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    The THINK Blog

    APEXA, an Insurance Industry-led Solution. Starting with the “WHY”

    Posted by Nick Joly

    Sep 12, 2014 2:25:00 PM


    why_how_what

    The WHY:

    “At APEXA. We make an effort to build and protect our relationships. We dedicate our lives to collaboration, forward-thinking solutions, and maintaining trust and integrity within our industry. Our confidence to provide you with the tools and resources you need to achieve success is only matched by our desire to build a lasting bond with you.”

    New to the scene: APEXA. You’ve heard it trickle down the office grapevine, you’ve seen one of the webinar presentations or maybe you’ve read the Press Release (we hope). But with the brand and tagline recently unveiled, make no mistake that this innovative offering is nothing short of what it claims to be; a solution for higher standardization, clarity, timeliness, efficiency and confidence to contracting and compliance for the Canadian Life Insurance Industry. 

    "But what does this (really) mean"? You say. Well ...


     

    profile_picture
    Nick Joly is Sales & Marketing Coordinator at LOGiQ3
    Connect with Nick

    ... in four words it means: innovation and higher efficiency – for the life insurance industry that is. APEXA is a service that will be offered to insurance advisors, carriers, and managing general agencies (MGAs), whereby, the APEXA solution will host valid, current and accurate information on the contracting and compliance records of advisors. This means raising the bar in terms of efficiency, as APEXA will be the one source for this information, and having it readily available to all stakeholders, hasn’t been seen before. This is where the initiative’s innovation is reflected. 

    Now where does the marketing come in to play, and WHY is it important? Why don’t we start with that WHY?! Fans of Simon Sinek may be catching my drift here. What makes APEXA all that it is, is essentially WHY it does what it does (or, what it stands for).

    "APEXA believes in providing higher standardization for an industry. APEXA believes in transparency and collaboration."

    For those less familiar with our friendly marketing guru and author, Mr. Sinek, the importance of defining one’s WHY is paramount. And why is that? Because in doing so, you will attract the right kind of partners – those who are like minded. People who believe what you believe and who stand for what you stand for, will be the ones who support you. 

    So why did we start this blog post with APEXA’s beliefs? (Hopefully it’s a little clearer now). The answer is simple. While APEXA may be “new to the scene” today, it has been two years in the making. Every idea and every action since its inception has been in sync with its core beliefs. Its vision has been from the onset to bring higher standardization, clarity and greater efficiency to an industry, no easy feat by any measure. To achieve this, it has spent time developing relationships, building partnerships… with the right kind of people – those who share the same beliefs, those who believe in WHY APEXA exists. 


    Simon says (pun intended) “start with the WHY”, and the rest will fall into place. Well, if you believe in reaching toward a higher goal, or an apex – yes that’s where the name is derived from – then you believe in APEXA. Clarity, efficiency and higher standardization are all coming to the Canadian life insurance industry, through APEXA, and its partners, those who believe in the WHY. See how you can be a part of this innovation. To learn more, check out and subscribe to APEXA's monthly newsletter.

    Also worth mentioning on a separate note: Simon Sinek and our marketing team will both be attending this year's annual INBOUND conference hosted by marketing experts: HubSpot, in Boston MA, Sept 15-18th. Well Simon, we are all SO stoked about meeting you and cannot wait to hear your keynote. To all other attendees reading this, we shall see you in Boston! 


    Topics: Industry Matters, Marketing

    Blink or Think?

    Posted by Gerri Sefi

    Sep 2, 2014 3:00:00 PM

    BLINK OR THINK?

    Competition in every industry is fierce! (Yes, even the life insurance industry)... And it has become increasingly difficult to assess which company is best in providing expertise and value. It is easy to be influenced by “the lowest price” or by “the speed of delivery”, but it’s important to remember that choosing a company based on one factor alone does not always yield the best results. Consider this illustration:           

    Choosing the best insurance consulting and outsourcing provider

    Pick only two: 
    • Good + Cheap ≠ Quick
    • Cheap + Quick ≠ Good
    • Quick + Good ≠ Cheap

    Here are a few points to think about when considering a new service or value proposition, and you find yourself choosing between several options. In addition to meeting your needs and objectives, it’s important to consider some of the following, like the company’s business MO, philosophy or their ethics. (For instance, take a look at LOGiQ3’s culture and jot down what your first impressions are).

