Industry’s rapid change, especially for distribution, is accelerating
NEW YORK CITY, Oct. 29, 2018—Opening the 2018 LIMRA Conference amidst more than 900 attendees, Robert A. Kerzner, CLU, ChFC, president and CEO of LIMRA, LOMA and LL Global, discussed how the life insurance and retirement industries have changed over his 44-year career, declaring the rate of change is accelerating especially for distribution.
“Traditional distribution is consolidating, aging and declining. To reach more consumers and grow life insurance and annuity sales, we must add new distribution channels,” said Kerzner. “We need to establish new and broader distribution sources. We must leverage technology to simplify the process so more banks, broker-dealers and registered investment advisors want to recommend life insurance and annuities to their clients.”
Kerzner discussed how technology has improved underwriting, marketing and product design. Citing the many direct-to-consumer and engagement platforms that have popped up over the past five years, he explained that consumers’ expectations have evolved. “Whether its retail, affinity or workplace, consumers expect an easy and engaging experience, said Kerzner. “Technology solutions have helped companies progress but there is still far more we have to do.”
Dramatic advances in technology have supported companies’ ability to set a path toward true digitalization. “While our research indicates every company has initiatives underway to transform into a digital organization, current legacy systems and budget priorities constrain them,” noted Kerzner. “Those who figure it out will be clear winners in the next 5 to 10 years.”
Kerzner suggested industry transformation could come from outside technology disruptors, like Amazon, Google or Facebook, platforms where consumers – especially younger ones – already shop, share and trust.
“These tech players are already digitally native,” he commented. “They look at a business problem from a digital perspective. Rather than competitors, could they be the new distribution we are seeking? Could they or someone else become a financial service super-marketplace where people will go to get any type of financial service product?”
Kerzner closed his remarks reminding the audience that the pace of change occurring now is slower than it will for the next 5 years so he suggested “buckle up”.
“The truth is you can’t stop disruption – I showed you how different it was 44 years ago to prove that change happens. Companies shouldn’t fear change they should embrace it because change allows for new opportunities and growth.”
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Serving the industry since 1916, LIMRA, a worldwide research, consulting and professional development organization, is the trusted source of industry knowledge, helping more than 600 insurance and financial services companies in 64 countries. Visit LIMRA at www.limra.com