2019 Distribution Conference for Financial Services Agenda

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm: CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS

1. LIMRA Member Benefits: What Are You Missing?
JAMES STELLA, LUTCF, LLIF, Member Relations Director, LIMRA; FAYE WILLIAMSON, MSM, LLIF, Member Relations Director, LIMRA

LIMRA members rely on their membership for one key reason — they can make bottom-line decisions with greater confidence. How do you improve sales growth and increase recruiting in the ever-changing distribution landscape? How can you develop a strategy encompassing alternate distribution channels without channel conflict and enhance customer experience? In this session you will learn how to maximize the benefits of your LIMRA membership. We’ll cover key research relevant to distribution and marketing, and highlight products and services that will help with channel growth. Never to be underestimated, LIMRA provides you with the opportunity to network among other distribution leaders, form new relationships, and strengthen existing ones.

2. Why Fraud Prevention Makes a Difference

Gene Stone, FLMI, ACS, CLU, Assistant Vice President, Education and Training, LOMA

Distribution leaders know how important it is to build trust. The increased targeting of life and annuity policyholders, and participants in retirement plans, by fraudsters using more sophisticated schemes, has the potential to erode that trust.  In this workshop, you will learn how fraud is evolving, and learn about the fraud prevention defenses that are being developed in response, including a new and unique program called FraudShare.  In a competitive environment in which customers have many options, robust fraud prevention is likely to grow as an important differentiator in both sales and retention.

5:00 pm - 5:45 pm - WOMEN LEADERS' RECEPTION

Explore and exchange questions, ideas, and solutions with other women executives in the industry. For LIMRA members only.

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm - LIMRA WELCOME RECEPTION

Thursday, February 28, 2019

7:00 am - 5:00 pm - REGISTRATION

7:15 am - 8:15 am - BREAKFAST


Sean F. O'Donnell, M.B.A., LLIF - Senior Vice President, Head of Membership, Workplace Benefits, and Applied Research Solutions, LIMRA and LOMA

8:30 am - 9:00 am - GENERAL SESSION

Markets in Transition: How Will Distribution Evolve?

In his opening remarks, David Levenson, president and CEO of LIMRA, LOMA and LL Global, will explore market forces changing the industry and their impact on distribution. He will offer his perspective on how leaders can best respond to these changes to achieve their business goals.

David Levenson, DBA, FSA, CFA - President and Chief Executive Officer, LIMRA and LOMA

9:00 am - 10:00 am - GENERAL SESSION

Being Decisive - How to Make Better Choices

In today’s rapidly changing landscape, we must adapt and make decisions while facing uncertainty. Success emerges from the quality of the decisions we make, but research has shown that our decisions are disrupted by an array of biases and irrationalities. How can we do better? In this session, Dan will introduce a four-step process designed to counteract these biases based on his #1 Wall Street Journal best-seller, Decisive. He will also share his latest research and insights, helping you to walk away with fresh strategies and practical tools to improve your decision making skills.

Dan Heath - Co-Author of Four New York Times Bestselling Books, Including Switch

10:00 am - 10:30 am - BREAK - Sponsored by FlexPaths

10:30 am - 11:30 am: CONCURRENT SESSIONS

3. Changing Landscape of Field Leadership...Are You Ready?
JULIE DAVIS, Vice President, Agency Development, Penn Mutual; DOMINICK IORIO, General Agent, MassMutual; NASH SUBOTIC, General Agent and Chief Executive Officer, Guardian/WestPac Wealth Partners; Co-Moderators: PAM BLALOCK, Senior Vice President, Career Distribution, National Life Group; JEFFREY PLUMMER, CLU, CFS, Lead Regional Vice President, Guardian Life

In this panel session, we will explore several areas impacted in recent years by aging field leadership. We will highlight the need for seamless succession planning, development of new leaders with enhanced skill sets, company consolidation of agency leadership, and the need for growth. Key takeaways: 

  • CEO vs. Agency Manager/GA approaches
  • Hub and spoke model for growth using internal developed local leaders 
  • Use of shared services to leverage talent and share expenses 
  • Functional team roles vs. traditional GA/sales manager role 
  • Succession strategies — use of a successor team vs. a single leader

4. Creating Lasting Impressions Through Engaging Onboarding Programs
ASHLIE HUSTON, Director of Distribution Programs, American National; JOHN MURPHY, Region Executive, Horace Mann; JOSEPH TABORGA, Agency Development Center Director, State Farm; Moderator: JOHN B. SULLIVAN, Client Relationship Director, LIMRA

Onboarding programs are oftentimes the first impression new agents have of the career and company. A less than stellar onboarding experience can lead to poor agent production, satisfaction and retention. An effective onboarding program helps new agents acclimate to the job, understand expectations and get off to a fast start. This workshop will offer an opportunity to learn how three companies have modernized their onboarding process to provide a solid first impression and a foundation for new agents to flourish.