    PAST PERFORMANCE

    • What is the full range of services or value propositions that they offer (i.e., do they offer what I, the customer, am looking for, say, Life Reinsurance Audit)?
    • Has the company ever been involved in the project/service before (such as previous reinsurance solutions offered)?
    • Does the company you are considering have a robust track record of success in similar projects (i.e., what has their success been like in insurance business process outsourcing)?

    SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE

    With the meteoric rise of social media, companies’ websites will give you a good indication of who they are, if they are innovative thinkers and how long they’ve been in business. Browse the website carefully as it will give you an impression of the company, both in their professionalism and their philosophy. If the company doesn’t have a website - beware. Most businesses cannot afford to be invisible to the market and this could be an indicator that they may not have solid experience or qualifications, or aren’t technologically savvy.

    (…speaking of which…) TECHNOLOGY

    Today, it is VERY difficult for businesses to thrive without technology. And it can be equally important to consider the five tenets of any system:  Accessibility – Availability – Recoverability – Scalability – Security. With the recent “heartbleed bug” scare, perhaps the most important is “Security”. If the company is not compliant with the many IT requirements in the marketplace, your confidential data could be in jeopardy. Are YOU willing to risk it?

    STAFF

    Does the company employ experts in the field, and are they long term employees? Will the company have to hire a consultant/contractor to fulfil the service?  Permanent expert resources are expensive, so this is not necessarily a negative factor, but rather indicates that the management is fiscally responsible and are able to bring in expertise if and when required. 

    COMPANY OWNERSHIP

    Is the president the owner of the company? In other words, does she or he have a real stake in both corporate culture and the deliverables?

    ATTITUDE

    Does the company share your corporate philosophy regarding value propositions, staff, financials and culture? This can be easily established through the “getting to know you phase”. Would you be prepared to start working with the company or are you waiting for a signed contract? Or would a handshake to move forward suffice with the legality to follow? In short – do you trust the company?

    TRUST YOUR SPIDEY SENSES (Always!)

    In Malcom Gladwell’s book, BLINK, he talks about decision making and judgement in – literally - a blink of an eye. While we generally ignore those first few seconds of instant reaction, mull them over later when it becomes time to sign on the dotted line.   Although business all too often frowns upon relying on instinct, or a gut reaction, many great leaders have made decisions on what they “feel” to be the right thing when facts are not in evidence to support their decision.

    Wouldn’t it be remarkable if we could operate in some business areas like the old diamond traders? The diamonds were given to the buyer in a velvet bag - the price was agreed upon – seller and buyer shook hands – and the buyer did not look at the diamonds until after he had paid for them. A rare trust …


    Written by: Geri Seffi, Chief Compliance Officer, Deposit Distribution Channel

    Connect with Gerri

    Topics: Industry Matters, company culture, Freedom To Think

    Official Brand Launch of Canada's Life Insurance Advisor Compliance Solution

    Posted by Natalie Ho

    Aug 29, 2014 6:45:00 AM

    Apexa_Full_Colour

    Toronto, ON, August 29, 2014 – Expert provider of life insurance and reinsurance consulting, outsourcing and training services, LOGiQ3, officially announces the name and brand of its subsidiary corporation: APEXA Corp., the solution for higher standardization, connectivity and confidence in contracting and compliance for the Canadian life insurance industry.

    The APEXA initiative is an industry-led solution that has partnered with several bodies including Canada’s largest life insurance carriers and brokerage managing general agencies, independent advisors and companies as well as the nation’s provincial regulators. Working closely with the Canadian life insurance community in order to deploy its industry standard solution, APEXA will provide secure communication channels, verified life insurance advisor data and standardization for compliance and screening.

