Better Together: The Alliance Group & National Life Group Story
In this special episode, we explore the remarkable alliance between the Alliance Group and National Life Group, a partnership that began in 1998 when Alliance Group sold the first-ever National Life Group Living Benefits policy.
Better Together: The Alliance Group & National Life Group Story
We'll uncover the secrets behind their enduring collaboration, examining the importance of trust, shared values, and dedication in building a strong alliance that has flourished for over two decades. Listen in as we share a unique glimpse into the milestones that have defined this extraordinary relationship. Learn from the successes, challenges, and insights that have emerged from this dynamic partnership, which has left an indelible mark on the life insurance industry and continues to inspire innovation and growth today.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Is that good? Yeah. Good. Sure. Yeah. Good, Jake? Good. Here we go. Hello everyone, and welcome to a very special edition of the Alliance podcast. We have got National Life in the House. Lindsay Morway, Jake Peck. They flew all the way in from Vermont at a absolutely obscene time this morning. Lindsay, what, what time did you wake up to? Come here?
Speaker 2 (00:22):
Speaker 1 (00:24):
Two 30 in the am Jake got to sleep in until I'm
Speaker 3 (00:27):
The smart one. Stayed by the airport, got up at
Speaker 1 (00:29):
Four, got up at four <laugh>. Uh, they literally just arrived here at the Alliance office about to 25 minutes ago. Um, so they are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to talk about National Life Group. Correct. We can't
Speaker 2 (00:42):
Wait. Let's do it. We're fired
Speaker 1 (00:43):
Up. Excellent. Well, first of all, I want to, in all seriousness, thank you guys, uh, for waking up at two 30 in the morning and flying here, um, to help film some stuff. We're gonna do a lot of stuff while they're in the office today. Uh, we're starting off with this podcast, but we've got all sorts of plans. We're gonna shoot a new national life, uh, course on our virtual courses. Uh, we're gonna get a bunch of other content shots, so it's gonna be a big day and I'm glad you guys have so much rest for it, <laugh>. That's awesome. So let's, let's start talking about, um, national Life Group. Now, obviously we here at Alliance Group have a very soft spot, uh, in our heart for national life. Uh, the relationship between us, um, has been something really special that goes way back even before any of us were working for our respective companies.
Um, but it's a, it's a very special company, number one, because we always say this, you guys, national Life kind of created living benefits and Alliance Group as the living benefits I m O. Um, that's obviously a, a big reason for, for that relationship. So, uh, Lindsay talk about, uh, kind of that, that history of living benefits and you know, this idea that that National Life created way back in what, 97, about the new kind of life insurance. You don't have to die to use. Just tell me a little bit more about National life and, and, and living benefits.
Speaker 2 (02:00):
Yeah. So we're celebrating our hundred 70, fifth hundred 75th and our anniversary. So Big deal. Yeah. Um, and we've been talking about living benefits since 1937. Um, but like you said, we sold the first Living benefits policy with, uh, lions Group in 1998.
Speaker 1 (02:15):
So, yeah. So this is something I actually, this is a bone of contention. I have you guys show that slide all the time. That's like grandpa never dreamed of Living Benefits <laugh>. And that's from 1937. And everyone is always like, whoa, that's cool. But I didn't realize they had living benefits in like, they didn't have living benefits. No.
Speaker 3 (02:29):
There's a caveat to it, right?
Speaker 1 (02:31):
Speaker 2 (02:31):
So I said, we were talking about they
Speaker 1 (02:34):
Used used the word living benefits one time in 1937. Yes. Alright, so that was talking about cash value. Correct. But what true living benefits are, as you know, Lindsay, tell us what true living
Speaker 2 (02:43):
Benefits are. Yes. And acceleration of your policy that you can use while you're, while you're living. And that is what we, in 1998 sold our first Living benefits policy.
