Investing in the Future for the Future
M Financial’s Magnet Program, now in its second year, is a cutting-edge professional development program that guides and empowers financial professionals while allowing them to create a blueprint for entrepreneurial independence. Prudential and John Hancock recently announced their investment in the program as gold sponsor carriers.
“Magnet was designed to attract, train, and nurture financial professionals in those critical early years of their careers,” said Lucy Bosworth, Vice President of Marketing and Practice Consulting at M Financial Group. “This investment is significant because it allows our Magnet hires time to develop, time to learn their craft without the pressures to produce on day one. It also allows us to cast a wider net and actively recruit women and people of color, who are underrepresented in the profession. Prudential and John Hancock’s investment gives us the space to develop talent.”
The Decision to Invest in Magnet
Brooks Tingle, President and CEO of John Hancock Insurance, pointed to the long-standing partnership between M and John Hancock when it decided to invest in Magnet. “We're always looking for ways to deepen our relationship with M and demonstrate our commitment to the greater M community. As an M partner, we want to help foster growth through recruitment that’s representative of our world today. The Magnet Program is not just a positive step for our relationship, it’s also a much-needed step for our industry.”
Brooks continued, “We believe the future of life insurance — both in terms of developing the next generation of financial advisors and delivering solutions that meet and exceed client needs — is rooted in our ability to look beyond the status quo and increase diversity among those professionals selling our solutions and subsequently among those customers who are buying our solutions. Magnet sets these beliefs in action and we see tremendous potential in this initiative.”
Salene Hitchcock-Gear, President of Prudential Individual Life Insurance, identified the Magnet Program as “a very significant contribution to how we're all thinking about bringing financial professionals into our business. One of the things that is really important to us is making sure we can reach more diverse communities. This program will help us to do that uniquely with one of our best partners and make sure that the people who join the organization really get off to a great start.”
Financial services have a great impact on our society, and it’s imperative that a diverse set of professionals are part of shaping the future of the insurance industry. All companies and lines of business benefit from having a diverse culture–more representation means more perspectives, and thus faster, more innovative, and higher-quality solutions. Both Salene and Brooks point to the significance of being well-positioned to serve the needs of a diverse client base.
“This is a unique year for many reasons. Not the least of which are the things that we are now all talking about in terms of social justice,” Salene said. “We are privileged to be able to bring our products and services to people to help them solve a variety of financial needs. At Prudential we are very thoughtful about how we can best impact our overall community in a very positive way.”
Salene continued, “As we think about the Magnet Program and its potential to bring a much-needed product – unique financial advisory services to diverse communities – we know we can do that through hiring, and our specific focus is hiring more Black financial professionals. We know it is incumbent on all of us to talk to as many customers as we can. And we also know how important it is for those customers to feel connected. So, having a more diverse set of financial professionals is surely going to help us in that effort.”
Salene also shared that Prudential is launching a new initiative to reach more Black consumers. That new effort, which is helping to build awareness about the company’s investments and social impact in the Black community, played a role in the desire to invest in Magnet.
“We've had a long-standing commitment to several important social and financial support issues across our industry for many, many years. Magnet had a very specific appeal because it's tangible. It's directed at how to provide financial professionals with a great forum for getting started and working with an organization that we really believe can develop them. Seeing the framework that's been put in place for all the participants of the Magnet Program helped us extend our own strategic initiatives.”
John Hancock is also invested in ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to sit at the table.
“We have a responsibility to ensure the message about the power and importance of life insurance solutions is reaching diverse audiences. To achieve that, we must invest in the diversity of financial advisors,” Brooks said. “This partnership is an opportunity, ultimately, to better serve society by having a wider community of people talking about our solutions. The best kind of growth is when we're growing the whole pie, meaning we're reaching new customers and attracting new clients. That’s exactly the kind of progress we see the Magnet Program prompting — a more diverse set of advisors to reach new markets and new individuals.”
Solutions and Growth
Prudential and John Hancock have been providing resources that help people plan for the future for years. Salene wants to ensure that more people have access to these solutions.
“We watch what is happening around the industry and we see staggering statistics of how many people across the U.S. are either not insured or underinsured. Many are not prepared for so many financial issues in front of them, and we must tackle that on so many fronts,” Salene said. “Not only are we fully behind Magnet and its development, but we're fully behind an environment that helps us bring more and better solutions to more people across the country.”
Brooks is enthusiastic about what the future holds for M and John Hancock as partners, and how they can influence measurable change for years to come.
“There has been no shortage of innovation and investment to modernize the life insurance industry. However, this is the first time we're directly investing in the growth of the financial advisor network to broaden our reach and amplify our messages,” Brooks said. “To be able to look back years from now and know that our investment helped foster the next generation of leaders, grew our respective organizations in meaningful ways, and reached new communities who were previously underrepresented within our industry, that’s what this is all about. When you have the right partner, like we’ve found in M, the potential is really exciting.”