Wholesalers relying more on virtual communication in the past year – Pas Trusted News

Wholesaling faces challenges related to cost and efficiency.

In the wake of the pandemic, financial firms have reevaluated their wholesaling team structures and how they interact with advisors.

LIMRA’s latest wholesaler research was discussed during a session Tuesday at the 2023 LIMRA Annual Conference.

The research delved into the demographics of wholesaling as well as how the ways wholesalers communicate with advisors have changed in the past year.

Chris Callahan, member relations director, LIMRA and LOMA, said that instead of comparing wholesalers to the prepandemic environment, researchers wanted to focus on what changes they had made since last year.

As for wholesaler demographics, Callahan said, “wholesaling as a discipline is still very much male dominated.”

In addition, the majority of study respondents fell into the 30–50-year age group and 81% identified as white or Caucasian. Nearly half (46%) have been in their jobs less than five years.

Virtual communication took over the business world with COVID-19 restrictions on in-person meetings. But even though restrictions have eased, the research found wholesalers continue to communicate virtually with financial professionals, Callahan said.

“We found that 82% of respondents said they are communicating virtually either the same or more than they did a year ago,” he said. “That’s a bit surprising. We figured maybe you’d see a tail-off in virtual communication.”

Areas in which wholesalers are communicating virtually include educating their distribution partners and case design, Callahan said. In addition, 30% of respondents said they believe virtual communication has been effective for point-of-sale assistance.

Agent recruitment and retention has long been a challenge to the industry and Callahan said the research found between 13% and 15% of respondents said they found virtual communication valuable in acquiring new producers.

Internal wholesalers have embraced remote work, the research found. Three-quarters of internal wholesalers are working remotely versus 25% who are physically in the office, Callahan said.

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