Thrivent Financial to recruit 675 reps

Mar 13, 2006 @ 12:01 am

By Gary S. Mogel

NEW YORK - Thrivent Financial for Lutherans said this month that it wants to hire 675 new financial representatives by the end of the year to sell its insurance and investment products to its mostly Lutheran target market.

The Minneapolis-based Fortune 500 company has $67.5 billion in assets under management and 3 million members. It has about 2,500 reps nationwide and added 658 last year.

Some reps are fee based, while some work on commission. As a non-profit fraternal-benefit society, Thrivent is legally permitted to hire only Lutheran reps.

According to the career center section of the company's website, Minnesota has by far the most openings, followed by Missouri and Ohio, but it is seeking reps in about 30 states.

Visible, not pushy

"While the reps are active in their churches, they don't mix religion with financial matters," said Bill McKinney, vice president of field development at Thrivent. "They want to be very visible and viewed as partners with the congregation."

Life and disability coverage are allowed by state insurance laws to be sold to Lutherans only. But the company's mutual funds and variable annuities must be available to everyone, Mr. McKinney said.

Recruiting is done mainly by networking with reps and pastors of Lutheran churches, according to Thrivent managing partner Bill Reichwald.

"For instance, we might ask the pastor whether he knows of any outgoing, people-oriented congregants who would be good at sales," he said.

The company also recruits rep trainees from private Lutheran colleges, such as Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., and Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash. Recruiters also look for potential reps at state universities in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin with large numbers of Lutheran students.

Once on board, the reps tend to stay longer, compared with those at other insurers and investment companies, according to Mr. McKinney.

"Turnover for our reps is considerably lower than at other firms," he said. Over the past four years, about 30% of Thrivent reps turned over.

Good savers

Most Lutherans by nature and upbringing are more thrifty and frugal than the general public, and are "good savers," according to Mr. Reichwald. For example, they often commit to saving at least 10% of their income, or target savings to specific purposes, such as their children's college education or their retirement.

"For the mutual funds, many choose the conservative funds, but there are also those that invest in the aggressive ones," Mr. Reichwald said.

Although many clients have German or Scandinavian roots and live in the Great Lakes region, no demographic generalizations can be made, he added. There are many Lutherans who are African-American, including those that emigrated from Ethiopia and Tanzania, Mr. Reichwald noted.

In addition, Florida, Texas and the West Coast have growing Lutheran populations. Mr. Reichwald estimated that there are 15 million Lutherans in the United States.

Lutherans tend to carry higher amounts of life insurance than the general population.

"They have more of a realization that they should provide for their families," Mr. Reichwald said. "Also, they are very loyal, and once they do business with a certain insurer, they tend to stay with that company."

Thrivent offers the option of investing in socially conscious mutual funds for members who want such funds, Mr. McKinney said.

But most choose to satisfy their socially conscious impulses through charitable contributions and community service. For instance, the company, through its chapter system, has invested $100 million over a four-year period in a program offered by Americus, Ga.-based Habitat for Humanity International, which builds houses for the poor.


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Sponsored financial news

Upcoming Event

Mar 13



arjuna-design is honoring female financial advisers and industry executives who are distinguished leaders at their firms. These women have advanced the business of providing advice through their passion, creativity, inclusive approach and... Learn more

TD's Vanessa Oligino discusses what is keeping advisers up at night, and something they may not be thinking about, but should.

Video Spotlight

Recommended Video


Latest news & opinion

Is ESG investing going mainstream?

Despite advisers' misgivings, asset managers are coming around to the idea that a company's stance on environmental, social and governance issues is a good proxy for future success.

Despite January's run-up in stocks, investors headed to bonds

More than $46 billion went to taxable bonds last month, versus $17 billion flowing into stock funds and ETFs.

Alternative funds suddenly look a whole lot better

The market sell-off highlights the virtues of hedging.

Olympics advice from financial advisers who are Olympians themselves

Meet some of the Olympians among U.S. financial advisers, and hear their words of wisdom for those vying for the gold in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Why the new tax law amounts to a 'stealth' tax increase

The government will use an inflation measure that causes things like marginal income tax rates to rise more slowly.


Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at arjuna-design. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Last News

how to invest in vanguard 500 index fund calculate minimum ira distribution oig social security jp morgan chase pension what is form 1099-r american century inflation adjusted bond merrill edge offers rs global natural resources a goldman sachs us equity dividend and premium fund fica social security tax rate 2014 american funds international growth and income jp morgan clearing corp dtc number knights of columbus life insurance customer service berkshire hathaway class b share price how to trade after hours fidelity blackrock equity dividend fund investor a class maximum income for social security tax can home equity loan interest be deducted the rooster may crow but the hen delivers the goods t rowe price international growth & income fund advisor class early 401k withdrawal without penalty social security unearned income ira roth contribution limits eaton vance floating rate i franklin templeton mutual fund t rowe price 2030 blackrock tools coupon code michael flagg net worth 401k mandatory distribution table early social security calculator vanguard institutional index fund plus ssa employment history report how much 1943 penny worth vanguard growth index fund admiral