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NAFA’s 2015 Annuity Distribution Summit - A Great Event!

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend NAFA’s Annuity Distribution Summit in Coral Gables, FL. This event, held annually, is designed to bring together individuals from independent marketing organizations (IMOs), banks, and broker/dealers, as well as carrier and industry representatives to network, share ideas and discuss the unique challenges of the independent distribution channel.

Keynote speaker, Todd Buchholz, a leading economist and an energizing speaker, opened this year’s event, held at the beautiful Biltmore Hotel near Miami, FL. The sessions that followed included cybersecurity, IMO compliance, and my favorite – an update on the DOL proposed fiduciary rule. I found this session particularly valuable. The presenters (Pam Heinrich, Chris Conroy and Jodi Hyde) were well versed in the intimate details of the proposed rule and the considerable challenges that the industry will face in implementation if it is passed.

A special thanks to NAFA for their continued efforts to lobby the DOL, urging them to carefully consider how the proposal in its most recent form will significantly affect the industry’s ability to comply with the final rule, yet still be able to offer retirement services to consumers at a reasonable cost.

Also worth noting, Eric Thomes, Senior VP of Sales at Allianz Life Insurance Company, was presented with the Bo Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award by NAFA during the event. This award is presented to individuals who demonstrate “…courage, spirit and determination that challenges the status quo, inspires other to achieve, contributes unselfishly to others, and works ethically and conscientiously to improve our industry and our marketplace”, according to NAFA. Congratulations, Eric!

All in all, this was a well-run, well-attended conference. Many thanks to NAFA, the presenters, and the attendees for making it a success!