I’m really looking forward to the third Life Settlement Roundtable that this magazine is sponsoring on October 11. And not just because this one is being held at the Atlantis in the Bahamas!
You may recall the two earlier roundtables we sponsored-the first on Oct. 4, 2006 and the second on March 23 of this year. They were the centerpieces of two supplements to National Underwriter Life & Health that focused on this fascinating business.
I know there is still a large contingent of industry people out there that will find the word ‘fascinating’ inappropriate and would prefer to refer to the life settlement business in terms far more negative and corrosive.
But journalists often see things differently than industry people and the rise of the life settlement business has all the earmarks of a good journalistic tale of how a spunky little upstart brazenly comes into a relatively staid business and shakes some basic assumptions to their core.
Settlements have created controversy ever since they first started to be marketed and, let’s face it, controversy is a lot more interesting than routine.
There’s always been a bit of the old Wild West about the settlement business. “We’re gonna shake this town up, partner.” With that attitude plus the implicit challenge to the status quo of the product itself, life settlement believers didn’t have to do too much more to create a phalanx of enemies.
There were the enemies in the life insurance business, of course; and then there was the arch-enemy on the regulatory front who just recently resigned his post in the Peace Garden State.
But what terrific copy as the charges, countercharges and scurrilities went back and forth. It turns out that this scrappy little bunch of entrepreneurs was able to give as good as it got.