Gene Henry Storms, CLU®, ChFC®, MSFS

Financial Representative

Professional

Gene Storms joined Northwestern Mutual in 1968 after attending St. Cloud State University. He was just 21 years old, but he was already doing important work.

"I was managing a congressional campaign after graduation," Gene says. "We lost the race, but some of the volunteers were in the insurance business. Their stature in the community and their lifestyle got me interested, so I contacted Jack Brown's office, the Minneapolis managing partner at the time I actually contacted them."

When Gene Storms began his career, he was the lone financial representative in St. Cloud, a city located on the banks of the Mississippi River about 60 miles northwest of the Twin Cities. It was a natural market for him; he grew up and attended high school and college there.

Gene remembers:

"I wish I could say I hit the ground running, but it took me about two years to figure out this is what I wanted to do for a career. Although St. Cloud was smaller back then, I knew there was a lot of opportunity. The market is never the problem; getting out there and networking and building contacts is the challenge."

In 1972, Gene Storms began a 21-year string of both Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) qualification and writing more than 100 lives per year. In fact, Gene wrote more than 200 lives in a year four times. He was also beginning to become active in company and industry associations a passion he's carried throughout his career. It was about this time that the managing partner approached him about a leadership opportunity, starting a brand new office in the St. Cloud.

Gene grew to enjoy the managing director role that allowed him to spend equal time developing his robust personal practice along with recruiting and mentoring new representatives. He built the St. Cloud district network office into a powerhouse and became very active in the Managing Director Association.

Gene Storms was leading another Northwestern Mutual group, the Association of Network Representatives, when Managing Partner, Jack Brown approached him with a second opportunity. Brown thought Gene Storms would be the perfect successor to him as a managing partner in Minneapolis.

I loved being a district agent in my hometown," Gene remembers. "But when Jack spoke to me, he talked about the managing partner role as a way to widen the impact I could make. That really appealed to me."

Gene Storms was appointed Managing Partner in 1992. In 2007, The Columns Resource Group ranked fifth in the company with more than 7,500 lives. It's no coincidence it also had its best year ever with more than $12 million of premium credit.

There are other signs of Gene's strength around the office. The college program placed second for the company the past two years and currently boasts 34 financial representative interns.

"This is also the finest new financial representative group the network office has ever had here, adds Gene. "We already have five Pacesetter Second 60 qualifiers with eight months left in the Awards Year."

The Columns Resource Group also won the Managing Partner Achievement Award in 2005, took second in 2006 and is leading the rankings in Category III this year. Awarded annually, it is based on cumulative excellence in categories such as persistency, recruiting indicators and three-year growth trends.

Building a world-class network office takes a lot of hard work by itself, but few have given as much time and talent to the system and the industry as Gene Storms. He is the only person to have led all of the following field associations: the Managing Director Association in 1986, the Association of Network Representatives in 1992 and the Managing Partner Association for  which he is the immediate past-president.

In addition to Northwestern Mutual endeavors, Gene Storms has been extremely active on the industry level as past-president of Minnesota local and state Associations of Life Underwriters.

In November 2007, Gene Storms transitioned back to the job he loves, working directly with clients as a financial representative and allowing himself extra time to spend with his family.

When asked about his accomplishments during his management career, Gene offers the following:

"What I am most proud of is that we've been able to develop a strong group of financial representatives that are doing things the right way. They are very client-centered in their approach and maintain high activity which, in turn, makes them very productive. Our network office culture has always focused on writing a lot of lives and new clients. If you are committed and consistent in your work habits, you will be successful."

Gene looks forward to being a part of his successful network office, this time as a financial representative.

Years of Experience

Representing Northwestern Mutual since 1968.

 

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