We hear plenty about how the independent life insurance distribution channel is aging and shrinking. The most common perceptions seem to be that producers are retiring faster than they are being replenished and the industry just isn’t “sexy” enough to attract talented young people.
This month, we present a couple of stories that go directly against the grain of those arguments. We want to introduce you to three twentysomethings — two recent college grads and one current college student — who are highly motivated, excited about the industry and have worked hard to achieve significant success in a short time, despite the lack of candles on their birthday cakes.
Our cover story package starts on page 16 with an article about Cam Jacox and James Hilton, who were both exposed to the life insurance industry at a young age with summer jobs. Two years ago, they created a startup technology company as students at Babson College in Boston. These two are smart, motivated and entrepreneurial to the core. Any industry would be lucky to have them, and they chose the life insurance business.
I first found out about them after Jacox read one of my blog posts late last year. In the post, I lamented that the vast majority of today’s college students perceive the life insurance business as “lame” compared to other, more “sexy” industries and, therefore, never even consider it for a career. Jacox emailed me to say that what attracted him and Hilton to the industry was just that perception. Young people have neglected this industry, leaving ample room for young innovators to come in and make some noise. They’re here, we’re happy to introduce them to you, and it may well get loud.
The second part of our Youth Movement cover package (starting on page 22) focuses on 23-year-old Laura Vaughn, who had no idea she would become an MDRT-qualifying producer when she graduated from the University of Texas in 2010. Hers is a story of a company (North Star Resource Group in Houston) recruiting college graduates with the intention of turning them into successful producers through a solid mentoring and training program. How many other people in her 2010 graduating class made at least $120,000 in their first year? Not many, I’m betting. That’s the kind of opportunity this industry can present to sharp, motivated young people — if only more of them knew about it.
These three people represent the kind of youth infusion the industry desperately needs, and we hope their accomplishments will light the way for many of their contemporaries to see the potential for a prosperous career in life insurance.