Shane Grau is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of families and small business owners in his community.
Grau got into insurance and financial services at a young age. He moved from Mayetta, KS to Topeka in his early 20s and worked in sales for a short time. However, after losing his father to a heart attack and helping his mother form her financial plan after a terminal illness diagnosis, he realized the need for better financial literacy in his community. He highlights the difference between his prior career in sales and his current work in financial services. “I knew that I wanted to work for myself, or at least companies that represent what’s in the best interest of people they’re helping,” he explains. “I wanted to be a resource for friends, family members, and community in helping them through the same type of process that I dealt with, with my own parents.”
In addition to his own clients at New York Life, he volunteers to manage cases for clients of advisors who have retired from the industry. He recalls a time when he was able to deliver a check to the son of a woman who had a life insurance policy from before Grau’s time with New York Life. “He was just beside himself. He broke down, appreciative. He didn’t know that check was coming,” Grau recalls. “The way he made me feel by being able to deliver that, shake his hand, look him in the face, and hand him a check – keeping a promise someone else made – really made me want to stick around.”
Grau likes to work with everyday people, those who may be overlooked by others in the industry who are focused on individuals with high net worth. He enjoys working with people who share his values, who have goals to save and want to make good decisions with their finances. He believes that the keys to being an effective advisor are perseverance and patience. The important thing, he says, is recognizing that everyone is on their own journey.
After being encouraged by other agents with New York Life, Grau decided to join the NAIFA family in 2012. He enjoys going to meetings and the camaraderie of working with a diverse population of industry professionals. “It was really neat to see a bunch of different people in the same room from different walks of life, but all trying to better ourselves for our clients, community, and customers," he says. “I just really like being able to meet people from different companies that are doing the same type of thing I am, and all be on the same team.”
Grau has served as a board member and chairperson for his local NAIFA chapter in Topeka, KS, and is now the Topeka at large chapter president for the state of Kansas. He graduated from the Leadership in Life Institute (LILI) in 2016, earned the Life and Annuity Certified Professional (LACP) designation through NAIFA, and holds the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation. He has also participated in NAIFA’s annual Performance + Purpose conference.
An outspoken advocate for NAIFA, Grau values the resources and network NAIFA provides. “I’m happy and proud to be a NAIFA member and I try to only refer my clients out to other NAIFA members, if possible, if I can’t do the work they need," he says.
Regarding those who are not yet NAIFA members, Grau says, “I would be interested to see the resources that they’re getting versus what they’re missing out on.” He continues, “Where are you getting your continuing education? How are you bettering yourself? How are you continuing to learn and sharpen the sword? Who’s working on your behalf?”
Outside of business hours, Grau loves spending time with his wife and three children, aged 9, 5, and 3. His wife, Angie, founded and runs Paper June, a children’s book and creativity shop in Topeka. He stays active, participating in cycling races and competitive paintball, and he recently completed his first half-marathon. Grau is also involved with the Topeka Performing Arts Center and volunteers with the youth program at his church.
Thank you, Shane, for your service to our industry and association. We’re #NAIFAproud to call you one of our own.