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A change for the better

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In my first column for National Underwriter Life & Health, which ran in the July 2013 issue, I wrote about taking risks, seizing opportunities and how “that’s just the way we’ve always done things” is not an acceptable mantra for any company or individual looking to evolve and succeed. Whether it’s changing jobs, moving to a new town or realigning a business model, change — though often feared — can be good.

In the business world, mergers are one way to change. By expanding a business through bringing in another company (usually a competitor) under one name, companies can grow and prosper. History is littered with successful examples of mergers, from Exxon and Mobil to NationsBank and Bank of America to Procter & Gamble and Gillette to Disney and Pixar, just to name a few. These historical unions created powerful companies with massive market share.

At some point, company boards or CEOs must ask themselves, “Why compete for the same audience? Why not join forces to create the biggest brand in our industry?”

That’s exactly what NU Life & Health and Life Insurance Selling are doing. As you may have seen via an announcement in October, effective Jan. 1, the highly-respected Life Insurance Selling will cease publication as a separate product and incorporate its best elements into this publication. For our readers, that means a stronger industry magazine with a bigger size, which will allow us to add editorial elements focusing on proven sales strategies and peer-to-peer content, in addition to what NU Life & Health has traditionally published. As always, we will continue to share ideas and best practices through two-way engagement with our readers with the use of our popular Web portal and the publication’s various social media options.

The new NU Life & Health will be an average of 76 pages per issue, with an expanded circulation to more than 60,000 industry professionals, which is the largest readership representing the agent and broker community. It’s truly a merger of equals as both publications are coming off very strong years with robust sales, a dedicated readership and multiple awards for editorial excellence. Our next issue will be the beginning of what we refer to as the only complete resource out there for comprehensive news, analysis and insight on health insurance, life insurance, financial planning and regulatory trends.

We’re excited about the new product in the new year. As a brand, we are “doubling down in a core set of print titles with expanded and improved circulation and product footprint,” as National Underwriter Group President Jeff Patterson so eloquently put it. “Brands must respond to how their customers experience them,” he added. “When the needs of our customers change, our brands need to adapt.  In some cases, it’s a chance to get ahead of the market and forge a new direction.”

I’m proud to say that, with the support and loyalty of readers like you, we are forging a new direction toward becoming the largest insurance industry publication in the nation. With that said, this is the last issue of National Underwriter Life & Health as you know it. But this is a change for the better. As Group Editorial Director Bill Coffin said, “This merged book will be an editorial juggernaut.”

We hope you enjoy the ride.


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