In a column I penned at this time last year, I urged the powers that be at the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting to lift restrictions on press access to their annual meeting, which is again being held this year in Washington, D.C, April 29-May 2. Either the association’s executives failed to read the opinion piece or (I suspect) chose to ignore it.
The decision is—once again—disappointing.
As was the case in 2011, all of the conference workshops—the main content of interest to advanced sales professionals who are looking to learn about new life insurance-funded solutions and practice management techniques—are strictly off-limits to media. So you won’t be seeing any recap on our LifeHealthPro.com portal, or in our print magazine, about topics that are now top-of-mind among producers.
Among them: “Annuities in the Private Placement Marketplace;” “Lawyer Up! Legal Tactics for Wealth Transfer Enhanced by Life Insurance;” “Large Sales Opportunities (BOLI & ICOLI) in the Current Legal and Economic Environment;” “Solutions for Highly Compensated Employees in the Pending “Retirement Crisis;” and “Need to Know: How to Comply and Compete in the Face of New Regulatory Requirements.”
Also closed off to journalists are two much-anticipated sessions: a talk by former President Bill Clinton during Monday’s general session; and a “Super Session” that will be held on Wednesday, the closing day of the conference.
Why is the AALU preventing reporters from attending these gatherings? James Lee, AALU’s vice president of member services and marketing, told me last year that the policy change was instituted for members “who believed that non-members who were not prospective members inhibited discussions in the workshops.”