National industry association re-elects leaders

VLSAA elects officers, tells of record-level membership, growth

Orlando, FL (June 7, 2005) – The board of the Viatical & Life Settlement Association of America (VLSAA) convened a special meeting in Atlanta June 6, electing its officers for 2005-2006.

The board re-elected the full slate of officers (from 2004-2005), again choosing M. Bryan Freeman, Habersham Funding LLC, Atlanta, as president; Rob Haynie, Life Insurance Settlements, Inc., Fort Lauderdale, vice president; Richard Guilford, Fidelity Assurance Associates, LLC, Washington, DC, secretary; and Phil Loy, AVS Underwriting, LLC, Woodstock, GA, treasurer.

The June 6 meeting followed the organization’s two-day spring meeting, May 11-13 in New York, at which VLSAA members re-elected five members of the board to continue their terms on the nine-member board.

In addition to the re-elected officers, other members of the board are: Brian T. Casey, Lord, Bissell and Brook, Atlanta; Scott Kirby, Advance Settlements, Inc., Orlando, FL; Michael J. McNerney, Michael J. McNerney, P.A., Fort Lauderdale; William (Bill) Potoczak, Mills, Potoczak & Company, Cleveland, OH; and Ramiro Rencurrell, Magna Administrative Services, Inc., Coral Gables, FL.

“The re-election of the full slate of board members and, especially, the re-election of all of the officers, is an indication of the success these individuals have helped bring our organization – and the entire industry, particularly in the past year,” says Doug Head, executive director of the VLSAA, noting that Freeman’s re-election means he is serving an unprecedented fourth term as president. “Previously, we’ve only had a repeat president serve two terms.”

“Our membership now stands at nearly 80,” Head says, “which means we’ve more than doubled in size in the past year.”

“We expect this impressive growth – which is surely an indicator of the industry’s evolving strength – to continue, at least for the near future,” Freeman says. “And, as we saw in New York (at the spring meeting), much of this growth will come as more financial institutions take interest in and an active role in the industry.”

The mainstream viatical and life settlement industry, which had existed previously in limited form, came into the mainstream in the late 1980s. At that time it focused primarily on viatical settlements – which enable people who are seriously ill to sell their life insurance policies for an immediate cash settlement. These soon made way for life settlements, which also enable people to sell their life insurance policies; rather than being based on terminal illness, life settlements are usually transacted by seniors and other high-net-worth individuals for estate and financial-planning purposes.

The vast majority of the industry is now focused on these high-net-worth transactions – life settlements – rather than on viatical settlements.

The VLSAA is an Orlando, FL-based non-profit trade association founded in 1994 to serve as a national resource center, providing information about viatical and life settlements. The VLSAA, which currently has 78 member companies, is the industry’s largest and oldest trade and professional organization.

For more information about the VLSAA, please visit the organization’s web site,, or call 407-894-3797.

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  • Photos of Bryan Freeman and Doug Head are available, upon request.
  • To speak with M. Bryan Freeman, the president of the VLSAA board, please contact his information officer, Drew Plant, at 404-233-8275 or Freeman is a licensed life insurance agent with 26 years’ experience in that industry; he has worked in the life settlement industry since 1989.
  • To speak with Doug Head, executive director of the VLSAA, please contact him at 407-894-3797 or Head has been the association’s executive director since 2001, and has worked in the settlement industry since 1991.