Speaker 1 (02:52):
I believe that was a F C A with wasn't F C A. Yep. It was. Absolutely. Um, there's, it's not just living, which of course we love, uh, at National Life Group, but when, when you go up to the campus, which is something that we encourage all agents and, and agencies to do at some point, and we do that for a reason because there is a culture at National Life that is just really, really different. Jake, when, when I'm up there, it's not, I've, I've been to several life insurance home offices before. Uh, it's not what you would expect. It's a little bit different in Vermont. You're kind of nestled in the hills there and it feels almost like, it feels a lot more like you're on the Google campus than, uh, you know, on a a a life insurance company's campus. You've got, you know, people walking around outside and like, you know, having picnics and it's just this beautiful place. Um, tell me more about what it's like to work up there at National Life and how it's different than what you, you know, kind of, uh, think of a normal life insurance company might, might be like Yeah,
Speaker 3 (03:49):
So I, I'll tell you the experience I first had Yeah. When I first got up there. So it was a July, and if you guys haven't been to Vermont in the summertime, it's beautiful. You have best summers in the world. Yeah. But they sat me down in the cafeteria, which, you know, big open windows, you see out to the mountains, everything's green. Beautiful. It is an incredible experience just to be up there on the hill. Yep. Um, but I think really at our roots, we've always been a Vermont company mm-hmm. <affirmative> and coming from Montpelier, Vermont, 10,000 people in there that are working every day small estate capital in the US mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it has that small town feel where there are three generations of people Yeah. In the same family that work for National Life Group. Um, like Lindsay and myself, we met our spouses working at National Life Group. Right. <laugh>, um, it
Speaker 1 (04:32):
Really is. I mean the, like when you, when people, you meet employees there and they start talking about how long they've been with the company. I mean, it's rare to hear less than 15, 20 years, and you got people that are there for 35, 40 years in, in some cases. It's, it's, it's very, very different.
Speaker 3 (04:47):
We do it, it's almost like a little captive workforce in <laugh> in Vermont, where we've got people that have been there for 45, there's a quarter century club that they have a party every year and kind of celebrate those people that have been with the company for that long period of time. Yeah. And we've had people that are, I mean, 50 plus years that have worked at the company. So it, it has that small town vibe even though we're a top 10 life insurance carrier mm-hmm. <affirmative>, everyone kind of knows each other. Yeah. Um,
Speaker 1 (05:12):
And it says, it says a lot about a company when you have people that are sticking around that long. Absolutely. Um, you know, obviously it starts with, with the leadership. Uh, we all know and love Mayor Ron Asad. What is it like working, uh, for, for Mayron Lindsay? He
Speaker 2 (05:28):
Is an, he's just an amazing head coach. We like to call him our head coach. Yep. And he, if you come to Vermont, you'll see that he is very much walking the halls. He's very much part of the team and always looking for ways that he can add value. Um, what I love about him most is that he really is real. He's not, you know, he doesn't wear that c e o hat. Right. And he's just like, Hey, I'm, I'm better than you and I'm, I'm, you know, I don't have time to help you. He's very much like, well, what can I do? Bring my team up? Right. And to coach them up and to add value. So I just, I love working with him. And he's, like I said, he's someone that you, you come up and he has got, um, you know, his office with all open windows and mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, you know, you can see in there versus like being hidden on Yeah. Down on the executive suite that we have at National Life. Yeah. He, he wants to be part of the culture and he really believes in being together for that.
