Nationwide Financial Services, Columbus, Ohio, is targeting certified public accountants as a new distribution channel in an unusual agreement with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, New York.
The arrangement will give Nationwide access to clients of 18 of the top 100 CPA firms, says Bob Rolland, Nationwides vice president of strategic partnerships.
Under the agreement, CPA2Biz Inc., a for-profit company established by the AICPA, will sell Nationwides retirement and other financial services through its subsidiary, Capital Professional Advisors Inc. In addition to the 18 firms, other interested CPA firms affiliated with Capital will also have access to Nationwides 401(k) plans and other retirement and life insurance products, Rolland says.
“Each [of Capitals] CPA firms has licensed insurance professionals, and through this relationship, we gain access to probably close to 100 licensed reps,” Rolland says.
He contends that working with accountants represents a tremendous opportunity to reach small-business owners and wealthy clients with insurance-related products.
“They have a trusted relationship with clients and are looked to by many of those clients as the advisors most qualified to offer them financial planning,” Rolland says. “We see CPAs as a significant distribution channel.”