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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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Winter 2009

LIMRA MarketFacts

Winter, 2009

Table of Contents
by John R. Graham, Graham Communications

Even though the economy is in serious trouble, nothing has changed. Sales professionals still need to make sales. Whatever your industry and whatever else is happening, one task remains: closing sales.

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by Shawn P. Flynn, FLMI, ACS, LIMRA; Anita Potter, LIMRA

Currently, there are approximately 1.2 million businesses with 10 or more employees in the United States. These businesses account for a large majority of U.S. employees. Not only are these employers responsible for approximately 90 percent of the revenue produced by all U.S. businesses, they are also the foundation to financing our country’s employee benefit programs. This article examines the key employee benefit issues impacting U.S. businesses.

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by Ignacio Montes Undurraga, Ohio National Seguros de Vida

In the early 1980s, two events significantly impacted the Chilean insurance industry — deregulation of insurance products and the creation of a private pension system. Since then, Chile has been a world pioneer in progressive pension reform. This article explores what lies ahead.

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by Garth A. Bernard, Sharper Financial Group LLC

There is a very powerful lens through which we can clearly see what is at stake for the annuity industry: It is far easier for an insurance company to look at a pool of investors and estimate how long they will live, than it is to look at the assets of those same investors and estimate how long they will last. That is the core issue that defines for the annuity industry the challenge on the one hand and the opportunity on the other.

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by Mary M. Art, LIMRA

Technology plays an essential role for financial services companies that distribute through independent producers who place business through intermediary organizations. Distribution via intermediaries — the marketing organizations (e.g., independent marketing organizations, field marketing organizations, producer groups, brokerage general agencies, and managing general agencies) that offer marketing and sales support to independent producers — is a growing trend.

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by Thomas F. Spinelli, CLU, FLMI, LIMRA

Field compensation is a major component of a company’s total distribution expenses. To determine current company practices, LIMRA conducted a survey of its member companies in Canada and the United States regarding a number of these compensation-related topics and practices. This article discusses some of the key findings from that research study.

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by Ron Neyer, MBA, CLU, ChFC, LIMRA

The industry’s high concentration of independent distribution coupled with an abundance of competing product manufacturers provides considerable flexibility to worksite agents and brokers. With carriers seemingly always looking to increase their sales forces, established producers especially have many potential options for placing their clients’ business. Given these environmental trends, which factors do producers consider when selecting carrier partners?

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by Yuliya Babushkina, LIMRA

When it comes to health, wellness, and financial security, Canadians have historically looked to the government and employers for their financing. However, given the increasing cost of health care expenditures, the traditional two-player field — government and employers — is no longer sustainable. The field is slowly expanding to include a third, albeit reluctant, player: the employee.

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

Companies and carriers face a potential shortage of advisors and sales representatives as large numbers of them approach normal retirement age. Knowing what the current group of aging financial advisors plan to do when they reach normal retirement age is critical strategic information. LIMRA recently surveyed more than 1,000 producers of all types age 50 and older on their retirement plans. This article reveals some of the pertinent findings of the study.

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by Elizabeth H. Schwarz, ACS, LLIF, LIMRA

In sales environments, sales technology used to communicate information can have positive effects on salespeople’s ability to build relationships and disseminate information to customers. Point-of-sale illustration tools are a sales technology used throughout the insurance and financial services industry to communicate information to customers, helping to tell the story of financial service companies’ products and services.

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by Mary M. Art, LIMRA

Generation Y, the 63 million people born between 1981 and 1995, is a substantial future market for insurance and financial services companies. Much of Gen Y’s information and communication is online. Once online, many of them communicate through emails, instant messaging, social networking sites, discussion forums, and blogs — and when it comes to insurance products, the Internet plays a role.

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Mary-Beth Selby


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