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Despite the growing similarities between employee benefit broker and voluntary broker segments, and some convergence between the two groups, notable differences remain. As for parallels, both segments sell the same go-to products, infrequently use private exchanges, and see a relatively low threat from “eBrokers.” They also both expect the new administration in Washington to have a positive impact on their business.

But even with such growing areas of agreement, voluntary production levels remain very different. According to a recent Eastbridge Consulting Group survey of the employee benefit broker market, only 11 percent of these brokers produce more than $500,000 of voluntary new business annualized premium (NBAP), while nearly 50 percent of voluntary brokers produce that much or more. The same study found several areas that may explain why voluntary brokers continue to produce at a higher level than their employee benefit broker counterparts.

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