A Positive Look

BY ANN ZOUVELEKIS

I am responding to the letter “ In the Client’s Best Interest ” ( JofA , May05, page 11), which warned CPAs to “carefully consider the risks of losing that trust if partnering with sellers of financial products results in wealth erosion instead of wealth enhancement.”

I am a CPA who has worked in a variety of industries over my career, including financial services for the past nine years. I have had the opportunity to work directly with professionals who are paid both consulting fees and product commissions. My experience has been that in either case, my coworkers and I have diligently put the best interests of the client first. In fact, our firm specializes in strategic alliances with CPA firms, and the feedback we get from clients and CPAs is overwhelmingly positive. I don’t understand why in this industry, unlike many others, professionals feel the need to perpetuate the negative stereotype of those who engage in the selling of life insurance products. Life insurance is a good thing—ask anyone who has been unfortunate enough to need it and who has had it. I question the motives of those who work so hard to distinguish themselves from other financial services professionals by criticizing, using fear tactics and broad-brush allegations of unscrupulous selling practices. I have found that most people I work with are genuinely interested in helping clients achieve their financial goals, and the products and services provided are tools by which this can be accomplished.

Ann Zouvelekis, CPA
Vice-president of operations
Selective Benefits Group
New York

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