I am writing today to inform you that your Forum 400 Board unanimously voted (9 to 0) to take the next step in exploring a merger with Finseca. The Board voted based on the extensive due diligence and unanimous recommendations of a selected Task Force of Forum 400 past presidents including Brian Sak, Cathy Neifield, Marc Schwartz, and Ben Rainey – all of whom care deeply about the Forum and want to preserve our organization.
I want to share with you (1) why our Task Force recommended, and our Board voted, to explore a merger with Finseca, (2) what the Board vote means to you as a member of the Forum, and (3) what happens next. You can also view the FAQ sheet that explains some of the questions that you may have as a valued member of our Forum community.
Why did the Board vote to explore a merger with Finseca?
Forum 400 is at an inflection point. As we discussed at our last member meeting, 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 we had done previously. And yet, each strategy has added less than a handful of new members, and despite our best efforts we’ve continued to lose more members than we gain each year.
Our membership attrition has caused a loss of reserves and a material reliance on corporate supporters (while we are grateful for their support, our organization now can not exist without them). This dynamic has put our beloved organization on an unsustainable path. We believe there is a better way to preserve our value proposition, our independence and autonomy, and the future of our organization.
Finseca has created a business model that will give us the benefit of being a part of a larger organization, while preserving what makes the Forum 400 community of elite producers unique. They are committed to reunifying the profession – something I think we all agree is desperately needed.
Our Forum Task force recommended a merger with Finseca because we believe that we can partner with Finseca to grow our membership, but do it in a way that sustains what makes our organization great – our independence, autonomy, and collaborative spirit. They have many top producers within their ranks and by integrating our organization into theirs, we will be able to work jointly to grow our membership – something that is essential for the Forum 400’s future success.
Lastly, we believe that we can continue to deliver you greater value more efficiently. If we move forward and merge with Finseca, we will be able to take advantage of their resources (meetings department, marketing and communications, technology, etc.) to deliver value more efficiently to you. Taking advantage of many important financial and operational conveniences like the option to pay our dues monthly will now be possible with a relationship with Finseca.
What does the Board vote mean to you as a member?
First, you are still a member of the Forum 400. The Board has voted to initiate a process that will require your feedback and input. Nothing changes for your membership with the Forum until our full membership is informed and has had a chance to vote on the change.
Second, should we decide to move forward and merge with Finseca, it means we have preserved the independence and autonomy over programming, content and membership qualifications that makes the Forum 400 community something all of us cherish.
Third, it will not change our mission or focus as an organization. Forum 400 is and will continue to be an exclusive community that brings together the highest-performing life insurance producers to openly share practical strategies and fresh ideas to positively impact client outcomes and remain at the top of the field.
What happens next?
We are scheduling four opportunities via Zoom to meet with the Forum 400 Board and your peers for an open discussion. The dates and times are listed below – you will receive an invitation to these meetings in the next few days.
• Tuesday, July 20 – 11:00 a.m. EST
• Thursday, July 29 – 11:00 a.m. EST
• Monday, August 16 – 2:00 p.m. EST
• Thursday, September 9 – 1:00 p.m. EST
The Forum 400 Board and our Task Force is 100% committed to the pillars of collaborative culture, exclusive community and practical solutions that is the essence of why our organization was founded, and that will not change. The task force along with the Board all care deeply about the future success of this organization, which is at the foundation of this recommendation.
We appreciate your patience and support in the midst of this important decision. Stay tuned for an invitation to our upcoming Zoom discussions and reach out to [email protected] if you have immediate questions.
Vincent M. D’Addona
MSFS, CLU, ChFC, RICP, CExP, CEPA, AEP (distinguished)
Forum 400 President