I hope you will agree that anyone who travels to Scottsdale, AZ in June, where temperatures routinely flicker around 100 degrees, is dedicated to his work. There couldn’t be another reason.
In Scottsdale a week ago for the annual M Financial marketing meeting, I was prepared for fresh thinking and insights from both outside speakers and many of our own people. Yet what I came away with was so much more that I felt elated in the special way that only occurs when something highly unusual – and quite wonderful – takes place.
In this case, it was the announcement of a suite of new commission-based insurance products that I believe will be of extraordinary interest to our clients, not only because they are excellent in and of themselves, but because they are available through TIAA-CREF only to members of M Financial. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a groundbreaking partnership.
Let me explain briefly: TIAA-CREF, a wholly owned subsidiary of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, has been writing insurance since 1919. Today, it is one of Fortune’s 100 largest U.S. companies, with more than $464 billion in combined assets under management. It is also one of the great quality carriers in our industry. No insurer has stronger ratings from Moody’s, S&P, Fitch and A.M. Best Co.
M Financial Group, meanwhile, is an organization of independently owned brokerages, like HORAN, each one of which owns a piece of M Financial. Founded in 1978, it was formed to assist insurance companies in creating a new standard of products and services for wealthy and corporate clients; such products would be proprietary to M Financial affiliates. In our region, HORAN is the only M Financial affiliate.
Last week’s announcement signals a greatly enhanced relationship between M Financial and TIAA-CREF. For one thing, it is the first time the insurer is permitting salespeople other than its own employees to sell its products – thus the “first-time” commission based sales. The new, market segmented life insurance products – M Intelligent Universal Life Insurance, M Intelligent Variable Universal Life Accumulator and M Intelligent Variable Universal Life Protector – reflect not only the gold standard qualities of their issuer, they come at very competitive prices. Why? Because pricing is based on M Financial’s mortality and persistency data, which is superior to other carriers’ shelf products.
Want to know something else impressive? Fully five percent of TIAA-CREF’s 7,000 employees are working on the new relationship with M Financial, building, refining and servicing the new products for us. That says to me that TIAA-CREF knows a winner when it sees one, and it means to do everything within its power to promote its competitive advantage.
Making its announcement last week, TIAA-CREF noted, “TC Life and M Financial are justifiably proud of, and highly protective of, our brands. We enjoy the reputation among our clients as being best in class. We believe in transparency – providing a window into the ‘black box’ typical of many life insurance products – and advocacy that fuels the long-term success of the products and services we deliver.”
I think I have made my point. This is a watershed moment for M Financial, for HORAN as an affiliate of M Financial, and for our customers. Please don’t hesitate to call your HORAN representative, or me, to learn more.
This is worth a trip into the desert, in June.