    “We are thrilled to finally launch the official brand behind the industry’s transformational compliance solution. Since the onset of this project [almost two years now] we have prioritized identifying and leading change in the industry. This is why there is an urgency to APEXA and it has to move at the fast pace it is currently experiencing. Our tagline “Simply Connected” speaks to our commitment in providing a simplistic and collaborative service to the industry,” says Chris Murumets, CEO of LOGiQ3 and Project Sponsor.

    APEXA and technology partner BlueSun are working together to ensure that all data is securely managed and held in Canada, and that the system will also contain full enterprise level auditing and security technology. President of BlueSun, Stewart Wigg, comments: "[We are] so pleased to be part of this major collaboration. There are very talented people working on this project and we can promise some great software". Currently, APEXA’s prototyping phase is well on its way.

    “The scope of the project and level of innovative thinking are very significant” states Richard Sachs, Senior Project Consultant, “…as we work collaboratively through issues, risks, new processes and expected change. APEXA is the solution of reaching towards a higher goal, an apex of life insurance industry standards and collaboration”.

    To sign up for APEXA, the life insurance advisor screening, contracting and compliance project updates and development, please visit http://www.APEXA.ca


    About LOGiQ3

    LOGiQ3 is the expert provider of life insurance and reinsurance consulting and outsourced services. LOGiQ3 delivers long-term strategic solutions and short-term tactical support across
    Distribution, Underwriting, Reinsurance Administration, Claims and Audit. LOGiQ3 supports clients across the life insurance service chain from agent to retrocessionaire from its offices in Toronto, Canada, and Cardiff, UK. To learn more about LOGiQ3, visit http://www.logiq3.com

    About BlueSun Inc.

    BlueSun is a leading provider of software solutions to the financial services industry. BlueSun delivers custom built solutions addressing administration, membership, sales and marketing and distribution. BlueSun provides WealthServ, a SaaS solution for MGA’s, mutual fund and investment dealers. BlueSun supports clients across North America and has offices in Burlington, Ontario and Syracuse, New York. To learn more about BlueSun, visit http://wealthserv.com

    Notes for Media and Editorial Departments

    For any questions, please contact:

    Natalie Ho, LOGiQ3
    Vice President, Sales & Marketing
    647-472-4752
    natalie.ho@logiq3.com


    Click for your own PDF Download of this press release.

    Topics: Insurance, technology, Press Releases

    Cool Finding: Emotion Calendars

    Posted by Natalie Ho

    Jul 8, 2014 11:25:00 AM

    Hello! It's been quite some time since we've added a blog post! So much activity happening at the HQ and things got busy, we're hoping to share more with your second half of the year.

    Today, a quick post on a 'cool finding'. I came across these creative, adorable, and in MY mind, practical life and love calendars by Brigada Creativa. Funny how we keep track of all the important action, meetings, and numerous to-dos but rarely pay attention to our emotional meters.

    I love these life and love calendars. The “Love Life, Day by Day” calendar has 365 hearts for each day, each divided into 4 quadrants, representing: time together, conversation, caress-kisses and sex. Keep track of your heart wellness by filling in the portion daily – hopefully you’ll end up with more full hearts than none! The “How was your day?” calendar, equally as important, tracks your daily emotions by allowing you to fill in the blank happy faces: very good, good, ordinary, bad, or very bad.

    How do you keep track of your emotional health?

    These ready made ones by Brigada Creativa are available for sale on Etsy for less than $20 a pop. Perhaps something to add to the office space? Maybe not the love life one though ... I'm sure your colleagues aren't that interested in your love life ;) 

    lovecalendar7lovecalendar4 resized 600

    life calendar 6 resized 600life calendar 5 resized 600

    What does this have to do with the services we provide? Nothing and Everything! Emotional health underpins how well we can perform in our workplace and how we behave with our clients, colleagues, peers. Hopefully, this post was able to give you an bit of light inspiration for the day! 

    Got a "cool finding" you want to share with us, comment below! 

