicultural markets are growing. And there’s still a vast
untapped middle market. All of these markets need the basic financial
security our products offer, but brokerage needs to find
agents who can open the door to these new potential customers.
Who is the average brokerage life insurance agent? A 51-year old man who has been
in the business more than 10 years. He works alone, often at home, or in a small office
and relies on his computer, e-mail, cell phone and fax; he doesn’t use a PDA or
a Blackberry. He’s selling insurance to men in their 40s. This average agent writes
business with at least five carriers and through more than one brokerage. His relationship
with his primary broker is less than five years old and is driven by his broker’s
multi-carrier access and phone support. What would make him switch brokers? Higher
commissions or lead offers.
BUILDING THE AGENT OF THE FUTURE
To build their future agent workforce,
brokers need to reach out to younger
Agent of the Future
Individuals who choose to become
life insurance agents have the satisfaction
of knowing that they’re
helping provide a valuable safety
net. Savvy agents also realize that
life insurance is often the first step
in an individual’s financial plan, and
they’ll periodically help clients review
their financial situation as
their lives and their needs change.
To build their future agent workforce,
brokers need to reach out to
younger professionals. The Web has
changed the way they work and
live. They’re accustomed to seeking
answers themselves on the net, so
they expect the information they
need to attract and service clients
should be at their fingertips. They’re
accustomed to niche products, so
they expect that financial products
and services should be tailored to
their clients’ needs, not vice versa.
They’re exposed to a flood of marketing
messages every day, so they’re
familiar with cutting through the
hype to find just the right product.
And these same attributes describe
To survive in today’s connected
world, agents of the future will need
to become consultants whose expertise
happens to be life insurance
and financial products. As “insurance
subject matter experts,” agents will
convert product features into benefits
their clients can understand. And they
will compare an array of products and
features to help clients make the best
choice for their needs.
Recruit More Agents or
Produce More Business?
Today, agents’ number one expectation
is that their broker should
provide access to the products their
clients need from carriers with good
ratings. But beyond the basics,
agents want their brokers to bring
real value to the sales process,
whether it’s special expertise or
For brokers the question is different:
“Do I want to focus on recruiting
more agents or on doing more
business with the ones I already
have?” The answer will dictate your
© ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/JEFFREY SMITH
24 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
SHE MAY LOOK
UNTIL WE TAKE A LOOK.
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PARAMEDICALS • LABORATORIES • UNDERWRITING SOLUTIONS • CLAIMS SERVICES
BUILDING THE AGENT OF THE FUTURE
business model. The first choice can
result in an agent force that writes
fewer cases per carrier and because
they’re not as familiar with a carrier’s
requirements and may need
more hands-on care to get a case
placed. By doing more business with
a smaller group of agents who produce
more cases per carrier, brokers
may be more productive because
their agents are more accustomed
to carrier needs.
MVP Financial Services, Inc., is
one brokerage that has chosen to
grow business organically. Located
in the Midwest, MVP touts its extensive
experience in tough case underwriting
with staff dedicated to
helping producers place cases easier
and faster. But what sets MVP apart
is relationships. They rely heavily
Agents also look to brokers to provide
product training and continuing education.
Working with a carrier to present a joint
seminar can be a win-win for both.
on word of mouth to attract new
agents, and they pride themselves
on cultivating positive and longlasting
“We’re a relatively small shop,
but it’s important to us to be available
to our agents. In fact you can
get to an agency principal just
about any time you call,” according
to Dawn Nelson, CLU, ChFC, partner
at MVP. “That makes us different
in the BGA marketplace, and we’ve
found that it pays off. We get more
repeat business from our agents. We
retain more of our agents. And, in
turn, they refer other agents to us.
So it pays off two ways: we grow our
business and that helps us grow our
Retain Agents by
Helping Them Produce
With such effort needed to recruit
agents, you want to keep them so
26 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
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BUILDING THE AGENT OF THE FUTURE
Finding agents and keeping them can be a
challenge. Done right, it’s an opportunity to
create both a strong business plan and lasting
they can continue to produce business.
Agents overwhelmingly indicate
that getting leads and referrals
is the most challenging part of their
job. With your greater computing
power you can help them manage
this process. You could program reminder
dates in your agents’ existing
client lists to remind them to
contact their clients near upcoming
life events or to schedule timely annual
policy reviews. MVP believes
its efforts here have helped retain
MVP also uses its management
skills to assist its agents. “Our goal
is to help our agents organize their
business so they can grow profitably,
faster,” said Sherri R. Hellenbrand,
marketing director. “We encourage
our agents to do an annual
policy review. We pull lists of clients
approaching their policy anniversary
and give them to their agents before
the anniversary date. Then we work
with the agents to identify opportunities
where they can cross-sell and
offer additional products to their
existing clients. And we tell our
agents they don’t have to sell something
at the policy review. Just having
a regular review gets customers
comfortable with discussing their
financial situation with their agent,
so that when the time is right, clients
will look first to their life insurance
agent for advice.”
Providing a consistent experience
for their agents is also important
to MVP, which they believe
helps them retain agents. “They
have enough to deal with, so they
don’t want any surprises from us. We
try to set expectations up front on
a case, so they’ll have a better idea
of what to expect. Then, they can be
prepared and they can prepare their
client,” said Dawn Nelson.
Agents also look to brokers to
provide product training and continuing
education. Working with a
carrier to present a joint seminar
can be a win-win for both. Brokers
can meet their agents in person,
which fosters their relationship
and increases the likelihood they’ll
retain those agents. Carriers can
provide continuing education and
may receive a time to present information
about themselves and their
product lines to agents who wish to
In-person meetings are not the
only way brokers can provide education.
Increasingly, carriers provide
electronic training through prescheduled
Web presentations, some
of which are made accessible for
later viewing on the Web. Another
e-tool is Brainshark, a presentation
with voice-over that can be sent via
an e-mail link. Agents can access a
Brainshark training module 24/7, and
brokers can customize the presentation
with their own introduction.
Finding agents and keeping
them can be a challenge. Done
right, it’s an opportunity to create
both a strong business plan and
Debbie Zelkowitz brings more than
25 years of insurance marketing
experience to her communications
practice. As primary copywriter
for Genworth Financial’s Life
Insurance Business, Debbie leverages
her deep product knowledge and
process expertise to enhance product
marketing communications, field communications,
promotions and special
events like Life Insurance Awareness
Month. Debbie holds a bachelor’s degree
in writing from Penn State University
and is a Life Office Management
28 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
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Key Trends in Wholesale Brokerage
From increased emphasis
on technology and efficiency
change, new competition
and market diversification,
the wholesale brokerage industry
faces a period of unprecedented challenge—
and also a period of unprecedented opportunity.
The BGAs who can absorb the changes
and innovations stand to move forward in
spectacular new directions.
Recently Perspectives asked several key
stakeholders in our industry about the trends
they saw occurring and how the wholesale
brokerage industry is positioned to handle
them. Together these opinions comprise a
snapshot of today’s insurance industry and a
forecast of tomorrow’s.
30 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
The BGAs who can absorb the changes
and innovations stand to move forward in
spectacular new directions.
For Tim Herr, Senior Vice President
at AXA Equitable Life Insurance,
change means increased emphasis on
service—gaining efficiencies in the
“shopping of informals,” in imaging
and in information gathering. Mark
Davis, President and CEO at Examination
Management Services, likewise
sees gaining efficiencies as a way of
leading the pace of change—in a process
he terms “speed of execution.”
George C. Van Dusen, III, President
at Diversified Brokerage Services,
sees electronic technology as a key
to reducing cycle time between application
James D. Atkins, Chief Actuary,
Life Insurance, at Genworth Financial,
argues that the insurance success
stories of the future will have
negotiated the challenges of changing
demographics within the industry
and among customers, increased
customer choice and accelerated
consolidation and standardization.
For Atkins as for Herr, Davis and
Van Dusen, BGAs that are capable
and flexible will emerge as the strongest
competitors in the transformed
insurance world of tomorrow. Now
read about it in their own words on
the following pages.
