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William Byrnes (Texas A&M) tax & compliance articles

Archive for July, 2010

National Underwriters Appoints New Leader of Financial Advisory Publications

Posted by William Byrnes on July 14, 2010


National Underwriters Establishes Go-To Service for Producers

Effective this summer, in order to embrace the changing landscape of the greatest wealth transfer in global history, National Underwriter/Summit Business Media is honored to announce that the renown professor, author, and financial services industry analyst William Byrnes will lead our financial advisory publications.  In an interview William Byrnes stated that “I will leverage community-comment blogging with innovative multimedia to deliver daily strategies for insurance producers and financial service regulatory updates for risk managers.  National Underwriters’ Advanced Underwriter Service®(AUS®) will emerge as the dominant go-to strategy service for the insurance/financial planning industry.” 

When asked how he intends to effectively connect AUS® strategic information with the needs of producers, Byrnes replied, “Through direct engagement with producers’ burning questions via the new AUS® Advisor blog, through my editorial panel of connected industry experts and enterprise-wide subscribers, and through feedback from the elected production leaders from the over 50,000 chartered wealth managers of the American Academy of Financial Management®.  National Underwriters will proactively educate the AUS subscribers about developing insurance and wealth management advisory strategies and sales techniques before the subscribers’ competitors hear about them via industry word of mouth.”

William Byrnes’ Background

Byrnes continued, “I have a lot of experience delivering cutting edge information to professionals seeking to better serve their clients and win business from the competition.  About twenty years ago, Dr. George Mentz and I pioneered residential executive training, and soon thereafter online degrees, for wealth managers seeking to become top producers.  Over time we trained these industry leading wealth managers with our executive programs for the likes of EuroMoney-Institutional Investor, IIR, and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.  We even managed for the first time ever that the American Bar Association acquiesced to an online wealth management oriented graduate law degree being granted to both lawyers and non-lawyers alike by an accredited law school in the USA.”

“And in terms of executing multi-media publishing, I’ve written and edited 10 books and treatises and 17 chapters for best-of-class publishers like Lexis-Nexis, Wolters Kluwer, Thomson-Reuters, and Oxford University Press, whereas Dr. Mentz focused on wealth management techniques and soft skills books distributed international via the 120-country membership of the American Academy of Financial Management.  I have published my multi-media textbooks online since 1998!”

New Community-Collaborative Technology

When asked how he transitioned from practitioner to education-pioneer, Byrnes reminisced “I never imagined when I was an associate director of international tax of the big 6 audit firm Coopers & Lybrand, now known as PwC, that I would move from serving high net wealth families to helping wealth managers better serve their clients via my role as the Associate Dean of an ABA accredited law school, Thomas Jefferson.  This year Thomas Jefferson School of Law will open its new $130 million dollar state-of-the-technology new campus in San Diego that will be able deliver via innovative ways interactive training and education to wealth managers across the nation, and the globe.  Over the coming year I will combine the cutting-edge technology of Thomas Jefferson law school, my online training expertise, and the National Underwriters best-of-class information services to deliver real-time fresh strategy and sales approaches to AUS subscribers, with followup webinars and training where subscriber interests warrants.”

Delivering the Competitive Advantage to Producers

Byrnes added, “National Underwriters/Summit Business Media wants to deliver an information service that will place its subscribers in a better competitive advantage.”  To this end National Underwriters has allowed me to assemble the industry’s finest editorial team in Investment Advisory, Wealth Management, and Risk Management.  I already have commitments from the two well known industry experts, investment-advisory attorney Robert Bloink, and the chair of the American Academy of Financial Management®, Dr. George Mentz, who will underpin this team”.

Robert Bloink’s Background

“I think it is critical for National Underwriters subscribers to know that Robert Bloink, one of two underpinning editorial team members, put in force in excess of $2B of longevity pegged portfolios for the insurance industry’s producers in the past five years.  Robert Bloink’s insurance practice incorporates sophisticated wealth transfer techniques, as well as counseling institutions in the context of their insurance portfolios and other mortality based exposures.  His success proves that he really has an unparalleled knowledge of the advanced insurance markets.”

