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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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Fall 2008

LIMRA MarketFacts

Fall, 2008

Table of Contents
by Alan Light, Hartford Life eBusiness, The Hartford

Ask advisors what they want from a financial services company. More than likely their answer won’t be about more or better products. It’s likely that it will be about creative ways to help advisors solve their problems or save time.

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by Roy M. Atkinson, Centre for Financial Services, Seneca College

Whether we call them boomers, zoomers, or just plain soon-to-be-retired folks, the senior wave isn’t just bearing down on us, it’s splashing all over our economic beach and starting to send shock waves that will affect the way we do business for decades to come. If we want to be proficient with this huge and growing senior market, we need to understand its genesis and where it is going. This article examines where the financial services industry is currently positioned to serve this market, as well as how the market will look in the future.

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by Saretta Holler, Advisys, Inc.

Despite female representation dwarfing in comparison to its male counterpart, the number of female insurance agents continues to grow year after year. In fact, several large financial firms are creating recruiting campaigns and initiatives based around attracting women. Successful female agency representation requires recruitment strategies, support, and retention measures.

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by Walter Zultowski, Ph. D., Phoenix Life Insurance Company

Today’s high-net-worth market — households with net worths of $1 million or more, not including primary residence — is currently estimated at 8 percent of all U.S. households or is approximately 9.9 million households strong. This segment of the population is a popular target not only because of its size and disposable income, but also because of the variety of segments within it.

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by Polly A. Painter Eggers, LIMRA

Many banks continue to struggle with how to build a successful life insurance program despite years of trying. It’s been almost a decade since the passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and after some initial growth, life sales have yet to take off as predicted. LIMRA’s Banks Offer Life Insurance: Who Knew? (2008) shows that one of the challenges to this distribution arrangement is that consumers still don’t know they can purchase life insurance at banks.

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by Nilufer R. Ahmed, Ph.D., LIMRA

Financial professionals play an important role in the financial well-being and financial preparation of their clients of all ages. So far, they have been concentrating on the financial needs of the Baby Boom Generation — many of whom are entering their retirement years. New LIMRA research shows that only recently has the focus of meeting the needs of the younger generations slowly shifted to more contact by personal agents and advisors.

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by Mary M. Art, LIMRA

Today’s Web sites offer a lot, but they cannot be effective in retention, sales, and service if your policyowners and investors don’t use them. Consider surveying your customers to learn more about what they want on your site and how their experience was on your site.

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by Nicola E. Moss, ASA, MAAA, LIMRA

In the past, financial services companies have enjoyed a truly enviable reputation in terms of customer retention levels. Once an organization recruited a customer, it could reasonably expect that it would result in a long relationship, with the vast majority of customers content to remain loyal to their chosen supplier. However, in today’s environment, deregulation, the advent of new technology, a sharp intensification in competitive pressures, and a shift in the balance of bargaining power away from the supplier and toward the customer have all combined to produce a significant increase in customer disloyalty.

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by Diana Farrell, McKinsey Global Institute; Ezra Greenberg, McKinsey Global Institute

America’s Baby Boom Generation has dominated the U.S. economy for more than a quarter century. Research shows that nearly 79 million boomers have earned record levels of income, generated great wealth, and spurred economic growth. But they have also spent at high levels, failed to save, and accumulated unprecedented levels of debt. Now, as the oldest boomers near retirement, it is estimated that approximately two thirds of early boomer households — ages 54 to 63 — are financially unprepared for retirement. And many of them do not realize they are ill-prepared.

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by Eugenio Chinchilla, The Redbridge Group

Receiving medical attention in a foreign country was once a privilege for the rich, but international health care may soon become the next health plan alternative for the middle class struggling to find affordable health insurance premium options. Will the foreign health care services market become the next strategic resource to develop an affordable health insurance plan for U.S. employers who account for most of the private health insurance market in the United States?

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by Stephanie Gallegos, The Bostonian Group

The request for proposal (RFP) process from anyone’s perspective — client, consultant, or provider — can be cumbersome. The process can often take as long as six months from the time there is a decision to market the plan through conversion. This article examines some of the specifics that can help bring structure to the procurement decision and identify up front the risks and benefits to ensure that the RFP process results in the best possible outcome.

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by Steve White, Graham Communications

For most companies, blogging is all about creating a dialogue with the customer, because they feel that's when bloggers realize — by having the company engage them in direct conversation — that their opinions and insights are valued, and a strong relationship is being built.

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Mary-Beth Selby


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