Pogo* once famously said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”And if we didn't know better, we might have thought the author,Walt Kelly, was talking about the broker shakeout in the small andmiddle markets.

In years past, two types of brokers often coexisted in thesecases. The employee benefit brokers (EBBs) handled the medical andemployer-paid products, while the classic worksite brokers handledthe employee-paid products. In general, these two brokers ignoredeach other, sold only their own types of products, and rarely cameinto conflict. They came from different backgrounds in terms of thetypes of carriers they represented, the products they sold, thefiling platform of those products, their compensation, etc.

Over the last 15 years, things have been changing, and employeebenefit brokers began adding more and more employee-paid productsto their portfolios. In 2000, roughly 40 percent of EBBs soldvoluntary/worksite products. That percentage has not dipped below90 percent in the last several years.

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