Speaker 1 (06:21):
We can actually, I, I can, you know, speak to that as well as someone who doesn't necessarily work for National Life Group, but definitely very close to National Life Group. We, we work with several carriers. Um, there's no c e o that I know on a personal basis that I have his number in, in my phone. Um, or that even comes to our events, you know, in, in, in some cases, uh, at some of our other carriers who we also dearly love. But that c e o kind of like you just put it, you know, he's not elevated in his glass tower. He's down there walking amongst his employees and asking them what they need and how he can help. And that extends to not just his employees, but also his, his partners. And everybody here at Alliance Group of many people who are watching this podcast have met Mayron know Mayron. Um, and that's, again, it's, it's something that is a little bit different, uh, just different from what you would normally expect, uh, from a life insurance carrier. So that is, that's very cool. Under Mayor Ron's leadership, Jake, you guys are <laugh> are absolutely exploding. Um, and I mean, so you're the, if I, I heard this before, I think it's still true, the fastest growing life insurance carrier in the United States
Speaker 3 (07:27):
Over the past decade,
Speaker 1 (07:28):
Which is unbelievable. I mean, that is an unbelievable accomplishment. At the same time, Alliance Group, uh, I was just looking at numbers and I realized for the first time the other day, we're sitting here now as we're filming this in, uh, March of 2023, I looked at our 2016 numbers and realized we have actually doubled in size from 2016 to today. Uh, which is crazy because I remember 2016, like it was yesterday. I mean, I was already a father. I was about to be a, a, a father of two. It doesn't seem like that long ago. And we've, we've doubled our production and National Life and Alliance group. If you kind of look at the, the, the chart of, of production and growth, they're very similar. Right. We're kind of on the same path. And that what, that's what makes it such a great, uh, relationship. How, what has that been like, uh, being part of such a, a fast growing company because Yes, it's wonderful, but it also comes with challenges. Right?
Speaker 3 (08:21):
Absolutely. So, like, I, I think I've like a similar experience to you where you started here 2016. Yep. I
Speaker 1 (08:27):
Speaker 3 (08:27):
Around there National Life. I started National Life Group 2015. Yep. So I've seen that trajectory where, you know, they were doing 150 million in life sales when I first joined. Right. And that was a big deal. Uhhuh <affirmative>. And now we're crossing over 400 million on our way to five on our way. That's crazy, isn't it? 750 And it just, it feeds that energy in the office for us. Yeah. And keeps everybody motivated. Everybody wants to make sure that they're doing the best job they can for all of you guys that are out there. Yep. Um, but it's been an incredible ride. But I think it really stems from what kind of Lindsay was saying with our leadership and having those head coaches and not necessarily, you know, those folks in the ivory tower that are looking down on us. Exactly. Um, mayor Ron's out there, he's visiting with everybody out in the field. You, I see him at kickoff meetings. He's on the road just as much as we are mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, making sure that he's touching everybody and spreading the word National Life Group.
Speaker 1 (09:17):
Speaker 2 (09:18):
I think also, you know, the other thing with that is that we, um, Mayron always talks about like, don't get complacent and don't take your success for granted. Right. Don't just say, all right, oh, we've, we've surpassed this number that we always wanted to hit, and kind of let that, you know, oh, we're doing good enough. Right. Like, he
Speaker 1 (09:36):
Always Right. Let's just maintain now.
Speaker 2 (09:37):
Right. Exactly. And people will say to him, Mayron, like, what is enough? What, what, what's your number? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And he, it's not a number for him. He's like, I want to touch more families. I wanna help more people. And that's what, you know, everyone of you does out in the field. Yeah. It's just, you know, getting in front of families and helping them as much as you can. So I think that's a big part of our success is like, don't get complacent and just keep
Speaker 1 (09:57):
Mm-hmm. <affirmative> set a goal, but once you reach that goal, the job's not over. Right. Yeah, absolutely. That's good. Need to set another goal. Yep. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, because I mean, it's, it, it's a crusade. It's, it's, we, we talk about all the time in Alliance Group, we are, we're not gonna arrest until every single American family is covered with, with living benefits. Maybe that's a, uh, an unrealistic goal, but it's always something to shoot for. And we can set our, you know, we, we have our, our short term goals, uh, you know, uh, this year we're wanting to get, uh, to I believe 64 million, um, or no, sorry, 65 million, uh, I'm remembering. It's, it's the score of the, uh, of the U G A championship game, uh,
Speaker 2 (10:34):
65 7 hundreds, 6, 5, 7. Exactly. Yes.
