Dick Weber Biography


Dick Weber is the Society of Financial Service Professional’s Kenneth Black, Jr. Leadership Award recipient for 2008 in recognition of his “… exemplary leadership qualities and significant contributions to the fulfillment of the Society’s core values of ethic, education, and relationships.” In 2009, Dick was elected to the NAEPC Estate Planning Hall of Fame and selected to receive the Distinguished Accredited Estate Planner award and designation for “… significant and outstanding lifetime achievements and contributions to the practice and profession of estate planning.”

For 25 years a successful life insurance salesman and 20-year life member of the Million Dollar Round Table, Dick joined Merrill Lynch Insurance Group, and from late-1993 to the end of 1995 was Vice President and Manager of Client Education and Field Development. For his two year “tour” in upper management with a life insurance carrier, his responsibilities included developing communication programs which enhance client understanding of insurance products and reconciling product performance against product expectations. Since then, Dick founded and is President of The Ethical Edge, Inc., providing training and consulting services that help empower both agents and their clients to explore and view life insurance in the broader context of financial planning. During this same period, Dick was a co-developer of Dynamic Insurance Solutions and Historic Variability Module – computer-based tools that have begun to revolutionize the way advisors and their clients view life insurance products.

Among his various teaching activities, Dick served for 11 years as an Instructor of Insurance at the University of California at Berkeley’s Program in Personal Financial Planning and from 1993 through 1998 served as Adjunct Professor of Ethics at the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa. Today he serves as Adjunct Professor of Risk and Insurance in California Lutheran University’s MBA in Financial Planning Program.

Dick holds an M.B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley with a specialty in Insurance and Finance. He was designated a Chartered Life Underwriter in 1974 by the American College. He has served as President of both the local Life Underwriter and the local CLU Chapters in the San Francisco Bay Area, and was for many years a member of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting. Dick served as the 2012-2013 President of the 12,000 member Society of Financial Service Professionals, and is now Chair of FSP’s Standards of Care Committee.

For a publication record of 150 issues, Dick’s monthly Due Care column for Life Insurance Selling (1990 – 2001) was one of the few agent-focused tutorials for ethical selling during the industry’s most turbulent decade.   He was also a contributing author to Managing Sales Professionals, a text for management training published by The American College. Other periodicals in which Dick’s writings have appeared include Probe, The Society Page, The Journal of Financial Service Professionals, Trust & Estates, Estate Planning Magazine, Wealth Management Business (serving

on its Editorial Board), and Best’s Review. He is also the author of a self-published book for life insurance professionals: The Ethical Edge: How to Compete with Your Integrity Intact (and Still Get the Sale!). Derived from Dick’s due care articles, the book’s primary focus deals with understanding carrier solvency, interpreting carrier ratings, and determining the adequacy of life insurance proposal illustrations. His second book, Revealing Life Insurance Secrets: How the pros pick, design, and evaluate their own policies, is published by Marketplace Books and is directed at advisors and financial service professionals. His most recent book, co-written with Christopher Hause, FSA, MAAA, is Life Insurance as an Asset Class – A Value-added Component of an Asset Allocation, was honored with the Academy of Financial Service’s 2008 Best Paper Award. A second volume, Managing a Value Asset, was released in December 2010.

Dick recently authored the cover article for July 2013’s edition of Insurance News Net Magazine entitled “Illustrated Promises, Unmet Expectations,” addressing the issues of policy illustrations and their limitations, and this article was one of five “honorable mentions” in the investigative category for the “Min” Editorial and Design Awards national competition for 2013.

Dick has given presentations to the CLU Institute, the Million Dollar Round Table, The Top of the Table, The International Forum, the Society of Financial Service Professionals, AICPA – PFP Technical Forum, the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting, Trusts & Estates Educational Forum, LIMRA, the International Association of Financial Planners, the Financial Planning Association (FPA), the Society of Actuaries, the American Bar Association, Nebraska Continuing Legal Education, and the College for Financial Planning. He has also created numerous customized programs for insurance companies and their agents, and for 6 years chaired the “Life & Annuities Market Conduct” symposium sponsored by International Business Conferences USA. Dick’s influence spread to Asia in 1998 where, at the invitation of the Singapore College of Insurance, he conducted a special two-week ethics seminar for agency managers.

In 1993, Dick represented the Society of Financial Service Professionals in an unprecedented series of 25 Due Care Workshops presented throughout the United States.   The Workshops introduced to agents and allied professionals to the Society’s Life Insurance Illustration Questionnaire (“IQ”). The Workshops also focused on what agents can do with the information contained in their carrier’s response to the “IQ” and how to return to a more fundamental, ethical, and educational form of selling the life insurance product.

In 1999, Dick once again represented the Society of Financial Service Professionals in a “reprise” 25-city tour with his seminar “The Ethical Edge: The Agent’s and Adviser’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving in Today’s Compliance Environment.” The seminar discussed the “top-down” process of the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association and offered to agents a complementary “bottom-up” set of ethical sales standards with which to conduct their business.

For 6 years Dick served as Chairman of the Society’s “IQ” Task Force, which has been responsible for producing the “IQ”, the Replacement Questionnaire (“RQ”), and the Variable Insurance Questionnaire (“VIQ”). Dick has also chaired the Society’s Market Conduct Task Force and continues to serve as moderator of many of the Society’s Video Teleconference education programs.

Dick served as a Qualified Independent Assessor from 1997-99 and 2004-05 for the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association (IMSA), a voluntary standards setting organization promoting ethical market conduct and compliance standards for its qualified life insurance companies. With industry attention focused on the possibility of fiduciary standards within the financial services industry, he recently formed the Society of FSP’s Standards of Care Committee and its “Illustration Questionnaire” sub-committee.

Turning his attention to the issues of aging, Dick was involved in forming the Institute for Integral Retirement Planning, whose publication Thriving Beyond Midlife is a practical guide for those beginning to consider the issues of retirement and aging. In addition, Dick served from 2008-2009 as President of Bedside Advocates, Inc., a not-for-profit organization providing focused healthcare advocacy for patients and families facing acute medical issues.

“Dick Weber is an outstanding consultant and expert witness on insurance issues. He is simply the best around. Smartest guy in the room no matter who is there!”

Guy Kornblum
Trial Attorney, San Francisco, CA.