THE insurance industry has not traditionally been
known for service. However, with increased competition
on pricing and product development, industry
leaders will, more and more, distinguish themselves
through service. But service means more than a
smile and a thank-you. In the wholesale brokerage
industry, it means process innovation, technology
On the process side, how a broker handles preliminary
quotes—the “shopping of the informals”—will
be a key factor in determining if that broker succeeds.
Currently the shopping of informals can involve hundreds
of pages of medical records to many different
carriers. Gridlock is common. Brokers that develop innovative
ways to shop informals efficiently will gain
the business. Carriers will soon discover which brokers
are doing it right.
Having an imaged environment will also be key to
service. Today an entire segment of the term life business
is conducted electronically: the process, from
quote to application to underwriting, is done online.
Permanent life is next. Brokers who make the investment
in electronic imaging will improve service and
gain market share. But an imaged environment is expensive
and will pose significant challenges to those
who cannot make the investment.
When it comes to service, information is power.
Our industry is inefficient in the way it gathers information
to evaluate risk. Medical information, such as
attending physician statements, independent lab test
results, MVRs and paramed reports, comes from many
different sources. To complicate matters, each broker
and carrier deals with its own information vendors.
Carriers and brokers who synthesize disparate information
will thrive. This increasingly means partnering
with a vendor, broker or carrier that can access
and relay information electronically, in a common
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, AXA EQUITABLE LIFE INSURANCE
Carriers and brokers
who synthesize disparate
information will thrive.
32 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
Yes, even executives need help.
SURPRISINGLY, YOUR CLIENTS’ EXECUTIVES face a
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retirement income needs. Fortunately, The
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clients’ top execs reach the retirement they
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we can help take
you where you’re
going as well.
Visit principal.com or call 800-654-4278, option 1, x41210
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and the Edge Design are registered service marks and the illustrated character and “We’ll Give You an Edge” are service marks of Principal Financial
Services, Inc. Insurance issued by Principal Life Insurance Company. Securities offered through Princor Financial Services Corporation, (800) 247-4123,
member SIPC and/or independent broker/dealers. Securities sold by a Princor Registered Representative are offered through Princor. ® Bank products
offered through Principal Bank, ® member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. Principal Life, Princor, ® Principal Bank and Principal Financial Services, Inc., are
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PRESIDENT AND CEO, EXAMINATION MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INC.
Technology Is Innovation
EFFICIENCY is doing better what is already being done.
The distribution of life insurance products continues to be slower, more difficult and more
costly than it needs to be. Applications take far too long to process, largely due to the lack of
effective communication between all of the parties needed to get the job done and redundancies
in the process.
In the new world, time, effort and expense can be significantly reduced. The correct spot
to begin communicating effectively and handling all of this information efficiently is at the
beginning of the application cycle, when the possibility exists to screen the applicant (and application),
and secure all the needed information, doing so before significant, needless expense
has been incurred. The latest electronic tools can add efficiencies to distribution without
increasing the cost of the process. With these new tool sets, cycle time, information gathering
and case management can be greatly improved and costs reduced without eroding compensation
Many of the recent changes that have been promoted as innovations have really been ineffective
automation of poor processes. The time for the archaic and arcane practices that currently
define insurance underwriting has passed. The companies that innovate and improve the
processes will be the ones that survive, and the rest will be absorbed by the winners.
The best way to predict the future is to create it.
SPEED of execution is a goal of every brokerage and a fundamental expectation of customers.
Brokerages must perform faster with less business to share and fewer resources at their d sposal.
The process, from sale to policy issue, is changing. Brokerages are outsourcing the entire underwriting
process to specialized vendors so they can focus on bringing in more business.
Vendors who achieve minor time savings by putting a band-aid on inefficient, segmented processes
are a thing of the past. Brokerages now seek vendors who are on the forefront of technology
and who understand their business and create end-to-end, electronic processes for handling all
their underwriting functions to achieve major efficiencies and significantly decrease cycle time.
New innovations such as teleinterviewing, underwriting APS summaries, “QuickQuote” services and
e-signature technology quickly gather underwriting requirements up front to get a policy issued
faster and keep brokers focused on the sale. Technology that electronically links systems between
vendor and brokerage make transactions instantaneous and paperless, increasing efficiencies even
Those vendors who offer process solutions instead of segmented services are also investing
more in training and technology, becoming experts in their particular area of specialization and offering
unparalleled levels of accuracy, reliability and speed. Those vendors add value to brokerages
by actively helping them bring in business and revolutionizing the underwriting process.
While the trend for brokerages may be an ever-increasing demand for faster, better service, they
are well-positioned to meet the challenge. Those who are willing to adapt to change and look for
unique solutions will flourish in the present and future marketplace.
GEORGE C. VAN DUSEN, III
PRESIDENT, DIVERSIFIED BROKERAGE SERVICES, INC.
34 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
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Big Trends Mean
THE life and health insurance industry faces the interaction
of three big trends: demographic change among our customers
and distributors, more and better information and options
empowering consumers, and economic forces that are changing
our customers’ needs and how distributors and manufacturers
serve them. Because of its inherent flexibility, wholesale
brokerage is capable of thriving amidst these dynamics to the
extent BGAs anticipate and respond to the changes.
The population of active life insurance agents is aging rapidly.
Almost no new agents are entering the agent pool, and
the average age of agents is over 50. Barring a change, within
a single generation, insurance distribution will look radically
different than it does today. Wholesale brokerage depends on
a population of agent/brokers as customers. In just one generation
the population of active agents/brokers could crash.
To thrive in the next generation BGAs will have to find new
ways to reach consumers. To the extent BGAs don’t create
that avenue, insurance companies will be forced to add new
Consumer Demographics and New Options
America’s people are also aging, and their needs are changing.
People need help realizing their retirement hopes and dreams.
Those whose defined benefit pensions have been replaced with
defined contribution plans face an uncertain retirement. For
many it’s not too late to build a better plan. Their plan should
include some form of guaranteed lifetime income and immediate
annuities are a great way to provide just that. Many boomers
are caring for elderly parents or know someone who is.
They recognize the need to provide for their own long-termcare
needs. Long-term-care insurance is a viable option. It not
only provides money to support them in assisted living or a
nursing home facility, it also offers advice and assistance to
keep clients in their homes and self-sufficient as long as possible.
The uncertainly of estate taxes and the desire to leave
a legacy to family or charities maintains permanent insurance
as a solution.
America’s multicultural demographic is growing at a rapid
pace. These emerging markets need the full spectrum of insurance
products and services. The question is, how BGAs will
reach these customers. Innovative methods combined with
new or rejuvenated distribution in these markets are needed. If
BGAs don’t reach the multicultural markets they, should expect
manufacturers to find other ways.
JAMES D. ATKINS
CHIEF ACTUARY, LIFE INSURANCE, GENWORTH FINANCIAL
Change is constant.
Dramatic change within a
generation is certain.
The life settlement industry provides insurance policy owners with
new options. They will ensure that policies worth more than their
cash surrender value will stay in force until death. That eliminates
lapsers subsidizing persisting policy owners. Overall, policies will
provide more value to customers. It would be logical for the lowest
prices to rise as well. Wholesale brokerage should be able to continue
to sell the higher value policies and provide the right advice to customers
considering a life settlement.
Impact of Economic Forces
The economic forces that reshaped banking and the mortgage industry
will soon focus on insurance. This will manifest itself in accelerated
consolidation and standardization in contracts but better
profitability for surviving companies and lower costs for consumers.
Wholesale brokerage can easily adapt to manufacturer consolidation.
This might even provide a boost as former career agents no longer
feel loyal to the acquiring company and shift to brokerage.
Change is constant. Dramatic change within a generation is certain.
Brokerage GAs who want to survive and thrive have the flexibility
and capabilities to do so.
36 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
IS YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN
OPTIMIZED FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE?
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REDUCED CYCLE TIME
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Status and reports are provided
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38 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
matter what its
size, wants and
needs to reduce
the time from
to coverage offer.
The current state of
the process of
evolving and will
continue to do so.
