I decided to switch things up a bit for the Industry Chat series this month. Choosing instead to reflect on my own career in financial services, and the valuable lessons I’ve learned along the way. This is the first part of three, I hope you enjoy.
As I come up to my 5th year anniversary with Brokers International, I’m reflecting on the great people I get to work with, and the clients we serve – and how fortunate I am to be leading an innovative company in the insurance industry. We’ve developed an innovative and responsive business model that I’m proud to share here.
I’m often asked “what makes Brokers International different?” The answer is that our entire business model is built to support the success of our agency partners and their financial professionals through great service, innovative tools, and proven marketing programs.
Our Sub-Agency Model
One of the biggest differences between Brokers International and most of our competitors, is that the majority of business that we write runs through sub-agencies. We consider ourselves the original agency owner. We’ve worked with more than 60 agencies. Our customers are wholesale agencies or FMOs, and the agents are their customers. So most of the programs we have built on behalf of the agencies.
Broker’s International has a number of programs that are unmatched in the industry. Compliance is more important than ever, and on behalf of agencies we have developed robust compliance capabilities. If an agency doesn’t have their own compliance department, we can work on their behalf. This includes background checks on agents and website and marketing reviews. We can review brochures, seminar, and point of sale materials. Much like a home inspector does a complete review before you purchase a home, our compliance team can look at your materials and provide an objective review. In addition, if a carrier for example, has an issue with an agent, we can often work with an agency to support and/or defend the agent.
Broker’s International also owns a broker-dealer and an RIA. Many of the smaller FMOs don’t have their own broker-dealers or RIAs. If you are a smaller FMO and you want to help your agents expand their business into the securities world, through a broker-dealer, or by becoming an IAR or RIA, we can support that process.
Over the last 14 years we have spoken in front of over 25,000 CPAs through our very successful CPA Alliance Program. We support agents by running a CPE seminar for CPAs. With the local agent as the host, we offer a turnkey marketing solution that includes everything from sending the mailers to hosting the event, and offering the CPE credit. Every CPA that attends, is enrolled in a 12 month follow up communication program to nurture a relationship with that CPA that will yield agent referrals.
Broker’s International also offers a fully digital seminar program to agents. We supply the PowerPoint, speaker notes, invites, and supporting materials. We are doing seminar registration digitally, which means you don’t have to spend direct mail dollars to get attendance. We even have a 20 seat guarantee! If we don’t fill 20 seats or 20 households at your seminar, we’ll offer a reduced rate. It’s a very cost effective and professional way for agents to run seminars and connect with prospects on a number of relevant topics.
Broker’s International also offers a new business platform where we help review your new business applications. On the annuity and the life side, we are tracking the cases right along with you. Any outstanding requirements, we’re getting that information to you in a timely manner. We’re also staying on top of any commission issues and working to get them resolved quickly.
Brokers offers a free-of-charge technology platform called Business Builder. It is an app where you can view the majority of carriers that we are doing business with, your submitted business, outstanding requirements, and paid cases. Many agents, outside of our network, are doing business with multiple companies and have to access separate websites to track their business processing. Through the Business Builder app agents can access all of your information in one place and provides real-time data on most of the carriers that we do business with.
Broker’s International has a full service phone team on both the annuity and life side. They’re there to help you run illustrations, and answer product questions. We also have product analysts on staff who can compare any products that we have in the industry that either we represent or that we don’t. We have the ability to carefully review products from an actuarial perspective at no cost to agencies.
We provide a full range of services for an agency, that they then pass down to their agents. An agency can pick and choose which services they want to offer to agents and we make it efficient for them to manage the productivity of those agents.
At Brokers, we are proud of the success we have had in building wholesale agencies from the ground up and some that have surpassed the $100 million mark in gross premium. We are the original agency builder, offering support with all of the tactical, logistical and strategic components of making an agency run and achieve success.
I appreciate the opportunity to share my passion for this great company. Please get in touch with your questions – we’d love to help!