Advisers: Continuity Planning Helps You Serve Your Clients for Years into the Future

Laurie Dougherty

By Laurie Dougherty | November 26, 2019

Succession and continuity planning are critical topics within the life insurance industry. It’s no secret that the industry overall is aging — there are over 8,600 advisers turning age 68 every year* — a pace that promises to continue for the next 13 years. 

But what happens to the business you’ve built if you don’t have a succession plan in place? Ultimately, another adviser will work with your clients.

Wouldn’t you rather have a role in deciding which adviser that will be?

Protect your business

If you think about what you do with your clients every day, your career is focused on helping business owners protect their businesses. Yet many advisers don’t do the same planning for protecting their own business. 

Succession planning is not an easy process. It can be time consuming, it can be emotional, and, done right, it gets under the hood of your personal and professional life. 

Penn Mutual has taken major strides in making succession planning an easier process for you. Many advisers have engaged their own personal attorneys and drafted legal documents that outline specifically what they want to happen to their businesses if they retire or pass away. We quickly learned that this document couldn’t be drafted overnight or even in several months. But what if something happens to them unexpectedly, while they were working on finalizing their formal plan? In May 2019, we launched a simplified Business Continuity Agreement, which has quickly become a game changer for advisers, because it provides immediate protection of their business in the event of their death or total disability. 

Developed with advisers, for advisers

Penn Mutual’s Field Development team has developed a Business Continuity Agreement in partnership with an advisory committee composed of career and independent advisers and field managers.

During discussions with the committee, we uncovered a need for a temporary agreement — one that describes what happens if an adviser unexpectedly leaves the business. Without such an agreement, the business is distributed back to the local field leader, who decides how that book of business will be serviced in the future. 

Instead, a two-page Business Continuity Agreement allows advisers to choose the servicing/commissionable adviser on their entire book of business, in the event of their death or disability. It also provides peace of mind as they build their business and take the next steps in developing a formal succession plan.

Take control of the future

Our Practice Development team has been hard at work — hosting Transition Planning webinars and in person trainings — to help you understand the value of your business and the steps you can take to protect it. Since launching this program, we have well helped over 50 advisers develop and execute these agreements, and we look forward to seeing all advisers having a signed continuity agreement in place. Too often, these plans are not thought of until it is too late. 

To take the first step, schedule a continuity consultation by emailing our team continuity@pennmutual.com


*FA Magazine, Advisor Headcount Forecast to Drop Through 2016, Jeff Schlegel, June 6, 2013. Retrieved from https://www.fa-mag.com/news/advisor-headcount-forecast-to-drop-through-2016-14438.html

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