BY MARK PATTERSON
Over the years, underwriters have employed a series of
new tools related to the assessment process. But the
basic function of life underwriting—stratifying an
applicant’s risk based on actuarial models—has always
been a constant, critical to a company’s success. And
although offers of deep discounts for nonsmokers, exams by mobile paramedical
units, and laboratory tests are now common practice, due to technological advances
and changes in the industry the utility of underwriting tools and how they’re accessed
has changed dramatically.
In fact, that’s the newest element to add to the mix: the industry itself is
in transition. With costs and competition rising, risk management and underwriting
departments must focus more than ever on overall productivity and expense
management, particularly as the insurance industry continues to consolidate and
separate into mega-companies and niche companies. These days, every insurance
company, no matter what its size, wants and needs to reduce the time from client
application to coverage offer, improve data gathering to better classify risks, and
make the “best and first” offer to discourage customers from shopping for the better
deal from another insurer, many of which are now Internet-based.
The home office
isn’t actually in the home
someplace else, possibly
his own home.
This comes at a time when
both carriers and their suppliers
must optimize processes, improve
productivity and reduce costs
throughout their operations. As a
result, several areas involved in risk
assessment are in transition, which
is having a huge effect on the industry.
These areas include laboratory
testing, the manner in which
attending physicians statements
(APS) are created and managed,
the proliferation of tele-underwriting
and the increased outsourcing
of targeted business functions.
Laboratory testing has been an
integral part of the risk evaluation
process for years. Few people
may recall when the “home office
specimen” was actually a specimen
collected by the agent and sent to
the home office. Today’s core laboratory
panels are very similar to the
panels used by underwriters in the
mid-1980s, when the use of blood
testing increased due to the AIDS
epidemic. These days, there are new
tests that can pinpoint specific disorders.
But in addition to new testing
methods, we’re also learning how
to better use existing tests to gain
more knowledge about diseases.
Testing for cardiovascular disease
(CVD) is a prime example. CVD
is still the leading contributor to
death in the United States. Despite
the availability of cholesterol, HDL,
LDL and other lipid measurements,
underwriting CVD in the well population
is still problematic. Although
there are promising new tests such
as NT-proBNP and hs-CRP that some
day may lead to better risk classification
for CVD, the tests are not yet
thoroughly embraced or widely used
by underwriters. At the same time,
there’s more and more evidence that
microalbumin, a simple urine test
that’s been around for decades, may
be a significant marker for CVD, especially
when used as a screening
40 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
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test as opposed to being historically
ordered only for cause.
Testing for diabetes is another
example. Today, the Hemoglobin A1c
test is increasingly being used as a
screen for diabetes, especially in
applicants age 40 and above, rather
than a reflex test ordered only when
there are elevated levels of glucose
or fructosamine, both of which are
possible indicators of diabetes. According
to the American Diabetes
Association, more than 9 percent of
the U.S. population is diabetic and
another 26 percent can be classified
as pre-diabetic, and diabetes is
growing nationwide. In fact, diabetes
is responsible for numerous early
deaths, although historically underdiagnosed
in the insurance population.
Improving the use of the A1c
test is helping enable underwriters
to better identify and classify the
diabetic population they previously
may have missed.
The APS is also being scrutinized,
despite the fact that it provides unquestionable
and valuable medical
information about applicants. It has
always been criticized for taking too
long to obtain and being too expensive.
As a result, some underwriters
are experimenting with prescription
history profiles as an alternative to
the traditional APS. Prescription
profiles can be obtained electronically
in a matter of minutes and
provide an abundance of valuable
information that’s useful in the underwriting
process and also helpful
in evaluating early claims.
Prescription profiles provide an
applicant’s prescription history as
well as the dose, prescribing physician
and compliance information.
For instance, an applicant may claim
to be taking a prescription for high
blood pressure, but the prescription
profile may show that the applicant
filled the prescription sporadically
over the history of the report. This
compliance history can be as important
as knowing what was prescribed.
So, although prescription
profiles are not universally endorsed
by the industry—and their effect
on reducing the use of APS is yet to
been seen—they no doubt will play
an ever-increasing role in the underwriting
Another recent change in underwriting
is that the home office
underwriter sometimes isn’t actually
in the home office—he’s located
someplace else, possibly his own
home. There are two trends that are
enabling remote underwriting. First,
technology and paperless systems
allow access to underwriting files
from any place with a computer.
Second, there is a consolidation underway
in the industry that is literally
stranding many underwriters in
metropolitan areas where few other
underwriting career opportunities
are available to them.
Remote underwriting, the exception
just a few years ago, is
now commonplace and is likely to
increase, largely because trained
underwriters are scarce. The common
practice of large insurers offering
in-house underwriter training
programs has greatly diminished.
Actually, many wonder where the
next generation of life underwriters
is going to come from, particularly
because the profession demands a
unique set of job skills that is not
learned in any classroom, but ideally
must be developed in an apprenticelike
environment. With fewer insurers
investing in training, more remote
underwriters are being hired.
Completely outsourced underwriting
is also on the upswing,
particularly as more companies realize
that the underwriting function,
once a fundamental part of every
new business operation, can be outsourced
to trained underwriting organizations
around the country.
Tele-underwriting is perhaps one
of the fastest growing new models
used to collect medical information
and histories on insurance applicants.
It removes the burden of this
requirement from the field producer
and also facilitates this process for
the sales of Internet based policies.
While some insurers have developed
the expertise in house, many use
technology and the consolidating
insurance industry is changing the
landscape of risk assessment.
large centralized call centers. In
tele-underwriting, trained professionals
use carefully predetermined
scripts with detailed questions directed
at specific medical impairments.
Insurers who use tele-underwriting
learned that the medical
information gathered is often superior
in quality and content to that
gathered by conventional means.
To further enhance the tele-underwriting
process and speed the
risk assessment processes, some insurers
are experimenting with electronic
signatures from applicants
rather than the traditional method
of obtaining a wet signature on the
completed tele-underwriting document.
Using this technology, the
completed interview with electronic
signature can be in the underwriter’s
system within minutes of completion
rather than days.
Obviously, consumerism, technology
and the consolidating insurance
industry is changing the landscape
of risk assessment. Insurers and underwriters
have a choice: they can
ignore the changes and be swept
away, or they can embrace the opportunities
to improve business processes
and customer service, turning
a time of disruption into a time
Mark Patterson is president of
Heritage Labs, a division of Hooper
42 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
American National’s new Affinity 7 Participating Whole Life products
can help your clients & their families build a secure financial future.
3 Different Markets ... 3 Different Plans
• Affinity 7 NQ Participating Whole Life for individuals
in non-qualified markets seeking personal protection
and cash accumulation.
• Affinity 7 Q Participating Whole Life for individuals
in the qualified plan markets such as 412(i), 457 plans
in state and local governments and non-profit 501(c)
• Affinity 7 457 Participating Whole Life for individuals
participating in 457 plans in school districts.
New flexible PUA (Paid-Up Additions rider)
Four face amount bands, including $1 Million+
Six underwriting categories ($100,00+)
Up to seven available riders (depending on plan)
Innovative products, concepts and services making it easy for you to do business!
Contact your marketing company or our Field Support Center at
1-888-501-4043, Option 1
David Behrens George Crume Dave Hull Stu Mikkelsen Scott Safranek Brad Schommer David Schutz Scott Taylor
Executive Vice President Vice President National National National National National National
Independent Marketing Brokerage Sales Manager Sales Manager Sales Manager Sales Manager Sales Manager Sales Manager
American National Insurance Company
One Moody Plaza, Galveston, Texas 77550-7999
American National Insurance Company
Yours for Life!
Independent Marketing Group (IMG) is a division of American National Insurance Company
IMG3509 Policy Forms: PWL-CSO, PWLU-CSO. For Agent Use Only; Not For Use With Consumers 02/07
AMERICAN HOMEOWNERS INCREASINGLY CHERISH THEIR OUTDOOR SPACE. HERE’S SOME SOURCE MATERIAL TO HELP YOU
ENSURE THAT YOUR OUTDOOR TIME IS QUALITY TIME IN EVERY WAY, SHAPE AND FORM.
THE “OUTDOOR ROOM”—characterized by design and landscape experts as a defined
outside area with a cooking, eating, and sitting/entertaining place—is more important to American
homeowners than ever.
