“The one thing I would change is adding more regulation to the insurance industry, specifically pertaining to the sale of index life or index annuity products,” says Brenden Barkate, senior vice president of Exclusive Insurance Brokerage.
Why would anyone want more regulation? For starters, it could improve the industry’s reputation and public image.
According to Barkate, that’s just one of the opportunities within the industry. He also told LifeHealthPro about how his generation — millennials — should be more involved in the industry because most of those who are already part of it are aging or retiring.
We sat down with Barkate to find out what he is doing to improve the industry’s reputation, what opportunities he sees ahead, and what millennials really want in an advisor.
LHP: Why did you choose a career in insurance or financial services?
BB: I was playing football at the University of Redlands and my head coach brought me into his office. I wasn’t exactly sure what the circumstances were and, quite frankly, assumed I was in trouble.
He told me that a successful alumni was starting an insurance brokerage and that he specifically asked for me. I asked my dad, who has been in the financial planning business for 30+ years, and he said it would be a great start to learn the business inside and out. I knew my father was very successful in what he did, and I wanted to pursue that same level of success.
LHP: Describe what you do.
BB: I help financial planners, CPAs and attorneys brainstorm and find solutions to financial concerns they are facing with either their personal needs, estates, or businesses. Whether it is creating an estate plan, a tax-mitigation technique for a business owner, or simply implementing some insurance solutions for an individual; every day can be a little bit different.
LHP: Share an achievement you are especially proud of.
BB: I came into the business with nothing. I was given a computer, phone, and a desk in a bullpen. I was one of two people who started the company. Today, I am a Senior VP at one of the largest insurance brokerage and consulting firms in the United States. Two years ago, I assisted an advisor in closing one of the largest life insurance policies ever sold. I thought that was pretty neat.