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Archive for February 2011

Finra enforcement activity spikes

{February 28th, 2011} by Dan Jamieson

Finra enforcement activity spikes Number of disciplinary actions increases, but total fines collected by the SRO take a dive By Dan Jamieson February 28, 2011 Disciplinary actions brought by Finra grew 13% last year to 1,310, up from 1,158 in 2009, according to a study. At the same time, fines fell slightly. In 2010, the Financial […]

Insurers likely to sweeten indexed annuities

{February 28th, 2011} by Darla Mercado

Driven by optimism about returns and a desire to keep assets flowing By Darla Mercado February 27, 2011 Higher interest rates are likely to result in insurers’ sweetening their fixed-indexed-annuity offerings this year as they try to catch a wave of renewed investor interest. Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, for instance, recently increased the […]

Eileen McDonnell Takes Penn Mutual CEO Post

{February 25th, 2011} by Allison Bell

By NU ONLINE NEWS SERVICE Published 2/24/2011 Eileen McDonnell is now the chief executive officer of Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company. McDonnell succeeds Robert Chappell as CEO of Penn Mutual, Horsham, Pa. Chappell will continue to be the chairman of the company’s board. McDonnell began working for Penn Mutual as the company’s chief marketing officer in […]

A.M. Best Special Report: Life/Annuity Insurers Regain Ground as Economy Strengthens

{February 24th, 2011} by N/A

Copyright:  (c) 2011 A.M. Best Company, Inc. Source:  A.M. Best Company, Inc. Wordcount:  388 The life insurance industry continues to strengthen its balance sheet and liquidity and is positioning itself for future growth and improved earnings. While quantitative improvement in the industry’s capital position is clear, qualitative improvement is not. Also uncertain is the ability […]

Fox Business

{February 23rd, 2011} by N/A

Watch the latest video at video.foxbusiness.com

Saybrus Partners Launches Plan Right Partners

{February 23rd, 2011} by Alice Ericson

Select firms to offer clients “Plan Right, Retire Right” planning program HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Saybrus Partners, Inc., a subsidiary of The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (NYSE: PNX), today announced that it has formed the Plan Right Partners group of distribution firms that will have exclusive access to Phoenix’s “Plan Right, Retire Right” program. The firms also will […]

Hey, Wall Street: You Can’t Handle the Truth

{February 22nd, 2011} by Sheryl J. Moore

By Sheryl Moore AnnuityNews.com Feb.21, 2011 – For too long, indexed annuities have been the “red-headed stepchild” of the insurance industry. Scandals over surrender penalties, commissions and lawsuits have plagued this business since it existed. Much of the “scandal” has been misinformation or isolated incidents of agents behaving badly, which have been fueled by the […]

SCOR Sells U.S. Fixed Annuity Business

{February 17th, 2011} by SCOR Group

February 17, 2011 French reinsurer SCOR Group announced that it is “disposing of its US Fixed Annuity business through the sale of its subsidiary Investors Insurance Corporation (IIC) for $55 million.” The entire share capital of IIC will be acquired by Athene Holding Ltd. IIC is a Life insurer operating in the US, which […]

What You Need To Know About The 10/10 Rule

{February 15th, 2011} by Sheryl J. Moore

Sheryl J. Moore February 2011 Issue  We are receiving hundreds of calls since Florida enacted a variation of the 10/10 Rule effective January 1, 2011. For that reason, I thought that a little clarification about the rule was warranted. Here are some things you need to know about the 10/10 Rule: 1. The 10/10 Rule is […]

Are Fixed Annuity Sales Down?

{February 15th, 2011} by Laura Hahn

Are Fixed Annuity Sales Down? Perhaps A Change Of Approace Is Needed! Laura Hahn February 2011 Issue  How many times have you asked your general agent or home office marketing rep about fixed annuities? Do you call them, asking for the best rate available? If so, I suspect you have heard this response more than […]

The basics on indexed universal life

{February 14th, 2011} by Sheryl J. Moore

By Sheryl J. Moore February 7, 2011 It has been nearly thirty years since consumers were first offered the benefits of Universal Life (UL) and with UL came flexibility in premium payments, death benefit options, coverage amounts, and all sorts of other things that they never dreamed of. UL was the beginning of a whole […]

Allstate Financial CEO: Allstate Bank No Longer Core to Long-Term Strategy

{February 10th, 2011} by Lordi Chordas

NORTHBROOK, Ill., Feb 09, 2011 (A. M. Best via COMTEX) – Allstate Corp. said it is exiting the banking business and entering into a distribution and marketing agreement with Discover Financial Services in which Discover Bank will purchase most of the deposits of Allstate Bank. As of Sept. 30, 2010, Allstate Bank reported it had […]

Wall Street's Interest in Indexed Annuities

{February 9th, 2011} by Sheryl J. Moore

Recently, an article was published at AnnuityNews.com, bringing to light the fact that some firms on Wall Street are in the process of developing indexed annuities. Many of you have contacted us, in a panic, trying to validate the accuracy of this information. We have indeed been contacted by two such firms over the course of the […]

