We continue our series where we get to know someone with Investors Preferred Life a little better by sitting down with our new President, Nikki Pethtel. Nikki tells us about her journey to this new role, explains what she wishes more people understood about PPLI, shares some career advice, and gives us a peek into her non-work life. Read it all below!
Nikki: Over the past few years, we have been investing heavily in people, systems, and marketing. As we celebrate our 10th anniversary this fall, we are really on a great trajectory and find ourselves in a strong position, as evidenced by our recent AM Best A- rating. We have a strong team that is committed to our vision of being a fantastic partner for our clients. Given that, there are no plans for any big changes today as they are not really needed at this time.
Like any leader, there are a series of small changes I would like to explore, such as additional technology to help us streamline our processes and really leverage the great policy administration system we have implemented. Additionally, the AM Best rating allows us to evaluate new distribution platforms and product offerings, building on the work we have been doing in that area over the past year.
Nikki: I finished my Bachelor of Science in Accounting and was really looking for that first opportunity. I interviewed for a staff accounting position with a P&C insurance carrier in St. Louis and was intrigued by the role. I spent a little over 4 years figuring out how insurance operations worked, and I was hooked. I finished my MBA and decided to pursue public accounting. While at the CPA firm I was submerged into all different types of insurance products and services which deepened my interest in the field.
I was always intrigued by how many unique insurance product offerings there were in the marketplace and how insurance was really a field of entrepreneurs recognizing a need and creating an insurance product to fill it.
When I meant Alan Jahde for the first time, he had recently launched IPL and was ready to take the company to the next level. IPL and Private Placement Insurance was just the challenge and opportunity I had been looking for, a unique company with a very special product.
Nikki: IPL was created with one purpose in mind - to provide individuals with a tool that would help asset preservation for generations. Putting our clients first is core to what we do every day. We have taken that mission and created a high touch, highly customized approach to servicing our clients and their advisors. This makes us unique in the marketplace.
Nikki: I wish more people were aware of the remarkable versatility PPLI can offer when it comes to estate planning. Given how important estate planning is for high-net-worth individuals, they and their advisors should really be aware of the significant advantages PPLI can offer.
As PPLI is not well known in the market, there is always a bit of skepticism when folks first learn about it and all that it can do. That’s one reason our sales team is working hand in hand with our marketing firm to develop educational materials. We are always happy to provide education on PPLI and all it has to offer.
Nikki: There are great things in store for IPL as we expand our team and technology base, which will enhance our capabilities and provide even better services for our clients. I’m honestly really excited about what we have been doing these past few years and how we will be able to build off of that over the next decade.
In terms of the larger market, as awareness grows around private placement products and all the benefits they offer, it opens possibilities for more investors and clients to explore tailored solutions for their financial needs and goals.
IPL's role in this evolving landscape is undoubtedly central in helping clients and their advisors navigate the complexities of private placement insurance and investments.
Nikki: In the late 90’s, when I was entering the insurance industry, there were very few women in executive leadership roles. I was fortunate to have a mentor that encouraged me to think big and not let anything stand in my way.
The landscape has gradually changed over the years and gets better all the time. I recently attended an executive leadership program at the Wharton School exclusively for insurance executives. I was pleasantly surprised to see that attendance was very close to a 50/50 men to women ratio.
Nikki: For young women considering a career in the life insurance industry or those who have recently entered the field, the insurance industry is vast and offers a wide array of career opportunities that often go unnoticed. Many people are unaware of the multitude of insurance companies operating both in the United States and globally, as well as the diverse roles available within these organizations.
Explore the variety of roles available and find the one that most resonates with you. Be open to new experiences and opportunities because you never know where they may lead. And as my mentor told me, think big and don’t let anything or anyone stand in your way!
Nikki: I have a wide range of interests outside of work that I'm passionate about. One of the things I really enjoy is spending quality time with my husband, Patrick. We love to explore new places and cultures, which has led us to discover some amazing restaurants and cuisines.
In addition to our culinary adventures, I'm also a dedicated cat lover. We have three Sphynx cats at home who are incredibly spoiled, and they bring so much joy to our lives.
Please reach out anytime.