More and more Americans consider the design of their outdoor room as just as important as
the rooms inside their homes. Among those who own a gas grill priced over $1,000, many say
their outdoor room design is more important than their interior rooms, and others say it’s equally
important. People are more willing than ever to spend money to create an outdoor space that family,
friends, and associates can enjoy as much as or more than any indoor space. What it all boils down
to is that we cherish the time we spend outdoors at home—and more and more we’re willing to go to
considerable lengths to ensure that our outdoor time is quality time in every way, shape and form.
What You Need
A barbecue grill and outdoor dining components top the list of items you need for your outdoor
room. You’ll also want to consider your lighting system, especially if you want to entertain in the
Lots of high-end outdoor spaces have dedicated entertainment systems; it’s a great way to
augment the experience of outdoor entertaining and bring a bit more of the indoors out with you.
Is it surprising that a growing number of high-end outdoor spaces have televisions? Think of the
Another way to add value to your outdoor space is to install a fireplace. Especially if you’re
entertaining at night or if you live anywhere above the Mason-Dixon line, a fireplace adds a kind of
warmth that you could never get from huddling around the grill!
Nowadays people want more design and style in their lives, and a great way to obtain it is to blur
the boundaries between inside and outside. Outdoor rooms are also becoming more significant
because we’re are spending more time at home. And if you do “live outside,” you’ll likely to be there
frequently. Living outdoors is a great way to add quality to your life and a great way to help family,
friends and associates relax and “get away from it all” even while they’re at home!
44 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
Crown Verity (www.crownverity.com) offers a large selection of
commercial stainless steel outdoor portable cooking equipment and
accessories. The company’s product line includes portable, mobile,
built-in, and towable gas grills, portable hand sinks, patio heaters,
and a variety of other products and accessories. Here you see the new
Island, a five-burner, 36” built-in grill with a roll-dome cover, crafted
entirely of 18-gauge commercial 304 stainless steel. Under the counter
is a 3.5-foot front-breathing U-line refrigerator. The decks are rock-solid
3/4” polished Quebec granite. The wood is 3/4” solid plantation-grown
IPE Brazilian walnut—so dense it’s naturally resistant to warping, rot,
termites, insects and weather.
For more than three decades, Lynx Professional Grills (www.lynxgrills.com) has
been a model of engineering excellence, servicing the most discerning clients
in the hospitality industry, including resorts, restaurants and theme parks with
stainless steel products specifically engineered to withstand the intense demands
of commercial use. Lynx’s complete line of outdoor kitchen products combines
advanced proprietary technologies and refined features that you can use to
design your own outdoor cooking center at home.
Top: A view of the Lynx 42” Professional Grill with access doors, double
burner, storage drawers, warming drawer and beverage area featuring outdoor
refrigerator, ice machine and Cocktail Pro.
Bottom: The Lynx 30” Freestanding Grill with side burners and freestanding
Bose Corporation (www.bose.com) is
one of the largest and best-known audio
technology developers and product
manufacturers in the United States and
throughout the world, known for home
entertainment systems and speakers, the
Wave® products, premium automotive
music systems, noise reducing headsets for
consumers and pilots and sound for public
spaces and musicians. The Bose Free Space®
51 environmental speaker is designed
specifically for installation in- or on-ground,
providing homeowners with exceptional
sound quality, durability and almost
unlimited placement flexibility.
member of the
through improved case
management and underwriting.
As NAILBA’s 2007 Meetings Chair, it is my
great pleasure to invite you to join us to
celebrate NAILBA’s FOCUS!
This year’s FOCUS, to be held on June
7-8 at the Westin Kierland Resort in
Scottsdale, Ariz., has been reformatted to provide you with two
separate tracks of education for two distinct levels of training!
The first track is designed for agency principals, and sessions
• Best Practices: Underwriting and Case Management Development
• Balancing Underwriting and Reinsurance (75 minutes)
The second track targets agency staff, and sessions will include:
• Interpreting and Summarizing Medical Records (75 minutes)
• Effective Communications (75 minutes)
A joint session will be also presented. And that’s in addition to
the exciting exhibit hall and networking opportunities you have
come to expect from FOCUS.
And the best part is that NAILBA member agency principals and
staff are able to receive this information for FREE! Because time is
also money, the educational component of FOCUS has been condensed
into a shorter time period, to enable agency staff to receive
valuable information and training yet still minimize their time out
of the office.
We hope you’ll agree that this year’s FOCUS meeting promises to
be better than ever. As always, thank you for your support.
About the Hotel
Nestled in historic Scottsdale, Arizona, The Westin Kierland Resort &
Spa reflects the cultural wealth of its surroundings. The theme “Treasuring
the Essence of Arizona” is evident throughout the resort, with
exceptional regional cuisine, art, and music. This beautiful resort is
just a short walk from the Kierland shopping center, 38 acres of upscale
shops, boutiques, and restaurants.
Cuisine takes center
stage at The Westin
Kierland Resort & Spa.
The AAA Four Diamond
desert retreat provides
eight unique dining experiences
for guests to
delight in. As one of the
finest resorts in Scottsdale,
you’ll discover some
of the best fine dining in
the desert. Westin Kierland’s highly talented chefs’ culinary creativity
and vision create mouth-watering meals meant to be savored with
family and friends.
Please remember that NAILBA does not make hotel reservations for
you. Registering for FOCUS does not reserve you a hotel room—you
must do this separately. To make a room reservation, please call the
hotel at (480) 624-1000.
“Your Ride” provides airport shuttle service to and from The Westin
Kierland. The cost is $50 each way (up to four people). Your driver
will meet you curbside by the blue diamonds outside of all terminals
at Sky Harbor Airport, or they can
meet you at baggage claim for an
additional $20 each way. (Prices are
subject to change without notice.)
Taxi service is also available outside
of all terminals.
Overnight valet parking fee is
$21. Self-parking is complimentary.
Gary Dworkin, CLU, RHU
2007 NAILBA Meetings Chair
Thursday, June 7
1:00 – 2:15 pm Opening General Session
Welcome to Scottsdale and FOCUS 2007
Gary Dworkin, CLU, RHU
2007 NAILBA Meetings Chair
DAI/LifeMark, Rochester, N.H.
Arizona’s Official State Historian
NAILBA Mid-Year Updates
John W. Felton, IV
2007 NAILBA Chairman
Tennessee Brokerage Agency, Knoxville
LIFE Foundation Presentation
Jack Dewald, CLU, RHU
Director, LIFE Foundation
Agency Services, Inc., Memphis, Tenn.
What to Expect from FOCUS 2007
As you know, FOCUS has undergone a renovation for
2007. Hear from the facilitator who helped get FOCUS to
this point—the research, the process, and the thought
behind the resulting program. Jane McNair will also
describe the methods and tools you should use to help
meet your expectations for this new edition of FOCUS.
1:00 – 5:00 pm Exhibitor Move-in
Must be COMPLETE by 5:00 pm.
2:30 – 3:45 pm Workshop: Maximizing BGA Productivity
For ALL attendees
Participants will get an up-close view of some important
capabilities that will enable productivity gains for their
BGA. Included will be APS Summaries, Imaging, Application
Upload, Intelligent Forms and more... This workshop
will identify the range of options, implementation issues,
costs and other important factors BGAs need to consider
before developing a Productivity Action Plan.
Prudential Select Brokerage
Stephen Kennedy, CLU, ChFC, FLMI
4:00 – 5:15 pm Workshops
Best Practices: Underwriting and
Case Management Development
This session will feature a discussion of the “ideal”
agency and the “ideal” carrier, but with a twist. Each
presenter will describe their opposite number’s ideal
characteristics—what a carrier looks for from a BGA and
what a BGA expects from a carrier.
Brokers Clearing House
West Des Moines, Iowa
Brad Gabel, FALU, FLMI, CLU
Interpreting and Summarizing Medical Records
In this session, the presenters will discuss and analyze
how to read and summarize medical records. Learn what
to look for and how to present medical information.
