Clients require long-term planning and preparation for their benefits strategy to ensure retention among employees, compliance with state and national regulations, and to remain on top of job-simplifying technology.
Daniel Hostetler, benefit adviser at Arkin Youngentob Associates, LLC and a 2017 EBA Rising Star in Advising, says this need to constantly consume information must be instilled in brokers entering the industry.
“Today’s young advisers face an abundance of unique challenges within the benefits industry,” Hostetler says. “An industry which has historically been transactional and product-focused has now shifted to being a knowledge-based industry.”
Hostetler, at 28 years old, already leads many brokers who have been in the industry for decades by just acknowledging this shift in market. With a book of business consisting of clients ranging from 50 to 500 employees, he uses a knowledge-based approach that emphasizes long-term strategy — despite the fact that he’s only been in the benefit industry for five years.
“The greatest challenge young advisers face today is to become an expert adviser through rapid knowledge growth in order to convey credibility and expertise to prospects and clients,” Hostetler says. “Overcoming these challenges is not easy and will be an ongoing journey of growth and self-discovery.”
Strong role model
Josh Jeffries, principal and head of the benefits division of Arkin Youngentob Associates, LLC, says Hostetler is a strong role model for the firm. His new-age ideas and his ability to stay socially engaged within the industry have made him a strong asset.
“Our practice is a little different than most because 80% of our clients are self-funded, which makes the learning curve a little longer than your typical agency,” Jeffries says. “We are custom designing all of our benefits plans and [Hostetler] has done extremely well increasing his knowledge as an adviser.”
Also see: “20 young leaders in benefits.”
Entering into his third year at Arkin Youngentob Associates, Hostetler has grown his personal business starting from the ground floor to now $300,000 in revenue, making his average growth more than 35% year over year. And he expects to have an even better year in 2017.
“Being a young professional in the insurance industry has its challenges, but also encompasses a tremendous amount of opportunity as well,” Hostetler says. “I have heard many quotes, words of wisdom and presentations, but nothing describes my motivation better than my personal mission statement. [It] can be applied to all areas of my personal and professional career: To serve as a leader, grow in knowledge, live a balanced life and act on ethical principles while impacting the lives of others.”
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