I have long been intrigued by business institutions that have found ways to survive for not only decades but centuries. How come York Water was able to make dividend payments during the Battle of Gettysburg and find a way to still pay shareholder dividends all the way into 2017? How come the little Wall Street bank whose charter was written by Alexander Hamilton manages to collect exorbitant fees stewarding over ADRs under its current name BNY Mellon? My most recent case study involved the study of how State Farm became a major player in the life insurance industry.
From what I can tell, State Farm found success because it was innovative in marketing its insurance products, explicitly by rejecting the long-standing industry reliance on the 1852 book by the religious-leader-turned-life-insurance-guru Elias Heiner who wrote the book “An Examination and Defense of Life Insurance.” Up until the 1940s, this … Read the rest of this article!