Founders


 

Gary R. Schulte, CLU

Co-Founder, General Agent/President, Coastal Financial Partners Group

Gary has over forty years experience in designing, building and managing product delivery systems for the financial services industry. His career includes noteworthy accomplishments as a producer, agency builder, senior executive, life insurance company president and leading consultant to the industry.

Gary is the author of three successful books on financial services. He has been a main platform speaker at AALU, NALIBA, GAMA, APLIC and MDRT, and has made appearances on TV and radio, including being a featured guest on The Larry King Show.

Corporate career highlights, 1975-1990:  As a career agency manager, he built the company’s leading agency, resulting in qualification as one of the industry’s first recipients of the GAMA National Management Award. As Senior Distribution Officer for Protective Life, he designed, implemented and managed a MGA distribution system that is still in use today and serves as a model for the industry. While there, he also lead the successful merger of several sales forces associated with the many acquisitions Protective consummated over his tenure.  As Executive Vice President and CMO at Executive Life, he oversaw the first carrier-sponsored producer group, was chairman of the first Agent Owned Reinsurance Companies and worked closely with many of the industry’s leading producers and IMOs in building prominent distribution models.

As a consultant to the financial services industry since 1991, he has been a contract executive and advisor to senior management across the industry in marketing, sales, product development, executive compensation and all aspects of distribution.  Clients included; Pacific Life, New York Life, Prudential, Mass Mutual,AIG, Merrill Lynch, NFP and M Financial. During this period he also served as Senior Vice President of Distribution Strategies for key client, MetLife.

Brad Etheridge

Co-Founder, EVP Sales, Coastal Financial Partners Group

Brad Etheridge has been in the financial services industry for over thirty years. During that time he has served the insurance buying public at many levels; agent, agency manager, company officer and ultimately as a consultant to the industry. Throughout his distinguished career his focus has always been on business owners and other professionals, such as Physicians, CPA’s and attorneys.

Brad’s expertise is in what he refers to as “Employer Benefits”, meaning, specialized planning exclusively for the business owner and their key staff. This includes their personal benefits, retirement planning, retention strategies, and ultimately succession planning.

Over his career, Brad has traveled the country giving “private briefing workshops” to business owners and health care professionals. His performance lead to a series of promotions and career advancement culminating with his role as Vice President of sales for an international insurance company, followed by the same role with a US based top tier broker dealer.

After many years of mentoring hundreds of insurance agents on his proprietary strategies for business owners, Brad returned to his roots. Along with his two industry recognized colleagues, he formed Coastal Financial Partners Group in 2009.  Today, along with his highly credentialed team, Brad continues to help clients create and retain wealth by the use of innovative insurance based concepts that are both time and IRS tested and only available to business owners. In addition to serving a select group of personal clients, Brad’s point of sale skills have allowed advisors to assist their clients in achieving their objectives.

Gerard J. Vanderzanden, CLU, ChFC

Co-founder, EVP Marketing and Operations, Coastal Financial Partners Group

For over thirty years Jerry has held leadership positions across a diverse range of financial service institutions. After starting his career as a financial planner, he went on to numerous executive positions including distribution and marketing management, product management, operations and advanced sales roles.

Before launching Coastal, Jerry was Managing Director of insurance services for First Allied Securities, where he built an advanced market insurance platform to serve the needs of that firm’s top advisors and their high net worth clients. Before joining First Allied, Jerry held high profile executive positions at MetLife in operations and agency distribution.

Throughout his rich and diversified career, Jerry’s focus has always been on the planning needs of high net worth individuals and their businesses. His professional efforts are divided between a core passion for working with financial advisors in need of his expertise and his professional commitment to work with a group of select personal clients.

Jerry is a member of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting. He also serves on the board, and is a past president of, the Golden Gate chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals. Jerry holds the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) professional designations from the American College.