    My Best,

    Natalie

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    Topics: Culture, Cool Finding

    Not Vulnerable to Heartbleed

    Posted by Simon Bell

    Apr 22, 2014 1:28:00 PM

    No problem heart bleedI'm sure you've read recent communications about the widespread security vulnerability called Heartbleed that is affecting many online services and accounts. Organizational security is extremely important to LOGiQ3. We have been taking this issue very seriously since April 9th when the vulnerability was first disclosed.

    Rest assured that we have carefully reviewed six LOGiQ3 systems, 20 vendor validated systems, and six thorough online vulnerability assessments.  We are pleased to share that none of our systems are affected by the Heartbleed bug that is afflicting so many websites that use OpenSSL (Secure Socket Layer) technology.

    While we're not vulnerable to this particular security exploit, you are welcome to take extra precautionary action by changing your passwords, particularly if you use the same passwords across other sites. 

    If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our IT Department.

    Topics: technology

    Study Show Some Inconsistencies in Underwriting across the Map

    Posted by Simon Bell

    Apr 21, 2014 2:00:00 PM

    Underwriting ConsistencyWe recently had the pleasure of attending our first ELHUA conference in Prague to launch our E-Learning Underwriting Training and Continuous Education into the European market.

    The conference itself is the 3rd that ELHUA has hosted and was attended by well over 150 people from across Europe.  A varied range of topics was on offer with the mornings being delivered in English and the afternoon having multiple language streams (French, English, German and Czech).  Despite the variety of topics there were some strong themes which came through and supported our thinking behind attending the conference. 

    Underwriting Training 

    The training of Underwriters, both at the beginning of their careers and those with 20 years’ experience , was mentioned by several speakers as being key to good risk management…great news for any organization that has spent 2 years developing an E-Learning offering to address that training need. 

    Simon Bell, LOGiQ3
    Simon Bell is Chief Operating Officer, at LOGiQ3
    Connect with Simon

    (In)Consistency in Underwriting 

    Another strong theme, and the title of this blog, was the importance of consistency, or rather avoiding inconsistency, in Underwriting.  A great presentation by an actuary, a rarity at this Underwriter gathering, looked at global comparisons on Underwriting consistency of decision.  There were some striking examples of a lack consistency which while fine and desired between companies,  we want to see a competitive market with different companies looking to express different risk appetites, but less welcome within a company, also a finding of the study.  Should we be surprised by this?  Well, we would argue not. 

    There has been an under-investment in training in Underwriting (as well as other functions) over several years, so the ability for Underwriters to maintain and improve their knowledge is limited.  So we would encourage anyone who has responsibility for Underwriting training, or overall risk management, to conduct some analysis internally on their underwriting consistency and address any issues they find through a broad-based professional development program for their Underwriters. We would be happy to help with suggestions on how you could approach this study.

    We look forward to attending the 4th ELHUA in Madrid in the Autumn (of Fall if you prefer) of 2016 and thanks to the ELHUA committee, a dedicated team of people who despite having demanding day jobs, were able to create an informative and enjoyable conference.

    See you in Madrid!

    Simon 

     

    Interested in learning more about our E-Learning Underwriting Training and CE solution? 

     

    Topics: Underwriting, Underwriting Training, Conference, ELHUA

    5 Excellent Networking Tips to Kick Butt at your Next Conference

    Posted by Gerri Sefi

    Apr 17, 2014 2:00:00 PM

    Tips on Conference NetworkingWe're in the midst of conference season and let's face it, no matter how many conferences we've
    attended, there still comes a moment of awkwardness when it comes to networking.

    A conference is great place to network.  Here are five butt-kicking tips to help you get over that first hurdle.

    1. Body Language

    The standard rule for personal space when meeting strangers is 4ft. So – shake hands and step back slightly and that will be about right.  I tried this little technique recently and was very surprised at the difference it made in that initial – and sometimes awkward – first few seconds.  I turned my body very slightly to the right so that my heart was in line with the other person’s heart.   I paid deliberate attention to what the other person did and I noticed that he too turned, perhaps unconsciously or maybe he had heard about the same trick?    Our conversation somehow seemed easier.  Sounds hokey?  Try it anyway.

