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ist1_2359881-business-luchadorLast week I had the pleasure of attending an independent agent seminar presented by Hales & Co. and hosted by National Underwriter and AA&B on “creating and enhancing shareholder value.”

Don’t let the Hales tag fool you: although M&A was a large part of the discussion, it was by no means the only topic. In fact, the all-day event pretty much ran the gamut of all the challenges independent agents face, from complying with the new healthcare reform law and other legislation to building a stronger brand.

The main message I came away with was this: Being an independent insurance agent is not for wimps. Not only are you stuck competing in the worst economic mess since the Great Depression, but you also have to worry about complying with state and federal regulations, finding new business, tracking your insurers’ financial stability, and on top of everything else, staying on top of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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