Stephen Lance Joins Proformex

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Stephen Lance Joins Proformex

 

Experienced SaaS startup sales strategist brings his expertise to the nation’s fastest growing life insurance technology software company

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio – June 16, 2020 – Proformex, creator of a proactive life insurance policy monitoring platform designed to give insurance agents, advisors and fiduciaries better oversight and visibility into the performance of inforce life insurance and annuities, today announced that Stephen Lance will be joining the team as its Vice President of Sales.

 

Lance has more than 25 years of Silicon Valley startup experience in various leadership positions with companies such as ParcPlace, ValiCert, and Intralinks. Additionally, he served in a sales leadership role working for Steve Jobs when NeXT was sold to Apple. At each company, he focused on creating highly profitable software IPOs while maintaining a customer-centric mentality.

 

“I am delighted to be joining the highly-motivated team here at Proformex and join their efforts in fundamentally improving the way agents and advisory customers service their clients and run their business,” Lance said. “The company’s growth so far has been remarkable, and I am eager and prepared to help take it to the next level.”

 

In his new role with Proformex, Lance will focus on further developing a customer-first, forecast-reliable, and growth-oriented sales organization. Like he did in previous positions, he will promote a positive culture of attainment and develop top performers to achieve our ambition to fundamentally improve inforce management for the industry.

 

Proformex CEO Kris Beck said: “We are incredibly proud to have Steve join team Proformex. With his demonstrated history in scaling software sales teams from startup to multimillion-dollar exits and IPOs, we think he is a perfect fit. I welcome his leadership and look forward to seeing the impact he will make on our company.”

 

About Proformex

Proformex is the industry leading life insurance inforce policy management solution for producers, financial advisors, trustees, and distributors. Our carrier and distribution agnostic platform enables customers to securely store, manage and analyze their entire inforce book of business in one place. Designed to proactively alert users of potential problems with their client’s inforce policies, Proformex protects policies against lapsing, degradation and asset erosion.

 

Media Contact

David Morris

(855) 341-1331

dmorris@proformex.com

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Filling The Gap With Human Capital Getting The Most Out Of Your System

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By Ken Leibow

Published in Broker World Magazine June 2020

 

Life insurance and annuity carriers figured out a long time ago that speed to market and reducing operational costs with a combination of outsourcing and technology for new business and claims, for example using third party administrators like SE2, EXL and Infosys-McCamish, was significant in allowing for more product launches and focusing on growing sales. A hybrid of this model offered by firms like Employee Pooling and eNoah has been hugely successful in the BGA space. I had the privilege to learn more about the value proposition these firms bring to the table for a life brokerage general agency (BGA) by talking with Tom Gray, founder and Michelle Anderson, head of marketing, L&C Division, at Employee Pooling, as well as Manoj Sherman, SVP, and Stacey Paulsen, director of insurance services, at eNoah.

 

A BGA Increases Focus on Sales with a Seamless Extension of their Team Using Employee Pooling
While daily operations for most agencies follow the same basic blueprint in processing, managing, and capturing new business opportunities, there is no one-size-fits-all in meeting a company’s needs to get the job done. The reasons to right-source your agency by seeking support from an offshore firm are diverse, but the expectations are the same–to extend operating hours through the U.S. nighttime and get the job done accurately and on-time without breaking the bank.

 

Companies like Employee Pooling can certainly position an agency to bring scale and bring stability to daily operations while increasing revenue, especially during these trying times when work volume can erratically ebb and flow. Agencies are also taking advantage of outsourcing options when faced with time restraints, or they simply lack the bandwidth to handle everything piling up on their plates. Why wouldn’t you turn to a BPO who’s seen and done it all, knows the intricacies of every major technology platform like Agency Integrator, SmartOffice, OneHQ, and SureLC, who knows all the rules and nuances of dozens of carriers, and has mapped out processes for every departmental task with care and detail? This level of skill and swiftness almost can’t be matched by any new office member. The bonus is these BPOs cost about the price of an intern.

