NAILBA Brokerage in Motion Insurbrief - Episode 11

Audio transcription – April 20, 2022 

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

This episode of Brokerage in Motion was brought to you buy Simplicity Group.

Katie:                   
Hello, and welcome, to Brokerage in Motion. Your one stop guide for everything happening in independent distribution. I'm Katie Fehlinger. In industry headlines, AIG has announced plans to rebrand it's life and retirement business. SAFG retirement services will become Core Bridge Financial when it becomes a public company.

AIG is one of the largest providers of retirement solutions, and insurance products, in the US, and chairman and CEO, Peter Zaffino, said, "The announcement represents continued progress toward AIG's life and retirement business becoming a standalone company." In other news, Pacific Life has been named one of the 2022 world's most ethical companies by the Ethisphere Institute.

The company was evaluated on five categories, including it's ethics and compliance program, culture of ethics, environmental and societal impact, corporate governance, and leadership and reputation. This marks the fifth consecutive year Pacific Life has been recognized with this honor. In product news, Nationwide has launched a new variable, universal life insurance product, built specifically for fee based investment advisors. Nationwide Advisory VUL is a permanent life insurance policy, and allows for management of funds within the product without a life license.

It's the first fee based FUL fully integrated within the registered investment advisors operating system. Meanwhile, sale numbers are soaring. US life insurers are reporting big increases in sales of non variable, individual life insurance products for the fourth quarter of 2021. According to survey data from Wink, the combined sales of non variable index policies in both Universal Life and Whole Life increased 16% from the fourth quarter of 2020 to Q4, 2021, amounting to a whopping $718 million.

 If you have any carrier or industry announcements, or news to share, we would love to hear about it. Feel free to email us at [email protected] Turning now, to advocacy. I recently sat down with Finseca's Chief Advocacy Officer, Army Robinson, to talk about the association's agenda, the issues it's fighting for, and their importance for Brokerage.

So, Army, let's talk about Finseca advocacy. How is Finseca unifying the voice of public policies to increase financial awareness, and why should this be important to Brokerage?

Army:                  
Well, I think financial security for all is a mission we can all get behind, and that's really what we- how we chose Finseca's name. We wanted to chose a name that evoked the calling of your profession, and Brokerage is absolutely part of that. What you do every day, and our estimation, is deliver financial security to the American people.

So, Finseca is driven, uh, of the notion of financial security for all, and we really want to bring the profession back together, under one tent, uh, to close the $12 trillion life insurance protection gap, deliver greater annuity protection, and lifetime income solutions to people, and in doing that, we're gonna be align with our sister trades, and industry partners, uh, in order to drive better, and more effective, results on behalf of your profession.

Katie:                   
So, let's talk about the advocacy agenda, if we could. What's on it? How is it determined? And then, also, what about volunteer roles?

Army:                  
Sure. So, I mean, core to what we do is the tax treatment of the products. They're all ter- terribly sensitive, as is the client planning, and then, um, the commission based, uh, model of delivering financial security advice is essential to what we do, and to what you do, uh, and those things, unfortunately, come under various degrees of threat. Not unlike, uh, selling life insurance, and annuities, uh, advocacy tends to be kind of an infinite game, uh, that's good, I guess, for my job security, but it also means, uh, we've gotta continually reinvest in this.

Uh, most public servants, most policy makers, are not experts in what you do, and- and our membership does, and so we have to teach them, and that, uh, with the turnover in Congress, and staff, and State Legislatures, even an insurance commissioners, uh, we have to constantly educate and re educate, so they understand the impact of the noble work you do.

So, our advocacy agenda is set annually, uh, principally by our government affairs committee, which is a, uh, committee of our board of directors, and so to serve on that, you have to be part of the board, uh, we have some fabulous Brokerage members joining, uh, the Finseca board next year, and I'm really excited about their contributions.

Of course, your very own Chip Van Dusen has been my partner in crime for a number of years. He chairs the committee today, uh, and so, annually, uh, they approve an agenda set, uh, whether it's inside buildup, uh, protection of death benefits, annuities, retirement, standards of conduct and commissions we talked about.

Beyond that, obviously, those, uh, nine people can't cover every issue with the depth that's necessary, and so, we have a series of working groups that cover specific areas, and dive deeper into those issues, to advise the team, and the professional staff and council, around, uh, what we do and how we do it, and that's staffed with, uh, or, uh, populated those working groups with volunteers from across the profession, um, and that covers, you know, standards of conduct, wealth transfer, retirement, uh, there's a series of different issues, and then we have task forces that take on project based work, if there's a really niche, deep dive we've gotta do.

Um, we maybe talk about it later in this interview, but, uh, long-term care is an increasing area of public policy interest, and we have to develop some principles around that. So, we've got a task force that's, uh, created just to work on that.

Katie:                   
We are going to take just a short break. Don't go anywhere. There's more Brokerage in Motion coming up.

Speaker 3:          
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Katie:                   
Time, now, for our ID Why segment, where we shine the spotlight on the people in the industry, and learn what drives them. This man has found success in life, and business, as an overachiever, but he also has made sure to seize any opportunities he's been given. Take a look.

