Throughout its nearly 100-year history, MDRT has evolved alongside the financial services profession, adapting and innovating its leading production requirements to best serve top financial professionals worldwide. In the face of last year’s business challenges, MDRT innovated once more, adjusting 2021 production requirements to ensure equal opportunity for qualified financial services professionals around the globe while maintaining the association’s ongoing standard of excellence.

As the premiere association of financial professionals, MDRT qualification has long set the standard for success, with companies worldwide referencing the association’s production requirements as a benchmark for identifying top-performing employees. Acknowledging the influence its high standards have on the financial services profession, as well as the pandemic’s unprecedented but unique impact on each country, MDRT innovated to ensure its requirements were adjusted for each country equitably, while remaining first-rate. In collaboration with economist Dr. Judy Xanthopoulos, principal at Quantria Strategies, LLC, MDRT developed a data-driven formula to supplement its current production requirement methodology, the Blended Indices Model (BIM).

“Because MDRT qualification remains the ongoing industry benchmark for success, we know how crucial it is that our production requirements are evaluated consistently and developed strategically, to keep leading our profession ever forward,” said Ian Green Dip PFS, MDRT president. “Our goal in updating the 2021 requirements is to enable advisors to maintain their membership status while they focus on setting their clients up for success as they recover from the past tumultuous year. By enacting a data-driven approach to adjust requirements, and by developing forward-thinking ideas like the Productivity Action Plan, MDRT stands poised to continue providing its members unparalleled support, propelling them and their clients towards continued success this year and into the future.”

For the 2021 productivity requirements, Xanthopoulos supplemented the BIM by leveraging data from the World Health Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. She developed a COVID-19 Severity Index formula, which considers the severity and economic impact of the public health crisis, supply chain effects and projected decreases in consumer demand for each country.

Xanthopoulos modelled the application of the indexed adjustment, comparing several different base requirement methods. MDRT then adopted appropriate methodology and extended this approach using country-specific data, resulting in a calculated adjustment for each specific country.

“This methodology allows MDRT to provide flexibility in maintaining a top-tier standard in this difficult and uncertain economic environment, while remaining equitable across global economies,” said Xanthopoulos.

Xanthopoulos has helped MDRT evolve its profession-leading production requirements for a decade, identifying a global standard in 2011 and developing the cutting-edge Blended Indices Model (BIM) in 2016. Evaluating a variety of factors, including a country’s Purchasing Power Parity index and its Human Development Index, the BIM reflects the tracked changes and economic performance in each country to maintain uniform requirements worldwide.

The adjusted 2021 requirements apply to prior-to-2019 members or new applicants. For 2019 and 2020 members, MDRT waived production requirements, allowing those members to reapply for membership without submitting their production requirements. This evolution is part of the association’s Productivity Action Plan initiative, which aims to equip advisors with the strategies they need to navigate current challenges, grow their business and guide their clients towards a brighter future.

2021 MDRT membership applications are open through December 31, 2021; registrations after March 1 are subject to an additional fee. To learn more about the MDRT Productivity Action Plan and becoming an MDRT member, visit

Founded in 1927, Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), The Premier Association of Financial Professionals®, is a global, independent association of more than 65,000 of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals from more than 500 companies in 70 nations and territories. MDRT members demonstrate exceptional professional knowledge, strict ethical conduct and outstanding client service. MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of excellence in the life insurance and financial services business. For more information, please visit and follow them on Twitter @MDRtweet.