Guiding Agents to Success, Simplicity is Focusing on Education, Value, and Partnership
By Nathan Jacobson, Executive Vice President of Simplicity Group Sponsored By Simplicity Group
Nathan Jacobson, Executive Vice President of Simplicity Life, is a second-generation insurance executive who started his career as a producer. Today, Nathan leads the life insurance division of Simplicity Group, working with all the Group’s Partners who specialize in life insurance. In this Q&A, Nathan explains why he is excited about the future of our industry and how Simplicity’s core principles help create an exciting path for advisor success.
Q: Tell me about Simplicity. What excites you about your role?
A: At Simplicity, we like to say that we are “process-driven and principles led.” With over 40 Partners, we are building one of the nation’s leading financial service distribution firms, centered on the hallmarks of education, value, and partnership. Today, Simplicity offers a high-value wealth management platform, built on a proprietary technology; we are one of the largest annuity providers, and we are the largest independent life wholesaler in the country; and, finally, we have great offerings to address asset-based long-term care needs.
In addition, we have 30 sales offices and more than 40 senior sales leaders across the organization, each of whom is dedicated to supporting agents and advisors across wealth management, annuity, asset-based long-term care, and life insurance. Ultimately, our work in service of our agents and advisors not only helps them grow their businesses but provides them the tools and processes to guide critical conversations with Americans who deserve sound, holistic financial planning advice as they prepare for retirement.
Q: Who does Simplicity work with in the Life space?
A: Simplicity works with independent agents, BGAs, and financial institutions. Our team is equipped and experienced in dealing with business partners of all sizes. We pride ourselves on our ability to employ a customized approach to each client and provide them with the tools and resources they need to be successful and help their clients.
Q: Share some examples of how Simplicity’s focus on education benefits business.
A: We believe strongly in financial literacy and we design our educational programs for agents and advisors, so that they, in turn, may help their clients understand the risks and opportunities of retirement. All of our programs — including our new “Principles of Retirement Planning” program — are designed to help our agents and advisors simplify the historically complex conversations required to help consumers prepare for, and live in, retirement.
At Simplicity, we know that education activates positive change in clients’ lives and agents’ businesses. Our Partnership is committed to providing educational marketing programs. In addition, we invest in compliance education programs and compliance support as this is an ever-increasing need for our agents and advisors.
Q: How does Simplicity help educate advisors by utilizing top experts?
A: Education and training is built into everything we do. We host Simplicity Life Universities for advisors approximately once per month. At these events, we feature one carrier partner so that advisors can hear from carriers directly. In addition, we feature fellow Simplicity Partners: Patrick Kelly, who is an unrivaled educator on the potential tax impacts of retirement planning; and, Jason Jenkins, who has the leading advanced sales training in the industry.
We also like to include expert keynote speakers to talk about often over-looked aspects of financial and estate planning, including the importance of life insurance as a planning tool. In the past, we have also discussed the importance of involving the kids and the next generation in any financial discussion, as well as many other important and timely topics.
Q: What does value mean to Simplicity?
A: The best products that provide the best value to consumers which are centered around their particular financial needs — it’s as simple as that. We depend on feedback from our agent and advisor partners, then work with our carrier and investment business partners to deliver a suite of products that address their particular needs.
In addition, Simplicity is focused on improving financial planning with new technologies. We are excited to marry our guiding principles with new digital sales tools. For example, we recently partnered with Ensight to develop a product that incorporates Patrick Kelly’s Tax-Free Retirement concepts. This platform has a simple illustration interface based on a limited set of inputs: name, age, risk class, the amount of premium they can properly allocate, the horizon for investing, and the year in which they want to start taking distribution. That’s it.
In a matter of seconds, the agent can bring up a summary page pulled directly from the carrier illustration. For virtual meetings, advisors may copy and paste the link in a chat box or an email, and the client can get the fully interactive presentation on their computer. This platform allows agents and consumers to test various scenarios in a live environment but with actionable illustrations that can convert, at the click of a button, to new business. To me, the elegance of the platform is that it facilitates the presentation, illustration, and application in one appointment.
Q: Tell us more about how you leverage the other 40 senior sales Partners at Simplicity.
A: Partnership is a guiding principle at Simplicity and today we have over 40 senior sales Partners who together have more than 500 years of life insurance experience. In my position at Simplicity, connecting with the leaders and their teams to leverage their best thinking and making sure they know how to implement our new marketing programs, technologies, and carrier relationships is the key to our success. We are a large and growing company but we offer an unrivaled set of experiences and the distinguishing hallmark of our Partnership is that we work together to promote all our agents and advisors so that they can deliver education, value, and partnership to their clients.
Q: Finally, what are you and your agents getting most excited about?
A: Our agents and advisors truly appreciate our training events and getting an opportunity to chat with our expert speakers directly. We’ve seen agents and advisors have a ton of success utilizing Patrick’s TFR Insider program and Jason’s AST sales program. Moreover, with the launch of our new platform built with Ensight, we know that our agents and advisors are well positioned to have more success than ever.