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March 5, 2004
MDRT President Addresses Cincinnati Audience

Cincinnati -- “Money doesn’t come with an instruction manual. That’s why (clients) need an adviser – a person they can trust,” said 33-year Million Dollar Round Table member and 2004 President George B. Pickett, J.D., CLU, of Jackson, Mississippi.

Pickett spoke to a group of Ohio National Financial Services headquarters associates and agents in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Friday, March 5.

In February, Pickett’s MDRT duties took him to China, New Zealand, Australia and Israel. Pickett said that despite the geographic location, certain key aspects, including the essential needs of a financial services professional’s clients, are universal.

“Clients in China are no different that clients in the United States. They all want financial security, peace of mind, someone to trust. Everyone wants that, and MDRT members can provide it,” Pickett said. Of MDRT’s approximately 28,000 members, half of the members are from North America. The others represent 68 countries and territories around the globe. “And around the world, when people work with a member of MDRT, they are working with the best, a member of the premier association of financial professionals.”

Pickett’s travels yielded observations that he encouraged American members to note. “Life insurance and financial services in Australia is in shambles,” said Pickett. He advised professionals to take active voice in the legislative and regulatory processes. “There isn’t a national spokesperson for our business, and that’s an area of concern and where progress is needed. But on the other hand, if you lose the dialogue with regulators, then you don’t know what you’ll get,” he added.

When asked about the future of the financial services and life insurance industry, Pickett said he anticipates differences that are difficult to predict. “The agent population is aging, but new people are entering the business through different doors. Banks and other distribution channels are just getting off the ground,” said Pickett. “The market share of life insurance among banks is less than 2 percent, but it’s growing. Distribution through that channel will continue to grow, but it’s hard to tell how.”

In terms of its life insurance sales, Pickett said that Ohio National is succeeding. “Looking at the industry, and the overall trends, Ohio National is definitely doing something right in regards to life insurance sales,” he said. In 2003, Ohio National experienced its 14th consecutive year of life insurance sales growth, a record few, if any, other insurance companies can match. Pickett has been an Ohio National general agent for more than 20 years.


Tracing its corporate origins to 1909, Ohio National today markets a variety of insurance and financial products through more than 30,000 representatives in 47 states (all except Alaska, Hawaii and New York), the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and through subsidiary operations in Santiago, Chile. As of December 31, 2003, its affiliated companies have more than $18 billion of total assets under management. Voted Cincinnati's "Best Place to Work" (large category) by the Business Courier, Ohio National has more than 750 corporate headquarters associates. 

Susan McDonald
513.794.6325 (office); 513.633.1277 (mobile)

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Product Issuers: The Ohio National Life Insurance Company
and Ohio National Life Assurance Corporation
Registered Products Distributed by: Ohio National Equities, Inc.
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