The insurance and financial services industry is increasingly “under attack” from those who do not have the courage to do what NAIFA members do every day, NAIFA President Jules Gaudreau told an audience of members Sept. 17 at the Performance + Purpose Conference in Las Vegas.
“I hope you know how important you are to the communities you serve,” Gaudreau said. “You keep families intact, you keep businesses open and employing, and you provide the money that pays the taxes to your towns and school districts. When times are worst for people, you are at your best.”
In his address, Gaudreau reviewed a “checklist” of NAIFA’s goals and promises kept to members over the last year. Among them:
Strategy: NAIFA created NAIFA 20/20, a new Strategic Plan that reflects the realities of today and possibilities of tomorrow.
Operations: NAIFA operated under the discipline of a business plan developed from the Strategic Plan, identifying the key performance indicators of Association success with objective measures to determine progress.
Fiscal Stewardship: NAIFA exercised financial discipline, making difficult decisions to cut non-essential expenses, assess staff size and remediate future pension liabilities so that future generations of NAIFA members would not be asked to pay for legacy liabilities from the past.
Advocacy: NAIFA fulfilled its promise of advocating for the industry, with the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule a primary focus in 2016. “Unfortunately, the wedge it will drive between advisors and middle income investors is something we just couldn’t stomach, so under my watch, NAIFA sued the Federal Government for the first time in a generation, proving once again that NAIFA was built for times like these.”
Messaging: More than ever before, NAIFA speaks with one voice, Gaudreau said.
State Support: NAIFA members on the local and state level are the roots of advocacy at all levels, and the creation of the Capitol 50 Program is testament to NAIFA’s promise to support state associations.
Member Value: NAIFA has refined its professional development strategies based on comprehensive research from Association Laboratories. The P+P Conference reflects a new direction in the delivery of professional development, education and sales ideas to members across a variety of media platforms.
Diversity: NAIFA promised it would reach out to and serve more diverse communities to make the Association more reflective of the profession and our country.
Gaudreau cited other accomplishments on the NAIFA “checklist,” ranging from improving industry relations, to aligning leadership and improved collaboration with all members: “Check! Check! Check! We did all of those and we kept our promises.”
As a mission-driven organization, “we must think bigger, better and bolder,” Gaudreau said. “Have faith in our execution. …I’ve done my best. I hope it mattered.”