An Open Letter to Joe DiPaola – CEO of World Financial Group
I want to start off by thanking you for taking the time to write me a letter. I know, as a CEO, that time is the most valuable asset we have so I appreciate your diligence in sending a letter to me. I also want you to know that every time your name has come up in the marketplace, I've heard many good things about you. I applaud you for coming into WFG at a time of turmoil & be able to manage all the different egos in the field - that isn't an easy task.
I was initially going to send you a letter with my response but I noticed that your letter was shared with all of your EVC's and once I saw that they shared this letter with their individual hierarchies through social media, I thought out of respect to you, it made sense for me to respond to you publicly on social media.
Let me start off by saying that I couldn't fully see the strategy of your letter. On one end I figured you sent this letter out to me as well as your EVC's to keep your field leaders honest from not exaggerating on the amount of commission paid out since one of your key leaders who's famous for exaggerating said on a video that you paid a billion dollars in commission. Even though it's obvious that you'll get to a billion in commissions in no time, it's important as a CEO to make sure leaders whom you've chosen to be the face of your company are not exaggerating numbers, especially when many of your sales leaders are registered with a broker dealer. The last thing you need is another investigation or action from SEC or FINRA. They're famous for targeting companies like yours.
However, after seeing how quickly your letter was shared on social media, I figured your intentions were to brag about your actual numbers. Which, by the way, more power to you for wanting to brag. You should be proud of the amount of commission that's been paid out. But then I thought a little bit more. I asked myself... Why is the CEO of a large company (who's founder Hubert started selling insurance in February of 1978) bragging about the amount of commissions they've paid out - and doing it by sending a letter to a competitor who's founder / CEO wasn't even born yet!
In case if you're wondering and wanting to send a future birthday card to me, my birthday is in October of 1978. Which means I was born 8 months after Hubert started selling life insurance.
On a serious note, I wish I could've started selling life insurance from the day I was born, but the conditions in Iran weren't the best. We were experiencing the fall of an empire which is historically very common when bigger, more powerful empires become arrogant and condescending towards smaller empires. Perhaps you've read many great stories about such things taking place.
My point to you is that if Hubert got his license on 02/1978 and I got mine 02/2002 - roughly 24 years apart - I would certainly expect even more commission to have been paid out than what you showed today.
My challenge to you would be to ask yourself a question; NY Life, a competitor in the life insurance industry did little over $25 billion in top line revenue last year which is somewhere around 30 times more than what you did last year according to your numbers. Have you received a letter from their CEO letting you know how much bigger they are? Or maybe they have no need to write because it's a known fact.
Lastly, I want you to know that this image wasn't made by our home office. We have professional graphic designers who would've given it a different look but whoever in the field did design it, I credit them for getting me and you closer. It took 7 1/2 years for me to get a letter from you. If we were dating, I would say kuddos to you for playing hard to get. I respect that. Truly.
I don't mean to be long winded but the last item that did impress me with your letter is that you didn't correct the comparison between the 2 companies. All you did is brag about the amount of commission WFG has paid which essentially validated that the points made in the image were accurate. Again, I appreciate the endorsement and validation from a CEO of a bigger company like yours. We just may quote you in one of our future brochures.
Please keep in mind that you don't need to wait 7 1/2 years until the next letter. As a matter of fact, in the future if you're ever looking for a new position, I would be more than glad to interview you. I like your direct nature and transparency.
PS – BTW
, I saw you are still a single digit handicap golfer. Good for you, staying in shape is important and golf takes a lot of time and effort to maintain. I can’t claim such a handicap as I only play once or twice a year and it’s usually just at charity events. Which of the two country clubs that you apparently belong to (according to your GHIN handicap card) do you like better?
The River Club: 6 miles from your WFG office (www.riverclub.com
) “the finest lifestyle experience available anywhere in Atlanta“ or the Standard Club: 3 miles from your WFG office (Welcome - The Standard Club GA
) – known as “one of the top 20 courses in Georgia.”