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New York Life leads MDRT

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New York Life led the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) in the United States for the 59th consecutive year, with 2,228 qualifying New York Life agents. MDRT granted membership to only 10,329 agents in the entire United States, making membership in this organization a distinguishing life insurance career milestone for those demonstrating superior professional knowledge, experience and client service.

Of the 1,180 female MDRT members in the United States, 29 percent are New York Life agents – making the company the leader in female MDRT membership. New York Life has more than three times more women members than the second-place company.

The company’s operation in Mexico, Seguros Monterrey New York Life, is the leader in MDRT membership in Mexico with 264 qualifiers, which represents 54 percent of MDRT members in Mexico. In addition, Seguros Monterrey New York Life leads in Mexico with the highest number of women MDRT members, with 91 qualifiers.

In other industry news:

The Foundation for Financial Planning introduced Apple Seed, a collegiate financial planning curriculum to help educators prepare university financial planning students to be pro bono financial planners on their campus and in their local communities.

Apple Seed consists of seven units: pro bono culture and structure materials, meeting materials, presentation materials, cash management, debt management, planning for major purchases, and using financial services. The first three units are the building blocks for pro bono financial planning services. The last four units are basic overviews of information or refreshers of topics that student pro bono planners may face with potential pro bono clients.

American General Life Companies (American General) launched AG Secure Survivor GUL II, individual, joint and last survivor guaranteed universal life insurance featuring more flexibility to adapt the policy to evolving needs in the future. Among the key benefits of AG Secure Survivor GUL II are: 

  • Guaranteed death benefit and premiums, which help provide protection that can be relied upon, even during changing needs, economic conditions and tax environments;
  • The ability to reduce the death benefit and premiums in future years without losing guarantees;
  • A no-cost enhanced surrender value rider which allows a potential for a return of up to 100 percent of premiums paid (see rider for details);
  • Guaranteed tabular cash values that provide attractive flexibility for customers;
  • Option to extend coverage beyond the original maturity date, with some conditions applying.

One policy insures two people, so AG Secure Survivor GUL II provides more affordability for spouses than buying two individual policies. Liquidity needs frequently arise after the second death, and AG Secure Survivor GUL II can help fund estate and gift tax obligations, or to replace assets gifted to charity. AG Secure Survivor GUL II is also a flexible way to equalize inheritances among heirs. It can provide a specified, guaranteed amount to one child to help equalize assets among several, when a business interest or other major asset is being left to only one child. The product can also provide capital for business planning and succession. It can be leveraged to provide working capital or to ensure business continuity at the death of a business owner or key employee.

Erik Qualman, worldwide social media expert and author of “Socialnomics,” announced the winners of the inaugural Social Media Silver Bowl Awards at the LIMRA LOMA 2013 Social Media Conference for Financial Services in Boston last month.

The awards recognize originality, innovation and effective social media campaigns or programs in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube for LIMRA and LOMA members and the broader financial services industry in the United States and Canada. In addition, the judges awarded the overall winner for “Best of the Best.”

2013 LIMRA LOMA Social Media Silver Bowl winners for the individual social media platforms are:


LIMRA or LOMA Member: Transamerica

Other Financial Services Companies: MasterCard


LIMRA or LOMA Member: John Hancock Financial Services

Other Financial Services Companies: MasterCard


LIMRA or LOMA Member: Prudential Retirement and Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (tie)

Other Financial Services Companies: Raymond James Financial


LIMRA or LOMA Member: Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company

Other Financial Services Companies: MasterCard

The winners of the “Best of the Best” category were chosen because their overall social media program displayed the most compelling and effective communications through social media. The 2013 Best of the Best Silver Bowl winners are:

Best of Best

LIMRA or LOMA Member: Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Other Financial Services Companies: MasterCard

CharestMichael Charest joined GMC Software Technology (GMC) as vice president of sales for financial services and insurance. Charest will support the company’s continued expansion of its GMC Inspire solution into vertical markets within North America.

Charest brings more than15 years of sales leadership and management experience within the software industry covering both enterprise software and SaaS for the financial services, insurance, healthcare, legal and retail industries. Charest will report to Steve Francis, president and general manager of GMC, North America.

Most recently, Charest was senior vice president of sales and marketing for NetLaw, an SaaS-based B2B solution for delivering digital estate planning services. Prior to joining NetLaw, Charest was the chief revenue officer for Rewardix, a digital marketing and mobile solution focused on the U.S. retail market and vice president of worldwide sales for Prinova.

Charest holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from University of West Florida and an MBA from University of North Florida.

Health Partners America named Mel Blackwell as their new chief executive officer.

He brings more than 20 years of experience building, leading and growing successful organizations, and has an extensive background in general management, leading dynamic high performing teams, and creating sustainable brands.

Blackwell is a graduate of the College of Business at Auburn University, and holds a master’s degree in organizational development from the Manderson Graduate School of Business at the University of Alabama.


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