Brokers International Founder and Chief Executive Roger McCarty (1930-2011).

Roger McCarty, a leader of one of the nation’s largest independent marketing organizations who spearheaded educational and training programs for life insurance and financial professionals, has died.

McCarty, the founder and chief executive officer of Brokers International Ltd., Lake Panorama, Iowa, passed away on November 15 at the age of 81, according to a press statement from the company.

Brokers International did not disclose the cause of death. The company noted in the statement that funeral arrangements are pending and, once confirmed, will be posted here

Brokers International said the company will henceforth be led by Roger’s nephew, Brokers International President Bill McCarty; and by Roger’s son, Chief Marketing Officer Kelly McCarty.

“Roger founded Brokers International Ltd. With the goal of providing superior support for the independent insurance professional,” the company says in the press statement. “Achievement of that goal continues under [Bill McCarty’s and Kelly McCarty’s] leadership as we mourn the loss of Roger.”

McCarty established Brokers International in 1955 in Denver and spearheaded the company’s growth as it built a portfolio of value-added marketing services. The company offers, among solutions, lead-generation programs, seminar systems, online marketing systems, product and agent sales training.

McCarty started as an agent and, according to the company, developed a proprietary methodology for life insurance professionals to achieve success in their practices.

As the company expanded its operations, McCarty shifted its headquarters to Lake Panorama, Iowa, in 1999. The new office, encompassing a 10-acre campus and 19,000 square-feet, is now home to 80-plus employees who service more than 40,000 insurance agents across the U.S.

In a 2010 interview with the Des Moines Register, McCarty said he started his career as a life insurance professional working as an agent for a Colorado-based State Farm Life Insurance agency, where he became one of the insurer’s top agents. In the 1960s, he shifted to the brokerage side of the business working for Oregon National Life, which later became First Far West Insurance Company.

“My success in the 1960s and 70s helped me develop relationships with leading insurance companies, which were the stepping stones for my success with Brokers International Ltd.,” McCarty said in the interview. “Through my leadership and commitment to excellence, Brokers International has become one of the largest insurance marketing organizations in the country.

It is also one of the best run. In 2009, Business Record magazine recognized the company as the “Number One Best Place to Work in Central Iowa” in the medium-size company division.

In a 2007 “Power List” profile published in Senior Market Advisor, a Summit Business Media publication, McCarty credited several events in the company’s history—the hiring of Byron Lucas and Bill McCarty, as well as the move to Iowa from Denver—as key to the company’s growth.

“We are living in the greatest times in the history of the insurance business,” said McCarty in the SMA profile. “More and more, people want to make sure that their principal is not at risk. They like the feel of the upside potential with no downside risk.

“The fear of dying too soon has been replaced by the fear of living too long,” he added in the SMA profile. “With the annuity products now available and the new products of the future, we are one of the few places where they can have a lifetime income that they cannot outlive.”

McCarty said in the Des Moines Register interview that he attributed his early success in the business to a mentor, Chuck Enabit, who helped McCarty get started marketing insurance products in the 1960s.

McCarty added in the interview that he had interests outside of the life insurance profession, including baseball, football and thoroughbred horse-racing. He also regularly contributed to community organizations, including the Panorama Fire Department and local schools and charities.

McCarty noted in the SMA interview that the family philosophy extends beyond relatives.

“I have always said that one of the most rewarding parts of our business is the friendships and relationships that we build with our agents,” McCarty told SMA. “I like to feel that our agents are part of the BI family.”