For the first time since 1982 when economic conditions in Oklahoma started to deteriorate, The Wilson Financial Group of Oklahoma City had the national leaders in sales and commissions among all Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. agencies in 1987.
Leadership displayed by the Oklahoma City agency among all Massachusetts Mutual firms nationwide offers some positive signs that Oklahoma is emerging from the doldrums, said J. Hawley Wilson, owner and president of The Wilson Financial Group.
The insurance agency's two leaders, Clayton B. Healey and John E. "Buddy" Leake Jr., also contributed to an all-time production record for the agency in new commissions and earnings last year, Wilson said.
Over $6 million was paid in new premiums for individual policies in 1987, up 140 percent from $2.5 million in 1986. Over $2 million was paid in new group insurance premiums, up from $1.5 million in 1986, according to Bill Fleming, administrative general agent.
The number of policies for individual insurance plans totaled 2,222, up 41.8 percent from 1,567 in 1986. The association sold 25 more group plans in 1987 than in 1986.
The volume of insurance business written during 1987 totaled $168 million, up from $167.8 million in 1986. Total business in force is currently $925 million in 16,000 individual polices.
"We anticipate going over $1 billion this year,"
Commission income from new business increased 32 percent in 1987 to $1.1 million from $800,000 in 1986.
"That signifies our economy is becoming more stabilized and insurance buyers are now back in the market buying large amounts of insurance," said Wilson.
In November, after only four years in the business, Healey ranked first in volume, selling $10 million, among the entire Massachusetts Mutual field force of over 4,000 agents.
Leake, a 30-year veteran in the insurance business, ranked first in first year commissions among the 4,000 agents.
The two associates are consistently top producers within the insurance agency. Healey's sales performance indicates that not only the established business person is buying more insurance, but also the "up and coming" professionals who make up most of Healey's clientele, Wilson said.
Black Monday was a real plus to the insurance industry because people, more than ever before, have made a significant move to find new safe harbors for cash, Wilson said.
"Because of investment quality insurance products, we were able to capitalize," he said.
The 80-year-old agency changed its name on Jan. 1 to reflect expanded financial services, including securities offered through its branch office of MML Investors Services Inc., a subsidiary of Massachusetts Mutual. The new name is more indicative of the direction the agency and the industry is taking.
"We changed the name to …