NAILBA Brokerage in Motion Insurbrief - Episode 13

Audio transcription – July 20, 2022


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

Katie Fehlinger:
Hello and welcome to Brokerage in Motion, your one-stop guide for everything happening in independent distribution. I'm Katie Fehlinger. In industry headlines. NAILBA's Summer Symposium promises to be better than ever this year, so make sure you save the dates August 2nd and 3rd and register on our website. You won't wanna miss this virtual event. Renowned journalist and author Lisa Ling will be there for a discussion on breaking misconceptions and building client trust, and just announced retired Rear Admiral Paul Becker will be presenting his uplifting message of teamwork, tone and tenacity and its impact on successful leadership and overcoming adversity. Again, be sure to mark your calendars August 2nd and 3rd and register at

Meanwhile, new leadership at Integrity Marketing Group, the company has announced Tom Dempsey will join its executive team as chief distribution officer. Dempsey brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in the insurance industry and most recently served as head of Transamerica financial network and president and CEO of World Financial Group. And Finseca is celebrating its expansion after the official announcement to merge with NAILBA. The DC-based group recently gathered more than 600 advisory members in the nation's capital for an Advocacy Summit, all with the overarching goal to give financial professionals a louder, larger and clearer voice in Washington.

And finally, a new face at NAILBA, Brian Kennedy has joined the association as senior director of professional development. In his new role, Kennedy will manage all NAILBA professional development and member resources with a special focus on the NAILBA Certified Case Manager Program. A big welcome to Brian. Turning now to our Industry Segment, NAILBA the CEO Dan LaBert sat down for a discussion with Phil Bouvier from Symetra. Take a look.

Dan LaBert:
Thanks so much, Katie. Phil Bouvier, senior vice president sales and marketing and individual life at Symetra. You've been on the Brokerage in Motion before. I asked you to come back when you had all these new products going on, and, and uh, you're here. So, you know, we're gonna talk about Symetra latest and greatest, right? The Symetra, Symetra, uh, SwiftTerm. Am I saying that correctly? Right. 

Phil Bouvier: You are.

Dan LaBert: All right. (laughs), so let's talk about  ... because it's, you know, we- we've been on a tour of the IMO meetings, and a lot of carriers are talking about different products out there, and some of the one... it's like some are raising eyebrows for different reasons. Um, but when it comes to Symetra , you know, their eyebrows are being raised around the speed, the efficiency, and, and I'm vastly curious, Phil, on how this all came to be, from, from concept to reality, on, uh, Swift being created specifically for the brokerage space?

Phil Bouvier: Yeah, it's a good question, Dan. And thanks for having me again, I appreciate it. I think maybe in our last conversation that we had, uh, we were either still in the throes of the pandemic or coming out of it, uh, and I use the-

Dan LaBert: [inaudible 00:03:15] it depends who you ask, (laughs).

Phil Bouvier: That's right. That's right. Uh, you know, I'd use the phrase that we were at Symetra E-nothing at the start of the pandemic and we strove to be E-something and then by the middle of it, we- we're E-everything. Um, out of that effort to become E-something, uh, came this kind of a skunkswere... skunkworks project, uh, we call SwiftTerm. And the goal was the stated goal at the outset, uh, buy insurance in 25 minutes. That was kind of the... That was the, the benchmark in front of us, the North Star, if you will, of the organization that, that was brought together. Uh, woman on our orga- at our company, Mindi Work, put together a great team of folks who developed not only the technology, but the platforms and the product as well as the pricing needed to support the process, uh, but never taken their eye off that idea to sell insurance... to buy insurance in 25 minutes.

Katie Fehlinger: We are going to take just a short break. Don't go anywhere, there's more Brokerage in Motion coming up. (singing).

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Katie Fehlinger:
Right now our ID why segment where we shine the spotlight on the people in the profession and learn what drives them. This NAILBA member draws on his creativity and wit in his work, and it doesn't stop there. Take a look. Steve Howard loves funny T-shirts. He's built up such a collection that at the height of the COVID lockdown, he began posting his funny T-shirt of the day on Facebook.

Speaker 6: And it was amazing how many people said that that was the one thing they really look forward to every day. You know, it was a lot of times the one bright spot they had.

Katie Fehlinger: The lockdown ended, but Steve's fashion statements didn't. He kept showing up in his T-shirts determined to bring a smile to people's faces, the NAILBA Charitable Foundation board receiving the same treatment.

Speaker 6: So I broke into their meeting this past NAILBA wearing one of my T-shirts, 'cause I wasn't ready to get fancy yet, and, uh, it's become legend with people in the foundation board.

Katie Fehlinger: Legend indeed. Steve has been a passionate champion for the foundation for years. Why is the charitable foundation a cause that's so close to your heart.

Speaker 6: I love the fact that NAILBA goes out and tries to find these charities that otherwise are underfunded that NAILBA decides to grant them money to try and help those that are much less fortunate than any of us all.

Katie Fehlinger: It's support that carries over into his work. As owner, publisher and editor of Broker World Magazine.
Speaker 6: I always try to put news about charities in the magazine and how the industry does try to reach out and make communities better.