    2. Business cards

    When you are handed a card, read it both back and front before you put it away.  You may learn something from the card that could spark a conversation, or highlight something that you both have in common. And it’s polite.  If you can’t think of anything to say, comment on the card.  If the card is uninspiring, ask a question e.g.  “What brings you to this conference?”

    Gerri Sefi, LOGiQ3
    Gerri Sefi is Chief Compliance Officer, Deposit Broker Channel at LOGiQ3
    Connect with Gerri

    3. Elevator speech

    Change your perspective on how you tell strangers about your work.  Instead of telling them what you literally do e.g. I am a marketing professionals, relate your work to a result - “I am the wind behind the sails of sales”.     I am a Chief Compliance Officer.  Not only is the title somewhat intimidating, it often requires more than 3 sentences to explain what I do.  So I examined what was at the heart of my work and developed my introduction from there.  “I help financial services professionals to manage a prudent business by keeping them on the right side of the rules and requirements.”

    The most creative elevator speech I heard was from an accountant who said that he was a “chess master and made sure that the black always beat the red.”  Have fun with it!    

    4. Focus

    Many of us have been to events when complete strangers want to sell you something.  Right then and there.  And you can’t get away without being rude.  An associate has a technique for this – he smiles sweetly, puts his finger up and says “Can I stop you there?”  And then walks away…  He believes that rude and pushy people do not deserve consideration.    You do not want to sell or buy anything at a networking event.  Your only objective is to seek out like-minded business professionals with whom you might develop a connection and synergy.  

    The rules are so simple but are so often forgotten:

    • Don’t mingle with people you already know.
    • Don’t walk around with the person you came with.
    • Smile, but not too brightly.
    • Look people in the face, but do not stare hypnotically into their eyes.
    • Give a firm handshake.
    • Ask questions.

    5. Finally - Givers Get

    People may not remember that you are a senior executive at a Fortune 500 company when they review your business card later.  They will remember if they benefited from your introduction to a colleague, or you gave them advice/a tip/inside scoop just because.  And don’t discount talking to job-seekers – you have no idea who they know, or when you might need the favour returned.

    Thanks for reading!

    Gerri

     

    Want to put your networking skills to the test? Be sure to register for the Deposit Industry Professional's (DIP) Conference from June 1-2, 2014 in Toronto, ON.  

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    Topics: Conference, LOGiQ3 Network, Deposit Broker, DIP Conference

    Conference: Eastern Claims Conference 2014

    Posted by Eli Wahby

    Mar 18, 2014 1:38:00 AM

    Eastern Claims Conference 2014

    I had the privilege of attending the Eastern Claims Conference with Carmela late last month. It was good to see a strong program and attendees from North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

    I always look forward to the legal updates – current case law and court decisions, if you will – and this year did not disappoint. Recent court rulings on STOLI (Stranger Owned Life Insurance) have been favorable to insurers and specifically some allowing rescission of a policy due to financial misrepresentation rather than medical misrepresentation or lack of insurable interest even when outside the contestable period of the policy.

    Nevertheless this should be a consideration if you believe you’re dealing with a STOLI situation. The courts in some instances have also allowed a reinsurer to rescind these policies while not having to refund premiums or to at least refund all but their ‘costs’, including agent’s first year commissions, if they can show these to the court.

    Be aware, the lack of insurable interest however is not a defense that courts have recognized in Michigan, New York, California or Texas.

    On another note, as you may know, LOGiQ3 has an extensive Underwriting Training Program, now available also as a E-Learning solution. In an informal survey of my claims colleagues, it appears there may be a need for a similar training solution for claims. A variety of topics we cover in the Underwriting program seems to be a logical fit for claims professionals. 

    What do you think? Should LOGiQ3 undertake a claims training program? Would you or an organization you know benefit from this and participate in the program if we made it available?

    I'd like to hear your thoughts, please leave me a comment below. 

