Hub and Empire launch broker school program for new recruits

par Donna Glasgow | May 18 2006 08:34PM

Hub Financial has teamed up with Empire Life on a program aimed at recruiting and developing new advisors.
Together the companies are launching a broker training school in the format of a five-day “boot camp” that is scheduled to run once per quarter if a minimum of five participants are registered. The first of these classes are set to be rolled out in May and June in cities across Canada.

Hub will be holding the classes, while Empire will provide training resources, such as the course material.

Hub decided to team up with Empire because the insurer has a course curriculum available that is generic and focused on practice management, as opposed to product driven material, says John Lutrin, executive vice-president of Hub Financial and Hub Capital.

Mr. Lutrin calls the need to attract new entrants into the life industry “urgent”, remarking that if you go to any meeting where advisors are in attendance the problem is blatantly obvious. “The hairs are getting greyer and greyer, if not falling out altogether!” he jokes.

He adds that typically MGAs have not put many resources into training and recruiting “because there is no guaranteed return on investment…especially in a world where brokers can be here today and gone tomorrow.” Mr. Lutrin says that because of its size, Hub Financial does have the resources to help address the industry’s pressing need to bring in new blood.

While this new program is aimed at helping to resolve the recruitment problem in the industry, it is also designed to alleviate Hub Financial’s own problem with its aging network. Currently the MGA works with 3,000 independent advisors across Canada. The average age of these advisors is 57-years-old, notes Mr. Lutrin. In contrast, Hub Financial’s executives are in their mid to late thirties. “So we are very concerned by this…If we’re going to secure our future, we need to be proactive.”

Mr. Lutrin says many life advisors still get their start as captive agents and discover the independent world later. After making the switch they have to start all over again building a clientele. With the new broker school program he is hoping “to groom them into the independent world from the get-go.”

He adds that after the boot camp part of the program, Hub will continue to mentor these new advisors. “We will nurse them into full-fledged independent advisors.”

By recruiting new advisors into the business, Mr. Lutrin says the program will also offer an opportunity for older advisors interested in succession planning to be matched with a younger advisor.

The first broker training school program sessions are scheduled to be held in Toronto (May 18), Vancouver (June 22), Calgary (June 21) and Montreal at a date to be announced.

Course material will cover such subjects as market demographics, sales psychology and “how-to’s” from prospecting to closing the sale.

The program is open to brand new advisors or advisors who have been contracted with Hub Financial for less than six months and have not been previously licensed, unless as a licensed marketing assistant. New advisors wishing to take part in the program must be contracted to both Hub Financial and Empire Life.

IPP seminars

In other news, Hub Financial has recently joined forces with Westcoast Actuaries Inc., to promote and support an Individual Pension Plan (IPP) solution that will be launched at seminars across Canada in late May.

IPPs are defined benefit pension plans geared toward business owners or highly paid executives who are aged 40 and over. A major advantage of IPPs is that they have higher contribution limits than registered retirement savings plans.

Mr. Lutrin says many advisors shy away from offering IPPs to their clients because of their technical complexity. This is why Hub has teamed up with Westcoast Actuaries which has a great deal of expertise in this area, in addition to well packaged presentation material.

He adds that selling IPPs has never been a thrust for Hub before, but he thinks there is a great deal of potential for sales in the affluent market. “The opportunity is huge.”

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