Bruce:                 
The first game of my career was against North Carolina. They were number two in the nation, because two guys got hurt, and you know, there was nobody else to play, and I volunteered.

Katie:                   
A defensive lineman, and team captain, Bruce Mesner made a successful college football career in the early 80's at the University of Maryland. This, after being recruited, by many other schools.

Bruce:                 
It was probably the best decision I ever made. I had a pretty good career there, really enjoyed it, still have lifelong friends, met my wife there, we played lots of big schools. I got to play against Bo Jackson down at Auburn, played [inaudible 00:08:57] Michigan, you know, Tennessee, Clemson, and I always loved that [inaudible 00:09:01]. I loved the excitement. I loved the idea of going in sometimes being an underdog, sometimes being a favorite. It's one of those things that I just would embrace.

Katie:                   
A competitive spirit that helped Bruce go to the NFL, where he played a season with the Buffalo Bills, but Bruce's interest have kept him busy far beyond football, from rafting down the Colorado River, to avidly playing rounds upon rounds of gold, to dirt bike racing with friends. Most important, his wife, and three daughters, but Bruce's professional history after football is just as manifold.

Bruce:                 
I went into clothing manufacturing, which was, uh, in the dress industry, and then wound up opening my own company, and I was, uh, I was actually a dress designer at one point, believe it or not.

Katie:                   
And eventually, Bruce landed in insurance. So, how did that particular experience prepare you for the business world?

Bruce:                 
You have coaches, you have trainers, you have doctors, you have people who are actually, you know, performing on the field playing, and in insurance now, because the medical underwriting has become so difficult, um, where our producers, our underwriters, our chief underwriters were all working together a lot more, and the common goal has never been more apparent to work for the client.

Katie:                   
Today, Bruce serves as the President of American Business, a boutique life insurance firm, whose business model is centered around taking amazing care of it's clients.

Bruce:                 
So, our reputation has always been for being, uh, very forthcoming, and that's why we keep our relationships for so long.

Katie:                   
And it's that philosophy of working together that Bruce says unites everyone in the company. One team that operates and succeeds together.

Bruce:                 
Playing football and being involved in a team was always so important to me, and I think that I've been able to bring that to, you know, to a business world, and to the people that we work with.

Katie:                   
And right now, I am joined by CEO, Dan LaBert. Dan, I'd like to focus on more details surrounding the intent to merge with Finseca. So, can you talk about the vote process for NAILBA members?

Dan:                     
Yes, it's been exciting. We've held lots of listening tours over the past few months. One specific listening tour at almost 100 people in attendance. So, the interest around the ]announcement of NAILBA, and Finseca, and intent to merge, uh, is high. So, the question we've been being asked- Well, there's lots of questions being asked, but one of the questions is, "Hey, when does the vote take place, and who is eligible to vote, uh, as part of it?"

So, let's answer the second question first. You have to have your NAILBA membership renewed, or your agency joined, by Friday, April 15th. Now, we all know that date for lots of other reasons, but in this case, it's for being able to vote in the NAILBA Finseca merger. Um, the vote will open Monday, April 18th, and run until May 20th.

So, lots April 15th.

Katie:                   
All right, Dan. So, let's talk additional resources. What materials should NAILBA members be on the lookout for, uh, for an overview on the vote, benefits, future due structures? All that good stuff.

Dan:                     
Yes, and that- that's one of the other big pieces that came out of the listing forms, like, "Hey, I like this, sounds like a good idea, but [inaudible 00:12:16] look like." Uh, of course, [inaudible 00:12:20] the annual meeting will always be part of- of NAILBA [inaudible 00:12:24]. So, um, we are going to have materials available on our website, [inaudible 00:12:30] materials distributed to all of the voting agencies, again, [inaudible 00:12:33] Friday, April 15th, on what the [inaudible 00:12:37] structure will look like, which I have been [inaudible 00:12:38] is that it's not changing much at all.

 membership, but that was [inaudible 00:12:44] regardless of the merger, um, and the benefits that will be listed as far as, "Hey, it's not just the NAILBA benefits you get for your dues investment, but the additional resources around advocacy, professional development, that Finseca's already well known for. So, um, that material will be posted at nailba.org.

 It'll be available for all members to see. It will be shared with all members to see, um, and most importantly, we are going to list what each member of the NAILBA Board of Directors, and how they voted, which, in this case, was unanimous to move forward. So, um, but we want to make sure, again, 100% transparency, we want you to know exactly what you're voting on, we want you to know when you should vote, and- and- and the new benefits that will come to being a part of the, uh, the new merged entity.

Katie:                   
Very helpful. Excellent information. Thanks so much, Dan.

Dan:                     
Thank you, Katie.

Katie:                   
That is going to do it for this episode of Brokerage in Motion. Thanks so much for watching, and we'll see ya' next time.

Speaker 6:          
Leading the financial planning business, Simplicity Group is proud to support its distribution partners, advisors, and consumers with industry education, and long-term consumer value. Step into the future with Simplicity Group. Visit SimplcityGroup.com for more information.