Nationwide Gets A Career Shop With Providents Sponsored Demutualization
“Its all about diversification, collaboration and distribution.”
That is how Nationwide Financial President and Chief Operating Officer Joseph J. Gasper describes the recently completed “sponsored demutualization” of Provident Mutual Life Insurance Company and the companys subsequent acquisition by Nationwide.
Judging by what Gasper and Gary D. McMahon said in an interview here, the $1.12 billion transaction is also about guts, corporate growth and giving people–especially producers–what they want.
McMahon is a former general agent of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company who was tapped to serve as president of Nationwide Provident, the new Nationwide subsidiary created by the acquisition.
The two executives were in New York to attend the annual meeting of the National Association for Variable Annuities. At the meeting, NAVA inducted Gasper into its NAVA Hall of Fame, in honor of his “outstanding leadership in the VA field.”
In Nationwides new corporate order, producers can get what they want, insists Gasper. How so? “Well sell insurance any way people want to buy it. Well tailor-make products for any distribution channel we have. And if we cant manufacture a requested product, well go get it for the agent.”
The company has over 300 commission structures, he adds, so Nationwide just asks producers what they want and how they want to be paid.
That has been Nationwides multi-channel distribution model all along. But now, as a result of the acquisition, the Columbus, Ohio, financial company is casting this net even wider.
“Now we have a career agency shop,” explains Gasper. That comes courtesy of Nationwide Provident, which has traditionally distributed through career agents and personal producing general agents.
The Nationwide Provident agents will have access to any Nationwide product they want, whether from Nationwide Financial (which builds products for wirehouses, regional firms, planners, banks and property-casualty agency distribution) or from Nationwide Provident (via four life insurers, two from the old Provident Mutual and two from Nationwide).
Similarly, Nationwide Financial agents will have access to any product they want, whether from the new Nationwide Provident unit or Nationwide Financial.
Agents can also ask for products that dont even exist, Gasper and McMahon say. “We recently rolled out a new universal life policy, because agents asked for it,” points out McMahon.
Things will probably change for Provident producers, who came to Nationwide along with the transaction, contends Gasper. “We bring financial backing, infrastructure, new products, name recognition and branding,” he explains. This means, for example, that if a Provident career agent has a small business owner client who needs a 401(k), this producer can turn to Nationwide, since Nationwide has substantial 401(k) administration capabilities.