Top 2016 Challenges? Distribution and Regulation

LIMRA: Majority of Financial Services Executives all see a common thread;
Engaging Millennials also a high priority

WINDSOR, Conn., Jan. 7, 2016—In a LIMRA survey of more than 40 financial services executives, the top challenges cited involve distribution issues of attracting and retaining sales professionals and adapting to regulatory changes in 2016.

“When we look closer at the top challenges the executives chose, we see a common thread for their concerns,” said Scott Kallenbach, director of Strategic Research for LIMRA. “If the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary standard is enacted as proposed, it will have a significant impact on the distribution and design of financial products well into the future.”

Executives shared insights about the distribution challenge, expressing concerns about how to attract and retain Millennials as sales professionals. Related to that, executives also worry about the marketing challenge of effectively reaching and retaining Millennial consumers.

The Customer Experience

Among their forecasts for 2016, two thirds of executives predict an increased focus on customer experience management (CEM) programs, up from 34 percent in 2013.

“Executive responses on CEM show how companies are thinking differently about how to best serve the end customer,” said Kallenbach. “Companies have shifted from listening only to professionals who sell their products to engaging the consumers who buy them.”

In order to compete in today’s market, nearly half of the executives believe the industry needs to replicate the customer engagement experience found on and other online shopping sites.

To compile Forecasting Change: 2016 LIMRA Predictions Report, LIMRA hosted a webinar in the fourth quarter of 2015 with 36 executives representing companies in asset management, insurance, banking and other areas of financial services. An additional eight executives who were not able to take part in the webinar, provided their predictions via an online survey.

Measuring customer engagement