In 1999, Panos Leledakis was in Greece studying to be a lawyer when he met a manager in the insurance business who convinced him to try financial advising part-time. After six months, he says, he fell in love with the profession and decided to make it his career.
Protecting Families and Futures
Leledakis loves his work because he gets to protect the futures of families and businesses. It’s important, he says, to make sure your clients not only are safe but also feel safe. “This is one of the most noble services that we can provide to society,” he says, adding “Insurance was one of the most clever financial tools that humans ever invented.”
Insurance and Financial Services in the Virtual World
Leledakis is excited about the opportunities that technology brings to the insurance and financial services industry, and he uses tech in every aspect of his business. He has been working digitally from very early in his career. Most of his clients are venture capitalists and angel investors, key people in their respective companies, and many are also familiar with emerging technology.
A virtual reality enthusiast, Leledakis does much of his prospecting in the metaverse. He can meet a prospective client and discuss insurable risk management, informally over a game of VR table tennis, then bring the relationship out of the metaverse and into the world of video conferencing. Leledakis is excited to bring together insurance and financial services with investors. “For established companies, key person insurance is important; for a startup, it’s absolutely necessary,” he says.
Leledakis is the CEO of IFAAcademy, an educational and research organization focused on training insurance and financial professionals to better serve their clients. Recognizing the negative perception that many have toward the insurance industry and insurance professionals, Leledakis created IFAAcademy to re-engineer and rebrand the role of an insurance advisor and turn him into the new Insurable Risk Manager. IFAAcademy uses neuroscientific and behavioral economics research to inform its approach. “If [clients] don't accept and understand risk, and if they don't have the risk awareness, they don't care about the solution,” he explains. “That is insurance. That's why we need to take a step back, understand how the brain works, and try to educate people about risk.” His research was awarded 11 global Insurtech innovation awards from significant organizations like MIT University (MIT Enterprise Forum). He is a renowned international speaker who has delivered keynote speeches on some of the world's biggest stages across over 50 countries.
Leledakis first learned about NAIFA’s work from NAIFA President Bryon Holz. The more he learned about the organization, the more interested he became. The three aspects of NAIFA’s mission that he connects with most are educating insurance and financial professionals, promoting financial literacy among consumers, and advocating for industry professionals and their clients. “All of these three are an amazing initiative that I love being a part of,” he says.
Outside of the Office
When he’s not working, Leledakis can be found outdoors—playing tennis, hiking, or spending time at the beach. He’s an avid reader; two of his current favorites are Millionaire Success Habits by Dean Graziosi and Leadershift by John C. Maxwell. He is also an active member of the Million Dollar Round Table and is a supporter of children’s charities, especially Make-a-Wish Greece.
Thank you, Panos, 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.