 

According to Tom Gray, founder and president of Employee Pooling, LLC (EP), in addition to removing obstacles getting in the way of sales, the most important element for establishing a successful relationship with his customers is trust. “We treat every task that we do as if it were our own, whether it’s seeing an agent appointment through or handling comprehensive case management and commission build outs, we take ownership of the task at hand.” The EP team is literally woven into the fabric of a customer’s operations, and because they already know every component of the software technology that’s used in our industry, along with processes and best practices for every agency department from agent appointments, new business and commissions to inforce policy management, onboarding is swift and seamless. Gray adds that the customer relationship reaches a mutually meaningful level when EP earns their trust by assuming full responsibility for the tasks at hand.

 

In addition to onboarding customers who are looking to maximize their software performance or get more out of their current workforce, EP has taken on countless cases of “What now?” situations from customers who are faced with an unexpected circumstance that could significantly impact the overall flow of operations and their livelihood.

 

“These immediate employee departures can impact a company overnight,” says Gray, “And even the most dialed-in companies are not equipped to handle the workflow, do not know the ins and outs of software platforms like Agency Integrator, SmartOffice, OneHQ, or SureLC—or worse, they do not know the details of what’s involved in the process of that particular position that is suddenly vacant.” A recent example of the latter occurred when an EP customer suddenly and tragically lost their one and only case manager. They were at a complete loss and needed a case manager to step in overnight. EP was able to escalate from providing basic support to assuming all new business responsibilities in an instant.

 

Imagine having to step in and fill that role overnight…but EP rises and shines day in day out because of their expertise in every major technology platform, best in class processes, 24-hour service, and their customers’ trust.

 

BGAs Faced with Operational Challenges like COVID-19 are Using eNoah
The learning curve to onboard new talent is long, and finding experienced talent is not easy. It’s an extremely competitive space and with each BGA’s unique culture, finding the right person can be challenging not to mention costly. To add to the learning curve, the diversification of products coupled with state and federal regulations and the carrier’s own interpretation of compliance and the requirements that go along with them, have created a spiderweb of different processes. All which the BGA space has to consume and assist their advisors with. This role often falls on case management to be the “expert” for not only their advisors, but internally within their organization. They are also often involved in pre-sale activities to ensure paperwork and compliance is handled properly before the application hits their desk. eNoah has been successful in helping their BGA customers take on certain tasks so they can prioritize what is most important for their internal team members to focus on.

 

eNoah’s contingency plan ensures there is always an additional resource who knows your business and it’s needs. “We have resources ready with little to no onboarding to support our BGA customers. This also served us well with the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Because of our proactive service model, we were able to support our customers during a transition to work-from-home without a drop in quality or time service,” says Stacey Paulsen, director of insurance services at eNoah.

 

In this “want it now” environment, providing consistent and timely customer service is table stakes. The ultimate challenge is how one maintains time service commitments with excellent quality, all while still being fiscally responsible. eNoah helps juggle these three pain points for their BGA partners by utilizing industry experts who are knowledgeable in all areas of the life of an application while bringing cost savings. eNoah uses a blended approach with a Stateside account manager who has over 20 years of experience in the BGA space. They understand and appreciate the unique differences each BGA brings to the table and work with them to create their own customized onboarding process to make it as seamless as possible.

 

“We want to be an extension of your office, supporting your culture and contributing to your goals and mission statement,’” Paulson stated. “It simply cannot be a one-size-fits- all approach. I love developing strategic partnerships with our BGA customers and truly understanding where they are today and where they want to go. We can help whether that is with a specific need, such as application scrub and entry into your AMS, to full end to end case management and beyond. We customize and support to your unique needs with a delivery team who has over 25 years of experience in the insurance services industry.”