Speaker 1 (10:37):
Yep. Uh, 65 to seven Georgia, uh, win. Uh, just, just in case. I, you had to
Speaker 2 (10:42):
Speaker 1 (10:42):
There. Right. Uh, so ours is 65 million for this year. We have a long-term goal that we've set of a hundred million. Uh, but once we reach that, it's, it, it's just gonna be another goal to hit mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and I, again, I, I think that is what, what drives success and what, what really fosters true success is you can set goals and accomplish them, but as soon as you're, you're accomplishing them, you're already setting new ones. MERON is known for setting some pretty, uh, hairy, audacious goals, <laugh>, um, and changing
Speaker 3 (11:09):
Them middle of the year too. <laugh>
Speaker 1 (11:10):
Yeah. <laugh> and adjusting them. Not necessarily changing, just adjusting. Yes. Uh, which is, uh, which is awesome. So you guys, uh, something big that's going on at National Life Group, uh, right now, uh, is annuities actually. Um, obviously we, at Alliance Group, we are a life insurance organization. Uh, you guys are a life insurance company, obviously, but annuities, um, represent a huge opportunity with what's going on in the markets right now. Again, this is March, 2023 as we're filming this, there's some crazy stuff going on if you're watching this a year in the future, I hope things have gotten better <laugh>. Um, but uh, the markets are pretty nuts right now. So annuities do represent a really good, um, a really good opportunity. Uh, talk to me about, uh, national Life's annuity business and what you guys are doing to kind of position yourselves in the annuity market.
Speaker 2 (11:53):
Yeah, so like you said, it's a really great opportunity for annuities because people are looking for safe options to put their money in something where they can't lose mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but then they also have that upside potential. So, um, as a company, we've really, you know, brought out the full court press mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, we're gonna be rolling out new annuity products in June, so that's, um, on the radar. Looking forward to that. Yeah. Got some good stuff. Daily issue for those. Um, and our miga, we have our miga, our multi-year guaranteed annuity mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, that has been a super amazing product to have out. Um, you know, a lot of people that maybe didn't look at national life in the past or have a relationship with National Life in the past have kinda looked our, our way for that product on its own, just because it's such an easy product to understand.
It's five and a quarter super simple as of right now. Yeah. Super simple. Um, to guarantee that for five years. So clients are really looking to put their money there and, and then after the five years they can do whatever they want with it at that point. So that's a huge part of it. Um, and then on the annuity side, like I said, you know, we have our guaranteed income rider, so you can turn on that guaranteed income stream. Absolutely. Um, we've got a lot of stuff. We have a large case team on the annuity side as well, so any 500,000 or more, um, that you have, we have a large case support team. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, and then our annuity bonus. Can't forget that that's, uh, one Yes. You guys have
Speaker 1 (13:12):
One of the, an awesome bonus program.
Speaker 2 (13:13):
Yes. Yes. We have. Um, it's an agent production bonus, so as soon as they hit 500,000 of production, they're in the bonus pool where they can get additional compensation, they can get all the way up to 1.25% extra mm-hmm. <affirmative> comp based on the production that they do.
Speaker 1 (13:29):
And that's running through the end of this month. Correct.
Speaker 2 (13:31):
End of this month. And then we're actually going to, uh, re re re-up it, re re-up it, ah, that, that's secret. Don't tell anyone that. It's don't tell, but still send your business right here if it's, send your business right now and get it paid right now as well. But we will be relaunching the, the annuity bonus program as
Speaker 1 (13:46):
Well. I love it. I love it. That's really good news for the people who might be viewing this in like April or so. Yeah. It's
Speaker 2 (13:51):
Like, oh, I missed it. Oh,
Speaker 1 (13:52):
Man. Oh, it's
Speaker 2 (13:53):
Back. You're still good. <laugh>.
Speaker 3 (13:54):
Um, so one leg of the annuity side that we didn't talk about was also the flexible per flexible premium annuities as well. Absolutely. And a lot of the state mandated retirement plans that are coming out. Yeah. National Life's a great fit. Absolutely. We've been doing the same thing in schools working in K through 12 with teachers and educators, and that's a perfect fit as well. And we're one of the few index annuities that are monthly contributions at least that we can accept into 'em.
