In January, the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) renewed its mentoring program. A highlight of the revamped program is that a mentoree, called an “MDRT aspirant”, now only has to achieve 50% of the MDRT membership production requirement to attend the annual meeting for the first time, said Debra Martin, MDRT’s membership marketing supervisor.

To attend a second time, 80% of the MDRT production level is required. After that, the aspirant must achieve the full production level and qualify as an MDRT member to attend the meetings.
For an aspirant to attend the meeting, the mentor must qualify for MDRT and go to the meeting with the aspirant. The production level to qualify to be an MDRT member in 2011, is $97,200 in commission or $194,400 in premium.

The MDRT annual meeting attracts thousands of advisors from around the world. Many consider the meeting motivating, educational and valuable as a networking experience. This year, it will be held in Atlanta, Georgia from June 5-8.

Ms. Martin says mentors and aspirants should register as a team preferably by April 1.

Another change to the mentoring program is that there is no enrolment fee and registration can be done online at www.mdrt.org.

The MDRT has had a mentoring program for several years. Under the program, an aspirant pairs up with an MDRT member who provides career guidance and encouragement. In most cases, they work together in the same firm.

MDRT member Herb Braley Jr., director, Ontario operations for Braley Winton Financial Group says the program allows new advisors to learn real life lessons and professionalism from a veteran. Enabling aspirants to attend the meeting at half the production level could inspire them in their careers, he adds.

Mr. Braley will attend his tenth annual meeting this year. He credits his MDRT friends with keeping him in the business through the issues and challenges that everyone faces in their careers, he adds.

Corry Collins, a principal with Maritime Wealth Management has joined the program as a mentor for his son John who started in the business a few months ago. “What I’m finding is that everytime I tell him he should do something, I look at my own practice and I say, ‘Well if I am telling him to do something, then I better do it too.” This has brought him back to the basics of the business, such as the value of prospecting, he adds.

Many advisors will mentor a son or daughter coming into the business anyway, but registering for the MDRT program “makes that commitment on both sides and makes us accountable to the process,” says Mr. Collins. Canadian advisors looking for an MDRT mentor can contact MDRT or Mr. Collins at [email protected]

Ms. Martin, Mr. Braley and Mr. Collins were interviewed during the recent 8th World Critical Illness Conference held in Victoria. The March edition of The Insurance and Investment Journal will feature extensive coverage of this event.