US Financial Life Insurance
48 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
Place Your Bets at NAILBA Charitable Foundation’s Casino Night
Thursday, June 7, 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Join your colleagues in the exhibit hall for this fun event. It’s your first big opportunity to assist the NAILBA
Charitable Foundation in its fundraising efforts for 2007, while saying hello to your friends for the first time at
FOCUS! Play games of chance, enjoy a beverage and some snacks, and challenge your friends to play along!
Friday, June 8
7:30 – 8:30 am Breakfast in the Exhibit Hall
8:45 – 10:00 am Workshops
Balancing Underwriting and Reinsurance
Presenters in this session will discuss underwriting
and risk assessment from both the home office and
reinsurance perspectives. They will guide you in a
discussion of what they want to “see” to efficiently
underwrite a life case.
John Hancock Brokerage
Mark L. Koenig, FALU, FLMI
Generali USA Life Re
Kansas City, Mo.
Effective Business Relationships in a
Do you understand how important it is for ALL
components of a success model to carry their weight
and move together in the same direction? How does
anyone make order out of the chaos that is inherent
in your business? One company that has consistently
done so over the past 35 years is Southwest Airlines.
In this presentation, Dave Ridley outlines the approach
that Southwest took to tackle the myriad challenges
that business throws at you every day. The lessons that
Southwest learned are relevant to every business and
Objectives of this presentation include:
• The right people with the right attitude led the
right way can handle anything.
• Getting the right people is a matter of identifying
core values and being obsessive in hiring (and firing)
to those values.
• The right attitude can be summed up succinctly:
follow the golden rule.
• The right leaders put their people first.
Former Southwest Airlines Executive
10:00 am –
12:30 pm Exhibit Hall Open
11:30 am –
12:30 pm Lunch in the Exhibit Hall
12:30 – 5:00 pm Exhibitor Move-Out
12:45 – 2:15 pm General Session
The Power of Being a Change Agent
Now that you have experienced the NEW FOCUS, what
do you do with this information? How do you take this
back to work with you and have a positive effect on your
office? Jane McNair will guide you through a set of tools
and methods to help make your experience here valuable
to your co-workers and to your organizations as a whole.
2:30 – 6:00 pm Options for Attendees
• Vendor and/or Carrier “User Group Meetings”
• Golf Outing (NOT an organized event; players on
Exhibitor and Sponsorship
FOCUS 2007 is shaping up to be the key networking and exhibiting
event of the Spring. Booth space and sponsorships are almost gone.
If you want to be part of this high level industry leading event, now
is the time to secure your participation. FOCUS 2007 features the
right environment for power networking done with the right people
in the right place at the right time. There are 6 1/2 hours dedicated
to showcasing your solutions to this highly influential audience and
numerous networking functions to meet face to face with clients and
FOCUS sponsorships are designed to provide companies with maximum
recognition and exposure to increase business and brand identity.
From premium promotional items to sponsorship of key FOCUS
events, we have something for you that will meet your marketing and
branding needs all within the high level meeting and networking environment
that is FOCUS 2007. Call John Woodstock today at (703)
383-3081 to discuss how you can leverage sponsorships to meet your
marketing needs at FOCUS. Custom programs are also available.
As of April 9, 2007. Companies in blue are NAILBA Platinum Partners.
AIG American General
APS Workflow, Inc.
Asset Protectors & Advisors
E-Z Data, Inc.
Independent Funding, LLC
Legal & General America/
Banner Life/William Penn
Life Settlement Insights
Life Settlement Providers, LLC
Life Settlement Solutions, Inc.
Lincoln Benefit Life
Lynette Owens & Associates
Mutual of Omaha
National Association of Insurance
and Financial Advisors
National Life Group
North American Company for
Life and Health Insurance
PaperClip Software Inc.
50 316492_National.indd perspectives MAY/JUNE 1 2007
2/14/07 5:02:06 PM
Position yourself for trade show success.
BY MATT HILL
If you do the right things before and during the
show, you’ll maximize your investment at NAILBA.
true in real estate.
Is it true for your
exhibit booth? Yes and probably
not, depending upon the size of the
One strategy is to be inside the
triangle. If you look at a map of the
exhibit hall and draw a triangle with
the point down at the main entrance
to the hall, you want your booth to
be inside the triangle.
Another strategy is to have a
booth near food or even the restrooms.
The reality is if you’re not one of
the first 20 or 50 exhibitors to pick
a location, you are probably going
to have to do some extra things to
attract visitors to your booth.
For a large show with 500-plus
exhibitors (like the show I’m at
right now: World of Concrete in
Las Vegas, with 85,000 attendees
and 1,700 exhibitors), location is
important, especially if you have
a small booth. And at these large
shows, a small booth might be a
20 X 20 or smaller. A 10 X 10 or 10
X 20 booth can really be missed.
These companies must make an
extra effort to get noticed. They
need to make sure there is some
traffic to their booth. Some of
the things they can do are some
pre-show promotion, maybe an inbooth
contest, raffle off a Ferrari,
get Brad Pitt to sign autographs in
the booth, etc.
For smaller trade shows like
NAILBA where there are only 150
exhibit booths and none of them are
any bigger than a 10 X 30, location
is not all that important. I walked
up and down every aisle at last
year’s NAILBA and read the signs in
every booth and it still only took
me 15 or 20 minutes. I think that
means that your average visitor to
the exhibit hall will walk up and
down every aisle too.
And they’ll take their time.
Walking the exhibit floor is fun for
them, and they want to visit with
old friends and learn about new
products and services.
It is tough to be missed at a
show the size of NAILBA. This is
not to say that the booths in the
front and center of the hall won’t
be busier; they will be. But, if you
do the right things before and during
the show, you’ll maximize your
investment at NAILBA. Before the
show, do some pre-show promotion.
The most effective thing to do is to
extend personal invitations to the
people you really want to see. Make
phone calls to them, send them formal
During the show, your staff can
be proactive about greeting visitors
as they walk by. And at NAILBA,
which is not the case at most shows
I work at, exhibitors are encouraged
to work the hall outside their own
booth. So do that, have your people
walk the aisles and greet visitors.
And, if there are other exhibitors
that have services that are complimentary
to yours, offer to take your
visitors over to them when you’re
finished with them if they return
the favor. Escorting visitors to other
booths really does work. You’re handing
off an already qualified visitor.
Time and time again, NAILBA is
told that their trade shows are their
most valuable member benefits. Our
shows in 2007 will be no different. See
you in Scottsdale and Orlando.
Matt Hill has been speaking and training
since 1983. He has presented his
“Trade Show Skills Workshop” to over
35,000 people around the world.
Some of his current clients include
Microsoft, eBay, Toshiba Medical
Systems, Intel, MasterCard, Lexmark,
Hewlett-Packard, Genentech, UPS, and
the U.S. Department of Commerce.
He also speaks regularly for business
associations, marketing groups, and
He has published two books:
Trade Show Survival Guide and Do
It Right in Front of an Audience.
Prior to offering his own services,
Matt was a marketing executive at
Xerox Corporation for four years. His
career in sales spans over 20 years
and includes managing a $4-milliondollar,
250-person retail merchandise
operation. He holds a B.A. degree
in psychology from California State
your human capital advantage.
“The desire, and the ability, of an organization to continuously learn from any source, anywhere—and to rapidly convert this learning into action—is its
ultimate competitive advantage.” — Jack Welch, former CEO, General Electric
LAUREN M. PETERSON
METROPOLITAN FINANCIAL GROUP
• NAILBA University BGA Employee Training Series
Nine-course online series for all employees new to
insurance or needing refresher. $199/person.
• NAILBA University Agent Training Series
Eleven-course online series to use as quick
confidence builder for next-generation agents.
• Free NAILBA/LIMRA Anti-Money Laundering
• Free WebCE Discount Program
• Free NAILBA Field Underwriting Guide
• Free Education Article Series
aptitude and expertise
of employees and
their role in profitability is often
referred to an organization’s “human
capital.” Human capital is a critical
part of a company’s “intellectual
capital.” Together these terms
describe the potential growth in
productivity from increased knowledge
and intellectual capacity and
the transfer of that knowledge into
action. As Jack Welch has noted,
that is where true corporate growth
and competitive advantage can
It’s easy to recognize the importance
of the concept of human capital
and the value of humn capital
on an agency team, but due to the
day-to-day pressures of doing business,
businesses still often neglect
employee development. We witness
this lack of investment in our
agencies on a daily basis. Errors
on forms, basic product knowledge
questions, and poor phone etiquette
all disappoint us and make
us keenly aware that our people are
still key to optimal profitability.
