2022 President of MDRT Randy L. Scritchfield, CFP, LUTCF, shares with Money Playschool what differentiates a financial adviser who is an MDRT member from one who is not, what it means when you have an MDRT member as your adviser, why MDRT is not about sales targets, and what MDRT is doing for the community through MDRT Foundation.
What differentiates a financial adviser who is an MDRT member from one who is not?
MDRT members set the global financial services industry standard for client service, financial knowledge and ethical conduct. As a professional community of the best of the best, MDRT offers its members a variety of educational, networking and mentoring opportunities so they can continuously improve their services and better help clients achieve their financial goals.
MDRT also helps members navigate the many changes playing out within financial services today. For example, online insurance and investing options have grown at a rapid pace in recent years. While these options are convenient, a truly excellent human adviser can ask their clients much better questions about goals and values than any machine can. This increased human ability compared to robo-advisors or other online platforms places human advisers’ clients in a better position to meet long-term financial needs.
The diversity of insurance and investment options available to the average consumer has also exploded in the past several decades, and governments are racing to update regulatory frameworks. MDRT helps educate members on these new products and regulations, so members can give the best possible advice to clients on finding the right insurance policies or investing beyond their regular CPF contributions.
What does it mean for clients to have an adviser who is an MDRT member serving them? Is MDRT all about sales targets?
While MDRT members must meet a certain level of premium, commission or income during the year, professional success is only one of the pillars reflective of MDRT levels of excellence.
Members must adhere to strict ethical standards, always placing the best interests of their clients above their own direct or indirect interests. They must also maintain the highest standards of professional competence by seeking to maintain and improve professional knowledge, skills and competence.
MDRT members must be committed to helping others with their financial needs, to ensure that their clients are well prepared in the event of a catastrophe. MDRT members come together not for accolades and personal gain, but to share how they provide peace of mind, and protect the futures of clients.
With the access they have to top-performing colleagues around the world, MDRT members are always equipped with the tools they need to help their clients with any problem. Every professional will encounter situations or get asked questions for which they don’t know the answer. When that happens to an MDRT member, they can tap into a global network of colleagues for help. Whatever the situation is, there are at least a few MDRT members somewhere in the world who have previously handled it.
MDRT members also help each other improve their practices in ways that may not be immediately noticed by consumers. From improving office technology use to improve cybersecurity and facilitate better client-adviser communication to member-led study groups which proactively prepare members for unexpected situations, our members make a point of helping each other help their clients.
In addition to the main MDRT organisation, MDRT Global Services offers financial services office leads the training they need to bring the MDRT culture of excellence to their entire team.
How can attending events such as MDRT Annual Meeting and MDRT Global Conference help an adviser better serve their clients?
Our annual member gatherings, including the MDRT Annual Meeting and MDRT Global Conference, are industry-leading events where MDRT members come to learn from and build relationships with their peers across national borders.
While MDRT members can and do connect with each other through digital means, our annual events often represent the best chance members have to meet overseas colleagues, mentors and mentees in-person. Like so many other members I know, I’ve become a better advisor from the lessons learned at these events, and I’m incredibly happy we are able to safely meet in-person again after holding virtual meetings for the last couple of years.
Each conference features over 100 educational sessions led by MDRT members and outside experts alike, covering topics from insurance policies and optimal retirement planning strategies to personal skills like self-confidence. All of these sessions help equip members with the skills and knowledge they need to be effective advocates for their clients’ financial well-being — and take their practice to the next level with innovative strategies that are immediately applicable to their practice.
We are very much looking forward to hosting the MDRT Global Conference in Singapore next year and bringing this first-class, global experience to our Singaporean members’ front door.
Besides enhancing professionalism in the financial services industry, how is MDRT contributing to the community?
The MDRT Foundation is the charitable arm of MDRT, set up to empower members to support charities and philanthropic causes in their local areas and around the world.
The Foundation is driven by its members, who select the causes and organisations they wish to support. Over the last 63 years, the MDRT Foundation has invested over US$40 million in charitable organisations in more than 70 countries and territories. This year, the MDRT Foundation expects to grant US$1.8 million to nearly 300 charities and causes.
The MDRT Foundation also partners with a selected charitable organisation for events at our annual member gatherings. This year, we have partnered with Filipino charity Liter of Light, and attendees at our summer conferences will build hundreds of solar-powered lights for delivery to developing communities across the world.
The MDRT Foundation reflects the generosity, service and impact of MDRT members by empowering them to make a difference in their communities around the world. By joining forces with Liter of Light, we hope to make a lasting, global impact, and provide sustainable solar power to the more than one billion people around the world who suffer from the debilitating effects of energy poverty.
About Randy L. Scritchfield, CFP, LUTCF
Randy L. Scritchfield, CFP, LUTCF, is the 2022 President of MDRT. He is a 37-year MDRT member with three Court of the Table and 20 Top of the Table qualifications. An MDRT Foundation Excalibur Knight, Scritchfield is also a member of its Inner Circle Society and has served on its Board of Trustees. He is founder and president of Montgomery Financial Group, a retirement planning firm in Damascus, Maryland, U.S.A.
MDRT is a global, independent association of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals from more than 500 companies in 70 nations and territories. MDRT membership is recognised internationally as the standard of excellence in the life insurance and financial services business.
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