5. Driving Sales and Customer Experience Through Anti-Fraud Efforts and Innovation
JAMES RUMPH, CFE, CAMS, CPA, CIA, Senior Consultant, Business Consulting, Nationwide; Moderator: JERRY BLAIR, ChFC, LLIF, Chief Distribution & Sales Offficer, Sammons Financial Group

Anti-fraud efforts are often thought of as roadblocks to sales. It can be an “us against them” mentality, but it shouldn’t be that way. A mature and innovative anti-fraud program and industry collaboration can significantly assist distribution efforts and enhance customer experience. That will help drive sales, profitability, and sustainability – all while reducing fraud exposure for your customers. As companies across the industry mature, anti-fraud efforts result in everyone looking out for the best interest of our industry and consumers' benefit.

6. The Digital Path To Purchase
SHANNON HAVENER, Research Analyst, LIMRA; VIKRAM KAMATH, Director of Analytics, LIMRA

For 65% of consumers who shop for life insurance, the Internet is part of the process. What happens there? Are consumers finding what they want and need? And in the rapidly-evolving and increasingly-competitive digital landscape, are you finding them? This workshop will share new LIMRA research exploring the online shopping experience of today’s consumer.

7. A Quest For Simplicity - Using A Single Currency to Compensate Advisors
CINDY CORCORAN, Field Financial Manager, Securian; LEO HERBERS, FSA, MAAA, Actuary, Principal Financial Group, Inc.; JOSEPH O'CONNOR, FSA, MAAA, Assistant Vice President, MassMutual; Moderator: MARC RENTSCHLER, Director, Thrivent Financial Compensation, Thrivent Financial

It comes by different names (GDC, GDR, gross compensation), but the goal is the same: simplifying advisor compensation by using a single currency for the distribution of all products. Three companies reveal why they made the switch, the pros and cons of single currency-based compensation, change management issues encountered along the way, and lessons learned. This workshop will be valuable to anyone interested in learning more about GDC-based compensation.

11:30 am - 1:00 pm - LUNCHEON

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: CONCURRENT SESSIONS

8. Practice Management - Moving Your Entire Organization Forward
MARK DEAN, FIC, LUTCF, Director, Business Development & Practice Management, Thrivent; SPENSER SEGAL, Chief Executive Officer, ActiFi; Moderator: BILL PIENIAS, Senior Vice President, Sales Development, Foresters Financial Services, Inc.

Practice management affects every client and advisor experience. If you have a practice management program, or are contemplating implementing one, this session is for you.

  • Learn how practice management affects the entire field team not only the top producers. 
  • Real life experiences of what is working and the challenges that lay ahead. 
  • Hear what is driving better ROI, retention and improving advisor business experiences
  • Discuss the benefits and challenges to home office operations

9. Transforming Field Leadership Support
DAVID QUEEN, Sales Director, Nationwide; JOHN SEABORN, Strategic Development Manager, MetLife; DENNIS TATOMIR, District Manager, Co-operators Insurance; Moderator: ELLEN KUGEL, Director of Agency Business Development, MetLife

As distribution strategies adapt to support the agent of the future, companies must ensure field leadership is well equipped with the talent, capacity, and vision to increase or simply maintain relevance in today’s marketplace. As the role of the agent evolves, so too must field leadership roles, structures, and responsibilities. This workshop will offer attendees a behind the scenes look at how three companies are progressing with their own field leadership transformations.

10. Leveraging Data Science and Analytics to Grow the Business
BERNARD ONG, Assistant Vice President, Data Science and Advanced Analytics, Lincoln Financial Group; HARLAN WAHRMAN, Assistant Vice President, Analytics Strategy, Western & Southern Financial Group; Moderator: MARTY KENNEDY, Assistant Vice President, Head of GA Sales and Recruiting, Lincoln Financial Group

In this presentation, you will learn how data science, big data, and advanced analytics can be used to identify market opportunities, attract and target new producers and customers, optimize wholesaling activity, manage inforce clients for additional sales, and improve overall sales productivity. In addition, we will focus on practical approaches any company can apply, and does not require a statistical or technical background. Instead, you will hear how analytics and the use of data can provide a framework for distribution and sales leaders to make better decisions, manage their teams, and help grow their business.