Empower Your People
It is with the importance of human
capital management in mind that
NAILBA created NAILBA University
and the NAILBA University
Committee. NAILBA University confirms
NAILBA’s strong commitment
to education in the brokerage community,
with a mission of providing
members and their producers leading-edge
tools and knowledge that
foster and accelerate business performance.
The offerings have been
carefully selected and customized
by volunteer members just like you,
members with a first-hand knowledge
of your business in mind.
Today’s NAILBA University
Committee is the largest in NAILBA
history—and we are making an
impact. In the last two years
alone, NAILBA University launched
and delivered six new educational
Future Benefits from
With growing member participation,
even more educational benefits are
in the works. Here are just a few
of the exciting opportunities we’re
• Leadership, Management, and
Self-paced coursework in business
and management skills for agency
• Updated Brokerage Desk
Updated and higher tech version
of a popular previously released
• New Education Article Series
Offering best practices for agency
principals and expert articles for
• New NAILBA Education Award
(to be awarded at NAILBA 26)
Watch for brochure soon! You
could be our first winner or offer
• Enhancement of NAILBA’s Field
Improved formatting and even
more effective uses of this popular
• Reviewing Content for LOMA
Reviewing content for appropriateness
for brokerage audience.
It truly is an exciting time for
NAILBA University, so don’t miss
out! Visit www.nailba.org to get
more information. If you have questions,
contact Meg Rose, director of
education services, at (703) 652-
4829 or email@example.com.
Lauren M. Peterson, JD, brings
over 25 years of experience in the
insurance and financial services to
her role on the NAILBA University
Committee. Lauren has engaged
in private legal practice in executive
deferred compensation and
estate planning with emphasis on
charitable planning. She is also
the founder and executive director
for African Child Foundation USA,
a nonprofit serving the immediate
needs of orphans in Kenya
52 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
INSURANCE • INVESTMENTS • RETIREMENT
“ I WANT SOLID. ”
SOLID PRODUCTS. SOLID PRICING. SOLID BRAND.
Transamerica companies are leading providers of insurance,
investment, and retirement strategies for today’s clients.
To find out how Transamerica can help you get what you
want, contact your General Agent or our Regional Marketing
Western Region: 888-862-1936
Eastern Region: 888-558-8743
Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Company • Transamerica Financial Life
Insurance Company • Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc.
The Power of the Pyramid ®
Member of the AEGON® Group
For producer use only. Not for distribution to the public.
New impetus for a product whose time has come.
CONTEXT PLANNING LTD.
the bad news
HERE’S for BGAs on
critical illness insurance (CI) marketing
to date: the industry has
done a terrible job at positioning
this product and done an exceptional
job of creating complexities and
confusion. Here’s the good news:
the industry has done a terrible job
at positioning this product and done
an exceptional job of creating complexities
This means that there’s a tremendous
opportunity for creative distributors
to use CI as a significant
differentiator. We (in Canada and certainly
at our BGA) made many of the
mistakes we are now seeing in emerging
CI markets like the United States.
In the end, however, it’s possible that
your advisors will write more critical
illness than universal life cases.
CI represents a unique dual opportunity
in that a BGA can create
a new market for existing advisors
while attracting new advisors by
providing them with CI expertise. To
say the least, it’s challenging for a
BGA to add value by uncovering new
uses for term insurance or exposing
the value of term-life product x over
product y. CI is a different product.
The BGAs who will win the day
will be the ones who can answer the
following advisor questions: Why
this product now? How do I integrate
CI into my practice? How do I
compare CI products? and How does
CI underwriting differ from termlife
underwriting? Advisors will
place their business (and not just
their CI business) with the BGA that
can answer those questions.
But for a long while we had
nowhere to go but up. In Canada,
where I’m from, most of our early CI
meetings were far less than fruitful:
we’d view 20 slides on incidence
rates, followed by 10 slides on uncovered
health-care costs, followed
by 10 slides on how this CI product
covered more than that one.
Then we realized that the few advisors
who were actually moving CI
products were doing the opposite of
what the industry was telling them.
54 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
CI represents a unique dual opportunity
in that a BGA can create a new market
for existing advisors while attracting new
advisors by providing them with CI expertise.
Clients weren’t saying, “Wow—
before you showed me your pages
of stats, I didn’t know that a lot of
people got cancer.” That’s common
sense. Long, long, long before CI arrived
on the scene, people were being
stricken with cancer, heart attacks,
and strokes. And when people
with major illnesses died quickly, we
already had that figured out, and we
had a great product called life insurance
to deal with it.
The successful advisors realized
that the incidence stats were irrelevant!
The industry was trying
to sell advisors on bad-news incidence
stats, but CI is about “good
news survival,” not “bad news
We also have achieved tremendous
favor with advisors by helping
them reposition the lump-sum cash
benefit. (I call this repositioning
“attachment” for reasons that will
soon be clear.) The industry had
trained advisors to tell clients that
CI products were “wonderful” because
they could “use the CI cash
for whatever they want.” That’s like
asking a client if he wants “cash for
cancer.” There is no amount of cash
that will make that answer yes. Nobody
Clients respond far more affirmatively
if we help them “attach” the
lump sum to something meaningful
in their lives. If the advisor asks,
“If you were diagnosed with cancer
and going through treatment, would
you want your spouse to be able to
take a leave from work and from the
stress of the mortgage payment to
go away for a year?” the client can
56 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
No one can mainstream annuities,
life insurance and retirement income
programs like DTCC’s Insurance Services.
And here’s why.
■ Our automated and standardized processing
solutions use open standards that facilitate
■ They’re built with customer and industry
involvement, so they meet real and
If you want to grow your business and reduce your processing costs, call us at
1 800 422-0582. Or visit our Web site at http://insurance.dtcc.com to learn more about us.
DTCC’s Insurance Services. For annuity applications and
premiums, licensing and appointments, commissions,
positions and valuations, asset pricing and financial
■ We bring together hundreds of carriers,
distributors, vendors and service providers
through a single network.
■ Our solutions are powered by DTCC’s
technology infrastructure – unparalleled
for safety and resilience.
Insurance Services are provided by National Securities Clearing Corporation,
a subsidiary of The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation
The Logical Solutions Provider
CI is about “good news survival,”
not “bad news incidence.”
Another way BGAs can add value
and thus entrench their relationships
with their advisors is by becoming
their one-stop access point
for comparative CI product and underwriting
information. We’ve spent
considerable time and effort informing
and arming our advisors on how
to position this unique CI risk, especially
in the area of family history.
A useful phrase for your advisors
would be, “if you qualify,” which
should be repeated many times during
any CI meeting.
Many advisors have struggled to
mesh CI with disability insurance. I
think it’s best to view CI and disability
as complementary protection
pieces in any strong financial
plan. They work together much like
the safety features on an automobile
(brakes, airbags, etc.). Think
of disability insurance being like
the brakes on your car (absolutely
necessary) and CI as like the airbags
(extra protection for the big
It’s worth the effort and investment
for BGAs to focus on CI because
CI is a product borne out of
a changing environment whose time
has clearly come. Embrace CI or be
wary of your competitors who do. In
the words of Jack Welch, “If the rate
of change outside your business exceeds
the rate of change within it,
your business will eventually cease
Keith Leech, CFP, CLU, ChFC, RHU,
is owner of Context Planning Ltd., a
Vancouver-based financial services firm
specializing in critical illness and longterm
care products. Keith formerly served
as vice president of one of Canada’s largest
Managing General Agencies, which
produced tremendous CI results through
innovative approaches to selling current
and potential advisors on how to position
it. Keith is one of the North America’s
leading experts on living benefits insurance
and is a frequent speaker and trainer
for clients, brokers, brokerage firms and
companies across North America. Contact
Keith at firstname.lastname@example.org or
58 289250_StoneTower.indd perspectives MAY/JUNE 1 2007
9/11/06 8:00:44 PM
NAILBA Best Practices List now available.
efficient agency is one
AN which consistently ranks
very high on production and customer
satisfaction. If you are like
most agency principals or key support
staff, you have wondered how
to make your agency more efficient.
