Meet Forbes Finance Council member Michael S. Seltzer, a founding member and principal of Vérité Group, LLC. Michael brings over 40 years of life insurance experience to his work. He focuses on expanding Vérité’s brand in the life insurance and financial services industry, specifically focusing on premium finance. Over the past couple of years, Vérité has taken steps to expand internationally; the company has established a presence with its first set of international cases in Vietnam, Columbia, and Luxembourg.
In addition to his work, Michael is an avid reader, he enjoys spending time with his family, and he takes advantage of as much time possible at the beach. He says he enjoys “building relationships, both personal and professional, and learning the stories behind the people we work with. I believe that we provide true value for individuals, families, and businesses, and we are able to create real money at times it may be needed the most.”
Below, Michael took a moment to share with us his thoughts on truth and transparency, revenue and reputation, saying no to opportunities, and developing business perspective.
On Truth and Transparency
Our firm is best known for being experts in the premium financed life insurance business and our reputation is one of transparency. We follow a strict code of conduct which demands that our service offerings are a perfectly tailored fit for our clients – or we do not move forward. In addition, we make sure that our clients fully understand not only the benefits of the transaction, but also the risks and nuances associated. This ideology falls directly in line with the meaning of our firm’s name, Verité, which means “truth.”
The work that we do allows us to give wealthy and ultra-wealthy clients the ability to own the amount of insurance that they actually need, rather than the amount they are willing to pay for.
On Success and Reputation
Although many business owners and executives would measure success by revenue, we have found that to be only one piece of the puzzle for sustainable growth. While we monitor revenue, we keep a careful eye on how the industry and the clients and advisors who we work with react to us. As cliché as it may sound, reputation in this industry – especially the premium financed life insurance niche – is incredibly important. We are exceptionally selective of the professional advisors and clients that we choose to work with, which has allowed us to provide better outcomes for those who we serve.
On Saying No to Opportunities
One of the most interesting things that I have learned throughout the past several years is that in order to say “yes” to the right people and opportunities, we had to say “no” to the ones that were not the right fit. This meant that we rejected taking on a faster revenue trajectory in order to make sure that we maintain our integrity and reputation with the clients and advisors that we do business with.
On Developing a Broader Business Perspective
If I were to change anything about my career path and how I advanced to this position, I would have been broader in my education and more open-minded in my approach to the business. I was brought up in a traditional captive insurance career system and because of this, my insights and education were limited to the teachings and product offerings of that company. I believe that this limited my initial career growth; however, by stepping away to the independent world, I was able to broaden my horizons and expand what’s possible for the clients and advisors we work with.
I honestly love what we do.
Historical figure you wish you could meet?
I had a great deal of admiration for Anthony Bourdain and the life he led. He broke down barriers to borders and opened the eyes of the general public to the possibility that there is more to the world and other cultures than we may think we know. I would have enjoyed catching up with him over a cup of coffee.
What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
I’m reading several books: One Good Deed, Talking to Strangers, The New Girl, and Speaking Being
App you can’t do without?
Smart News. I’m addicted.
Place you’d most like to visit?
Best day of your life?
The best day of my life so far was the first day of my second marriage. My wife, Iris, has been my support system and helps me be a better human, both personally and professionally.
Connect with Michael Seltzer through the Forbes Councils concierge (members only) or on LinkedIn.