The American College to host Webcast on leadership and ethics

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At a time when the role of ethics at work is receiving increasing attention, The American College will convene a thought provoking Webcast on the subject with several industry leading experts.

"The Role of The Ethical Leader: How To Put Ethics Into Practice in Financial Services," will be held on March 4, 2008 as the kick-off event in The College's celebration of Ethics Awareness Month for the financial services industry.

This Webcast will provide participants with a unique opportunity to learn more about ethical leadership from four prominent industry leaders: Steve Anderson, Senior Executive Vice President and National Sales Manager of Waddell and Reed Inc., Jeff Bosco COO of the American Family Life Insurance Company and VP of Variable Products and Health, John Greene, CLU®, ChFC®, President of Agency Distribution for Prudential Financial's Individual Life Insurance Division; and Scott Perry, President of Bankers Life and Casualty Company.

  • Steve Anderson is senior executive vice-president and national sales manager of Waddell and Reed Inc. He is responsible for overseeing their national network of proprietary financial advisors, including sales of mutual funds, financial planning and retirement plan products, and selected insurance products. He also is responsible for overall field sales management, recruiting and training efforts, and ongoing product and sales support.
  • Jeff Bosco has been the COO of the American Family Life Insurance Company and vice president of variable products and health at American Family Insurance since 2004. In this position he is responsible for profit, growth, and life insurance-products which are sold through an agency force of 4,000. Prior to that, he was a regional sales vice president. In that position he oversaw sales operations of more than 600 sales agents and managers in Ohio and Indiana.
  • John Greene CLU, ChFC, is the president of agency distribution for Prudential Financial's individual life insurance division. In this position he is responsible for the Prudential's national insurance sales organization, which consists of over 2,500 agents and financial planners, and represents Prudential's face-to-face representative distribution system for insurance and investments. Greene is also a member of The American College's Board of Trustees.
  • Scott R. Perry has been the president of Bankers Life and Casualty Company since December 2006. He is responsible for guiding a career sales force consisting of 4,400 agents. Perry has helped to transform marketing culture, driving improved performance through information-based market and branch-specific plans utilizing an automated process for lead distribution and management.

These industry leaders will examine personal experiences and discuss relevant real life case studies and topics, including the following:

  • Ethical Leadership Challenges Faced by Executives in the Industry
    Ethically Managing Controversial or Suspect Products
    How to Align the Needs of the Three Constituencies of the Financial Services Industry: Company, Agent, and Client
    How to Align Commissions with Fiduciary Responsibilities

Dr. Ron Duska, the Charles Lamont Post Chair of Ethics and the Professions
Professor of Ethics at The American College notes that: "With the subprime issues looming over our economy, we find that this is just one of many areas where the financial services sector is asking profound questions regarding due diligence at all levels of an organization."

In today's financial services arena, Stranger Owned Life Insurance is an example where ethical issues come into play. Promoters of this practice are placing policies on the lives of strangers, or people in whose lives they have no insurable interest.

For example, if a customer purchases a $10 million insurance policy on his life, the insurance company promises to advance the premiums for two years at an interest rate of 12-15 percent, and takes a collateral assignment on the policy, paying nothing.

At the end of two years, if the customer wants to continue the coverage, he pays the interest he owes, and repays the principal. The coverage can also be discontinued at the end of the two years with no hassle or liability. Although this sounds good in theory, the customer doesn't have any control over who will actually own the contract on his life, and the return on his investment will vary inversely with the number of years he lives.

That is only one present day example where ethics comes into play. By participating in the Webcast, individuals will have an opportunity to learn about the challenges and rewards of being an ethical leader, hear leaders discuss pressing issues in the industry and get an insight into how to lead with integrity.

Professor Eileen McDonnell, the executive vice president and chief marketing officer at the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company will be the Webcast moderator.

In addition to holding the Charles Lamont Post Chair of Ethics and the Professions and his appointment as Professor of Ethics, Duska is the director of the Center for Ethics in Financial Services at The American College. He has taught and lectured extensively on the subject of business ethics and ethical leadership. In recent years, Duska has taught at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. He was recently named to Ethisphere Magazine's list of the "100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics."

With over 20 years experience in the financial services industry, Dr. Glenn Boseman, CLU, CLF , knows that good leadership consists of a set of unique skills that can be taught. He has been a member of The American College faculty since 1981, and the director of the Chartered Leadership Fellow (CLF) designation program along with the director of Master of Science in Financial Services, (MSFS) and the Master of Science in Management (MSM) degree programs. He is also the author or co-author of numerous books and articles in scholarly and professional journals.

Eileen McDonnell has held numerous executive positions over the past 20 years with AXA/Equitable, Guardian and MetLife. McDonnell was named the first woman president of New England Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of MetLife, in its 168 year history.

The Webcast will begin with each participant offering his or her perspective on the ethical responsibilities of leaders. Duska and McDonnell will lead the participants in a discussion regarding the ethical challenges confronting leaders in the financial services industry today. The panelists will examine real life case studies dealing with timely issues in the financial services industry.

For more information on how to register for the Webcast please contact: Jamie Lynn Rij at [email protected] or call her at 610-526-1324.

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