What is The Ethical Edge?
Ethical Edge is a fee-only Insurance Fiduciary. We provide independent and unbiased expertise and advice surrounding life insurance decisions – whether evaluating existing policies or acquiring new insurance. The process begins with a thorough review of facts and circumstances inspiring the engagement. When new insurance is being considered, we provide the client – independent from the insurance broker – with expert participation in the process from policy portfolio design, to confidential pre-underwriting, to the issuance of policies that are in the client’s best interest. We do not sell insurance and we do not accept commissions. The clients engaging our services have an objective and un-conflicted resource working on their behalf – as an insurance fiduciary.
The Ethical Edge was formed with a completely transparent, fee-based business model – different than that of the traditional professional life insurance agent. Especially in situations where $10 million to $100 million of life insurance is “in force” and/or being purchased, we start with an appreciation for the reality that the policy illustrations at the heart of the buying decisions are incapable of providing the broker and the buyer sufficient information to make a truly informed decision. Because conventional policy illustrations cannot reasonably portray the way in which today’s policies will actually “perform” over the many years of an insured’s expected lifetime, Ethical Edge has developed proprietary software to assist clients in making informed and knowledgeable insurance decisions for acquisition and ongoing management. This approach to evaluating life insurance is unique in the industry.
The People Behind Ethical Edge
Featuring advisors who use our services and whom we highly recommend.
Attorneys representing clients – from discovery to mediation and/or trial.
Who are the Principals of The Ethical Edge?
The founder of Ethical Edge is Northern California-based Richard M. Weber – MBA, AEP, CLU – a 49-year veteran of the insurance industry. Dick began his career as an insurance agent after obtaining an MBA in Finance and Insurance from the Haas Business School (U.C. Berkeley). He later became a senior officer of a large insurance company, then co-invented the aforementioned computerized processes. Then, Dick and Chris Hause (see below) originated the paradigm-shifting concept of Life Insurance as an Asset Class – which, as a research paper published in 2008, won the Academy of Financial Services “Best Paper” award for revolutionary insights into the appropriate application and use of life insurance for wealthy individuals and businesses.
Dick enjoys a prominent reputation among his peers, having recently served as national President of the Society of Financial Services – a 12,000-member group of attorneys, accountants, financial planners, and insurance specialists whose focus is expertise, service and integrity in all our client relationships. He has also been honored by election to the Estate Planning Hall of Fame – bestowed by the National Association of Estate Planning Councils.
Dick is a popular national speaker on a wide range of topics involving insurance and estate planning, and is Adjunct Professor of Risk Management and Insurance at Cal Lutheran University in Southern California.
From 1997 – 1999 and again in 2004-05, Dick served as a Qualified Independent Assessor for the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association (IMSA), a voluntary standards setting organization promoting ethical market conduct and compliance for its qualified life insurance companies. With industry attention currently focused on the possibility of fiduciary standards for the financial services industry, Dick recently formed – and is currently Chair – of the
Society of FSP’s Standards of Care Committee.
Christopher Hause – FSA, MAAA, CLU – is both co-founder of Ethical Edge and is the principal of Hause Actuarial Solutions, Inc. in Overland Park, KS. As with many actuaries coming out of college, Chris began his career working in insurance company home offices acquiring top-to-bottom knowledge of all functions of the insurance business. Having served in such positions as Senior VP and Actuary – and Investment Committee membership – Chris brings practical experience and expertise to the projects undertaken by Ethical Edge. Hause Actuarial Services and Ethical Edge have worked in close association since 1997.
In 2013 Ethical Edge was pleased to announce a strategic alliance with Life Insurance Analysts, Inc. of Greenwood Village, CO. Its president and principal consultant is Richard A. Schwartz, FSA, MAAA, CLU. “Dick+Dick” are long-time colleagues within the Society of Financial Service Professionals, and their alliance has become a natural combination of individual and corporate ethos: providing clients the needed expertise within a business model allowing us to serve with objectivity and total focus on the needs of the client.
Prior to the 2013 alliance, Dick Schwartz served as a consultant to professional advisors and their corporate/individual clients, as well as the financial services industry including distributing entities and insurance companies. Life Insurance Analysts’ service focused on providing to these communities strategy and analyses, product development, private placement consulting and expert witness valuation and consulting services.
In addition, Dick has been heavily involved in all phases of the development of life insurance and life settlement strategies and their valuations. His other primary focus has been working with large family offices on a fee-only basis to restructure their insurance portfolios.
He is a former Executive Vice President of M Financial Group and former Senior Vice President of Product Marketing for Sun America, bringing over 40 years of industry experience to his clients. Dick received his Bachelor of Science degree from Clarkson University and Masters in Actuarial Science from Northeastern University. He is a Fellow in the Society of Actuaries, a member of the American Academy of Actuaries, and a Chartered Life Underwriter; and is a member of the Society of Financial Service Professionals (FSP) where he currently serves an industry committee tasked to modernize insurance illustrations.
He has spoken before advisors on advanced applications of life insurance and annuities as well as how they apply to Trustees’ policy management. He has presented at meetings of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Miami Estate Planning Institute, Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute, and the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU). He is the co-author of the American Bar Association’s first primer publication “Life Insurance Due Care: Carriers, Products and Illustrations”.
Dick Schwartz’s actuarial and product background is an invaluable asset to Ethical Edge’s client-focused orientation to problem solving for the individual and business clients we serve.