Ramifications of the Relationship Between NAILBA and AALU

On September 14, 2016, a press release issued jointly by the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA) and the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU) announced the two-year anniversary of the strategic partnership between the two organizations.  Not really knowing about the two-year-old relationship, I was intrigued.

The reasons stated in the release for the partnership between these two fine organizations is straight-forward and clear.  Kay Dempsey, AALU’s Government Affairs Committee Chair and former NAILBA Board member, was quoted as saying, “Both the AALU and NAILBA Boards have always anticipated the future challenges and opportunities.”

Likewise, Chip Van Dusen, NAILBA 2016 chairman and active AALU member said, “We’re in a challenging environment, and real leadership stems from focusing on the things we can control – that’s exactly what we’re trying to do.”

A good summary of the initial thought behind the organizations coming together was presented in the piece:  “Both organizations recognize that, during these challenging times, associations representing distribution need to come together to drive more value, more efficiently.”

All that makes good sense. 

The intriguing language of this release lies in its discussion of the steps moving forward.  The release states, “During the next year, NAILBA will utilize outside resources to evaluate how it can most effectively represent its core constituency – including whether a stronger, more integrated relationship with AALU will help accomplish that mission.

“Part of AALU’s core strategy for the next 12 months is to become a more inclusive organization in order to strengthen its ability to grow, promote, and advocate for the life insurance distribution community.

“Both AALU and NAILBA leadership believe that a more unified effort between the two organizations will lead to better outcomes for their respective memberships, the industry, and most importantly, the American families and businesses who depend on life insurance products.”

That language raises all sorts of questions in my mind.  What outside resources?  What does a more integrated relationship mean?  Is there perhaps a merger in the works? What does it mean to become a more inclusive organization? Why does AALU the brokerage distribution system so crucial to its success?

These two organizations are significant players in the life insurance business, particularly on the distribution side of the equation, and the answers to these kinds of questions are important.  As 2017 progresses, we’ll be watching with interest as to how this relationship grow and develops and how the partnership answers these questions.