By Kevin Mayeux, CAE, NAIFA CEO
When I began as NAIFA’s CEO in July, my initial exposure to NAIFA members consisted of conversations I had with our volunteer leaders. I was immediately impressed with how well they grasped the complicated political issues and their potential impact on their businesses.
President Juli McNeely told me that much of her interest in politics and her advocacy acumen grew out of her experience as a member of NAIFA. “NAIFA showed me how decisions made in Washington, D.C., or Madison, Wisconsin, directly affects my business and my clients,” she told me. “Even more importantly, NAIFA gave me the tools, the motivation and the confidence to get involved.”
Juli demonstrated her advocacy prowess (as well as her dedication to her colleagues and clients) when she testified on behalf of NAIFA at a Department of Labor hearing on the DOL fiduciary rule proposal last week. She provided officials with a clear explanation of how the DOL proposal must change to ensure it doesn’t damage the relationships advisors have worked hard to build with their clients. If you have not seen NAIFA’s testimony, I urge you to watch it here.
Juli’s advocacy is just one very visible aspect of NAIFA’s government relations work. But such political passion and understanding is not confined to NAIFA staff and leaders. Our members across the board are well informed and politically involved. Like Juli, they understand the legislative and regulatory issues that challenge our industry.
I’m proud NAIFA provides tools that help our members nurture their political savvy and encourage their political involvement. Just today, for example, every NAIFA member received the August NAIFA GovTalk, a monthly newsletter that explains the most pressing legislative and regulatory developments in Washington, D.C., and state capitals.
NAIFA’s greatest advocacy strength is our membership. We have members who are constituents and employers in every congressional district in the country. When we call you to action, we get results. Keeping you informed and involved on the issues that impact your businesses and your clients is crucial to NAIFA’s advocacy success, and helping grow and improve your business.
That’s why advocacy features prominently in NAIFA’s mission statement and will continue to be an important benefit NAIFA provides members and their colleagues, especially during these critical times. NAIFA always has, and always will, have your back with policy makers and regulators. Providing a clear, consistent and ever-present voice is part of what we do as your professional association. Together, we do great things to empower insurance and financial advisors to provide critical services for our clients and their families – today and tomorrow.