Three industry associations today announced their plan to unite into a single organization.
The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, the Society of Financial Service Professionals and Life Happens announced plans to come together as one organization, pending membership approval.
The merger will take place following a vote of each organization’s membership and that vote is expected to take place in the fall.
The expanded organization will retain all three brands under the NAIFA umbrella, although each association will retain its separate name and branding, Kevin Mayeux, NAIFA CEO, told InsuranceNewsNet.
The newly expanded association will be led by Mayeux as CEO, with current FSP CEO David Maola serving as that organization’s executive vice president.
“Together, we have the ability to offer world-class education that spans every step in the lifecycle of a financial service professional,” Maola said in a news release.
“We are excited to deliver the portfolio of education that we’ve developed at FSP to NAIFA’s extensive membership base and build upon the professional development opportunities that NAIFA currently offers including the Life Underwriting Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) designation and the Life and Annuity Certified Professional (LACP) certification.”
NAIFA and FSP have worked closely together over the last several years in a joint venture, the NAIFA-FSP Advanced Practice Center, Mayeux said. APC serves as a thought leadership hub for financial advisors, insurance agents, attorneys, CPAs and other advisors who work collaboratively on advanced planning issues.
The two associations successfully produced multiple in-person and virtual events.
“We’ve been working with FSP in the past and thought they are a good fit for us,” Mayeux said. “We’ve developed a good rapport with their volunteer leadership and their staff leadership, and this seemed like the appropriate next step.”
NAIFA and FSP already share approximately 1,000 professionals who are members of both organizations, Mayeux said, and FSP’s members will become NAIFA members under the proposed merger. FSP’s current membership stands at around 3,800 members while NAIFA maintains a membership of around 18,000. Bringing the two organizations together will increase NAIFA’s membership to about 22,000.
Under the proposed structure of the new organization, FSP will take over NAIFA’s professional development activities, including its designations and certification programs, Mayeux said. NAIFA will provide political advocacy on the state and national levels for the organization.
Life Happens is a nonprofit organization founded in 1994 by industry leaders, including associations such as NAIFA as well as representatives of the insurance carriers. Its mission is to educate consumers about life insurance and related products. Life Happens is best known for its promotion of September as Life Insurance Awareness Month.
Mayeux said that Life Happens will serve as the consumer-facing arm of NAIFA, providing the public with unbiased information on the importance of life insurance and professional advice to an individual or family’s well-being.
“This merger allows Life Happens to continue to excel in our mission of serving consumers, professionals, and the industry for years to come,” said Life Happens Chair Barbara Pietrangelo in a news release. “Alongside NAIFA and FSP, our organization will have even more tools and resources to help Americans achieve financial security.”
FSP has a network of about 80 local chapters while NAIFA has chapters in all 50 states, Guam and the District of Columbia in addition to about 30 local chapters, Mayeux said. The two organizations have conducted joint meetings and educational sessions at the chapter level in the past, and he said he expects that to continue.
“What we will do over the course of the next 15-16 months is work together with the chapter leadership for all involved, and find a way to merge and integrate them together. The target date to have the chapters all integrated is Jan. 1, 2025.
NAIFA leadership plans to have a series of town hall meetings to discuss the details of the proposed merger prior to taking a vote of its members.
Susan Rupe is managing editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She formerly served as communications director for an insurance agents’ association and was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. Contact her at Susan.Rupe@innfeedback.com. Follow her on Twitter @INNsusan.
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