During the opening general session of NAILBA 33 in Hollywood, Florida, moderator Gene Koster, Managing Director at DCG Consulting, discussed the future of the industry with a group of industry panelists.
At one point, he asked them, “Where are you and your companies putting your money today and where do you think you should be putting it in order to invest in the future of this industry?”
Here are their answers:
Melinda Meyer, VP at Valmark Securities
“One of the things we decided to do was to invest heavily in our internship program. We work with the University of Akron and in the last several years, we’ve had 69 students go through our program. All but one of them is still in the financial services industry. We actually hired one 10 years ago who is now our chief marketing officer.
We believe these young people are our future. It’s a big investment of money and time, but this is an opportunity for us to do something good for the student, to help the university and to build our team internally. We want to put these young people on a trajectory to go out and be the next generation in our industry. So we’ve made a conscious decision to make a big investment of our time and money.”
“There are a few things we’re investing in. One is digital technology. I think any carrier at this point is investing and looking into that. But we need to do it well. Digital technology is going to change this industry, so we’re investing in that significantly.
The second thing is intellectual capital with respect to consumers. Researching and trying to understand them and then sharing that with the industry. What do we know about them? What are they really asking for? What are their challenges?
The third area is talent. When all is said and done, our success is going to be driven by the talent we have in this industry. And there are some places where we’ve gotten away from some of the fundamentals in respect to developing people. It too often becomes all about price and we’ve lost sight of the value of the life insurance platform and the power of the product.”