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Securian’s Couillard Champions Ease of Use

As Securian Financial's manager of field retention, Christopher Couillard collaborates with IT to maximize the quality of the carrier's relationship with distribution partners.

Securian Financial's newly appointed manager of field retention Christopher Couillard sees his partnership with the carrier's technology organization as essential to his mission. "Technology is the backbone, the foundational piece of how we run our business today," Couillard comments. "If we can't get the technology right from the beginning and on an on-going basis, we can't run our business model."

Couillard's responsibilities include onboarding distribution firms, acquainting them with Securian's overall value proposition, and also acting as an ambassador for a select group of individual financial advisor distribution partners that writes a disproportionately large percentage of business. "This important group is writing fairly sophisticated types of sales, so we want to make sure they have an appropriate voice in the system," Couillard says.

The essence of Couillard's job is to ensure that distributors are able to write business with Securian as early as possible, and with ease over the duration of the relationship. The carrier offers various "concierge" services to maximize that ease, according to Couillard. These services include discounts for hardware — such as laptops and handheld devices — and giving newly on-boarded firms a direct line into Securian's IT tech support function for the first six to 12 months of the relationship. Securian also offers to provide new firms a dedicated network administrator operating from the carrier's home office.

"I think providing a menu of choices is a real demonstration of our commitment to make it easy to do business with us," Couillard says. "It allows our distribution partners to decide how they want to run the technology side of their business in a way that makes sense to them."

Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio

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