Allen R. Bruce, CLU, ChFC, is this year’s winner of the Lang Dixon Leadership and Excellence in Achieving Diversity Award. Bruce has been in the financial and insurance industry for 52 years and has been a loyal member of NAIFA since 1973. He was the first African American to complete a full term as president of the District of Columbia Life Underwriters Association (now NAIFA-Greater Washington, D.C.) and the first African American president of the Million Dollar Round Table Foundation.
NAIFA member Lee V. Bethel, CLU, REBC, RHU, CAP, AIF, CASL, nominated Bruce for the Lang Dixon Award this year. Bethel, whom Dixon had mentored, was the first recipient of the award. Bruce and Bethel met in the mid-1980s. They bonded because there were few African Americans in the insurance industry at that time. Over 35 years later, they are still friends and colleagues.
Bethel speaks highly of Bruce, saying, “Allen is an excellent representation of all of the things that Lang Dixon stood for and believed and achieved, and I think that an individual that has those characteristics is an excellent person to be nominated for that particular award.” He continues, “[Allen] is a leader and he is a student of what he does. He's very good at what he does. He cares about his clients. He's always concerned about their well-being, making sure that they're taken care of.”
Bruce started his insurance career knocking on doors for MetLife in 1969. He became a Qualifying Member of the Million Dollar Round Table in 1976. From 1993-1996, he served with Lang Dixon on The American College of Financial Services’ African American Advisory Committee.
Throughout the years, Bruce has dedicated himself to caring for his clients, promoting financial literacy, and mentoring others in the industry.
Bruce takes a personal interest in his clients’ well-being. “Most of my clients are more than just clients,” he explains. “We do life planning, and so they share a lot of things with me that are deeply personal things, and they recognize that all of this is done in the deepest confidence.”
He is also passionate about helping others understand their finances. He gives workshops on financial literacy at his and other churches and has been a guest lecturer for the financial planning course at Howard University School of Business for many years.
Continuing in the tradition of Dixon and Bethel, Bruce seeks out others in the industry to mentor. “I continue to mentor folks on a regular basis and it's something that I find that's essential for me to do. It's just a part of who I am.” He continues, “I have been the first African American fill-in-the-blank over and over and over again, so what I have attempted to do is: as doors are opened for me, I have attempted to open doors for others to follow behind me.”
The Lang Dixon Leadership and Excellence in Achieving Diversity Award was created in 2018 and is presented by the Conference of African American Financial Professionals. Lang Dixon was a trailblazing life insurance agent who made it his mission to encourage other African Americans to further their education. Dixon had a distinguished career; he was a Qualifying and Life Member of the Million Dollar Round Table and one of the first African Americans to achieve the Chartered Life Underwriter designation at the American College. Allen Bruce continues in his legacy.
Congratulations, Allen. We’re #NAIFAproud of your passion, commitment, and integrity.