New York City, Oct. 26, 2009 – Robert Kerzner, president and CEO of LIMRA, LOMA and LL Global, opened the 93rd LIMRA Annual Meeting outlining the challenges facing insurance and financial services companies under the new economic and business landscape.
"The good news is insurance sales are trending upward and consumers' confidence in us is slowly rebounding," noted Kerzner. "But as important as consumer attitudes are, it's not the only thing on our plate. The changes in competition, regulation, risk, capital and distribution will have varying degrees of impact on the future of our industry."
Shrinking distribution, a long-standing problem for the industry, remains a key issue. He underscored the need increase the number of producers and find new channels of distribution. Kerzner cited new LIMRA research that found the number independent producers declined — for the first time — dropping seven percent during the period of 2004-2007. This means, Kerzner said, we may have hit the point where sales could fundamentally affect the future growth of the industry.
Competition will remain intense, Kerzner declared. While some companies may be reevaluating the individual lines of business they are in, others are jumping at the chance of growing in new markets to fill the space.
"Another clear opportunity is lifetime income," said Kerzner. "The economic crisis reinforced consumers' desire for a guaranteed check in the mail box every month and they look to us to provide the vehicles to deliver it."
The theme of the two-day meeting is "New Rules of Engagement," focusing on how companies can rebuild consumer trust, meet new distribution challenges and realign their businesses within a new framework of risk and regulation.
Nearly 400 senior leaders from life insurance and financial services companies worldwide attended the industries' most preeminent meeting.
LIMRA is a worldwide research, consulting and professional development organization that helps more than 850 insurance and financial services companies in 73 countries increase their marketing and distribution effectiveness. Visit LIMRA at www.limra.com.