 

Unique Projects for IMOs/FMOs/BGAs
I have been directly or indirectly working on some unique projects to help solve pain-points for IMOs, FMOs and BGAs. As a co-chair of the ACORD Life Inforce Product Working Group, I am helping build out standards for messaging life inforce policies like pre-lapse notifications, policy owner service change requests, term conversions, and inforce illustrations just to name a few. One of the popular inforce policy management platforms is offered by Proformex. As great as the system is in managing an agent’s book of business and discovering new sales opportunities, the critical fuel to function is “data” that gets inputted into the system manually and/or through a data feed. I learned that ePooling plays a key role working with BGAs to manage that data and get it into the inforce policy management system. Another unique project is around commission accounting. The commission accounting systems out in the market today are focused on the BGA commission workflow. These vendors have not directly addressed the needs of commission management for an IMO or FMO. eNoah, with a combination of technology developed internally coupled with using personnel to set up contracts, commission schedules and hierarchies, has been able to remove the commission pain-points and automate what was a very manual process for IMOs and FMOs.

 

With the need for a scalable professional workforce, a BGA’s back-office is servicing agents for licensing/contracting, new business, commission accounting, inforce policy management, and sales illustrations, while also providing product and underwriting expertise. Typically, BGAs are using just a couple of solution platforms, specifically an agency management system, to manage their business. Partnering with a firm like Employee Pooling or eNoah to reduce operational costs and improve efficiencies with the integration of experienced people and faster processes while leveraging the BGAs existing technology is available today.

 

 

COVID-19 Pandemic Drives Surge in Life Insurance Virtual Sales Meetings

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Ensight, a leading life and annuity digital sales platform, today released the latest findings from its quarterly Trends Report which highlights a dramatic shift in life insurance interest due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As shelter-in-place orders forced life insurance agents to work from home, remote selling utilization increased by 155% in just eight weeks. Social distancing restrictions were among the biggest drivers of a transformation towards digital life insurance sales in more than 20 years.

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During April’s nationwide shutdown, the Ensight Platform created over 31,000 digital illustrations for remote sales engagements by agencies, producers, and financial advisors. The insurtech company also reported a dramatic increase in the number of agency users of its interactive virtual sales platform – from 84 to 215 between January and May of 2020.

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“Life insurance has always been a relationship-based business. It’s about connecting with clients and understanding their personal financial protection objectives, and the need for controlled risk that insurance products can offer amidst market volatility. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only re-catalyzed awareness of the need for financial protection, but also ignited a shift to digital client engagement, such as remote discussions over virtual meeting platforms,” said John “Hutch” Hutchinson, Founder of BankingTruths.com. “For years we’ve been working to train our clients to meet virtually, but over the past eight weeks, we’ve found the world is now leaning into a virtual way of doing business. The life insurance sector has realized that a virtual discussion is so much more flexible for the client, but also more productive for our business model. Ensight’s interactive presentations have been instrumental in elevating our virtual professionalism, and the interactive visual experience transforms mundane granular product data into a more tangible digital presentation that a client can understand and act upon.”

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The company, whose interactive virtual sales platform supports life insurance quoting with an easy-to-use, intuitive platform notes guaranteed universal life insurance (GUL) protection-oriented quoting maintained strong activity of nearly 39% in April 2020. In contrast, indexed universal life insurance (IUL) grew from 30% earlier in the year to an average 35% in six weeks. The company’s life agency base supports tens of thousands of life agents, producers, financial advisors and financial services firms with digital interactive presentations for remote sales.

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“The response to the coronavirus has created a broadscale shift to a virtual sales model and is reinvigorating the traditional way life insurance agents conduct business,” says CEO Bill Unrue. “These changes were already taking form as the growth of the gig economy, remote working, and virtual financial advice increased; what we’re seeing now is how the pandemic has accelerated the industry’s digital transformation.”

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To learn more about Ensight at https://www.ensightcloud.com/.

