CHANGE is on Everyone’s Mind
MESSAGE FROM NAFA
Last month, NAFA had the privilege of hosting 190 of its members from companies and vendors representing all aspects of fixed annuity distribution at the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, FL. Members from across the country connected for the seventh annual Annuity Distribution Summit. The Summit provided a unique forum for discussing the most pertinent issues facing our industry today. Though we heard a wealth of great information and advice for bettering our respective businesses, I want to highlight one underlying theme that resonated in each and every presentation, networking event, panelist discussion and hallway interaction: CHANGE.
From the way we build indices to the makeup of our workforce; from rapidly evolving technology to continued economic volatility; from critical compliance concerns to the pending DOL fiduciary duty rule, the only certainty within our marketplace is CHANGE. While we cannot predict what tomorrow may bring, we can work together to more successfully prepare for it. And a large part of doing so relies on your continued contributions to NAFA.
As the only trade association dedicated to the fixed annuity space, our collective voice is one that must be heard as we work to protect our businesses, the agents we support and the consumers they serve. Whether you can give your time to one or more NAFA committees, your monetary contributions to help fund our NAFA PAC or your support to our outreach on the Hill, there are numerous opportunities available to make the most of your NAFA membership. With your enthusiasm and effort, we can ensure that NAFA remains at the forefront of this change and continues to grow and evolve with the industry.
Surely, our biggest challenge will come in the form of the DOL’s proposed fiduciary rule, which is anticipated to have the biggest impact since the deregulation of the securities industry a few decades ago. Among the harshest predictions, as reported by Investment News in mid-October: (1) Brokers will be forced to adapt or vanish (2) The independent brokerage channel will be completely altered (3) Competition will surge for existing fiduciaries and (4) Pricing transparency and fee compression will become the standard.
NAFA, along with our partners on Capitol Hill, continue to actively battle this wildly disruptive rule. Given the fact the DOL has received a whopping 391,621 comments and petitions, we remain cautiously optimistic. With Labor Secretary Thomas Perez noting as recently as October 16, 2015 that, “I’m confident we [DOL] will be making changes to improve the rule,” in this instance, CHANGE has the possibility to be good.
Despite the continued volume of change, you can count on NAFA to represent and protect your interests in 2016 and beyond.
I’ll leave you with a favorite quote from Socrates:
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
Executive Director, NAFA