One area in particular—identifying
which carrier provides which
products or services and which vendor
supports which technology—
can be a daunting task.
Your NAILBA Technology
Committee has worked hard to corral
the many products and services
offered by our exhibitors and has
placed all of that information in
one handy and useful document:
the NAILBA Best Practices List.
Future enhancements are already
being planned for this free List, to
make it easier to find the information
you need in the format you
If you attended NAILBA 25 last
November, you received a copy of
the NAILBA Best Practices List. The
List was prepared by the NAILBA
Implementation Subcommittee in
an effort to inform the NAILBA
member agencies about those products
and services that are available
to them. If you didn’t receive the
document, it can be located on the
NAILBA Web site at www.nailba.org/
The work we did to prepare the
List was meticulous. Planning sessions
were held frequently over
a 4 to 5 month period in 2006.
Every effort was made to ensure
that the document was informational
rather than marketing for
specific products and services. Of
the many committee members participating,
we had representation
from life insurance carriers, general
agencies, brokerage firms and
software/service vendors as well
as NAILBA staff.
The List consists of two sections.
The first details the support
offerings provided by specialized
software/service companies. The
second details the support services
provided by life insurance carriers
through their Web sites.
The Service Providers section
contains a list of 15 common services
provided by specialized companies
that are highly needed to
efficiently support the life insurance
market. There is a definition
for each service as well as a statement
of benefits, a list of companies
providing the service, a highlevel
comment regarding cost, a
list of carriers that support each
service provider, and a comment
that provides further clarification
of the service.
The Carrier Service section contains
a list of 11 common services
the life insurance carriers provide
through their websites to support
the life insurance market. There is
a definition for each service as well
as a statement of benefits, a list of
carriers providing the service, and
a comment that provides further
clarification of the service.
The List can be used to identify
key services that are available,
OXBOW MARKETING COMPANY
The List will remain a living document. We
will continue to accept new information and
will make periodic new releases.
the benefits of those services as
described by industry insiders, and
member companies supporting each
Although we made a great effort
to identify all service providers and
supporting carriers, we acknowledge
that there may be some providers
who were not included and
others that may not be fully credited
for the scope of services the
provide. We also understand that
new products and services will be
created and changes to a service
provider’s product offerings will
occur. With that in mind, we have
agreed that the List will remain a
living document. We will continue
to accept new information and
will make periodic new releases.
If your company is not represented
or needs updates to services
or if you have comments or questions
on the List, please contact
NAILBA’s Technology Advocate Jeff
Kraber at email@example.com. Jeff
can also answer questions about
any of the other activities of the
We have several improvements
planned for the NAILBA Best
Practices List in 2007. A key change
will be a format redesign to make
the document more robust and easier
to navigate. This will include
improvements to access from the
NAILBA Web site. We are planning
to present the data at a higher level
and allow you to drill down to view
more detail. We also will be pursuing
more participation from NAILBA
members to ensure that all products
and services are represented.
During 2007 the Implementation
Subcommittee will also be working
on user guides for the standard
data feeds beginning with case status
and ultimately including commission
and appointment feeds.
Grant Andrew of Prudential
Financial and Robb Daugherty of
Oxbow Marketing Company are members
of the NAILBA Implementation
Life & Annuity e-Commerce from
LifeSpeed Platform – Web-based speed/accuracy
for life insurance application processing. From importing
illustration data to completing both Parts A and B, the
intuitive application wizard guides agents through the
entire, simplified process.
AnnuityNet Platform – Advanced STP annuity orderentry
and subpay processing – at scale – for fixed and
variable annuities, equity-indexed annuities, and SPIA's.
Dan Delity • 703.234.0030
WinFlex – side-by-side life product illustrations,
including support for advanced concepts such as split
dollar, deferred comp, and executive bonuses; also includes
reports for improved market planning.
VitalSales Suite – Agent sales tools for quotes and
comparisons on term, annuities, LTC and UL; also includes
VitalSigns carrier ratings and financial reports.
Bill Walasek • 435.649.5300 Ext. 138
Partners together for Research—Illustrations—Transactions—Compliance
Visit us at NAILBA FOCUS, Booth 110, June 7–9, 2007
60 316099_Ebix.indd perspectives 1 MAY/JUNE 2007
2/21/07 11:56:53 AM
Accelerate your CFP ® certification.
With the people who know about passing.
Go with our popular self-paced courses. Or fast forward your studies to sit for
the CFP ® Certification Examination in only seven months. Total flexibility to learn
your way. That’s why more financial planners study with The American College
than with any other provider. Maybe taking the road most traveled is a
pretty good idea after all.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the marks CFP, ® CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER, and CFP (with flame logo) ® in
the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.
Change Can Be Good
The recent shift in power may not be a bad thing.
WINNING STRATEGIES WASHINGTON
in the business
nervous about the new Democratic
majorities in Congress. And it’s true
that the insurance industry clearly
faces new and important challenges
on Capitol Hill. But the recent shift
in power may not be a bad thing.
On the contrary, a transition to
Democratic leadership will make it
possible for new ideas to reach the
surface. NAILBA’s Washington staff
is working to ensure that we weigh
in on these new ideas—as well as
on the issues of longstanding importance
to our members. Organizations
that proactively plan for and harness
change will survive the peaks and
valleys of relationship-based politics
and achieve long-term success. As
the voice of wholesale brokerage in
Washington, NAILBA has taken a proactive
approach to embracing change
and seeking new opportunities.
Harnessing Change to Pursue
Opportunities for NAILBA
NAILBA and many of its life insurance
partners believe that the power
shift in Washington gives us a new
opportunity to promote the Optional
Federal Charter (OFC)—which
has been one of our top legislative
priorities. Thus far we have engaged
both the House and Senate authors
of this legislation, and language that
NAILBA has requested for wholesale
brokerage has been included in the
discussion drafts. All NAILBA members
should by now have received
the questionnaire we sent out in an
effort to educate ourselves on your
62 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
316494_Acord.indd 1 2/28/07 10:41:36 PM
She’s looking for
access to cash and
once in a while,
a phone call.
Liberty Life’s Estate Maximizer II has a lot of what today’s seniors are looking for: safety
nets like our 100% principal guarantee and a variety of ways to access contract values.
Our chronic illness denition requires inability to perform just two of six ADLs.
So talk to your senior clients about Liberty Life’s Estate Maximizer II single payment whole
life insurance contract.
(And by the way, call your mother.)
Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, a member of the Liberty Mutual Group, issues Liberty Life’s
Estate Maximizer II, a single payment interest-sensitive life insurance contract, on policy forms SPWL
200314 and GSPWL 200314 CE (SPWL 200314 NY in New York). Product features and availability
may vary by state.
Home ofce: Boston, MA. Service center: Dover, NH.
322253_efficient.indd 1 3/12/07 2:33:49 PM
321830_Liberty.indd 1 www.nailba.org 3/1/07 8:34:12 63 PM
We must work with our industry partners
to ensure that life insurance continues
to receive the tax advantages that enable
consumers to receive all of the benefits
and stability that life insurance provides.
needs and on ways to improve the legislation.
We urge you to respond to the questionnaire
if you haven’t yet.
What’s Happening on Capitol Hill
Building on an election theme of accountability
and cleaning up Congress, when the
new term began in January Democrats immediately
went to work, passing several of their
priority agenda items in the “first 100 hours”
and in the days leading up to the president’s
State of the Union address on January 23.
