George “Chip” Van Dusen IV is the President and CEO of Diversified Brokerage Services. Chip is a current board member of the AALU, and recently served as Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA). Heavily involved in numerous other ways throughout the life insurance industry, Chip provides a unique perspective on carrier and industry happenings and how they can affect advisors and their business.
It’s a new year. A time for us to look back on the previous year, celebrate our achievements, and learn from the past. For most of us, we take advantage of this annual “reset button” to reflect on the year behind us both personally and professionally, and more importantly, look toward the future, define our goals, and visualize all that we can accomplish. For Diversified Brokerage Services, 2018 was another milestone year. We celebrated our 50th anniversary as a family business. The gratitude that my partner (my sister and our Chief Operations Officer Tori Van Dusen-Roos) and I have for our father and founder of DBS, and all the employees who have worked, continue to work, and will join DBS is immense. It’s amazing what our team has been able to achieve.
Turning toward the future, we want to build on this success. Looking ahead to 2019, one main word comes to mind: OPPORTUNITY. Even though our country is doing well economically, many advisors and their clients are looking for alternatives to traditional investment strategies to offset what they’re doing in those areas. They’re recognizing how life insurance can provide solutions for things like retirement income and protection needs. We’re seeing more and more advisors embrace life insurance as a tool and discover how life insurance products can be a strong component in an overall financial plan. That’s all positive.
There are also a number of factors and changes going on in the financial services industry that are creating some uncertainty, but with any uncertainty or change comes opportunity. Particularly in the life insurance business, when there is disruption, it gives us an opportunity to tell the story of how life insurance products can benefit an advisor’s practice and enhance the relationships they have with their clients.
A new congress was sworn in last week, which will bring about change and uncertainty. We also have clarity from the SEC and Department of Labor on the fiduciary rule. It’s important to understand how that will look, be influential where we can, and come together as an industry with one voice. We have been disjointed in the past but need to be consistent in what we’re communicating to regulators and legislators where the fiduciary rule comes into play. This is another opportunity.
Looking at the life insurance industry specifically, we will likely see a lot of change in the products that are offered. Principle-Based Reserving deadlines and the adoption of the 2017 CSO mortality tables will likely produce changes that will affect several areas of the industry. In addition, we’ll continue to see technology play a strong role in how business is conducted going forward. There are advances and developments all the time that impact the manufacturer, intermediary, advisor and consumer – all in a positive way. Having a strong partner like DBS to help navigate and guide you through case design and product selection, as well as underwriting and technological solutions that make sense for you and your client is key, and DBS is well positioned to guide you through that process.
We’re committed to staying on the leading edge and in preparing thoughtfully for these changes and those to come. We’ve got a lot of exciting things happening from an operational, technological, marketing and sales perspective, so there’s really no area that is going to be untouched as we continue to move into 2019. Watch for more information on the changes occurring within our organization, how we’re preparing and planning for external change, and how we will continue to be your best partner as we move through whatever the future may hold.
I’m optimistic about what 2019 will bring for the financial services industry and about what lies ahead for DBS as an organization. The opportunity that exists for our partnership is immeasurable and I invite you to share in my optimism and enthusiasm as we embark on a new year.