Why is Forum 400 exploring a merger with Finseca? A task force consisting of Forum 400 Past President’s engaged in an extensive due diligence process to evaluate a series of options that would best position the Forum 400 to serve its membership well into the future. Finseca was created to reunify the financial security profession and has a business model that provides the benefits of scale to unique communities, but also the governance model that provides for independence and autonomy.
Why is Finseca exploring a merger with Forum 400? Forum 400 is a unique and highly collaborative community that focuses on elite life insurance producers. In an independent study of the profession conducted by Finseca, Forum 400 ranked above all other organizations in how much its members value the professional development they receive from Forum 400. In addition, this furthers Finseca’s efforts to reunify the financial security profession.
Who was on the Forum 400 Task Force? A little over a year ago, the Forum’s Executive Committee formed a task force, which included current Forum President Vince D’Addona, Immediate Past President Brian Sak, and former Past Presidents Cathy Neifeld, Ben Rainey and Marc Schwartz. The mix of Forum 400 Past Presidents was selected because they were not only thoughtful, but more importantly, they all deeply love Forum 400 and want it to be around for a long time.
If I am a member of Forum 400, what does this mean? You are still a member of Forum 400. The Board has voted to initiate a process that will require your feedback and input. Nothing changes for your membership with Forum 400 until its full membership is informed and has had a chance to vote on the change.
If I am a member of Finseca, what does this mean? Nothing will change with your membership. If you are an elite life insurance producer that qualifies for Forum 400, you may be invited to join the Forum 400 community should the merger be completed. Joining this community, or others within Finseca, will be optional and will be an extension of your Finseca membership.
If I am a member of both organizations, what does this mean? You are still a member of both organizations. The goal of the merger will be to provide you with the same experience that you have enjoyed from both organizations, but to do it more efficiently.
What has been the due diligence process? The Forum 400 Task Force spent hundreds of hours conducting due diligence, exploring mergers with other organizations, reviewing various association management companies, and considering the consequences of staying the course. Finseca also established a Task Force consisting of Immediate-Past Chair Kelly Kidwell, Rick Van Benschoten, and Finseca CEO, Marc Cadin. The joint Task Force has met multiple times a month for the last several months to work out key issues and conduct extensive due diligence on financials, membership requirements, governance and operations. We consider what we have been working on for the last year and a half has been similar to a feasibility study. We now know this is a feasible opportunity based on the due diligence that the Task Force has completed.
Why doesn’t Forum 400 continue to go it alone? There have been dozens of different strategies designed to increase membership developed by several previous Boards with very talented, smart, and capable individuals serving in those roles. Many of these strategies were not mere “tweaks” to Forum 400, in fact, most were complete overhauls of what it had done previously. And yet, because there are so many different organizations and competing messages and meetings, these strategies were not effective.
Why has Forum 400 selected Finseca as a potential partner for a merger? After the extensive due diligence process, the Task Force believed Finseca was the best fit for three primary reasons:
Finseca has created a business model that will give Forum 400 the benefit of being a part of a larger organization, while preserving the independence and autonomy that makes our community of elite producers unique. The Forum 400 Board will continue to have control over the content of its meetings and the experience of its members.
Finseca has a natural population within its membership that will benefit from participating in the Forum 400 community. It has many top producers within its ranks and by integrating Finseca and Forum 400, we will be able to work jointly to grow membership.
Finseca can continue to deliver the Forum 400 membership greater value more efficiently.
What will Forum 400 look like inside of Finseca? The Forum 400 Community will have representation on the Finseca Board of Directors as well as a Community Board of Advisors that will have responsibility for:
Creating programing, content, and experiences to fulfill its mission,
Approval of a realistic, self-sustaining budget required to fulfill its mission,
Establishing criteria (ex: production/income requirements, requirement for sharing, etc.) for community membership and approving all nominations for membership in the community, and
Oversight of the nominating committee process for the Board of Advisors.
What about Forum 400’s Great Programming? The Board of Advisors will have final authority over all content and programming. All topics and content that are discussed will be legal. No broader Finseca related topics will be forced into the Community’s programs without the express agreement of the Board of Advisors or designated program committee.
The Community will have two meetings every year unless modified by the Board of Advisors. In addition to the meetings, the Board of Advisors will look to host semi-regular virtual events that may also give the industry partners an opportunity to host a discussion. The Community reserves the express right to host members-only content and discussions.
What will the Forum 400 dues be if merged with Finseca? Forum 400 has previously explored a bundled rate for membership at $3000 per year. The total fees will be at or below that rate. If the merger is complete, the Forum 400 Community will have the option to pay monthly or annually.
What about Financial Reserves from both organizations? Both the Forum 400 and Finseca are fortunate to have extensive reserves. The Forum 400 reserves will be reserved for expenses related to the Forum 400 Community events, even after the merger. Finseca’s reserves will continue to be dedicated to the support of the overall organization, including all of the Communities within.
Will I have an opportunity to provide feedback? Yes, this is a collaborative process, and we want to hear from you. Members of the joint Task Forces will be hosting a listening tour throughout June and July. All Forum 400 & Finseca members will have the opportunity to participate, provide feedback, and ask questions.
Four listening tour zooms are conducted for Forum 400 Members:
July 20th at 11AM EST
July 29th at 11AM EST
August 16th at 2PM EST
September 9th at 1PM EST
Two listening tour zooms are conducted for Finseca Members:
Together, we elevate our profession by serving the needs of our members. We protect dreams and promote financial wellbeing for all. We are the home of the top financial security professionals. Together, we are Finseca.
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