|Mark Schoeff Jr.|
Yet as the organization's president,
Perhaps it is a good thing that the tall, lanky
Adding to his unusual background for a NAIFA leader, he pursued a doctorate at
"I went to
Q. What message are you trying to send to
A. Your average NAIFA members [do business] in the small towns where they grew up. They met their wives in high school. They're everybody's friend. They sit on Rotaries and are active in their churches. We are definitely in a relationship-building business. We insure 75 million families across the country, and our products are responsible for about 20% of all savings in this country. Most of the incomes we're dealing with are people who earn less than
A. I started trying to conduct a mock interview with commissioner Walter. I didn't get two words out of my mouth before she said, "You don't do that." Well, I do do that. I conduct conversations with people before I start to sell anything. I'm looking to get to know people before I even come close to making recommendations.
Q. How is the
A. I do think the
Q. What about the
A. I don't really see that they've gotten it yet. You have
Q. NAIFA is portrayed as the Big Bad Wolf on fiduciary duty. How do you respond?
A. I'll go one step further. My brother-in-law is chief compliance officer at
Q. Fiduciary advocates say that NAIFA opposes fiduciary duty because it would undermine the sale of annuities.
A. I think it's poppycock; that's just fictitious. A fixed annuity is the most conservative thing you can ever look at. They're saying things that are just not true. It's like me saying that every fiduciary is
Q. Annuities have the reputation of being complex. Are you lobbying on
A. Our message is a little more general. We believe in helping the public save for retirement. We're not lobbying for a particular product. But all an annuity is is a way of putting money away in a systematized way that one day is going to guarantee that you're never going to run out of money as long as you live. It's no more complicated than that.
Q. What concerns you most about what is happening in
A. Is there the expertise about my industry in
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