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Steve Bergee, LACP is a managing partner with E4 Insurance Services in Fargo, ND and a loyal member since 2009. Shortly after joining the industry 15 years ago, Bergee joined NAIFA at the encouragement of a friend and colleague. He has been an active member ever since. His participation in NAIFA provides both validation from his peers and an opportunity to benefit from the relationships he has with his fellow NAIFA members. “This is an organization of the best-of-the-best within the industry,” says Bergee. “To be able to include yourself in that group and to be able to tap their ideas and converse with them I think is really the value in the organization.”

Beyond the respect of his peers, Bergee also seeks validation in the eyes of clients and prospects. That is what motived him to seek his first industry credential. Of course, once he decided he was interested in earning a credential, Bergee first looked at NAIFA and the Life and Annuity Certified Professional (LACP) credential. The LACP is the exam-based certification that lets experienced advisors demonstrate their knowledge of life and annuity products; the client-focused consultative sales process; and the ethical, legal, and regulatory requirements of the industry. The LACP is accredited by the NCCA: one of only eight accredited credentials on FINRA’s list of professional designations.

“A lot of the people I deal with know that I have been in the industry for a number of years,” says Bergee. “I’ve got the experience. I’ve got the knowledge.” But, when it comes to clients and prospects, he says, “They don’t necessarily know who I am or what my background is.” The LACP provides his clients assurance of his credentials from a respected third party. “I think this validates that within the client’s eyes,” says Bergee.

Once Bergee received the good news of his passing the LACP exam and earning the certification, he let everyone know. “As soon as I got the credential, I posted it on social media,” says Bergee. He also added the credential to his email signature block and let everyone in his firm know. “I got a lot of congratulations from it,” he says. “It’s something I’m very proud of.”

Bergee earned his LACP certification during this past July exam period. The LACP is offered three times a year. The exam is available to eligible advisors during the months of January, July, and October. The deadline to apply for the exam is the first of the month prior to the exam period. The deadline for the October exam period is September 15.

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