Here are 10 young industry players to watch...

1. Bo-Erik Abrahamsson

Digital Fineprint | London

Founder and chief executive officer

Abrahamsson, who's 25, runs a data analytics firm that helps insurers analyze social media data. Organizers of Insuretech Connect, which is based in New York, brought him in as a speaker at their 2019 event, in June, in Las Vegas.

2. Lucas Amell

Focused Tax Solutions | Brookfield, Wis.

Tax advisor

Amell, who's 26, got his start as a stockbroker, and then moved into a financial advisory role. He's registered to sell both life insurance and securities, he serves on the board of Wehr Nature Center, and he serves as a financial literacy educator with the Financial Education Partnership.

3. Gideon Drucker

Drucker Wealth Management | New York

Director of the Wealth Builder Division

He helps with insurance and other financial planner matters, holds the Certified Financial Planner designation, runs nonprofit financial literacy workshops, and has served as a paratrooper.

4. Sierra Huddleston

The LifeWealth Group | Orlando, Florida

Director of client experience

Huddleston, who's 27, handles digital marketing, events and client relations for a life and annuity agency. She also has started a nonprofit group that supports children in the foster care system.


5. Dakotah Jordan

Northwestern Mutual | Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Director of internship recruitment and development

Jordan, who's about 25, earned a college degree less than four years. Since then, she has worked as financial representative and as an assistant director of recruitment. Now, she helps create the next generation of financial services professionals.

6. Tyler Kruse

Kruse Financial Group | North Sioux City, South Dakota

Financial adviser

Kruse, who's about 28, is a life insurance agent and financial services representative who earned a bachelor's degree less than six years ago. He holds the Certified Financial Planner designation. He's also a volunteer firefighter, and he's a board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Siouxland.

7. Amara Leggett

Guardian Life | New York | Application strategy and architecture intern

A Young Legend | New York | President and owner

Leggett, who's 18, earned an associate's degree at 18. In addition to working in IT for Guardian, she works as a motivational speaker.

8. Sam Odishoo

USI Insurance Services | Chicago

Employee benefits consultant

Odishoo, who's 28, holds the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist and Group Benefits Associate professional designations, and he already writes articles for industry publications. He also helps lead Brothers United, a mentorship organization, and he serves on the membership committee for the Association of Consultants to nonprofits.

(Credit: USI Insurance Services)

9. Wesley Peterson

Premier Financial Alliance | Suwanee, Georgia

National field director

Peterson, who's 25, earned his insurance producer's license when he was 19. He now locates and trains new agents and managers, to expand the number of people who get covered and plan for retirement. He manages a team of eight agents.


10. Matthew Pisera

New York Life Insurance Company | Orlando, Florida

Regional financial services strategy consultant

Pisera is only 27 and already has the Chartered Life Underwriter, Certified Financial Planner, Retirement Income Certified Professional, and Certification in Long-Term Care professional designations.

This is an important time for professionals who help clients manage life, health and financial risk.

The old ways are fading. The future is in a haze. Insurance agents, actuaries, underwriters, claims administrators and others are doing their best to create financial forts that can give the users some protection against the storms, and some peace of mind.

In this article, and two more like it that will run in the next few days, we’re recognizing a total of 32 of the people trying to create and protect those financial forts.

(Related: 30 Life and Health Professionals Under 30 – 2018: Part 3)

In the past, we used to recognize “30 Under 30.”

This year, we moved to a “Generational List” approach, so that we can recognize interesting people of all ages.

We selected the candidates using a combination of a nomination process and our own digital search efforts.

The 10 people listed in the slideshow at the top of this article are under 30. They certainly aren’t the only young professionals in the life, health and annuity sectors doing interesting things. Whether they’re the very best or the very top is a matter of opinion. But they certainly stood out in our candidate search process.

Here are some of the factors that helped them stand out:

1. They have descriptions of themselves on the web.

Many of their young colleagues could have short biographies on the web but have left the biographical fields blank.

2. Many of them have professional designations.

Some consumer groups have questioned whether all of the credentialing programs live up to their billing. But, for young insurance professionals, especially, having a Chartered Life Underwriter designations, a Chartered Financial Consultant designation sends the message that they’re doing everything possible to prepare themselves.

3. They’re often active self-promoters.

Many of the people listed here are already out getting articles published, and looking for recognition programs like this one. They know that no one of the articles or awards is likely to open the gates to professional paradise, but they have the optimism and self-discipline to do everything possible to build their reputations.

4. They often have strong support from specific companies.

One easy way to populate this list would have been to go through the New York Life agent directory, for example. New York Life recruits young agents, helps them get credentialed, and puts their bios in elegant web directory entries that are easy to find on the web. Some of the other  companies that are good at showcasing young agents are Allstate, MassMutual and Penn Mutual.

For the industry as a whole, one takeaway is that these are people who can help life insurers connect with consumers who are too young to remember a time before cell phones.

Sam Odishoo, for example, is a 28-year-old who helps sell health insurance for USI Insurance Services.

He says on his Generations List nomination form that the industry needs to recognize that, even though benefits like medical insurance, dental insurance and life insurance are still important to people of all ages, benefits like student loan repayment programs or general financial wellness programs might have an even bigger impact on a young employee.

Carriers “must also recognize that younger generations want their benefits communicated and delivered electronically, otherwise the total rewards package may be undervalued,” Odishoo says.

Wesley Peterson,  a 25-year-old national field director with Premier Financial Alliance, says he thinks fellow advisors should recognize that younger consumers appreciate convenience.

“My advice on serving the Millennial market is ‘simplify to multiply,;” he says on his nomination form. “Don’t over complicate the sales process.”

To see the names of the 10 2019 young life, health and annuity industry professionals to watch, scroll through the people cards in the slideshow above. Wiggle your pointer over the first slide to make the slideshow control arrows show up.

We’ll publish the names of the “Seasoned Stars” Thursday, and the “Titanium Stars” Friday.

— Read 30 Under 30, Part 3: Young Life, Health and Annuity Stars – 2017on ThinkAdvisor.

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