Swapan Munshi, LACP, is a principal with Council Financial & Insurance Services in San Francisco and a member of NAIFA California. Born in the United States to parents who immigrated from India, Munshi grew up watching his father develop and maintain a successful financial services practice by building great relationships with his clients. But Munshi’s father never tried to bring him into the business. Instead, he encouraged him to chart his own path. Munshi found his purpose and initial career helping people through difficult times as a mental health care professional working with individuals in Veterans Administration hospitals and the state prison system.
Munshi and his family maintain a strong connection with the Indian American community. “I consider myself very much American. But having these roots from India, keeping that alive is valuable as well.” As Munshi tells the story, watching his father work in the community, he realized, “You cannot separate peoples’ psychological health and physical health from their financial health,” and he set out to change careers and join the financial services industry.
Over the roughly six years since his career change, Munshi has experienced both the successes and challenges that confront everyone in the industry. “As difficult as it has been, there has been a lot of progress made. And as difficult as it can be at times, it is part of my duty,” says Munshi. In the Indian community, he says, “The term that we use is seva. It’s like my service to humanity.”
That service often involves guiding clients through the complicated landscape of financial products and services. “There is so much information out there and so much misinformation that adds to the confusion for individuals. With the freedom and with so much information at our fingertips, it can be very overwhelming. So, who do you trust?” asks Swapan. “Trust is the most expensive commodity, so I pride myself on trying to give as unbiased advice as I can, coming from a mental health viewpoint of really just wanting to achieve the outcomes of the clients.”
That's why NAIFA’s Life and Annuity Certified Professional (LACP) certification was an appealing credential to Swapan. “For the consumer, LACP is very straightforward and simple and easy to digest,” says Munshi. “In today’s world, where fee-based planning is all the craze, you’re acknowledging that commission-based products do have a place even in fee-based plans. And who is the most competent at understanding some of these complicated contracts and when are they most appropriate and what does the research state?” he asks. The answer is a Life and Annuity Certified Professional.
Already a five-time Million Dollar Round Table qualifier in his brief career, the LACP certification and his membership in NAIFA are just some of the tools Munshi uses to build his practice and clientele. “My goal was to make my father proud, to try to continue in the legacy planning, and to showcase the best of what insurance and financial professionals can do. I wanted to reach the pinnacle of the type of advice that can be given out and forge long-term relationships with individuals and families and really just gain their trust and also serve as a resource to the community.”