Deep industry knowledge key to young adviser’s success
To be a leader in the employee benefit industry, a broker needs to do much more than just sell the product. EBA Rising Star Brett Fowler, vice president and partner at Turner, Wood and Smith, says to be successful today a broker needs to understand all parts of the marketplace, from product to policy.
“One of the greatest challenges young advisers face is the many facets of the insurance industry, from compliance, wellness, to carrier policy language and so on, to ensure that you are providing the best and most accurate advice,” Fowler says. “Our industry has changed over the years where we are no longer just selling a product. And it is continuing to evolve on a daily basis.”
At 30 years old, with approximately $820,000 in annual business and only eight short years in advising, Fowler is proving that being successful in the benefits industry is not exclusive to those who have been in the game for decades.
“Brett Fowler has had a tremendous impact in our agency and our community since he joined Turner, Wood and Smith in 2008,” says Rob Fowler Jr., executive vice president of the company. “No TWS accounts or ‘house’ accounts were given to him.”
Because of Fowler’s youth, he has been met with skepticism and uncertainty as to how he could handle his clients. However, clients such as Greg Ours, president of Poly Enterprises, realized quickly that youth does not mean less wisdom.
Fowler “was young and looked like he was still in high school, which made me very skeptical of his ability and the service levels I would demand,” Ours says. “Brett has evolved as a great asset to my business and a leader in the community.”
Also see: “20 young leaders in benefits.”
Ours added that Fowler has exceeded his expectations and sees that he truly cares for the welfare of his associates and the success of his business. “His involvement in the community with his time and resources has been felt by most. I know his family personally and have much respect for him as a husband and father,” Ours says.
Fowler was on track to complete the Registered Employee Benefit Consultant professional designation by March 31, but has finished the process ahead of schedule. “I actually knocked it out quicker than I expected,” he says.
He has also been recognized in Georgia Trend magazine as one of the “40 under 40,” Gainesville’s Insurance Man of the Year in 2012 and was named the Georgia Association of Health Underwriter’s “Best and Brightest 40 under 40” in 2015.