What You Need to Know
- Seurkamp sees the retirement services industry consolidating.
- He says income guarantees still matter.
- He says guarantees look even more important when the market falls.
Aaron Seurkamp wants you to help your clients with not just one type of income planning, but with three types of income planning.
Seurkamp is a senior vice president at Protective Life and president of the company’s retirement division.
Protective Life is a Birmingham, Alabama-based Dai-ichi Life subsidiary with about $132 billion in assets
Seurkamp, who is based in Cincinnati, has a bachelor’s degree from Xavier University. He started out working in a Protective call center 18 years ago. Since then, he has risen through the life and annuity sales and distribution ranks.
He has helped shape retirement planning ideas throughout the world by serving on the board of The American College of Financial Services for two years, and through his current posts as a member of the financial wellness steering committee at LIMRA and as a member of the board of a LIMRA sibling organization, the Secure Retirement Institute.
We asked Seurkamp a set of questions about what he’s been seeing and doing. Here are his replies.
1. What were you doing last year, and how did that go?
The past year has affected every business and thankfully, Protective’s management philosophy and approach enables us to weather unexpected storms (whether a recession or global pandemic).
Through prudent management, Protective has positioned itself well to capitalize on a consolidating industry and emerge as a preeminent player in helping customers protect what is most important to them.
That being said, during periods of significant economic volatility, it is an opportunity for us to step up and provide customers with the security they’re looking for.
We never stop problem solving for our customers’ needs.
The past year we have seen a shift in the landscape to where customers are seeking three main things to protect their retirement:
- Guaranteed retirement incomes.
- Protection of principle.
- Tax-favored accumulation.
These types of products are highly sought after and very valuable in periods of economic uncertainty, whether it’s the geopolitical unrest we are currently experiencing or a global pandemic like the past two years.
In addition to how we think about products, the way we support our distributors and customers has also evolved significantly through leveraging digital capabilities.
For example, instead of meeting face-to-face with wholesalers and advisors, we now have the flexibility to conduct a virtual meeting.
Our support model has evolved to provide advisors with more efficient support whether they desire efficient digital support or in-person guidance.
2. What’s your main focus right now?
Our focus will always be on protecting people.
We’ve been doing it for 115 years, and we see it as our duty and responsibility to put people first. That will never change.
Within Protective’s retirement division, we are centering around three product categories right now:
- Longevity-oriented solutions on a fixed or fixed index annuity framework.
- Equity-based accumulation and longevity solutions.
- Efficient wealth transfer through a simplified whole life chassis.
Two of these product categories are acutely focused on guaranteed income, with an emphasis on accumulation in a tax-deferred way.