The Million Dollar Round Table, Park Ridge, Ill., appointed D. Scott Brennan to president and Brian D. Heckert, CLU, ChFC, to secretary of the organization’s executive committee.

Brennan will lead the association of nearly 38,000 international members for a one-year term, effective Sept. 1, 2012. He has been a member of MDRT for 29 years, with nine Court of the Table and one Top of the Table qualifications, and is a Platinum Knight of the MDRT Foundation. He will be the 87th president of the association.

Brennan succeeds 24-year MDRT member Jennifer A. Borislow, CLU who will become the immediate past president. Michelle L. Hoesly, CLU, ChFC, a 33-year MDRT member, will serve as first vice president, and Caroline A. Banks, ASPFS, a 23-year MDRT member, will serve as second vice president.

Brennan is a four-year member of the MDRT executive committee, which governs the organization in addition to setting priorities for the year ahead.  As president, he will also put special emphasis on MDRT’s Whole Person Concept by capturing the stories of those MDRT members who have successfully balanced their professional and personal priorities. In addition, he will lead an effort to survey members to identify the best practices of successful financial services agencies. The results from both initiatives will be shared with MDRT’s membership.

Heckert is a 24-year member of the association and holds seven Court of the Table and five Top of the Table qualifications. He is also a Platinum Knight of the MDRT Foundation and has spoken at the MDRT Annual Meeting and MDRT Experience meeting and has served on multiple MDRT committees and task forces.

In other industry news:

For Life Insurance Awareness Month, the LIFE Foundation has partnered with Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro, owner of Carlo’s Bake Shop, to serve as national spokesperson for the campaign—now in its ninth year.

When Buddy was just 17 years old, his father was diagnosed with lung cancer and died just three weeks later at the age of 54. To keep his family business afloat, Buddy dropped out of high school and worked 12- to 18-hour days, six days a week.

“If there had been life insurance, I know things would have been a lot easier. I could have hired more people, worried less and had time to grieve,” Valastro said.

According to the 2012 Insurance Barometer Study by LIFE and LIMRA, 83% of Americans believe “most people” need life insurance and 65% admit they “personally” need the coverage. The top two reasons people cite for not purchasing more are that they have “other financial priorities” (85 percent) or they believe the product is “too expensive” (83 percent).

“Sometimes life happens and while we can’t control it, we can do our best to prepare for it,” said Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC, president and CEO of the LIFE Foundation.

 

As part of Life Insurance Awareness Month, The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, Horsham, Pa., is offering a few tips to customers to make life insurance the first part and center of a financial plan:

  • Buy permanent life insurance and supplement with term;
  • Buy life insurance early;
  • Make your overall financial plan work harder;
  • Update life insurance policies as life changes;
  • Talk with a financial professional—regularly.

Accessing life insurance policy cash values through loans and withdrawals will reduce the stated cash value and death benefit amounts, and may result in surrender fees and other charges.

 

In observance of Life Insurance Awareness Month The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, has launched an interactive Life Insurance Myths website that looks at commonly held, non-insurance myths—such as “You shouldn’t wake a sleep walker” and “Red cars get more speeding tickets.”

In turn, Guardian hopes to expand visitors’ perceptions of life insurance.

“Maybe due to Americans’ lingering discomfort with what’s involved in assessing life insurance needs – after all, who likes to talk about death? – a lot of mythology still surrounds the topic,” said Michael Ferik, Guardian senior vice president, Individual Life. “It’s comforting for people to cling to old myths like ‘Buy term and invest the difference,’ for instance.

“We’re trying to help people get beyond their only-natural emotional response, toward a decision-making process that makes sense for where they are in their life,” Ferik added. “A new family member, an inheritance, a promotion: All can mean that the policy bought years ago is no longer the best fit.”

Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC, White Plains, N.Y., a subsidiary of insurance broker Marsh Inc., has acquired Eidson Insurance, a $3.4 million revenue property/casualty and employee benefits agency based in Orlando, Fla. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Established in 1943, Eidson offers property/casualty and employee benefit services to individuals and businesses in central Florida, with a particular focus on the health care industry. All of Eidson’s employees and leadership team, including President Laura Eidson Cosgrove, will join MMA and continue operating out of the agency’s existing Orlando office. Eidson will join MMA’s Florida hub created last year by the acquisition of Seitlin Insurance, which now operates under the Marsh & McLennan Agency name.

Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC was established in 2008 to meet the needs of midsize businesses in the U.S. MMA offers commercial property, casualty, personal lines and employee benefits to clients across the U.S.

 

David GregoryDenver Management Advisors, Inc. has appointed David Gregory to the newly created position of president and chief operating officer for the national employee benefits advisory and broker company.

Gregory has more than 20 years in the industry in helping companies use the latest technology to engineer dramatic efficiency, productivity and competitive gains through automation, online and ecommerce initiatives. He has worked as a strategist and senior executive at several Denver area insurance advisory and brokerage firms. He is coming to DMA from the Lockton Companies.

His credentials include a Bachelor of Science degree, with honors, in Business Administration from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. He holds licenses and certifications in all lines of insurance as a: Certified Employee Benefit Specialist, Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter.