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Featured New York Life Insurance Agents: The Brintons.

It’s all in the family.

The Brinton Family
  • Steven and Steve Taylor (S. Taylor) have earned their CLTC designation (certified in Long-Term Care).
  • Taylor also earned his LUTCF designation in 2011.
  • Connect with the Brintons online

Retired New York Life Insurance Agent Reed Brinton, who received his 75-year plaque at the company’s Chairman’s Council meeting in 2012, has inspired many agents. Two of them are his son Steven Michael Brinton and his grandson S. Taylor Brinton, who both work at the company’s Utah office.

Inspiring a family legacy was the last thing that the elder Brinton was thinking about when he joined New York Life in 1937 at the age of 22. At the behest of his uncle, Lou Sims, who was an agent in the Los Angeles office at the time, he moved from his native Utah to Los Angeles along with his wife, Helena. Sims helped him get a job with the company. “I took to insurance like a golf ball takes to water,” he quips.

A hook to hang your coat on.

Brinton quickly proved to be resourceful, however, and built his initial base of loyal clients with GIs by working on military bases and passing out business cards at the airplane factories as workers came off their shifts.

His career flourished, and over the years he earned numerous awards and accolades. In fact, he was among the New York Life’s top-10 producers over a 40-year period. One of the keys to his success, most notably with business owners, was his uncanny ability to help identify problems and uncover solutions. “As Uncle Lou used to say, ‘You have to find a hook to hang your coat on,’” says Brinton.

Steven Brinton, the only one of three sons to follow in his father's footsteps, graduated from the University of Utah in 1973 with a degree in finance and became an agent with the company. “My father didn’t impose the insurance business on me,” he says. “He just asked me if I'd thought about it.”

“…I found we do important things for families.”

The younger Brinton recalls that one of his first clients was a doctor who purchased a large life insurance policy. “Unfortunately, my client suffered a heart attack and died some time later. Thank goodness he had insurance. He was a loving husband, and it kept his family together and put his four kids through college. They are now all successful professionals. This experience changed me dramatically. All of a sudden, I found we do important things for families. To this day, I remain very friendly with this family.”

Gradually, he moved into business planning alongside his father, observing and learning. “My father would meet with clients, find out what their issues were, and meet their needs without having preconceived ideas of what to sell them. I watched how he built relationships over time.” And, after more than 35 years, Steven Brinton’s own successful career is something both father and son can be proud of.

A new generation.

Steven’s son, Taylor, graduated from the University of Phoenix, and like his father, holds a degree in finance. After a brief career in computers, Taylor says he saw a more rewarding life in the careers of his father and grandfather. “For me,” he explains, “the most exciting aspect was the relationship building.” With his college degree and some job experience in hand, Taylor Brinton met with Bill Gallagher, managing partner of the Utah office. “He’s a very sharp guy,“ Gallagher says of the novice agent.

Identifying dreams.

And, in keeping with Brinton family tradition, Taylor will be partnering with his father, Steven. Having both earned the CLTC (certified in long-term care) designations, they will begin to offer families assistance with long-term care planning. “Our goal is to identify peoples’ dreams, and help them figure out how to achieve them,” says Steven.

Reed Brinton continues to set examples for his son and grandson. “I used to drive through my neighborhood in the evening and count the number of lights that were on in the homes of beneficiaries,” says Reed. “For them, life was going on normally and wonderfully, thanks to New York Life.” Steven agrees. “To have the backing of a company like New York Life is incredible. It has been a wonderful ride for us, and I know Taylor will feel the same way when he looks back someday.”