The new Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow program will feature a sharply focused, timely curriculum to meet agents’ needs, according to the College for Financial Planning and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, which teamed up to develop the revised designation.

The updated version of the program came about as the result of “an outcry from designees” to keep LUTCF going after a change in the institution that administers the program, said NAIFA President Juli McNeely.

The new program is “going to be very complete, very robust. It really is designed to give a brand-new adviser what they need to be successful,” said McNeely, who holds the LUTCF designation.

The development of the new program involved a team of subject matter experts, known as the LUTCF Advisory Committee, as well as a content-validation survey to determine how the curriculum could be as relevant as possible.

The survey included all LUTCF designees in NAIFA’s database and focused on the questions of “who’s the target audience, and what do they need to their job, and how do we fill that need?” said Jason Brunner, director of institutional research and effectiveness at the College for Financial Planning. (read more…)

It appears likely that a measure to create the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers will become law, and agents need to know what that means for their business, said Jill Hoffman, assistant vice president of federal government relations with the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers.

A NARAB amendment is attached to House and Senate legislation to reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act backstop. The political consensus is that NARAB will pass along with TRIA, which must be renewed before it expires at the end of this year, Hoffman said.

The bill is designed to establish a national licensing body through which agents would pay a fee to get a NARAB license in the state or states where they want to be licensed, said Scott Sinder, outside counsel with Steptoe & Johnson.

NAIFA wants to have a seat on the NARAB board of directors, which would be appointed by the president and also would include regulators, Sinder said. (read more…)

Diligent preparation is crucial for successfully addressing the heavy scrutiny that long-term disability claims are facing, said Evan Schwartz, founding partner of Quadrino Schwartz.

One of an insurance company’s first steps with a long-term disability claim is conducting a recission review to examine a policyholder’s income and medical information for any misrepresentations, Schwartz said Sunday at the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers Career Conference and Annual Meeting in San Diego.

The insurer conducts a financial review for several purposes, the initial reason being to determine that an insured was doing the type of job he or she claimed to be at the time of becoming disabled, Schwartz said.

In fact, long-term disability coverage is based on occupation at the time of disability, although many people misunderstand this and think instead that coverage is based on their job at the time they purchased a policy, he said.

A policy that remains in force beyond the two-year incontestability period isn’t necessarily exempt from concern over claims that the insurance company has the basis to dispute, Schwartz warned. (read more…)

Social media has become a necessity for financial advisers to stay “top of mind” with clients and prospects, but they need to be able to “put the time and dedication into it” in order to make their efforts successful, said Amy McIlwain, president of Financial Social Media.

LinkedIn is a popular choice for financial-services firms because its users are there for business purposes, making it the “trade show” of social media platforms, McIlwain said Saturday during NAIFA’s Career Conference and Annual Meeting in San Diego. On LinkedIn, “your booth is going to be your profile,” which should be complete and tell your story effectively, she said.

Advisers who use Twitter should “listen first [and] talk second,” she said. As they become acquainted with the platform, they should follow others and take note of trending topics, which are designated with hashtags, she recommended. Once comfortable, they should join in the conversation and tell interesting, relevant stories to build their brand, she said. (read more…)

The Milken Institute is working to give policymakers, media, and the academic community a deeper base of knowledge when it comes to global banking issues. The Institute’s recent launch of GlobalBanking.org offers users a new and unique way of accessing information on banking systems worldwide and their regulatory environment. The site aggregates World Bank data from 180 countries in addition to its own independent research and analysis on an open platform that is accessible to anyone.

“Never before has this kind of information been collected and presented in such an easy-to-use way,” said Staci Warden, executive director of the Milken Institute’s Center for Financial Markets. “We are confident that it will be a tremendous resource for anyone working in this area.”

The aim of GlobalBanking.org is to build a database of international banking facts and figures, increasing transparency regarding the worldwide banking environment. Key features include ease of use and the ability to incorporate data into independent research by users; interactive charts and maps; up-to-date news and expert commentary, and global banking reports. (read more…)