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For 30 years, LIMRA MarketFacts has been the premier publication for financial services executives worldwide. Our mission is to bring the latest, most pertinent industry information to our readership — whether it is derived from industry research, company best practices, or insightful thought leadership. LIMRA MarketFacts offers unmatched content by inviting authorship from representatives of companies in LIMRA’s vast member roster, as well as from LIMRA’s internal subject matter experts and global thought leaders impacting the financial services arena.

Why is LIMRA MarketFacts different from other industry trade publications? Because we concentrate on developing in-depth, insightful articles devoted to the critical issues of the day impacting financial services industry decision-makers. By blending exclusive perspectives from LIMRA’s renowned research team and marketing experts with the industry’s top thought leadership, LIMRA MarketFacts provides the latest information on how companies can maximize their marketing and distribution effectiveness in an ever-evolving environment.

In these turbulent times, it is imperative that you have access to the best thinking on the forces driving change in the financial services industry. LIMRA MarketFacts is the vehicle that industry executives turn to most for LIMRA’s longstanding brand in research excellence.

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Spring 2008

LIMRA MarketFacts

Spring, 2008


Table of Contents
by Nilufer R. Ahmed, Ph.D., LIMRA; Frank J. Scarpa, New York Life Life

Frank J. Scarpa, Managing Partner, Manhattan general office of New York Life Life, was recently interviewed by Nilufer Ahmed, Ph.D., a senior research director in LIMRA’s Market Research center and a staff representative to LIMRA’s Diversity Marketing Committee. In this article, Scarpa — who was a recent guest speaker at LIMRA’s Diversity Marketing Committee meeting — addresses the make up of his ethnically diversified general office, as well as the recruiting and growth successes he has experienced.

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by James O. Mitchel, Ph.D., CEBS, LIMRA

With all this publicity about life settlements and strangeroriginated life insurance (STOLI) — legislative action, celebrity court cases, articles in the public press — financial services companies must take notice. But how important is the life settlement business and — more important — how big will it be in the future?

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by Elizabeth H. Schwarz, ACS, LLIF, LIMRA

Marketers within the financial services industry believe that within three years over half of their customers will use the Internet to become aware of new financial services products and search for information. Recent LIMRA research suggests a more promising future and that there is ample opportunity for carriers to use the Internet to initiate relationships with a large number of prospective customers.

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by Jennifer M. Berlin, LLIF, LIMRA

Microinsurance was designed to help low-income people in emerging countries to pool their resources and provide some security in their lives. Yet, why would a traditional insurer be interested in entering this market with the cost of distribution and the low return on investment? A prime motivator: Social responsibility in a global market not only brings goodwill, but also a strong brand as companies attempt to compete worldwide.

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by Dorothy A. Kramer-Kawakami, CLU, LLIF

The ongoing reconfiguration of financial services is shifting focus from “bigger is better” to “one size does not fit all.” The good news is there is plenty of opportunity. The challenge is determining the right opportunity for your organization.

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by Ron Neyer, MBA, CLU, ChFC, LIMRA

Providers have made clear progress in their quest for the holy grail of cross-selling. Research, however, indicates that some are clearly ahead of the competition. Employers express a desire to consolidate their benefit providers and are satisfied with current arrangements of this type. It’s time for carriers and producers to further accelerate cross-selling efforts and take advantage of the opportunity waiting on their doorsteps.

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by Ken Kerr, Advisys, Inc.

By From the moment we enter the world, we undergo training. We are prepped to sleep through the night, respect our elders, be productive members of society, and so on. As teenagers, we await the moment our days of training will end, only to find as adults that training never ends. That is, if we wish to grow personally and professionally.

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by Gary Comerford, Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada

Joint ventures are a tried and true strategy, playing a critical role in many companies’ plans for international expansion. Forging joint ventures is rarely easy — but the rewards can be substantial if executed properly.

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by Matthew Drinkwater, Ph.D., FSRI, FLMI, AFSI, PCS, LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute; Kathleen H. Rook, LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute

Until recently, “retirement” denoted a life stage marked by the absence of work. For some, retirement will continue to remain dominated by leisure travel, hobbies, family visits, and other activities that were limited during the working years. But for others — and perhaps even a majority, soon — retirement will include work. Some have described employment as the “fourth leg” of the retirement income stool after Social Security, employer pensions, and personal savings. In this article, we describe some of the implications of this change for financial services companies active in the employer-sponsored retirement plans business, especially those developing and implementing asset retention strategies.

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by Mary M. Art, LIMRA

How are producers — who are selling individual products — making use of technology in their business? Four out of five producers who sell individual products have told LIMRA that they, rather than an office assistant, are the primary users of technology to generate business. However, it is also true that producers’ use of technology in any given situation ranges from one end of the spectrum to the other.

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by Hank George, Hank George, Inc.

Read any forecast by any life company CEO wherein he or she broadly describes where his or her company (and the industry) needs to be in the near future and the impact of home office underwriting becomes self-evident. Why? At the proverbial end of the day, three factors feed the bottom line: earnings on investments, lower operating costs realized through greater efficiencies, and mortality gains. In recent years, the relative contribution of mortality gains came into sharper focus on the corporate radar screen. The growing trend in increasing retention (and corresponding lesser dependence on high-ratio quota-share reinsurance) is prima facie evidence of this phenomenon.

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Mary-Beth Selby
mselby@limra.com
860-830-1442

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