This year's nominations for the National Underwriter Industry Elite Awards were stronger than ever, a who's who of the best and brightest in the realms of market innovation, industry awareness, community outreach and young talent. Our winners and honorable mentions this year stand out for their leadership, drive and brilliance that only the Industry Elites can offer. It was an especially difficult selection process as each and every entry stood with great merit. But alas, only one can be chosen. With that, we present to you the 2014 National Underwriter Industry Elite Awards.
The best effort by an industry professional or organization to give back to the community at large.
The best new product or service introduced in 2014.
Mitchell Caplan, CEO at Jefferson National, for his role in helping to launch the JNF SSgA Retirement Income Portfolio, which addresses the three biggest retirement income challenges facing advisors and their clients: a low yield environment, maintaining adequate equity exposure and managing volatility. In partnership with State Street Global Advisors, Caplan and Jefferson National use a proprietary risk management methodology known as Target Volatility Triggers (TVT), which helps manage risk in real time. Jefferson National is the first firm in the U.S. to employ TVT methodology. SSgA’s TVT methodology is a rules-based strategy that adjusts the exposure of assets within a portfolio to target a consistent level of portfolio risk. According to a recent whitepaper by Chris Goolgasian of State Street Global Advisors in the Journal of Index Investing, over the past 20 years, a 14 percent TVT strategy outperformed the S&P 500 benchmark by 73 basis points per year while improving a number of risk metrics, including lower standard deviation, lower beta and substantially improved drawdowns.
Best Rising Star
The most notable industry professional under the age of 40.
Susan Combs, president of Combs & Company, LLC, has turned childhood experiences, a background in entertainment and hospitality, and her insurance expertise into a keen understanding of the overlooked areas of financial vulnerability. Hailing from a small Midwest town didn’t dampen her aspirations. Combs attended the University of Missouri where she earned her BS in hotel and restaurant management. Soon after, she worked as event manager for clients such as Sesame Street Live, Destiny’s Child, Kenny Rogers, Bob Dylan and the University of Missouri Athletic Department.
The best effort to raise the reputation of a company or the industry.
Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), has taken the initiative to create ongoing, widespread and positive consumer and industry awareness for the importance of long-term care planning and the role of LTC insurance since founding AALTCI in 1998. Slome has developed numerous AALTCI research studies that have been the basis for continual positive media coverage appearing in major print and broadcast media.