Obstacles can open a whole new world of opportunities for growth and success. Han Suk Kim, a New York Life financial professional and agent, took every obstacle thrown his way with grace and resiliency, cultivating a successful career and giving back to the community in Fort Lee, NJ.
Han Suk Kim, CLTC, LACP, Chairman’s Council 2021; The Chairman’s Council is an annual New York Life recognition program based on agent production from July 1-June 30. Kim has achieved membership with The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) since his first year with New York Life and has been a NAIFA member since 2008. The Million Dollar Round Table, The Premier Association of Financial Professionals, is recognized globally as the standard of excellence for life insurance sales performance in the insurance and financial services industry. Kim is an established agent and financial professional who has been with New York Life for over 16 years in Fort Lee, NJ, with an impressive record of accomplishments.
Leaving his successful marketing career in South Korea, Kim immigrated to the United States 18 years ago. Kim wanted to challenge himself and found his passion in becoming a New York Life agent with the support of a financial advisor. Kim strove to gain knowledge and experience, and through his hard efforts, he has established a successful business with a growing clientele.
Despite Kim’s impressive track record, adjusting to the pandemic was difficult like so many individuals. “I didn’t know what Zoom was before March 2020,” he says. But due to Kim’s resilient nature, he quickly adapted his business to the new status quo and found ways to elevate his approach to expanding his business uniquely.
Even as restrictions have faded, Kim finds that Zoom and other virtual tools remain a vital part of how he works and prospects. He often strategizes with his staff in digital marketing and outreach to clients and candidates. Although Kim is happy to meet with clients in person again, being licensed in 14 states, he finds that staying connected virtually lets him save time previously lost to travel. His firm's evolution has paid off, with Kim achieving Top of the Table level production with MDRT in 2021.
While Kim’s business boomed exponentially, Kim states, “My business went up not because I was motivated to sell as many products as I can, but rather I wanted to give back to the Fort Lee community where I received so much support. I understood that in unprecedented times such as COVID, the significance of financial products and solutions has helped people protect their loved ones.” Kim also notes that, like himself, many of his clients are also breadwinners of their families, and it was also essential for them to invest in a protected future.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kim set off to work to make a difference in his community by offering services to clients in need of assistance by expanding his education and credentials. The first credential he was able to complete was NAIFA’s Life and Annuity Certified Professional (LACP) certification. Along with opportunities like the LACP certification, he values the work NAIFA does as an advocate in Washington, DC, on behalf of financial professionals and the industry. Kim strongly believes, “Without NAIFA’s support, we would not be in business.”
The LACP certification is designed to test the knowledge and experience a financial professional has accumulated throughout their career. For Kim, the LACP did precisely just that; he recalls, “Preparation for the exam was not difficult, as I have taken the pre-exams and been a financial professional in this industry for over a decade. This certification reflected my years of experience and reassured my clients and prospects of my reliability.”
“There are many financial professionals in the industry. What sets me apart from the others?” Kim periodically asks himself. Through obtaining his credentials, Kim strives to educate himself about the ever-changing financial climate and products to service clients with reliable resources.
“When I meet new clients, I introduce what I do and my credentials and experience. Clients place their trust in someone who cares about their situation, and just as importantly, someone who is well-versed and connected in this industry.” Kim says that although having many credentials may not be a crucial goal to others, being in an industry that deals with sensitive client information, clients are comforted by a knowledgeable person.
Nobly, Kim also tries to set an excellent example for his children to spend his time productively during COVID-19, such as earning his LACP certification. Kim says, “As much as I think about my clients and business, I am also a father of two young children, ages nine and five. Young children always look and follow the actions and manners of their parents, so setting a good example was also very important to me.”
Along with his team in Fort Lee, Kim aspires to reach various clients who value the importance of financial solutions and New York Life products. Through Kim’s merits and accomplishments, Kim is reassured that he is doing his best to make a difference in his community. Kim empathizes with the values and collaboration of New York Life and NAIFA; Kim states, “NAIFA is supporting us, and we’re supporting each other, bettering the quality of life of our clients and our agents.”