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Distribution, regulation cited as top challenges for 2016 by financial services execs

Brian Anderson

WINDSOR, Conn. — In a LIMRA survey of more than 40 financial services executives, the top challenges cited involve distribution issues of attracting and retaining sales professionals and adapting to regulatory changes in 2016.

“When we look closer at the top challenges the executives chose, we see a common thread for their concerns,” said Scott Kallenbach, director of Strategic Research for LIMRA. “If the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary standard is enacted as proposed, it will have a significant impact on the distribution and design of financial products well into the future.”

Executives shared insights about the distribution challenge, expressing concerns about how to attract and retain Millennials as sales professionals. Related to that, executives also worry about the marketing challenge of effectively reaching and retaining Millennial consumers.

Among their forecasts for 2016, two-thirds of executives predict an increased focus on customer experience management (CEM) programs, up dramatically from just 34% in 2013.

“Executive responses on CEM show how companies are thinking differently about how to best serve the end customer,” said Kallenbach. “Companies have shifted from listening only to professionals who sell their products to engaging the consumers who buy them.”

In order to compete in today’s market, nearly half of the executives believe the industry needsto replicate the customer engagement experiencefound on Amazon.comand other online shopping sites.

To compile Forecasting Change: 2016 LIMRA Predictions Report, LIMRA hosted a webinar in the fourth quarter of 2015 with 36 executives representing companies in asset management, insurance, banking and other areas of financial services. An additional eight executives who were not able to take part in the webinar, provided their predictions via an online survey.

About LIMRA: LIMRA, a worldwide research, learning and development organization, is the trusted source of industry knowledge, helping more than 850 insurance and financial services companies in 64 countries. Visit LIMRA at www.limra.com.



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