As you may be aware, one of my colleagues, Steve Piontek, is retiring at the end of April as Editor-in-Chief of National Underwriter Life & Health (a sister publication of Life Insurance Selling) after a 30-year career with the insurance industry institution.

Steve joined National Underwriter as a staff writer back in 1980, was named managing editor in 1989 and editor in 1993. In 2001, as editor-in-chief he directed the most far-reaching redesign of NU‘s Life & Health edition in its 112-year history, creating a completely new format and editorial focus.

We’re going to miss having him as an industry watchdog, a dedicated journalist, there to cover all the important developments in insurance industry trends and legislation and share his unique viewpoint whenever appropriate. I know I found myself reading his columns since I took the helm at Life Insurance Selling.

Steve’s April 19 column, “Adieu, Part I,” brought up a very interesting observation resulting from his three decades in the business. He writes about how the life insurance industry used to be much more successful in reaching the middle class and laments today’s widespread emphasis on targeting the affluent while those lower on the economic ladder – but no less in need of protection – are commonly ignored.

While I hope you will click the link above and read his complete column, I wanted to share one sentence from his column that gets right to the heart of the matter: “The further life insurance is taken from its “widows and orphans” base (i.e, as a force for good in society) to one where the product is used to facilitate all kinds of tax avoidance and other estate planning techniques makes for a more attackable industry, in my view.”

I’m going to miss reading your views, Steve. Best wishes for a long and enjoyable retirement, and here’s to a job well done.

More blog entries from Brian Anderson.