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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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Summer 2009

LIMRA MarketFacts

Summer, 2009

Table of Contents
by Magdeline Wong, Great Eastern Life Assurance Co Ltd

In 2005 Great Eastern became the first insurer in Singapore to successfully implement a straightthrough electronic point-of-sales system for the entire sales force. This is no mean feat, considering that even today, few players in the global insurance industry have successfully used digital signature technology in their business model.

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by Lucian J. Lombardi, ASA, LIMRA

In the financial services industry, what sets today’s leading companies apart is the ability to anticipate the changing demands of the marketplace while continually evolving their distribution model to remain relevant. Whether your company is now trying to grow market share or is concentrating on defending its share, your success will be predicated upon understanding key distribution trends that will impact our industry for years to come. This article considers the more complex issue of fundamental change our industry is undergoing and how companies are adapting their distribution efforts to meet the challenge.

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by Robert Epner, Global Operational/IT Consultant

While there are many advantages to being a multinational company, an important one often cited is the ability to reap the benefits of what are called “best practices.” These are successful initiatives that emerge from a company’s various and often far-flung operations. The drill is to identify the best practice — such as an innovative product, an efficient IT system, or a fast delivery process — then copy it across the full organization to maximize the impact. The company, in effect, raises the whole organization to a new, more standardized best-practice level of performance.

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by Norm Trainor, The Covenant Group

The economic tsunami that washed over the world economy in late 2008 disrupted the lives of financial advisors and their clients. The pain was palpable. For many people, it has not gone away. Clients are confused and deeply worried about their financial well-being. In many instances, they feel angry and disappointed. Financial advisors (FAs) experienced their clients’ loss and disappointment while dealing with their own losses and emotional response to the crisis. Yet, for FAs, this may represent the opportunity of a lifetime.

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by Cheryl D. Retzloff, LLIF, ACS, LIMRA

Even during this worldwide economic crisis, people continue to need to protect their families against premature death, disability, and health problems as well as save for their children’s college education and their own retirement. Middle-market consumers have many other expenses competing for their dollars and companies need to understand the competition for this market’s limited financial resources. This article focuses on U.S. consumers’ financial goals and priorities, what keeps them from achieving these goals, the amount of money available to spend, and the trade-offs made when there is not enough money for everything they desire.

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by Maciek Hunek, Norima Consulting; David Kuik, Norima Consulting

While the majority of the public and financial world shares a variety of grim views regarding the current economic climate, optimists believe that every misfortune can be turned into an opportunity. In the case of U.S. consumers, the effect of the entire country succumbing to pressures to reduce overall costs, paired with an economic depression, has led to an increased focus on budgeting and cash flow management services.

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by Matthew Drinkwater, Ph.D., FSRI, FLMI, AFSI, PCS, LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute

As consumers make major financial decisions, they often receive professional assistance from financial planners or advisors. Depending on the situation, these professionals may exert tremendous influence, leading their clients to select certain investments or position their assets and, thereby, maneuver their trajectory on the path to financial security.

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by Doreen Evans, Doreen Evans Associates, Inc.

To ensure an insurance organization’s growth and profitability, the ability to bring new products to market quickly and accurately must become a key core competency. In fact, it is the lifeblood of any insurance company, and the single most important facet in a vibrant process of continuous product renewal, strategic growth, and robust profitability. This means creating a product development cycle whose delivery capabilities are measured in months, not years.

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by Nick Jepson, Business Control Solutions plc

In response to the media furor about compensation for executives of failing financial institutions, regulatory organizations have begun to step up their efforts to address the problem. What is the future in executive compensation? Companies continuing to operate in the United States or the United Kingdom will need to have clear compensation plans for all executives (legislation in other countries may follow but the timing is not clear). These plans will need to describe the incentives offered and the criteria against which they will be awarded.

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by Mary M. Art, LIMRA

The Internet is a growing resource for today’s consumers, and represents an opportunity for companies like yours to reach out to current and prospective customers online and potentially extend their market reach anywhere in the world. The Internet offers your company access to a broad range of consumers, both demographically and geographically.

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Mary-Beth Selby


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