Wall Street’s Interest in Indexed Annuities

{February 9th, 2011} by Sheryl J. Moore

Recently, an article was published at AnnuityNews.com, bringing to light the fact that some firms on Wall Street are in the process of developing indexed annuities. Many of you have contacted us, in a panic, trying to validate the accuracy of this information. We have indeed been contacted by two such firms over the course of the […]

Aviva Plc’s Credit Rating Outlook Upgraded by S&P

{February 9th, 2011} by Kevin Crowley

By Kevin Crowley – Feb 9, 2011 Aviva Plc’s outlook was upgraded by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services after the U.K.’s second- biggest insurer announced plans to cut its debt amid an improving forecast for the firm’s earnings. Aviva’s long-term counterparty credit rating was affirmed at A, the sixth-highest investment grade, and its outlook raised […]

Aviva Plc’s Credit Rating Outlook Upgraded by S&P

{February 9th, 2011} by Kevin Crowley

By Kevin Crowley – Feb 9, 2011 Aviva Plc’s outlook was upgraded by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services after the U.K.’s second- biggest insurer announced plans to cut its debt amid an improving forecast for the firm’s earnings. Aviva’s long-term counterparty credit rating was affirmed at A, the sixth-highest investment grade, and its outlook raised […]

New York: Explain Effects of Excess Annuity GMWB Withdrawals

{February 9th, 2011} by Sheryl J. Moore

By ALLISON BELL Published 2/8/2011  New York state insurers must warn users of annuity guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefits GMWB) of the possible effects of excess withdrawals on future access to withdrawals.New York State Insurance Department officials talk about the need for GMWB excess withdrawal warnings in Circular Letter Number 5 (2011), which is addressed to all life insurers […]

Wall Street Eyes IAs

{February 9th, 2011} by Linda Koco

By Linda Koco AnnuityNews.com Feb. 8, 2011 – The indexed annuity market is about to get some new competitors — from Wall Street. Jack Marrion, president of Advantage Compendium, St. Louis, says at least a couple of big Wall Street securities firms are already preparing to make filings for their indexed annuity products, perhaps by […]

Company Lets Workers Bring Babies To Office

{February 8th, 2011} by N/A

Company Lets Workers Bring Babies To Office POSTED: 9:35 am CST February 8, 2011 UPDATED: 9:47 am CST February 8, 2011 KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City company has a secret weapon for keeping its highly trained employees. At the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, babies up to 6 months old are welcome at […]

Skimpier living benefits could kill interest in VAs, advisers warn

{February 8th, 2011} by Darla Mercado

Lack of investment choices slammed; fee-based variety may be next step By Darla Mercado February 6, 2011 Financial advisers are calling on insurers to enhance their suite of variable annuities, saying that clients are turned off by falling accrual rates on living benefits and insufficient investment choices. “There’s going to come a point in time where […]

Kehrer-LIMRA: Bank Annuity Sales Figures Mixed

{February 8th, 2011} by Trevor Thomas

By NU ONLINE NEWS SERVICE Published 2/4/2011  Banks sold $2.7 billion in annuities in December 2010, down from $2.9 billion in December 2009, according to Kehrer-LIMRA.  Sales of fixed annuities fell to $1.1 billion, from $1.6 billion, but sales of variable annuities increased to $1.6 billion, from $1.3 billion. Banks have been selling more variable annuities than […]

S. 267: Bipartisan Bill Could Require Retirement Income Notices

{February 8th, 2011} by Arthur D. Postal

By ARTHUR D. POSTAL Published 2/4/2011  WASHINGTON BUREAU — A new Senate bill, S. 267, could require 401(k) plans to tell participants how much monthly retirement income their accounts might generate. S. 267, the Lifetime Income Disclosure Act bill, was introduced by Sens. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Herb Kohl, D-Wis. If adopted as […]

Bankers Life: Americans Need Advice About Advice

{February 8th, 2011} by NU ONLINE NEWS SERVICE

By NU ONLINE NEWS SERVICE Published 2/7/2011  Many middle-income U.S. residents are unaware of how retirement planning really works.Retirement analysts at an arm of Bankers Life and Casualty Company, Chicago, a unit of CNO Financial Group Inc., Carmel, Ind. (NYSE:CNO), make that argument in a commentary based on results from an August 2010 survey of 502 […]

Allianz Life Names Pete Hartley Director of Financial Reporting

{February 8th, 2011} by N/A

Posted on: Tue, 08 Feb 2011 02:04:20 EST Symbols: AZSEY Feb 08, 2011 (Close-Up Media via COMTEX) – Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America announced that it named Pete Hartley as the new director of Financial Reporting. According to a release, in this role, Hartley will be responsible for monthly and quarterly reporting of […]

Ex-Bankers Life agents barred in Missouri

{February 8th, 2011} by N/A

St. Louis Business Journal Date: Monday, February 7, 2011, 9:53am CST Two former Bankers Life and Casualty Co. agents have been prohibited from working in the Missouri securities industry for five years following activities that led to $574,000 in lost savings for more than 100 Missourians, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan said Monday. James Otto, […]

