Mutually Beneficial: The Guardian and Life Insurance in America

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$64.51

Overview

Mutually Beneficial tells the story of the evolution of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, one of the most important life and health insurers in the history of the U.S. economy and life insurance industry. Relying on exclusive access to the company's archives, interviews with its current executive officers, the public record, and scholarly articles and monographs, Robert E. Wright and George David Smith provide a strategic analysis of Guardian, from its founding to its standing in the insurance world today.

Mutually Beneficial also describes the origin of Guardian's distinctive approach to business–its corporate culture and policy–and how these principles flow from the ethical and business precepts of its founders. By rigorously attending to its policyholders as a matter of practice as well as principle, Guardian has long been one of the most consistently profitable life insurance firms as measured by return on net wealth. This unique history will be of interest to anyone in the insurance business, as well as financial and economic professionals.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"(Wright and Smith) have written a remarkably lucid and elegantly organized history that keeps the major themes in view, even while discussing the minutiae of crafting and marketing various new insurance products or of managing the firm and its investment portfolio. As the authors themselves point out, the history of life insurance has not attracted much serious scholarship or inspired writing. Fortunately, Mutually Beneficial has both. It integrates the Guardian's career into a wider account of the American life-insurance business and American economic history more generally, and it manages to do so with a light touch."

-Geoffrey Clark,Harvard Business History Review

"(Mutually Beneficial is), without doubt, a major contribution to the economics and history of life insurance in the twentieth century. Wright and Smith have provided, for example, the most comprehensive account yet of product development, and the section on investment strategies is also important. In sum this will make a fine addition to the library of insurance historians, and to financial and business historians more generally."

-Robin Pearson,Accounting, Business & Financial History

"The matieral is well documented. The authors have produced a nonvanity company history that goes behind the scenes to describe the company's corporate culture and policies and provide a explanation of how ethical and business precepts have led to consistent profitability."

-Enterprise & Society,

Harvard Business History Review
"[Wright and Smith] have written a remarkably lucid and elegantly organized history that keeps the major themes in view, even while discussing the minutiae of crafting and marketing various new insurance products or of managing the firm and its investment portfolio. As the authors themselves point out, the history of life insurance has not attracted much serious scholarship or inspired writing. Fortunately, Mutually Beneficial has both. It integrates the Guardian's career into a wider account of the American life-insurance business and American economic history more generally, and it manages to do so with a light touch."
Accounting Business & Financial History
"A major contribution to the economics and history of life insurance in the twentieth century. Wright and Smith have provided, for example, the most comprehensive account yet of product development, and the section on investment strategies is also important. In sum this will make a fine addition to the library of insurance historians, and to financial and business historians more generally."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814793978
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2004
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert E. Wright is clinical professor at New York University's Stern School of Business.

George David Smith is clinical professor of economics, entrepreneurship, and innovation and is academic director of the executive MBA degree programs at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 Germania : origins and progress to World War I 26
2 Retreat : the German problem and its painful resolution 51
3 Boom and bust 69
4 Good times, hard times in the postwar era 92
5 Product development : the actuarial problem and individual insurance 121
6 Product development : group, benefits, and reinsurance 163
7 Spreading the word 183
8 Selling insurance 201
9 Administration : process and people 239
10 Managing administrative expenses : regionalization and automation 263
11 Burdens of corporate citizenship : regulation and taxes 283
12 Investing the premiums : asset management to the mid-twentieth century 308
13 Flexibility and quality : George Conklin's legacy 342
14 Swimming against the tide 374
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)