    Thanks,

    Eli 

    Eli Wahby is a Senior Claims Consultant at LOGiQ3

    Topics: Conference, Claims

    Conveying Company Culture and Purpose through Office Art

    Posted by Natalie Ho

    Jan 16, 2014 9:00:00 AM

    I have a thing for art. Not just fine art, but any kind of art. Art can come in many forms - whether it's a painting, a cartoon strip, or the ever so slick product packaging at companies like Apple and Nest. I've come to appreciate art in all forms. 

    Brian Wilkinson, LOGiQ3
    Natalie Ho is Assistant VP at LOGiQ3
    Connect with Natalie

    We recently went through a mini redesign of the office and we wanted to incorporate art work that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but pieces that can convey our company's culture. I personally believe having art in the office is "tres importante"! We spend so much time in the office, just as we would put art around the house to enjoy, why wouldn't we do the same in our office space? Artwork can also inspire us to be creative, to think outside of the box and drive innovation through that thinking. 

    We had some incredible etching of our Maxims done on our Board Room and Meeting Room glass panels, as well as displayed some of our Eli's photos around our office. The personal added touch of these pieces, really does speak to our company culture and an environment that our staff feel a sense of belonging.

    While continuing to look for more artwork options (we've got more walls!), I came across gapingvoid. I thoroughly enjoy their work and also the purpose behind it. gapingvoid not only creates art work, but they affect change in business and business culture, through the use of their distinct style of drawing. It really is Art With Purpose. 

    Here are a selection of some pieces that resonated with me and our company from the gapingvoid

    Art and Culture

    Does your office have some cool art work? How does your office art convey your company's culture or business purpose? 

    I'd love to see some! Share your story! 

    My Best,

    Natalie

     

     

     

    Topics: LOGiQ3 Culture, Culture

    Blog Series: Five Reasons Why E-Learning Works - No. 1 Immediate Results and Feedback

    Posted by Heather Douglas

    Jan 9, 2014 8:00:00 AM

    Benefits of E-Learning, Underwriting Training

    *This is part of a Blog Series: Five Reasons Why E-Learning Works.*

    Late last year, Natalie made an intro on E-Learning, and listed briefly some of the reasons why E-Learning works. Today, I'll take a quick stab on the first one up: Immediate Results and Feedback. 

    I don’t know what was more stressful in university, writing an exam or waiting for the results.  It seemed like a lifetime before we got our grades back. 

    Instant messaging, Instagram, Twitter, scratch lottery tickets. In a world where everything has to be faster than yesterday, most up to date as well as provide instant gratification, it’s hard to compete if your product doesn't meet today's needs. 

    Education and training development is no different. Students are looking for immediate feedback and results. E-Learning can assist in providing immediate feedback to correct misunderstood material. The more immediate the feedback the better, because each step of learning builds upon the previous step. If no feedback is given, the the next step of learning may be building upon an incorrect interpretation (source: Mindlogicx). 

    Incorporating quizzes that pop up immediately after a set of learning objectives offers good feedback and reinforcement for learning. In many circumstances, results have shown that students gain a better understanding of the content when immediate feedback has been presented - it's the building effect of learning. 

    In addition, E-Learning allows for different formats of questions and quizzes to be inserted at the appropriate place through out the curriculum. This variety of testing encourages engagement and attentiveness amongst students. 

    At LOGiQ3 we are thrilled about our state-of-the-art Underwriting Video E-Learning solution. Our solution provides students with immediate feedback and results. We have incorporated knowledge check questions and final exam questions throughout each module, where each response is graded immediately. No waiting to see how well you did. 

    Our E-Learning solution also allows us to update the curriculum at any time to match industry enhancements and trends. Each student signed up through our Learning Management System has access to updated materials at all times. This puts an advantage to the student, ensuring he/she is current in their career development. 

    What are your thoughts on E-Learning? What are some of your thoughts of receiving immediate results and feedback? 

    Stay tuned for more reasons on why E-Learning works.

    Heather

    Heather Douglas is an Underwriting Manager at LOGiQ3

    For a limited time only, we are offering 20% off our Underwriting E-Learning Training Program! 

     Underwriting Training Discount, Underwriting E-Learning

     

    Topics: Underwriting, Underwriting Training, E-Learning

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