Democratic priorities included:
• Ethics and lobbying reform legislation
• Curbing deficit spending
• Implementing many of the recommendations
of the 9/11 Commission
• Raising the minimum wage from $5.15 to
• Efforts to allow the government to negotiate
with drug companies over prescription
drug costs and to permit importation of
• Expansion of stem cell research, including
federally funded research
• Cutting interest rates on college loans by
• Rolling back subsidies to oil and gas companies
• Pay as you go or “pay-go” budgeting rules,
which require offsets for any spending or
new tax cuts
While Democrats were largely successful
in passing legislation on these issues in the
House, the Senate as you might expect has
proven more challenging. Thus far nothing
has been signed into law.
to pass new minimum wage legislation. The
House was able to pass a clean minimum wage
bill that would increase the federal minimum
wage to $7.25 over two years. Under the bill,
an increase in the minimum wage from $5.15
per hour to $5.85 per hour would take effect
60 days after the bill became law, with additional
70 cent increases in the following
two years. In order to attract the Republication
support needed to secure the 60 votes
required for passage in the Senate, $8.6 million
in small business tax cuts were added to
But in a budgetary environment that includes
“pay-go,” these tax cuts must be
offset. Therefore, Senate Finance Chairman
Baucus included new taxes on deferred compensation
that would harm the life insurance
and financial planning industries. NAILBA has
been working with its industry partners to
have these provisions dropped from the legislation.
We’ve been successful on the House
side, but we will have to continue to battle
the Senate when Congress conferences the
bills from each chamber to produce a final
package and vote.
We’ve learned from the deferred compensation
debate that in an environment where revenue
bills must be completely offset, we must work
with our industry partners to ensure that life
insurance continues to receive the tax advantages
that enable consumers to receive all of
the benefits and stability that life insurance
provides. We’ll be doing just that as spring
turns into summer on Capitol Hill.
Meanwhile, NAILBA and the life insurance industry
have been embroiled in a fight on deferred
compensation. One of the first orders
of business in both the House and Senate was
Alex DelPizzo is NAILBA’s Washington D.C.
representative. If you have questions on
any of the material here, do not hesitate
to contact Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org or
64 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
321504_northamerican.indd 1 3/12/07 3:07:55 PM
North American’s Custom Accumulator® Measures Up
Custom Accumulator is a universal life insurance solution for your clients who not only need death benefit
protection, but also want to build cash value for retirement or want to help with college funding. It has
low, net 2% interest loans in the first 10 policy years and 0% net interest loans in years 11 and beyond. Plus,
Custom Accumulator has a return of premium feature during the first ten policy years.*
If your clients need a retirement or college funding solution that measures up,
contact North American Company today.
Call (800) 800-3656 or visit www.partnerwithNA.com.
Universal Life Insurance · Term Life Insurance · Fixed & Indexed Annuities
525 W Van Buren
Chicago IL 60607
* Subject to certain paid premium requirements.
Custom Accumulator is issued on policy form series LS138A by North American Company for Life and Health Insurance, Chicago, IL. Not all products, features,
issue ages or riders are available in all jurisdictions.
For agent/ broker use only. Not intended for consumer solicitation purposes. PR-961 2/07
index of advertisers
Andrew Scott Decter
Andrew Scott Decter, 47, died on
March 7 after a five-year battle
with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease. A
longtime resident of West Orange
and Livingston, New Jersey,
Andy was a 1980 graduate of
Livingston High School and a
graduate of George Washington
University in 1984. He and his
late father, Philip, owned the
Decter Insurance Group and
Private Brokerage of Livingston.
After being diagnosed with ALS
in 2001, Andy became involved
with the ALS Association of
Greater New York, turning a fatal
diagnosis into an activist role.
he and his parents created a
fundraising golf tournament at
the Green Brook Country Club.
From there, they, along with
family friends, helped establish
the South Florida Research
Foundation, which as of March 5
has held its fifth golf tournament
fundraiser, raising in excess of
$600,000 for Project ALS, whose
purpose is to fund research to
search for a cure for the disease.
Andy’s credo always was to
meet life’s challenges, whatever
they may be, head on with
courage and conviction. He was
a wonderful and loving father,
son, brother, friend, and businessperson.
Andy is survived
by his children, Jessica, Alex
and Amanda; his mother, Alice
Decter; his sister, Lori Yaspan;
his uncle, Stephen Decter; his
nephew, Corey Yaspan, and his
brother-in-law, Richard Yaspan.
Make contributions in Andy’s
memory to the ALS Association,
116 John St., Suite 1304, New
York, NY 10038.
A. Levan, Inc. Resort Choices 66
AIG/American General 8
The American College 61
American National Insurance Company (ANICO) 43
AXA/MONY Partners 3
Banner Life/William Penn/ Outside Back Cover
Legal & General America
Conseco Insurance 17
Coventry 14, 15
Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation 57
EbixLife, Inc. 60
Efficient Forms, LLC 63
Fidelity Life Association/Inter Alliance Corporation 12
Genworth Financial Inside Front Cover
Hooper Holmes, Inc. 25
Hooper Holmes, Inc./Heritage Labs 29
Hooper Holmes, Inc./Portamedic 27
Insurance IQ 5
Liberty Life 63
Life Settlement Solutions 55
LISA-Life Insurance Settlement Association 13
Maple Life Financial 41
Metlife Investors 20
Mutual of Omaha 35
National Insurance Producer Registry 50
National Life 46
Nationwide Financial 19
North American Company 64, 65
Oak Street Funding Outsert
Principal Financial Group 33
Prudential Financial 6
Rumson Capital LP 11
StoneTower Search 58
Symetra Financial 21
Transamerica Insurance & Investment Group 53
West Coast Life
Insurance Company Inside Back Cover
66 perspectives MAY/JUNE 2007
319517_ALevan.indd 1 2/13/07 10:54:22 AM
A new spin on
a good product!
West Coast Life has created a new spin on a good product, a spin that adds more flexibility,
more choices, and extremely competitive pricing!
Your clients’ financial situations and personal goals are unique to them. Helping your clients
select the right policy is essential in meeting their particular needs. LifeTime Platinum II offers
your clients a competitively designed and affordably priced flexible premium universal life
insurance policy that can provide the added security of a built-in lapse protection provision.
Sample Annual Premiums for $250,000 Face Amounts:
Age Super Preferred NT Preferred NT Standard NT
35 $1,231 $1,296 $1,535
45 $1,854 $1,994 $2,373
55 $2,866 $3,041 $3,838
Age Super Preferred NT Preferred NT Standard NT
35 11,007 $1,077 $1,246
Female 45 $1,520 $1,635 $1,869
55 $2,383 $2,507 $3,016
Note: The above are premiums that provide lifetime Lapse Protection. The policy will not
lapse as long as the Lapse Protection Account value equals or exceeds policy debt. Loans,
partial surrenders, or policy changes will impact the Lapse Protection.
Call us today to learn more about LifeTime Platinum II!
Focused on a Promising Future, Built on a Proud Past
A-5609 (2/07) FOR AGENT USE ONLY. NOT FOR CONSUMER USE.
LifeTime Platinum II, policy form #WC-U15 11-06 and state variations thereof, is a flexible premium universal life insurance
policy issued by West Coast Life Insurance Company (San Francisco, CA). Product features and availability may vary by
state. Consult policy for benefits, riders, limitations, and exclusions. Subject to underwriting. Two-year contestable and
suicide period. Benefits adjusted for misstatements of age or gender. All payments and all guarantees are subject to the claims
paying ability of West Coast Life Insurance Company.
At Legal & General America, our
commitment to low cost coverage is
one of the most important ways we
provide value to our customers. They
have a broad range of choices and we
intend on delivering superior service to
keep their business. Some significant
enhancements introduced in 2006 were:
An Interactive Voice Response system
accessed by 23,000 customers since
implementation in the fourth quarter
A new system with integrated
telephony to better monitor, report
and manage customer calls
An updated customer service
system that provides faster, more
An automated process to acquire new
addresses when postal mail is returned
as undeliverable; thereby protecting
customers from coverage lapses
Electronic notification to the selling
agency when a policy enters the
billing grace period; soliciting its help
to keep the coverage in force
To learn more about Legal & General
America’s low term rates or recently
updated underwriting guidelines,
contact your general agent or visit
our agency-applauded website at
Not for public distribution. For agent/broker information only. Banner Life Insurance Company, Rockville, MD. William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York,
Garden City, NY. Banner Life is not licensed to do business in New York State and does not solicit business there. 07-012