Speaker 1 (14:17):
Yeah, absolutely. And so, if, if you guys, if you're Jake, if an agent's watching this and they're like, I really only know life insurance, I don't know much about annuities. I don't, what would you suggest that they do?
Speaker 3 (14:30):
I would say get very comfortable with the fixed annuity. Yeah. The MIGA is the easiest thing to talk about right now.
Speaker 1 (14:37):
Just start there.
Speaker 3 (14:37):
Right. Everyone knows somebody that's probably retired, changed jobs, has an old 4 0 1 k looking for some stability maybe to protect it from volatility in the market. Indeed, looking for that short term five year solution, it's perfect. It's great. Right, right now, and it's very easy without a lot of those bells and whistles that you might get tripped up from learning the annuity market. Very easy to enter the market with that.
Speaker 2 (14:58):
I would just add to that, don't be afraid to ask. So a lot of agents that I've worked with, you know, once they become successful and they're kind of cross selling and, and getting into the annuity space, are like, I just wasn't asking before mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So don't be afraid to ask. And you know, you already have them as a client, they already trust you with their life insurance. Ask them where they have their money and ask them what's keeping them up at night. Yeah. You know, guaranteed everyone's gonna be like, you know, my 4 0 1 K is tanked. Right. <laugh>, I mean, who's looking at keeping me up? For sure. Who's looking at that going, oh yeah, I'm making a lot right now. So just ask.
Speaker 1 (15:31):
It's true. It's a, it's a good time to be asking the question. Um, you know, you're, you guys just, again, just really special relationship with even us at Alliance Group. Uh, you do so much, uh, for us, and, you know, today was a perfect example. You guys woke up at the wee hours of the morning to jump on a plane in snowy Vermont and risk your next getting here. Um, I just wanna say that we very much appreciate you guys. Uh, I, I, I hope we say it enough. Uh, absolutely. You guys are a huge part of our business. Um, you are dedicated to Alliance Group and you, you, you show that day in and day out. So I just wanted to, on behalf of everybody, Alliance Group, thank you guys so much for what you
Speaker 3 (16:09):
Do. Thank you. I mean, I think we can mimic back Yeah. Like the, the relationship we have with you guys is second to none, and it's everything you said just right back at you guys. Mm-hmm. Absolute. It really is a special relationship that we have with you guys. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>,
Speaker 1 (16:19):
It truly is. And I, I, you know, obviously, uh, it's roughly 65% of alliance group's, uh, business. Our, our agent's choice obviously is, is being put right now with National Life Group. Um, that's for a reason. And it's not just the products, you know, the great products and, and you guys, um, it's, and, and Maron's leadership. It's, it's the whole picture. Um, one thing I've always really appreciated about you guys is you work with us and you take in our input and you take it seriously and you make product development decisions and business decisions based truly on our, our, our input and, and our suggestions. And we, we do feel heard, we feel valued. We, we have a standing meeting with our marketing team and National Life's marketing team every month or so, um, just to kind of kick ideas around. And we've had some really great projects, uh, that had some really great results come out of that. So, um, I just wanna say very much thankful for the relationship with National Life and thank you guys for, for being here.
Speaker 2 (17:17):
Speaker 3 (17:17):
Sam. Thank you, Sam. Of
Speaker 1 (17:18):
Course. Um, that's gonna do it for this, uh, episode you guys make sure, um, if you don't already know, Lindsay and Jake, make sure to get to know them. They are here to help, um, uh, grow your national life business, uh, and make you a better asset, uh, to your client. So thanks again, uh, Lindsay
Speaker 2 (17:34):
And Jake, thank you so much. Thank you.
Speaker 1 (17:38):
Listen to this interview and more on the Alliance Group podcast.
As "The Living Benefits IMO", Alliance Group provides independent agents and independent agencies with superior marketing and training solutions. Since 1998, we have been helping our partners spread awareness about Living Benefits life insurance, while also helping them solve clients' tax-free retirement, mortgage protection, small business planning, and estate planning needs. We're the leader in Life Insurance with Living Benefits.