Expansion of professional training and credentialing opportunities keeps moving ahead for the financial community. In the past weeks, for example:
Organizers for a new trade association in critical illness insurance debuted their groups unique mission, objectives and organizational structure. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the association is called the National Association for Critical Illness Insurance. Its target audience is producers.
The Health Insurance Association of America and the National Association of Health Underwriters, Washington, D.C., announced they are co-sponsoring two new disability insurance designations. One is the three-course Disability Income Associate (DIA). The other, for those completing the three DI courses plus two health insurance courses, is the Disability Healthcare Professional (DHP). The program targets agents, brokers, home office employees, financial planners and others in related fields.
LOMA, Atlanta, Ga., has debuted a new financial services designation–the Fellow, Financial Services Institute (FFSI)–for company employees. The 10-course program covers financial services products such as wealth accumulation products, retirement plans, employee benefits, mutual funds and banking products. Target candidates are employees of financial service companies, but the program is open to others, as well.
The Institute of Financial Engineering, a division of The Financial Engineering Alliance LLC, a for-profit company in Clearwater, Fla., has started marketing of its Registered Financial Engineer (RFE) designation. This is a two-day “boutique” program aimed at helping practitioners do strategic financial planning for high-net-worth clients.
These developments indicate that the huge proliferation of professional education programs, begun in the 1990s, is not over yet.
This article takes a brief look at the newcomers. But readers should keep in mind that nearly 100 financial professional education programs exist today (see chart). The growth has been so rapid that education watchers have a hard time keeping their lists current. For example, several lists do not yet show all of the long term care insurance programs now available, and most omit programs from for-profit third-party providers.
Why form a trade association focused on CI insurance? The founders decided it was essential to forge an alliance with CI stakeholders, says Alan Watson, senior vice president of independent agent distribution-life and annuity division at Protective Life, Birmingham, Ala., and president of NACII.
CI insurance is so new, he explains, that many producers and consumers do not know how to work with it. Some do not understand the need for it either, he adds.
The NACII aims to provide “practical” and “skill-based” education in these and related areas, Watson says. It will also provide information, research and data.
The not-for-profit trade group is backed by 10 insurers, now the charter founders, notes Norbert Kraich, executive director if NACII. Its first annual meeting will be September 21-23, in Atlanta. Its Web site (www.NACII.org) will debut shortly.