When Cliff Kwartner was studying business administration in college, he didn’t know what he wanted to do. When he graduated, he narrowed his job offers down to two positions: mortgage broker or insurance agent. He decided to go into insurance because he saw it as a career rather than just a job. It was 2008—he made the right choice.
Making a Difference
Kwartner loved his career from the start—he loved talking to new people and helping them plan for the life they wanted. One of the benefits of being an insurance agent is building relationships with others in the industry, says Kwartner. “Your reputation is your biggest asset. If you do good business and you do things the right way, that will go a long way.”
In his current role at MassMutual Greater Washington, Kwartner works with a variety of clients—independent financial advisors, wealth managers, and banks among others. He specializes in business development and prides himself on being the first call when another industry professional needs a referral. “My goal is to take tasks off advisors' plates and let them focus on what they do best—seeing more people.”
The Value of NAIFA
The COVID-19 pandemic played a key role in Kwartner’s decision to join NAIFA. He says that going to a NAIFA meeting is like drinking from a fire hydrant because there's so much to learn. Kwartner likes to be “conversationally dangerous." He learns about a wide array of topics and products and knows who to go to when he needs a specialist's insight. He wants to be well-versed in many topics. “If not,” he asks, “how can I go to brokers and say, ‘Here's the best option’ or ‘here's what's happening'?”
Kwartner is looking forward to getting more involved in NAIFA. He’s excited to learn new things and implement them in his practice. He talks about the high attrition rate in the industry and says, “To be successful, you have to do things people don’t want to do. If it was easy, everyone would do it.”
For any entrepreneur, he recommends the book “The New Common Denominator of Success: Laws of Leadership” by Albert E.N. Gray. He also notes the need for more young people in the insurance and financial services industry. “We have to get better at building the young talent pool,” he begins. “For the first few years, you're going to be overworked and underpaid. Then, at some point, you’ll be overpaid and underworked.”
Outside of the Office
When he’s not working, Kwartner loves spending time with his wife and children. He says he enjoys most sports—just not fishing. He also likes traveling, seeing new things, and finding the best food anywhere he goes.
Kwartner also stays active in his community, coaching his children’s sports teams and working with Heros, a local charity created to provide financial support to families of first responders who fall in the line of duty. The funds help families pay off debt, fund college education, and become financially secure.
Thank you, Cliff, for your hard work and dedication. We look forward to a bright future in the association for you and are #NAIFAproud to call you one of our own.