What Channel Conflict?
Words like “mesh” and “complementary” pepper a conversation with Roy Bubbs, president of the MONY Independent Network.
Understandably so for a man whose job it is to distribute life insurance, annuities and, over time, other products through broker-dealers and broker general agents–all under the aegis of a 158-year-old career agent operation, the MONY Life Insurance Company.
Bubbs, with 30 years in the business, is suited to the task. Most recently, he headed distribution for Manulife Financial’s U.S. insurance business, where he reinvigorated the firm’s brokerage arm and developed a multiple channel strategy.
Bubbs maintains the much-dreaded “channel conflict” that has afflicted most major life companies that have gone into the brokerage business in the past decade or so hasn’t struck MONY in his 11 months there.
“They’ve embraced us,” he says of his organization’s career agents.
According to Bubbs, since The MONY Group’s IPO about two-and-a-half years ago, it set on a course of acquisition and internal expansion of its own distribution channels. “As all of this has happened,” he says, “the idea has always existed that all of these distribution channels can, and should, benefit from one another.”
Today, he says, the new products and processes MONY Independent Network brings to its producer customers in the BGA and B-D marketplace (like its new universal life products), it brings as well to career-side consumer target markets of family builders, pre-retirees and small-to-mid-size business owners.
Bubbs may not admit to distribution conflicts, but he does see a few other problems, like getting all the parts working together–new business, for example, and policy issue and underwriting–to create, in his words, “a more friendly brokerage company.”