There are a number of threats to the life insurance business that hover over us and never seem to go away. One that’s been around for many, many years is the threat of taxation on the inside buildup of values within an insurance policy. Another more recent concern is the very real potential of the business having to adapt from a suitability standard of care to a fiduciary standard.
Regular readers will recall that Life Insurance Selling’s editor Brian Anderson has looked at this issue and its ramifications in a series of fine commentaries over the past year or so. And as Brian points out, even though the threats posed by a shift to a fiduciary standard are not immediately imminent, they are serious and wide-ranging enough that producers ought to be thinking about what the potential change means for their business.
In this month’s roundtable, I talked with three of the more proactive and productive producers I know about the potential for a fiduciary standard, and how they see it affecting their — and, by extension, your — day-to-day operations. Sharing their insights this month on the fiduciary standard and how they are preparing for potential changes are the following top producers: William H. Black Jr., CLU, ChFC; Robert B. Plybon, CLU, ChFC; and Adam A. Solano Jr.
William H. Black Jr., CLU, ChFC, has been in the life insurance and pension consulting business for 34 years. He specializes in custom-designed qualified plans for the closely held business and professional practice, as well as custom life insurance programs. Black has spoken nationally and internationally on the topic of qualified plans. He is a 15-time Top of the Table (TOT) qualifier and life and qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT). Qualified to give continuing education to CPAs in 47 states, Black is a sought-after speaker.
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Robert B. Plybon, CLU, ChFC, is CEO of Plybon and Associates Inc., in Greensboro, N.C. A 37-year MDRT member with six Court of the Table and 23 Top of the Table honors, he is also a former MDRT president, as well as a former president of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU). He is a past chairman of the LIFE Foundation and The American College board. Plybon was also the 2010 recipient of the Huebner Gold Medal Award from The American College.
Adam A. Solano Jr. is a 16-year MDRT member with six Court of the Table honors. He leads Lakeside Financial Group in Grayslake, Ill., where he provides comprehensive financial strategies or specific needs planning for main-street businesses and families. He is a former president of NAIFA – Chicago and a frequent speaker to industry groups and associations on “whole person” topics.