11. Marijuana Business Owners: Taking the Mystery Out of It
TOM FARRELL, Chief Underwriter, Prudential; BOB GREIF, Assistant Vice President, Compliance, MassMutual; MIKE HAPPOLD, FALU, FLMI, AFSI, Second Vice President, Underwriting, Munich Re; Moderator: THOMAS RUTLEDGE, Divisional Vice President, Independent Distribution, Prudential

Producing and selling marijuana — medical, recreational, or both, is a legal and growing business in many states. The entrepreneurs engaged in the marijuana business have special insurance needs as well as unique financial restrictions. What do you need to know to consider this market niche? This session will provide several expert perspectives to support informed exploration into whether this is a market for your company and producers. As regulations shift and the business gains momentum, we will explore some of these key issues:

  • Where are the opportunities? (market and growth potential, geographic concentrations, etc.)
  • What are the key insurance needs and risks for business owners and entities?
  • Regulation: legality, state borders, banking restrictions, and other factors

12. Insights Plus Innovation = A Win-Win Solution
CLINT PARKER, Executive Vice President, Digital MGA, YouSurance; ELLIOTT WALLACE, Vice President and General Manager, Life, LexisNexis Risk Solutions; Moderator: LAUREN MCCALLUM, Member Relations and Sales Director, Niche Markets and Specialty Accounts, LIMRA

In today’s new world of digital distribution, companies must keep up with the needs of the direct consumer. There are many innovations in insurance distribution that can help companies with accelerated underwriting, marketing support, increasing lifetime value, and overall customer experience. In this workshop, two companies will share their unique solutions, including; using the science of epigenetics to better price and understand longevity in life insurance and alternative solutions to expedite underwriting and processing business. This results in a win-win for both the company and consumer by allowing more precise pricing and valuable customer experience.

2:00 pm - 2:15 pm - BREAK

2:15 pm - 3:15 pm: CONCURRENT SESSIONS

13. How Healthy Teams Drive Healthy Distribution Systems
DANIEL FLYNN, Vice President, Recruiting and Advisor Teaming, MassMutual Financial Group; MISTY LEIGHTON-PETROSINO, Investment Advisory Representative, Consolidated Planning, Inc.

As teaming grows as an industry “must,” are you struggling with building a teaming program that will have impact? This session will cover: 

  • Benefits of teaming to a distribution organization 
  • The five attributes of a healthy team 
  • Foundational requirements of the distribution organization to foster a teaming culture
  • Changes that need to be made at the local level to support teaming, including leadership, culture, and systems

14. Leading Your Way to Life Sales Growth
NATE KORHONEN, Life Distribution Director, American Family Insurance; GAURAV SURI, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Health IQ; TIM VAN HOOF, Marketing Director, COUNTRY Financial; Moderator: GLENN ROTHENBERG, Head of Marketing, Farmers Insurance

A lead is the starting point for all Life sales, whether it be filling the pipeline for an Agent to work in-person or flowing to a CSR in an 800# call-center.  The lead generation process; how to get them, and how to work them effectively, is changing.  Learn from Life Industry experts how you can help to jump-start your Life sales, how to leverage new technologies such as digital and how to harness established methods such as direct-response to grow your Life business. This workshop will explore real-world examples of successful direct-response, digital, aggregator, self-generated, and third party provided leads to help Lead the way to your life sales growth.

15. Striking the Balance; Managing for Results
LUKE COSME, Senior Vice President, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Mutual Trust Life Insurance Company; LARRY SILVERSTEIN, LLIF, FLMI, AALU, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Lafayette Life Insurance Company; Moderator: STEVE SANDERS, LLIF, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Columbus Life

We spend a great deal of time ensuring that we hire the right people, but once we have them how do we ensure that we are getting the right results? Is it just about the objective, or do we inspect what we expect? Managing sales teams requires walking the fine line between motivation and micro-management. Join us for a discussion on the methods, tools and metrics that we use to get the results that we need from our teams in the right way. Among the topics we will explore are:

  • Activity management and how to strike the right balance
  • The key performance indicators to measure and evaluate
  • Methods and frequency of communication & feedback – when is it too much or not enough?
  • What systems are best and how are they used?

16. Accelerating into New Channels
JOHN HELBERG, AALU, ALMI, ACS, Chief Underwriter, Securian Financial; CHRIS MASON, Senior Vice President, HealthMarkets; MIKE TIERNAN, FSA, Chief Actuary, Cincinnati Life; Moderator: SEAN MCKINLEY, CLU, Field Manager, Cincinnati Life

Is accelerated underwriting the answer to accessing greater numbers of non-traditional agents? Nearly every carrier is doing it – appealing to alternate distributors with simplified processes. If your company isn’t working on accelerated underwriting initiatives, you’re among the minority. But is it all that it’s cracked up to be? Are non-traditional producers engaging? Come hear about the early hits and misses of two companies navigating this new underwriting landscape as well as the impact to a large agency traditionally focused on health insurance sales.

3:15 pm - 3:45 pm - BREAK - Sponsored by Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

3:45 pm - 4:45 pm - GENERAL SESSION

Unleash Your Potential

It often takes a crisis to create change in our lives. How can we create transformational change in the absence of crisis and unleash our true potential? How do we define and reach our fearless, new level of greatness? In this inspiring keynote, Molly shares stories from her experiences as one of the only female sports agents in the industry as well as lessons from some of the top athletes and coaches in the game. She outlines the five-step process to unleashing your potential and achieving peak performance, including how to move forward purposefully towards your goals, recover from adversity faster, and create lasting change.

Molly Fletcher - CEO, Business Author and Former Sports Agent

Friday, March 1, 2019

7:00 am - 11:00 am - REGISTRATION

7:00 am - 8:00 am - BREAKFAST

8:00 am - 9:00 am: CONCURRENT SESSIONS

17. Using Data Analytics As a Roadmap to Success
MICHAEL ABRAMS, Vice President, Planning and Analysis, Prudential Advisors; JANE NICHOLS, Senior Director, Distribution Strategy, Field Business Intelligence, Northwestern Mutual; Moderator: WILLIAM IDZOREK, CLU, ChFC, FIC, RICP, Vice President, National Sales Group, Thrivent Financial

Learn how two companies have used data analytics over the last few years to drive successful fast starts for new financial professionals and to increase the effectiveness of their field management. Both companies have been using these analytics for a number of years and will provide insight into how they have impacted the business over time. You will learn:

  • How data analytics have been used as a predictor of success, drove the creation of critical KPI for the business, and how that information has been built into compensation plans to help drive desired behavior
  • How data analytics around dimensions of performance have been used to provide both qualitative and quantitative insight into field management performance

18. Future of Synergistic Digital/Call Center Distribution
CHRIS COVIELLO, Assistant Vice President, Digital Products, USAA; MICHAEL DALE, CFP, ChFC, CLU, CRPC, Executive Director, Financial, Planning and Advice, USAA; KENNY SUTTON, LLIF, ACPMPO, CPM, CPMM, Life Insurance Experience Owner, USAA

Consumer expectations are changing. As digital adoption grows, so will the nature of customer behavior, from how they consume information and advice to how they perceive value. Learn how a digitally-led, call center-supported distribution ecosystem can fundamentally change the relationship with your customers and deliver world-class customer satisfaction and business results. Leaders from USAA's digital and call center life insurance organization will discuss their path towards the future of meeting their customer's needs in exciting, synergistic ways.

9:00 am - 9:30 am - REFRESHMENT BREAK & EXHIBITOR PRIZE DRAWING - Sponsored by IBM

9:30 am - 10:30 am - GENERAL SESSION

Technology and The Future of Work

Technology — specifically the automation of work and the introduction of artificial intelligence — seems ready to threaten everyday life and the nature of work. What does this mean for the business of life insurance, especially its sales, services, and clients' expectations? Hear about the challenges and opportunities presented to our industry, and what steps need to be taken to optimize the results of these changes.

Craig Bedell, ARM - Global Insurance Industry Executive
IBM Global Insurance Industry leadership Team, IBM Industry Academy Member

10:30 am - 11:15 am - GENERAL SESSION

On Solid Ground: Understanding The New Distribution Landscape

As we bring the conference to a close, LIMRA’s Pat Leary will explore the key distribution issues to focus on in order to drive growth for your channel. As Director of LIMRA’s Distribution Research team, Pat’s in a unique position to deliver key insights and perspectives on long-term and emerging trends influencing distribution management across the industry. Drawing upon over 20 years worth of experience and a wide body of research, Pat will share some practical insights and findings that will help you drive toward growth in 2019 and beyond.

Patrick T. Leary, M.B.A., LLIF - Corporate Vice President, Workplace Benefits Research, LIMRA and LOMA