President’s Blog


11
Aug 2016

I’m not a huge fan of the Olympics. For the most part, I think the purity of competition between amateur athletes – which I’ve always felt was the cornerstone of the Games – has been transformed into a jingoistic commercial behemoth comprised of professional athletes whose job it is to win medals. Nonetheless, I can’t escape watching some of the competition, some of which I love (track and field) and some of which I love to hate (see below).

 » Read more about: Eight random thoughts on the Olympics…  »...

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08
Aug 2016

Joe knows nashville

In less than a month, hundreds of fraternal leaders will head to Nashville for the Alliance’s Annual Meeting. It’s shaping up to be one of the largest meetings in recent history. Representatives from nearly 50 of the Alliance’s 63 member societies have registered and the room block at the Omni Hotel is on the cusp of selling out. (But don’t worry, there are several hotels within walking distance that can......

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01
Aug 2016

From the outside looking in, it’s easy to characterize fraternals as being old-fashioned, archaic, unimaginative, or a combination of all three.

But dig just a little deeper and you’ll find an incredible pool of talented young professionals who understand the magical business model on which fraternals are based and who are helping their societies shape the future for the next generation of members.

At the Alliance’s 2016 Annual Meeting, we’ll provide these movers and shakers the opportunity to share their ideas – and passion – with you and your peers at the Innovation Forum......

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25
Jul 2016

In last week’s blog, I highlighted the Alliance’s major political advocacy victory as we recruited the 100th co-sponsor for House Congressional Resolution 19 – the “Fraternal Resolution.” This week, I’d like to showcase another successful policy initiative that may have an even greater impact on fraternals and other small life insurers.success

As many of you are aware, enough states have enacted Principles-Based Reserving (PBR) enabling legislation to permit PBR to become effective nationally on January 1,

 » Read more about: What do PBR and Leif......

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18
Jul 2016

Alliance members overwhelmingly cite political advocacy as the primary benefit of association membership. And last week, after months of effort, the Alliance experienced two major wins in the advocacy arena, one on Capitol Hill and one at the NAIC.

The initiatives that resulted in these victories and the tactics employed to achieve them were as different as the issues themselves. The first involved the long-standing fraternal tax exemption and the second, a much more recent debate about the application of Principles-Based Reserving regulation to small insurers.

 » Read more about: “Smells like…victory”  »...

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11
Jul 2016

1) HCR 19 now has 100 co-sponsors – That’s right, last Friday we received the news that Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) became the 100th co-sponsor of HCR 19 (the “Fraternal Resolution”). And this morning we learned that Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.) became co-sponsor 101. That means that we exceeded a goal that some (including yours truly) thought might be just beyond our reach. What I’ve learned from this is to never underestimate the power of the fraternal message when it’s delivered by credible messengers.

 » Read more about: 3 big developments that......

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05
Jul 2016

The Brexit vote last Thursday was a real stunner.  Financial markets don’t handle surprises very well – especially bad ones.

brexitI don’t know what impact it had on your 401(k), but mine took a wild ride south before returning to somewhere near its pre-Brexit levels by Independence Day (the U.S. version of Brexit).  Yet with analysts predicting weeks – and potentially months – of uncertainty, the only sure bet is that the consumption of antacids will skyrocket among both professional investors (that would include fraternals)......

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27
Jun 2016

The American Fraternal Alliance does not have a Political Action Committee (PAC) that makes contributions to legislators. But I would argue that what we have is more effective than any PAC.

Our secret weapon? The real people that share the real stories about what their societies do every day in communities across the U.S. and Canada. They are able to communicate the “But for…” message to lawmakers that no PAC contribution or professional lobbyist ever could.

 » Read more about: Real People, Real Stories, Real Results…  »...

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20
Jun 2016

Great satire makes you howl with laughter while at the same time raising doubts about the individual or institution being skewered.  John Oliver – a wonderfully talented satirist and host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” – did just that when he confronted some of the questionable practices of the financial services industry that contributed to the Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule.

Here’s the video below, but let me give you fair warning:

A) It’s not a very flattering portrayal of the financial services industry.

 » Read more about: "Last Week Tonight" for DOL Fiduciary......

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