Ten years ago, less than 10 percent of LOMA’s education business was international. Today, it accounts for a staggering 60 percent. For LOMA, an Atlanta-based financial services association, “there’s no question the future is in the developing markets,” says Joel Basarich, managing director, international division.

It’s easy to see why. China’s economy, for example, is growing at a rate of close to 10 percent in 2004, its economy is now the second-largest in Asia (after Japan), and its expanding middle class is looking for services like insurance. “The major life insurers there are hiring hundreds of thousands of new agents each year, all of whom must be trained,” says Howard Drescher, a spokesman for LIMRA International, another prominent international financial services association, based in Windsor, Conn. “The China Insurance Regulatory Commission has been pushing companies to meet higher standards of professionalism among their field forces, which has led companies to seek higher quality in the agents they hire, and more training.”

For more information on international training trends see the September/October issue of Insurance Conference Planner.