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Insurance Industry News from ProgramBusiness.comNAIFA Restructuring
To enhance its legislative activities and more efficiently utilize resources, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) announced that it is restructuring its Law and Government Relations Department.
The new organization combines NAIFA's Law Department, which monitors, advocates on and effects legislation and regulation at the state level, and the Government Affairs Department, which provides the same functions at the federal level.
William R. Anderson, a member of NAIFA's lobbying team since 1978 who has overseen the association's advocacy of state insurance legislation and regulation since 1998, will head up the new Law and Government Relations Department as its senior vice president. Prior to joining NAIFA, Anderson served as counsel and director of Industry and Government Relations at the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS), based in New York. Prior to that, he was associate counsel for the Independent Insurance Agents of America, also based in New York.
The new structure will also enhance NAIFA's federal lobbying activities by expanding the role of outside counsel of Collier Shannon Scott, a prominent law firm based in Washington, D.C. NAIFA has worked closely with Collier partner Scott A. Sinder on a variety of legislative and regulatory issues for over a decade.
Sinder specializes in many issues of interest to NAIFA members. His legislative and regulatory projects include work on the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, especially on the consumer protection provisions for bank-related sales of insurance that were included in the bill; various privacy bills and initiatives at both the state and federal level; and monitoring regulatory developments of securities and other issues on NAIFA's behalf. Sinder was also instrumental in ensuring that the ability of insurance agents and brokers to help their clients add, replace and administer their benefits programs was protected during the development and interpretation of the new Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) health privacy rules.
"While NAIFA has long been an influential voice in Washington circles, we believed there was room for improvement -- and a need for a change," said David F. Woods, CLU, ChFC, NAIFA's chief executive officer. "With Bill Anderson's leadership, a unified lobbying team and the political and legal savvy of Scott Sinder and his colleagues at Collier Shannon Scott, NAIFA will see an increase in its visibility on Capitol Hill and in its overall effectiveness as a lobbying organization."
As part of his plan to improve NAIFA's overall effectiveness, Anderson and his team will strengthen the close relationships that NAIFA already has with industry partners such as the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) and the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU). NAIFA, in fact, expects very quickly to develop a seamless relationship with AALU and ACLI to address important federal tax issues, such as the proposed Lifetime Savings Account, which represent a significant threat to the industry.
NAIFA will also consider ways to better leverage two of its political strengths: the NAIFA Political Action Committee, traditionally one of the largest PACs in the financial services industry, and Advisors Political Involvement Committee (APIC), NAIFA's influential grassroots political involvement program.
"NAIFA is in a period of transformation. Simply put, we must consider new ways to deliver high quality benefits and services to members in the most effective and efficient manner," said NAIFA president Richard A. Koob, CLU, ChFC, AEP. "The restructuring of the Law and Government Relations Department does just that. NAIFA members will get more value for their membership dues. Our goal is to achieve the best possible legislative and reClick for the whole story...