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The 3Rs from an IMO Perspective

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An IMO has a unique role in independent distribution. We recruit BGAs and have contracts with many carriers. Recruiting and retention has largely been focused on attracting and keeping BGAs. Historically, the foundation of IMOs has been around the concept of aggregation. That volume has been a driver in securing certain compensation levels for the BGAs affiliated with the IMOs. Over the last decade or so, there has been a transition occurring that has shifted the focus to a much deeper and meaningful value proposition for both the BGA partners and the carriers.



In both recruiting and retention, value to the BGAs has become critical. Differentiation is at the core, focusing on several different areas. One is alternate sources of revenue. Another is helping BGAs expand distribution and access new markets. A big area of investment for IMOs that adds value to BGAs is in efficiency. Many BGAs have invested significant time, money and people in the underwriting arena to facilitate efficiency, effectiveness and differentiation. When these converge, the value to the BGA can be tremendous. The same is true in service. Differentiation through data, process and partnership can add real value. Another area is product analysis – new products and product changes come at a rapid pace. An IMO can take on the responsibility to provide timely analysis and market data for BGAs to present to the marketplace. In addition, IMO can be a clearinghouse for updating and publishing critical information – warehousing all operational, underwriting and product information for their carriers in a way that BGAs only need access to your website and not toggle back and forth from carrier to carrier for counsel.


Intellectual Capital

One of the great values an IMO brings to BGAs is the intellectual capital of the partnership. We provide several forums where BGA partners share with partners. This intrinsic value and camaraderie is a huge retention tool for our partners as they get the most value from each other. This relationship ends up being consultative across the partnership as they begin to count on each other. Value to the carriers now must go beyond simply volume. The ability to have strategic and aligned relationships where they can count on an IMO to drive initiatives that they target that end up mutually beneficial is critical. This means the IMO should be investing in people and structure to facilitate the alignment. Currently, the renewal process is focused on the BGA/Carrier relationship to a large degree. However, inforce policy management is coming to the forefront of new and frequent strategic and aligned discussion. The bottom line, at a time where the compensation differential between IMOs has been diminished, is the focus on value and differentiation. These are the drivers in recruiting and retaining the best BGAs who are the lifeblood of the independent marketing organizations.


Source: NAILBA Perspectives Q4 2022 page 22



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