NAILBA Brokerage in Motion Insurbrief - Episode 5

Audio transcription – September 29, 2021 

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

Featuring:
  • Katie Fehlinger, NAILBA
  • Dan LaBert, NAILBA
  • Cynthia Tidwell, Royal Neighbors
  • Jim Sorebo, Highland Capital Brokerage 

SPEAKER TEXT

This episode of Brokerage In Motion was brought to you by Simplicity Group.

Katie Fehlinger:
Hello and welcome to Brokerage In Motion, your one-stop guide to everything you need to know from across independent distribution. I'm Katie Fehlinger. In industry headlines. Financial planning is more top of mind for American consumers. According to a new study from Lincoln financial group, 60% of respondents are thinking differently about their financial future as a result of COVID-19. And they're more motivated to take action. In fact, life insurance ranked as one of the most important financial assets after emergency savings and tied with retirement savings accounts. Millennials in particular said funding life insurance has become more important to them.

Katie Fehlinger:
Meanwhile, Protective has introduced a new brand identity. The new brand is designed to leverage the power of the company name and its purpose, which includes Protective's 114-year commitment of putting people first. Watch for Protective to roll out an updated visual identity as well, including a new logo over the next year. In acquisition news, IMO Senior Market Sales has acquired Thomas insurance group, a Missouri-based independent insurance brokerage firm. The partnership will allow SMS to help smaller companies like TIG scale to serve more clients, largely through technology solutions that attract more agencies that need help scaling to meet the growing demand in the senior market.

Katie Fehlinger:
And finally, more partnership news. Proformex and BKA Financial have announced a strategic partnership aimed at improving the life insurance ownership experience for clients. Their objective is to further redefine the industry standard for post-sale policy servicing by making things easier for clients. In particular, access to data and analysis. At the core of the collaboration is a transfer of BKA Financials post-sales servicing processes into the Proformex platform. If you have any carrier or industry announcements or news to share, we would love to hear about it. Feel free to email us at [email protected] Turning it over now to CEO Dan Labert, who's talking with one of NAILBA's newest partners. Dan.
 
Dan Labert:
Cynthia, welcome to Brokerage In Motion. So glad to have you here. Um, first question, just so we can get the viewers up to speed. At a high level, what do you want them to know about you? What do you want them to know about Royal Neighbors?
 
Cynthia Tidwell:
Well, thanks Dan. It's great to be here. Again, I'm Cynthia Tidwell, I'm president and CEO of Royal Neighbors of America. Now I've spent numerous years in both the property casualty and life insurance spaces. I want to tell you about Royal Neighbors. We're a different kind of insurance organization. As a fraternal benefit society, that basically means we're a membership organization and we're driven by a mission. We like to say that money funds our mission, so a successful business really helps us push our philanthropic efforts forward. But our thriving business and financial strength are just part of our differentiation. Now I'd like to take us back to 1895.
 
Cynthia Tidwell:
Nine women recognized that they had both emotional and financial value, and they mobilized to form Royal Neighbors. One of the first insurance carriers to offer life insurance to women and children. And for the past 126 years, we've been protecting our members with life insurance and annuities, empowering women, and building up communities all across the country through volunteerism, local philanthropy, and improving the lives of our members. So today we're here on Brokerage In Motion because we believe in independent agents, and we want to connect with others who have a passion for helping people and communities.
 
Dan Labert:
Okay. Now you hit on some great points in there and I want to, I want to hit them and push it just a little bit, right? You, you mentioned that, um, a fraternal, right? So that screams member, members and membership, and we all know that membership has to be an experience. It can't just be a transaction or members go away. Uh, I get to say that from living in the association world. So that being said, especially around the independent advisor agent, whatever, whatever we want to, uh, title them as. Um, which by the way, has almost 400,000 of them follow around Melbourne, the BGAs. How does Royal Neighbors difference apply to them?
 
Cynthia Tidwell:
Well, we also believe as I think independent agents that life insurance is sold, not bought, and that it's a relationship business. People don't just get up in the morning and say, Boy, I'm going to go buy life insurance. They need guidance. (laughs) They need somebody to help them through stages of their lifetimes. And we believe independent agents can do this better than anyone else. They're about providing solutions. And we want to enable independent agent success, client success, and quite honestly, ultimately our success.
 
Katie Fehlinger:
Thanks, Dan. We are going to take just a short break. Don't go anywhere. There's more Brokerage In Motion coming up.
 
Speaker 4:
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Katie Fehlinger:
Welcome back to Brokerage In Motion and it's time for our ID Why segment, where we shine the spotlight on the people that make up independent distribution and learn their why, their reasons for getting into the business. In this ID Why installment, we hear the story of one Nailba member who has taken years of adversity and turned it into gratitude. Take a look. Jim Sorebo has faced a lot.
 
Jim Sorebo:
And I've learned so much more through adversity, but adversity is an, is an incredible teacher.
 
Katie Fehlinger:
Growing up in a low-income household, watching his father become disabled and eventually passing away from a rare brain disease called Huntington's. It's also a genetic disease, which meant Jim himself had a 50/50 chance to get it.
 
Jim Sorebo:
As I got older, I recognized the chances went down for me to get Huntington's. So I got more comfortable in my mind that I could probably get through that.
 
