Valmark Financial Group and Sequoia Financial Group have formed a new joint venture intended to “redefine the life insurance experience for hundreds of thousands of clients seeking to safeguard their wealth and ensure their loved ones are financially protected,” according to a July 10 release announcing the deal.
The new joint venture, called Long Road Risk Management Services, LLC, will be an outsourcing partner for all life insurance implementation services to fee-based advisory firms, like Sequoia, whose expertise and core competencies span other financial disciplines. Long Road, by its access to a variety of affiliated companies, will provide a full spectrum of insurance planning services, from customized plan designs and competitive underwriting solutions to active, ongoing monitoring and management of in-force policies, including policies not originally initiated by an affiliate of the company.
Long Road will be led by Craig Welch, CFP, CLU, a 16-year insurance industry veteran who began his career at Valmark where he served as a consultant to over 40 advisors in 18 states as Director of Insurance Services. For the last 7 years, Welch worked for Key Private Bank’s Insurance Group as a national specialist dedicated to quality, unbiased, third-party support in the areas of financial planning and insurance for ultra-affluent individuals, their families and business owners.
“We are very excited about this new venture and see it as having the potential to change how insurance is offered and managed for high net-worth clients,” says Larry J. Rybka, JD, CFP, president and CEO of Valmark. “Our 12-year partnership and complementary business alignment with Sequoia convinced us that they are the ideal partner for deploying this completely new business model. Together, we chose to name the new venture ‘Long Road Risk Management Services’ because of our mutual desire to highlight how the company will create long-term insurance solutions for clients, based on an ongoing advisory service model.”
The press release announcing the establishment of Long Road says much of the life insurance industry today is built on “a flawed model that does not align with the needs and best interests of clients in the long-run.” A life insurance policy is one of the longest-held and most complex financial products a client will ever own. Contrarily, many insurance agents look for short cuts to quickly sell a product and move on, instead of looking at the “long road” ahead, the statement says.
“Long Road will allow advisors to put in place active, ongoing policy monitoring and management services for their clients’ policies, even for those policies they did not originally design and implement,” Welch says. “Our commitment to continuous service drives all of the education, advice, planning, policy designs and recommendations that we offer.”
With Long Road, fee-based advisory firms, like Sequoia, can implement active, ongoing policy monitoring and management services through an entrusted partner. This, in turn, provides the clients of Sequoia with assurance that their policies will keep up with their changing needs throughout the lifetime of the policy. Ultimately, a partnership with Long Road will help Sequoia align their clients’ insurance portfolios with the rest of their service model, the release says.
“We see this service becoming central to the advisor-client relationship, allowing our financial advisors and CPAs who have regular contact with our clients to provide annual reporting of their client’s policy performance,” says Tom Haught, CFP, ChFC, president of Sequoia. “As a firm, we are committed to meeting our clients’ best interests by providing comprehensive planning services built upon a fiduciary model. On the insurance side, we wanted an improved approach for providing life insurance advice. We believe this new venture will create synergies that align with our overall efforts.”
Long Road’s stated goal is to dynamically change the advisor-client relationship and the way life insurance is implemented today in order to protect the people and things in life that matter the most.
To learn more visit www.longroadrm.com.
About Valmark Financial Group, LLC : Headquartered in Akron, Ohio with operations in St. Paul, Minn., Valmark Financial Group is a parent company comprised of several subsidiaries, including: Executive Insurance Agency, Inc., a national insurance agency; Valmark Securities, Inc., a broker-dealer and member of both FINRA and SIPC; Valmark Advisers, Inc., a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission registered investment adviser; and the Valmark Policy Management Company, LLC, which provides ongoing policy management and monitoring services for life insurance policyholders. Valmark, through its affiliated entities, has helped its member firms place over $60 billion of life insurance death benefits and manage insurance policies with a cumulative cash value of over $8 billion.
Valmark’s affiliated RIA, Valmark Advisers, has over $6 billion in assets under management, including approximately $3 billion in variable sub-account assets within its TOPS® funds. For more information visit www.valmarkfg.com.
About Sequoia Financial Group, LLC : Founded in 1991, Sequoia Financial Group, LLC takes a truly client-centered approach to providing comprehensive financial planning and wealth management services, including asset management, estate & retirement planning, fiduciary consulting, family wealth and institutional services. Sequoia is committed to exceptional client service by building and maintaining strong relationships that emphasize long-term planning to help their clients reach their financial and life goals. Today, Sequoia has more than 60 employees in offices throughout Ohio, Florida and Michigan. Investment advisory services are offered through Sequoia Financial Advisors, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. For more information visit www.sequoia-financial.com.