“And in terms of risk management editorial expertise, I previously met Robert Bloink when he had just finished serving as Senior Attorney in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Large and Mid-Sized Business Division, where he litigated many cases in the U.S. Tax Court, served as Liaison Counsel for the Offshore Compliance Technical Assistance Program, coordinated examination programs audit teams on the development of issues for large corporate taxpayers and taught continuing education seminars to Senior Revenue Agents involved in Large Case Exams.  In his governmental capacity, Mr. Bloink became recognized as an expert in the taxation of financial structured products, and was responsible for the IRS’ first FSA addressing variable forward contracts. Mr. Bloink’s core competencies led to his involvement in prosecuting some of the biggest corporate tax shelters in the history or our country.”

Chartered Wealth Managers Endorse 

“It is also critical for National Underwriters subscribers who serve middle America to know that the editorial team has Dr. George Mentz, chair of the 50,000 affiliated members of the American Academy of Financial Management® (AAFM®), Byrnes said.”  In an interview with Dr. Mentz, he stated that “I am excited to introduce our membership of Chartered Wealth Managers to the competitive client advisory strategies of Advanced Underwriter Service® and Tax Facts®.”  The AAFM® has endorsed National Underwriters’ Advanced Underwriter Service® as the information service of choice for its board designation CWM®s (Chartered Wealth Manager) in all of its 150 countries of membership.

Panel of Experts

In describing the newly formed editorial team, Byrnes said “To provide AUS® subscriber examples of other experts who will round out various aspects of the new editorial team, let me introduce you to three others, Mike Rodman, Don Goode and Robert Stuchiner.  Mike Rodman is a three time qualifier for Top of The Table, MDRT’s highest honor, as well as a four-year member of the International Forum, and the Association of Advanced Underwriters (AALU). Rodman served as past president of NAIFA-San Diego as well as an active member of The Financial Planning Association (FPA), The Society of Financial Service Professionals (SFSP) and The National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA).  He founded Advanced Planning Services, Inc. (APS) as “the Premier Advanced Sales and Advanced Underwriting organization” serving the entire industry, including producers, producer groups, and other agencies and carriers, for which it has been a two-time INC 500 winner.”

“Don Goode joined Potomac West, where he was instrumental in building their large case department.  Along with his partner, Don successfully designed and negotiated the Power Play program for American General, and most importantly to National Underwriter subscribers, his team lent support to the first agent in the history of the industry to ever receive more than $100mm in a single calendar year.  When he stepped down from partner status at Potomac West, Don accepted a one year contract to lead the sales and marketing department for the esteemed Producer’s Group.  Thereafter Don Goodman joined the Advanced Planning Division of the public company-Bisys-Potomac where he consistently produced individual policy transactions that were more than 20 times the company average.”

“Robert Stuchiner worked for some of the largest insurance companies, most recently AIG where he was Senior Vice President in charge of market development and strategy for the AIG Affluent Markets Group. He has also worked for consumers of insurance products ranging from large corporations (North American Phillips) to a major law firm (Davis, Polk & Wardwell).  Robert Stuchiner has published articles on life insurance products in “Trusts & Estates” magazine as well as “CCH” professional publications. He is a frequent speaker to the insurance industry associations. Robert is the winner of the “National Career Achievement Award” granted by the Lighthouse for the Blind.  

Community Calibration

Byrnes concluded the interview stating, “To bring AUS to the next level of becoming the industry’s leader for strategic information, this next six months is going to be about collaboration with AUS subscribers and calibration of the new information service to align to the feedback received from them.  John Frey, Head of National Underwriters Institutional Relationships, and I will reach out to establish a focus group of the enterprise-wide subscribers, as well as a focus group of the producers.” 

“Via my community-based feedback approach, the subscribers will drive AUS’ topic approach to strategic information, even receiving direct answers to ‘questions for the authors’ so that the producer may better address client questions either in the living room or in the board room.  AUS will be a subscriber-focused service, tailored to the needs of the producer to place more product with customers”.  Byrnes said that he welcomed feedback from current AUS subscribers and would provide his direct National Underwriters telephone number and email address on the AUS subscriber site.

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