October 19, 2010 16:48 ET

Announcing The Compliance and Ethics Forum for Life Insurers (CEFLI)

"It's a New Day in Compliance," Says IMSA CEO

BETHESDA, MD--(Marketwire - October 19, 2010) -  The Insurance Marketplace Standards Association (IMSA) membership today voted to approve the IMSA Board of Directors' recommendation to dissolve IMSA. The organization's work creating dialogue and education around vital contemporary compliance issues will be carried on by The Compliance and Ethics Forum for Life Insurers (CEFLI).

"Yesterday, there was no single, consolidated source dedicated solely to serving the compliance and ethics professionals of the life insurance industry," said Donald J. Walters, IMSA Senior Vice President and CEFLI spokesperson. "Today, thanks to the vision of the IMSA Board of Directors and its members, there is."

CEFLI will work closely with life insurer ethics and compliance professionals to identify and offer products and services designed to assist their efforts to promote sound ethics and compliance practices in the life marketplace. CEFLI will also build upon the accomplishments of IMSA by continuing to offer forums such as summit meetings and webinars to bring together key stakeholders, including state and federal regulators, producers, distributors, consumer advocates and life insurers, to address contemporary ethics and compliance challenges and develop appropriate solutions.

"We are extremely pleased about this exciting outcome," says IMSA President & CEO, Brian K. Atchinson. "For the last 15 years, IMSA has served the infrastructure needs of the life insurance community." He adds that "there is a different compliance climate today which requires a different organizational mission that serves the contemporary needs of those who manage compliance and ethics in the insurance marketplace."

Atchinson will depart IMSA on November 1st, and Walters will lead the new organization in its development. The official organizational title is CEFLI.

CEFLI's mission will allow the organization to examine a broad range of issues impacting compliance and ethics professionals which go beyond IMSA's current scope and will be able to delve deeper into ethics and the establishment of ethics programs and associated best practices. CEFLI will maintain the IMSA certification process and its standards and will explore new ways to leverage technology to provide timely benchmarking and compliance information more efficiently.

"Many foundational aspects of CEFLI have been established, such as a new governance model and focused mission," says Walters. "We will be providing more information in the coming weeks as we develop further refinements to CEFLI's business plan now that our members have spoken."

Visit for informational updates.

What Industry Leaders Are Saying...

"IMSA was created to advance a culture of compliance throughout the life insurance industry, and it has effectively achieved that purpose," said James D. Gallagher, Executive Vice President & Global Compliance Chief, Manulife Financial Corporation. "The life insurance industry appreciates both what IMSA has done and its current action toward what is now needed in the marketplace."

"IMSA's leadership guiding the establishment of successful and sound compliance programs throughout the industry is obvious, but so too is the need for leadership on constantly evolving ethics and compliance issues," said Paul L. Mistretta, Chief Operating Officer, ING Insurance U.S. "From social media to the impact of regulatory reform on the life marketplace, CEFLI is well-positioned to meet the contemporary challenges faced by the life insurance community."

"ACLI welcomes the creation of CEFLI," said ACLI President & CEO Frank Keating. "It will take the important work of IMSA to the next phase in compliance as it promotes a strong culture of ethics and consumer protection among life insurance companies." He adds that "IMSA did pioneering work by establishing industry benchmarks for ethics and compliance. With this structure now in place, the need is for a clearinghouse for compliance professionals to exchange ideas on current and emerging topics with the overarching goal of upholding the industry's tradition of consumer focus. ACLI looks forward to working with CEFLI and strongly supports its objectives."

"CEFLI is the next logical step in the evolution of the compliance standards established by the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association (IMSA)," said IMSA Board of Directors Chairman and Sammons Financial Group Chairman Michael Masterson. "It will build upon the accomplishments of IMSA by meeting the needs of the ethics and compliance infrastructures IMSA helped to establish." 

Contact Information

  • For information, contact:
    Jennifer Kalita