Magazine article American Banker

Marketer: Personal Service Key to Growth

Magazine article American Banker

Marketer: Personal Service Key to Growth

Article excerpt

Denis Kaplan, president of Independent Financial Marketing Group, goes the extra mile for his bank clients - literally.

Mr. Kaplan recently traveled from the company's White Plains, N.Y., headquarters to London to give a client a behind-the-scenes look at how financial institutions in Britain have marketed life insurance.

Mr. Kaplan, a native of South Africa, was able to arrange the access to British banks by calling on old contacts from his days as managing director of Sage Holdings, a large South African financial services group.

No Time Lost

Just a day after returning to the United States, Mr. Kaplan was in Richmond, Va., talking to executives at Crestar Bank about their company's joining the small but growing list of financial institutions that have launched proprietarn variable annuities.

Crestar is among the 76 financial institutions that Independcnt Financial counts among its clients.

As a third-party marketer, Independent Financial distributes other companies' mutual funds and annuities to banks. It does not manage investment products of its own.

Like most third-party marketing firms. Independent stresses that personalized service is its hallmark. But the company backs up this rhetoric with numbers. It has added 14 clients so far this year, bringing its roster to 76 banks. About two additional banks are signing up each month, Mr. Kaplan said.

The growth has helped make Independent the ninth-largest distributor of mutual funds and annuities through banks, with $550 million placed in 1992, according to Kenneth Kehrer & Associates, a consulting firm in Summit, N. …

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