Katie Fehlinger: Started by his father in 1980, Broker World was the first publication of its kind dedicated to the life brokerage community. Steve went to work for his dad early on.

Speaker 6: He signed me on and I started stuffing envelopes and filing crap. And after three or four weeks, he decided that, you know, well, he might as well see if I had any kind of future in this.

Katie Fehlinger: He did. Now decades in Steve's maintained the, the traditions his father began, including the artwork that appears on each cover created by a family friend.

Speaker 6: And my father had him paint the covers. So every cover of the magazine is actually an original painting.
Katie Fehlinger: Each piece carefully chosen for its illustration of that month's theme. Although, the artist is no longer able to create new artwork, Steve has begun reusing cover art for new issues.

Speaker 6: I just don't wanna lose that field of the magazine. I get so many compliments on it.

Katie Fehlinger: Steve strongly believes in the importance of the BGA. He uses the analogy of an hourglass.

Speaker 6: At the top of the hourglass you got all the carriers that the BGA can do business with, and at the bottom of the hourglass you got all of the, the agents that the BGA can do business with. So he's really the conduit to get one to the other.

Katie Fehlinger: That's why he's a longtime member and advocate of NAILBA, dedication that earned him the Chairman's Award in 2013, and while Steve still has deep appreciation for the association and all its members.

Speaker 6: For God's sake, please don't send me any T-shirts, because I'm real damn picky about the-
Katie Fehlinger: (laughs).

Speaker 6: ... ones I like. So make sure and put that in there.

Katie Fehlinger: Request granted. Steve was also thrilled when my questions ended.

Speaker 6: But I'm just tickled to death that I can now get out of this monkey suit and put on my next T-shirt. Here is today's T-shirt of the day.

Katie Fehlinger:
right now I am joined by CEO Dan LaBert, and Dan at the top of the show I mentioned Lisa Ling and Admiral Paul Becker are going to be keynote speakers for the NAILBA Summer Symposium. So can you share some more info, what else is on the agenda, who else is involved this year?

Dan LaBert: Sure. August 2nd to August 3rd, save the dates. It's the complement... complimentary registration. So it's open to the entire profession. Anyone could join. Um, we're gonna hit on everything that's been very popular, right? Leveraging data, y- you know, in th- in sort of this... in the sales funnel, um, new products on the horizon, um, the broker dealer relationship and, and sort of Term Life workflow ideas to support, you know, the return on investment clients.

It's, it's really a deep dive into what's working around sales, what's new in technology, how, uh, our carrier partners are, what, what they're rolling out for the end of the year? Of course, all leading up to the big NAILBA Annual Meeting in November. So, uh, Policygenius Pro, the Leaders Group, we mentioned Legal & General, LexisNexis, Ethos, and AccuPoint Solutions, all sponsors of this year's Summer Symposium. We do have one more keynote that, uh, will be on our docket. So be sure to check back for that. But we're gonna try and touch on a little bit of everything for everyone in the profession with complimentary registration, thanks to our sponsors.

Katie Fehlinger:
Yes. So make sure you head to our website, you can register there, but we'll go from our summer event to our signature event of the year you mentioned it. Let's talk about the annual meeting. So it's gonna be here before we know it, remind us when, where it happens, and also, do you have any keynote announcements that you're able to share yet?

Dan LaBert:
I can't share any keynote announcements yet. But what I can share is, you know, it, uh... it's still November, uh, it will be at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas. We'll make sure it's a, it's a, it's a great event again. The keynotes will be announced after the September 1st, um, uh, deadline. That's sort of our mark where we're doing some internal work. Uh, the more important date, though, to keep in mind is Monday, August 8th, registration will open for NAILBA 41, it will be available at And I think we're really gonna pack the house this year. I mean, we were one of the few associations that really had a strong turnout last year, despite the timing and different variants rolling out.

Dan LaBert:
And we, we, we demonstrated a great plan. It was a phenomenal event, uh, some may say the best event we've had in recent time. We're gonna do that again this year. So register early and often effective August 8th.

Katie Fehlinger:
Sounds good. And finally, let's talk the Finseca, NAILBA merger. Uh, what's, what's the latest news on that front?

Dan LaBert:
All right. So, all of the b- b- you know, the behind the scenes work has been taking place since we last got together on Brokerage in Motion. You know, the integration of personnel, the integration of accounting, the integration of technology, um, things like that, that needs to be done, that were talked about and planned for, but when it comes time to actually doing it, it takes a while. And then there's just, you know, the culture of working together and having more resources, like to be honest with you, Katie, it has been so refreshing approaching like the NAILBA Annual Meeting this year, and knowing there's so many more resources that the Finseca team has brought to NAILBA, exactly as we discussed during the listing tour, but now it's sort of coming to fruition.

It's just freed us up with time to think about who's gonna be on that main stage, what panel sessions are we gonna have, what industry and professional speakers are we gonna have and then what paid speakers are we gonna have? It's just a different field this year. Um, so i- the official date is September 1st, will be the full legal integration, and NAILBA will be a brokerage community of Finseca.

Katie Fehlinger:
So exciting to see the plans starting to come together here. Really, great info as always, Dan, thanks so much.

Dan LaBert:
Awesome. Thanks, Katie.

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

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