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About Ensight™

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Ensight™ is the leading cloud-based insurance sales acceleration platform for more than 500 Life and Annuity distributors, thousands of financial professionals, as well as many of the largest North American insurance carriers. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Ensight helps drive sales growth and productivity, while addressing the entire sales lifecycle experience – from prospect to policyholder, new business to inforce.

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Read Press Release at: CISION PrWeb

The Battle For The Dashboard

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November 2019

By: Steve Morelli 

InsuranceNewsNet Magazine

 

Ask Doug Massey why it has been so difficult to create seamless and effective insurance technology and he will take you on an Uber ride from hell — metaphorically speaking, of course

 

Massey knows all about the ride because his career has followed the route of insurance tech itself in the early 1990s, when he started a property and casualty quote engine company as a college student. Later, he worked with leading insurance tech companies such as Ebix.

 

Massey is now the executive vice president for sales and relationship management with Insurance Technologies, which, as the name implies, is a key player in insurance tech. And he said the company is finally closing in on a eureka moment when it all comes together into a seamless insurance tech nirvana.

 

But we are in an age when we can get dinner delivered by drone with a click of the thumb, so why is the life insurance and annuity industry’s tech seemingly stuck?

 

Ah, step inside Massey’s exasperating Uber for an explanation.

 

“Let’s assume I’m using my Uber app and I want to do a ride, but it’s the way insurance works,” Massey began. “I’ve got to open up my Google Maps or my Apple Maps. So, I’ve got to find my location. I have to set a pin for my location. Then I say, ‘OK, well I’ve set my pin for my location. Now I want to share that over to this Uber app.’”

Life Inforce Policy Management Automation

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November 2019

By: Ken Leibow 

Broker World Magazine

 

It’s finally here—online tools for life insurance agents and clients to do basic tasks like change beneficiaries, look up paid-to-date information, see account values, and address changes without having to fill out a form or call a customer service phone number. It’s no longer a one-off but being implemented by most life insurance carriers today. You are also now seeing Artificial Intelligence (AI) chat tools for clients to get the information on their policies or to answer basic insurance questions on demand. Readily available for agents is new technology leveraging Big Data Analytics to analyze a policy resulting in new sales opportunities with products that better fit your client’s needs.

 

Policy Review
As an agent, you should do a review with your client on their life insurance policies at least once a year. Policy review should also occur when there is a life changing event or a family’s situation has changed, which could result in the need to increase or decrease coverage. Interest crediting rates on certain policies are much lower today than when the policy was first purchased. This can affect the future performance of your client’s policy, which could result in having to pay additional premium dollars to meet your client’s needs. Because people are living longer or if your client’s health has improved, then they may need to make an adjustment on their policy. On permanent insurance like universal life policies, loans and withdrawals and other changes to the policy, like premiums not paid as planned, may have impacted the current performance. Of course, if premiums have increased then you should do a policy review with your client. If the client is an owner or co-owner of a business and that business has grown or changed, then that is a compelling reason to do a policy review. Occasionally a life insurance company’s ratings or financials have changed, which may no longer meet your client’s risk tolerance.

 

The objective of the policy review is to do a thorough analysis of current insurance holdings vs. current needs. There are also industry and product changes to consider as well. I would recommend to carefully look at older life policies because of the way life insurance is designed today—the current changes in pricing, and how it’s medically underwritten, may have a significant difference in 2019 compared to five, 10 or more years ago. Also, you need to be up to date on the current tax, business and estate law changes. Higher life expectancies (mortality tables), lower interest rates and dividend crediting rates affect performance. There are new products on the market today to consider like indexed universal life products. Look at your client’s goals: If their goals are the same, is there a better insurance product for them today? If their goals have changed, then what’s available today to best meet those financial needs? For living benefit needs there are linked benefit products to consider. Should your client consider a way to financially maximize a policy he no longer needs by looking at a life settlement option?

What Is Life Insurance Straight Through Processing?