New Insurance Commissioner Serves Two Different Masters

{February 8th, 2011} by Brian Lockhart

Source:  McClatchy-Tribune Information Services Wordcount:  437 Feb. 06–HARTFORD — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in appointing venture capitalist Thomas Leonardi as his insurance commissioner, he had tapped someone who understands the need to protect consumers, as well as the industry’s importance to Connecticut’s economy. “I think we have the right balance,” Malloy said during a […]

Annuities 2011: The survival guide

{February 8th, 2011} by David Port

BY David Port Published 2/1/2011    There was a time, not too long ago in fact, when a clear dividing line seemed to cut across the annuity landscape. On one side of the line resided the fixed annuity specialists and on the other, the variable annuity devotees, with minimal crossover between the two. How times have changed. […]

It’s evolution or extinction for annuity producers

{February 7th, 2011} by Jack Marrion

BY Jack Marrion Published 2/1/2011    The index annuity sales model for the last decade was to offer consumers the hope of earning a much higher return than they could get from CDs. If expectations weren’t met, the old annuity was exchanged for a new one, with any surrender charges “covered” by the new premium bonus. And […]

Genworth Financial names new marketing president for U.S. Life Companies

{February 4th, 2011} by N/A

February 04, 2011 2:48 PM Genworth Financial Inc. named Pat Foley as president of distribution and marketing for its U.S. Life Companies group. Foley will lead distribution and marketing strategy for life, long-term care, fixed annuities and linked benefits products for Genworth’s U.S. Life Companies group. Foley, who has worked in insurance since 1981, spent […]

FBL Financial Group, Inc. And Subsidiaries Obtain Ratings From Standard & Poor’s

{February 4th, 2011} by N/A

Business Wire 02/04/11 – 08:45 AM EST FBL Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: FFG) today announced that Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has assigned ‘A-’ financial strength ratings to its subsidiaries Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company. At the same time, Standard & Poor’s assigned a BBB- counterparty credit rating to FBL […]

FBL Financial Group, Inc. And Subsidiaries Obtain Ratings From Standard & Poor’s

{February 4th, 2011} by N/A

Business Wire 02/04/11 – 08:45 AM EST FBL Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: FFG) today announced that Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has assigned ‘A-’ financial strength ratings to its subsidiaries Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company. At the same time, Standard & Poor’s assigned a BBB- counterparty credit rating to FBL […]

Hundreds of Thousands of Insurance Professionals Agree with Me- Indexed Annuities 'great solution' for many savers

{February 4th, 2011} by Sheryl J. Moore

It appears that I have a secret admirer. Attorney Marc S. Dobin of Dobin & Jenks, LLP in Jupiter, Florida appears to be carrying a flame for me. At least, that is how it would appear. Consider: Mr. Dobin blogged about me yesterday for the first time since my letter to him, two years ago, correcting him on some […]

Hundreds of Thousands of Insurance Professionals Agree with Me- Indexed Annuities ‘great solution’ for many savers

{February 4th, 2011} by Sheryl J. Moore

It appears that I have a secret admirer. Attorney Marc S. Dobin of Dobin & Jenks, LLP in Jupiter, Florida appears to be carrying a flame for me. At least, that is how it would appear. Consider: Mr. Dobin blogged about me yesterday for the first time since my letter to him, two years ago, correcting him on some […]

States Ready ‘Source of Funds’ Rules

{February 4th, 2011} by Linda Koco

By Linda Koco AnnuityNews.com Feb. 3, 2011 – Regulators in Iowa and Minnesota are co-developing “source of funds” guidelines that will help draw the lines for advisors on making recommendations about moving money between insurance and securities sources. The guidelines are being circulated among experts, Jim Mumford has told InsuranceNewsNet.com. Mumford is first deputy commissioner […]

Advisers and the next generation(s)

{February 3rd, 2011} by Davis D. Janowski

Allowance Manager, super simple tool to share with your clients for interacting with their young children By Davis D. Janowski February 3, 2011 In my ongoing effort to keep advisers abreast of ways to engage the next generation, I came across an entertaining website for you to share with parents or grandparents who can in turn […]

Allianz Revamps Distribution

{February 1st, 2011} by Warren S. Hersch

By NU ONLINE NEWS SERVICE Published 1/31/2011  Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America has restructured its broker-dealer sales team.  Allianz Life, Golden Valley, Minn., a unit of Allianz S.E., Munich, Germany, says it is trying to make the team more flexible by having each external retirement consultant manage all relationships and all product lines in […]

Personnel Changes: AIG, Allianz, Midland National, Summit Re, Ochs

{February 1st, 2011} by Allison Bell

By NU ONLINE NEWS SERVICE Published 1/28/2011  American International Group Inc. (AIG) has named Charlie Shamieh AIG senior vice president-corporate chief actuary. Shamieh has been executive director of enterprise risk management at AIG, New York (NYSE:AIG). In addition to being AIG’s top actuary, Shamieh will be responsible for rating agency relations and for statutory and rating […]

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