Katie Fehlinger:
Life happened, Jim moved away, developed a career, started a family. Then one day his sister called. Like their father, she too had Huntington's.
 
Jim Sorebo:
And my life was shattered again. It started things all over again in my mind of giving back and helping, and doing the things necessary, which is probably why I got involved in this industry I think to begin with.
 
Katie Fehlinger:
Jim's given back for years. A past board chair for Nailba, current president of the NAILBA Charitable Foundation, that desire to help others was instilled in him early on. So was the importance of planning. In fact, Jim's mother insisted he buy life insurance after graduation, because it had meant so much to her.
 
Jim Sorebo:
Allowed her to go back to vocational school. We went to work at our local hospital and pay off our mortgage, and get her set up for life.
 
Katie Fehlinger:
And so Jim planned for his own family as best he could. In 2018, he decided it was time to sell his brokerage agency. Less than a year later, another bombshell. Jim had throat cancer.
 
Jim Sorebo:
Never saw that coming. I, I thought there would've been a lot of other things, Katie, that would take me versus, uh, cancer. Never smoked, none of that stuff. No cancer in the family.
 
Katie Fehlinger:
You are a fighter, Jim. There's no doubt about that. You were not about to let this or any disease take control.
 
Jim Sorebo:
The doctor told me you're going to lose 20 or 50 pounds, and we may have to put you on a feeding tube. I said, that's not happening. If I can control that, that's not happening.
 
Katie Fehlinger:
He armed himself with two things. First positivity, the belief that he could beat this.
 
Jim Sorebo:
Because you know, if you don't believe, you're not going to get it done. Secondly, I needed a spiritual base, something bigger than myself to believe in and for. And I checked both those boxes.
 
Katie Fehlinger:
Jim documented his journey through weekly videos, which received a flood of support.
 
Jim Sorebo:
I've got two weeks left to go. Are things going to get worse? I don't know, but I'm going to fight like hell and kick cancer's ass, as I've said all along.
 
Katie Fehlinger:
And now he's sharing his story as a keynote speaker, which he admits took getting used to.
 
Jim Sorebo:
Us guys, especially in my generation, you suffered in silence. You, you were not vulnerable. You didn't talk about this. You didn't complain. And I finally got comfortable talking about it.
 
Katie Fehlinger:
His message draws on those personal obstacles he had to overcome, as well as inspiration he found in the movie 300.
 
Jim Sorebo:
300 warriors from Sparta tried to fight back against some millions of Persians. And I was inspired by it, uh, and it taught me to never give up and to never quit.
 
Katie Fehlinger:
A symbolic Spartan helmet, the power of perseverance and recognizing life's blessings. For Jim, their daily reasons to be thankful.
 
Jim Sorebo:
Drives my wife, Kathy nuts, but I'm like a ten-year-old on my birthday because I'm here another year. And I love celebrating that, even to this day.
 
Katie Fehlinger:
Right now we turn to an update on Nailba 40 with CEO, Dan Labert.
 
Dan Labert:
Hi everyone. Dan Labert, CEO of NAILBA here. I hope this video finds you happy, healthy, and having a very productive 2021. As we are finishing up quarter three, we are all preparing for a very busy quarter four. I want to share some exciting news about the Melbourne annual meeting, November 15th to the 17th, or as we are referring to it as #NAILBA40. Yes, celebrating 40 years of independent distribution. NAILBA opened up our annual meeting registration this past summer. I'm happy to report that our current registration is running 19% ahead of where we were this time in 2019, the last time we held an in-person event. This means between 400 and 500 attendees are already registered. The venue for our event is the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, Florida. We know this facility, fantastic venue, plenty of open space, great weather, and of course, state-of-the-art conference facilities. The NAILBA hotel room block has now sold out twice. That means it had to be extended two times to accommodate demand.
 
Dan Labert:
This means over 500 rooms have already been reserved for NAILBA 40. Here's one more nugget, the NAILBA 40 exhibit hall, the place we all love to gather, talk with our carrier partners, our product and service partners, and really truly network, which makes the NAILBA meeting so valuable. We are two exhibit booths, yes, two booths shy away from a complete sell out. I'm sharing this information because we are excited for you to join with us in person and celebrate NAILBA 40. Now, for those who are unable to attend for whatever reason, please remember NAILBA also dedicated days for online engagement. That means one day in November, two days in December, where we will showcase various industry leadership, new products and ways to increase sales plus have a virtual exhibit hall. Again, this is separate from our in-person event, separate days, separate content, but we made this decision after the wildly successful 2020 NAILBA Engage, where there were over 1800 registrants and thousands of digital touchpoints.
 
Dan Labert:
In-person please know the NAILBA team is managing every possible aspect to ensure a safe, yet recognizable experience. Given our current landscape around professional events, we strongly encourage all attendees to take the proper steps necessary to safely attend the event. As go deeper into the fall, please visit nailba.org for any attendance guidelines. We look forward to seeing you at the Gaylord Palms, November 15th through the 17th, and we are excited for NAILBA 40.
 
Katie Fehlinger:
That is going to do it for this episode of Brokerage In Motion, we look forward to seeing you next time. Thanks for watching. Leading the financial planning business, Simplicity Group is proud to support its distribution partners, advisors, and consumers with industry education and long-term consumer value. Step into the future with Simplicity Group. Visit simplicitygroup.com for more information.