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By Ken Leibow – September 1, 2019

Broker World Magazine 

 

I get asked all the time: “What is life insurance straight through processing (STP)?” The answer varies because there are different perspectives based on whether you are a carrier, vendor, BGA, agent or consumer. Life insurance STP has evolved quickly because of the advancement of insurtech, with each piece contributing to the next phase (Term Ticket Model, Accelerated Underwriting—Predictive Automated Underwriting, Digital Sales Platform). So, let’s explore the different types of STP, the benefits today and the trends for the future.

 

Term Ticket Model
In the Distribution world, Straight Through Processing was defined as a Drop-Ticket or Term-Ticket during its peak years from 2011-2016—running a term insurance quote, then clicking a button to do an abbreviated eApp, and then ePolicy delivery. A term ticket is not a full eApp. The term ticket platform may be a proprietary platform like Legal & General AppAssist or a multi-carrier platform like iPipeline iGO. Basically, it involves filling out questions for most of a Part 1 and replacement information, then asking the best time to call your client. The data and pre-filled forms are sent to a call center at the carrier or a third-party service provider like ExamOne for example. The client gets a call that typically lasts 30 minutes or less. The person conducting the tele-interview asks questions to complete the Part 1 and the medical questions for the Part II of the life insurance application. The interviewer follows a reflective script. Signatures are captured for the medical authorization in some cases, and for all the relevant forms, via Voice Signature. The interviewer also schedules the Paramed exam.

 

Once the underwriter receives the lab slip from the exam, with the results from blood drawn from the client, and reviews all the necessary information captured in the interview, then they approve the case—unless the underwriter determines additional information is needed like a copy of medical records from a doctor or hospital (APS). If the case is approved as applied for, and the client has provided his or her email address and opted in for eDelivery, then a notification either goes out to the BGA, agent or client via email depending on the eDelivery workflow setup. The eDelivery process for the client is a ceremony of consenting to eDelivery, even though they already opted in, reviewing the policy, paying the balance of premium due either by credit card or EFT, and then eSigning the delivery requirements like an amendment or delivery receipt. The client then saves or prints their policy. The agent is notified, the case is placed in force, and commissions are paid. This is one example of Term Ticket STP, however each carrier has slight variations of the process described above, and different distribution channels, like direct marketers, have a modified version of a Term Ticket STP. Essentially, it’s the same model.

 

Benefits to the BGA and Agent:

  • Cases submitted in good order;
  • Handing off fulfillment to focus on sales;
  • Faster cycle time;
  • Higher placement ratio;
  • No chasing down delivery requirements—especially premiums;
  • Commissions paid faster;
  • Reduce travel costs in delivering a policy; and,
  • Seamless experience.

 

Benefits to the Carrier:

  • Cases submitted in good order;
  • Control over the fulfillment process;
  • Higher conversion rate from interview to exam;
  • Faster cycle time;
  • Higher placement ratio;
  • Ease of doing business; and,
  • Reduced costs of mailing and printing policies.

 

This article was originally published by Broker World Magazine, September 1, 2019. To read the complete article, then please click the Button below:

Proformex Publishes Analysis of Life Insurance Best Interest Standards

 

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WRITTEN BY

Kris Beck, CEO

Proformex

 

An In-Depth Look: Best Interest Standards for Life Insurance

Where did they start, where are they now, and where are they going?  “Best interest standards” are regulations that require carriers and producers that sell life insurance to establish criteria and processes overseeing product recommendations given to retail consumers. Under best interest standard regulations, all investment recommendations given to consumers must be made with the consumer’s needs top of mind. The ultimate goal is to protect the consumer and define the ethical duties of agents and advisors selling life insurance. This paper takes a deeper look of how best interest standards have been introduced to the life insurance industry, the various moves made on the state level to legislate these standards, and the future direction of the industry.

 

Download or View the full Article click the Executive Brief Button below: