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Archive for December 2011

Tweet away: Finra backs off social-media posting regs

{December 30th, 2011} by Dan Jamieson

Burden of vetting posts cited, victory for securities industry By Dan Jamieson December 30, 2011 The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has backed away from a proposal that would have required broker-dealers to file social-media postings with the regulator. In an update to a package of proposed communications rules filed with the Securities and Exchange [...]

ING: 5 Ways To Make Retirement Planning a Priority In The New Year

{December 30th, 2011} by N/A

December 28, 2011 PR Newswire Association LLC WINDSOR, Conn./PRNewswire/ –As Americans begin to make their resolutions for the New Year, new findings from the ING Retirement Research Institute suggest that better retirement planning and saving should be high on the list. According to recent findings, 71 percent of Americans do not have a formal investment [...]

Allianz Life Insurance hires new external comms director

{December 29th, 2011} by Rose Gordon

Rose Gordon December 28 2011 MINNEAPOLIS, MN: Sara Thurin Rollin is now director of external communications for Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America where she is tasked with building the financial services company’s reputation. Rollin has 20 years of media experience, including as a daily business news reporter in Washington, DC. Rollin’s previous corporate [...]

Idaho Insurance Department Says To Be Cautious Of Annuity Tax-Break Offers

{December 28th, 2011} by N/A

December 22, 2011 By The Idaho Statesman, Boise     McClatchy-Tribune Information Services Dec. 22–Be cautious about handing over ownership of annuities or buying charitable-gift annuities to get year-end tax breaks, theIdaho Department of Insurancewarned Thursday. “The latest year-end tax-saving promise asks consumers to sign over annuities to an out-of-state organization in order to receive a [...]

Producers as Dream Keepers

{December 28th, 2011} by Steve Parrish

December 22, 2011 By Steve Parrish InsuranceNewsNet Magazine, December 2011 We’ve all heard people make some version of this comment: “I don’t trust doctors (or lawyers or plumbers or financial professionals), but mine does a great job.” This common consumer reaction leads to the marketing adage that consumers are typically unhappy with advisors, unless you’re [...]

Selling Suitably in 2012

{December 28th, 2011} by Nicholas C. Gerhart and Patrick C. Reeder

December 21, 2011 By Nicholas C. Gerhart and Patrick C. Reeder AnnuityNews InsuranceNewsNet Magazine, October 2011 Annuities continue to play an important part in retirement income discussions, just as regulators have been strongly focused on the product and how these products are sold. For example, the NAIC adopted a revised Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model [...]

What’s Coming Down the Producer’s Pipeline in 2012?

{December 28th, 2011} by Ray Ohlson

December 21, 2011 By Ray Ohlson AnnuityNews The past few years have been trying for the world’s economy. We still have a very high unemployment rate and an anemic economic growth rate. And just when we think that our financial markets are bouncing back, we have another setback – the interest rate environment. Interest rates [...]

Interest in Indexed Annuities On The Rise

{December 28th, 2011} by Sheryl J. Moore

December 28, 2011 By Sheryl Moore AnnuityNews The negative stigma surrounding indexed annuities has certainly lessened over the past few years. However, indexed annuities aren’t exactly in “the good graces” of the entire insurance industry. Sure, the media has been illuminated on the relatively few problems in the market and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s [...]

New FED Standards May Impact Life Insurers

{December 28th, 2011} by Arthur D. Postal

By Arthur D. Postal December 21, 2011 Insurers designated as systemically significant would be subject to the same capital standards as banks under a proposed framework by the Federal Reserve Board, a life insurance analyst warned today. In a note to investors, John Nadel of Stern Agee, Inc. in New York, said the issue is [...]

NAIC Pursues Comprehensive Market Conduct Assessment and Perhaps, Consolidation

{December 28th, 2011} by Elizabeth Festa

A central repository of state market conduct data? (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File) The NAIC is addressing the possibility of a central repository of state market conduct data in its main systems under a 2012 large-scale effort to beef up its market conduct and consumer protection profile, and make sure states are doing the same. The [...]

SNL Financial: Annuity Considerations Up Nearly 15% in 2011

{December 23rd, 2011} by Warren S. Hersch

By Warren S. Hersch December 13, 2011 Funds flowing into annuities increased by nearly 15% in the first three quarters of 2011, a new survey reveals. SNL Financial LC, Charlottesville, Va., published this finding in a report on “annuity considerations,” periodic payments or one lump sum payment made to purchase an annuity plan. SNL’s analysis [...]

Kehrer-LIMRA: Bank Annuity Sales Up 11% Over Year-Ago Period

{December 23rd, 2011} by Warren S. Hersch

By Warren S. Hersch December 16, 2011 Annuity sales through financial institutions increased nearly 11% in the third quarter of 2011 compared to the comparable period one year ago, according to a new report. Kehrer-LIMRA, a subsidiary of LIMRA Services, Windsor, Conn., published this finding in a summary of results from its monthly bank annuity [...]

Party Crashers

{December 23rd, 2011} by Arthur D. Postal

How the SEC plans to keep tabs on living benefits By Arthur D. Postal From the December 5, 2011 issue of National Underwriter Life &  Health Magazine The Securities and Exchange Commission is signaling to industry lawyers it is focusing on the disclosures involved in annuities that provide living benefit riders. In comments at an [...]

What Wall Street Doesn't Want You to Know About Your 401(k)

{December 23rd, 2011} by Sandy Harris and Phyllis Shelton

Posted: 12/20/11 09:15 AM ET The year is 1946. It is a very special year. The President declares the end of World War II. The U.N. meets for the first time. The President sets up the Central Intelligence Agency. The US Supreme court rules race separation on buses is unconstitutional. Congress passes a law to [...]

Liberty Life Insurance Company Completes Reinsurance Transaction

{December 23rd, 2011} by Bill Free

press release Dec. 20, 2011, 10:12 a.m. EST GREENVILLE, S.C., Dec 20, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Liberty Life Insurance Company today announced it had reinsured $3.1 billion of fixed annuities and similar liabilities. With the completion of this transaction, Liberty Life will have assets in excess of $7 billion. On a consolidated basis, Athene Holding [...]

John Hancock Financial Names John G. Vrysen as President, John Hancock Annuities

{December 23rd, 2011} by N/A

BOSTON, Dec. 20, 2011 — BOSTON, Dec. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — John Hancock Financial Services has named John G. Vrysen to serve as President of its Annuities business, effective immediately. The annuities business includes fixed and variable annuities, immediate annuities, structured settlements and institutional fixed products.  In his new role, Mr. Vrysen reports to Hugh [...]

5 Questions With Genworth (About Annuities)

{December 23rd, 2011} by Daniel Williams

By Daniel Williams December 19, 2011 As an editor I receive quite a few PR pitches. Many go into the trashcan, as they don’t fit our idea of news or are deemed not a benefit to financial advisors. One that caught my eye recently was an email from Genworth announcing that after “having been out [...]

2012: Industry Views from the 2011 NAFA Summit

{December 23rd, 2011} by Rob Billingham

By Rob Billingham InsuranceNewsNet Magazine, December 2011 Industry principals and executives offered their insight on what’s ahead in 2012 in the ever-changing world of indexed annuities at the 2011 National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) Summit. Niju Viswani- President of Altisure Group Annuities will remain a strong player next year. The tumultuous stock market forces [...]

Use the Low Interest Rate Environment to Boost Sales

{December 23rd, 2011} by W. Andrew Unkefer

By W. Andrew Unkefer AnnuityNews No, I am not crazy. If you are selling fixed annuities, indexed annuities or any other “safe rate” financial vehicles, keep reading. I speak to hundreds of busy agents each month and thousands per year. Some have already discovered what I am about to share with you. Do you know [...]

Allianz: Americans Unlikely to Address Financial Planning in 2012

{December 23rd, 2011} by N/A

Business Wire, Inc. Despite Tumultuous Economy, Financial Planning Takes a Back Seat and Waistlines Trump Wallets in New Year’s Resolutions MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Even though 2011 saw high unemployment, sagging home prices and a volatile stock market, 80 percent of Americans said that they will not focus on financial planning in their resolutions for 2012, according [...]

Tokio Marine Holdings to Acquire Delphi Financial Group in $2.7 Billion Transaction

{December 23rd, 2011} by Naotake Hamada

Continued Expansion of International Business by Tokio Marine Complementary Addition to Existing U.S. Operations Press Release: Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc. and Delphi Financial Group, Inc. – Wed, Dec 21, 2011 2:15 AM EST TOKYO & NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–      Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc. (TMHD) and Delphi Financial Group, Inc.       (Delphi) (NYSE:DFG – News) today announced that [...]

Allianz Survey: Americans Still Unlikely to Address Financial Planning in 2012

{December 22nd, 2011} by Staff Writer

By staff writer December 21, 2011 Even though 2011 saw high unemployment, sagging home prices and a volatile stock market, 80 percent of Americans said that they will not focus on financial planning in their resolutions for 2012, according to a recent survey from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life). This lack [...]

Genworth Introduces New Fixed Index Annuity Product Suite

{December 20th, 2011} by N/A

Guaranteed growth, protection, competitive cap rates and access to funds highlight SecureLiving® Index 7 and SecureLiving® Index 10 Plus offerings RICHMOND, VA. — December 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE:GNW) announced today the launch of two new index annuities designed to meet the growing needs of America’s security-conscious consumers. SecureLiving® Index 7 and [...]

New Allianz Life boss won't tinker with controversial distribution model

{December 20th, 2011} by Darla Mercado

Indexed annuity program rewarding big Allianz sellers with exclusive products here to stay By Darla Mercado December 19, 2011 Allianz Life’s new CEO is sticking with the insurer’s controversial indexed-annuity distribution model, dashing the hopes of some independent agents. The new CEO Walter White, once Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America’s chief administrative officer, [...]

IRI to Federal Insurance Office: Annuities Critical to Retirement

{December 20th, 2011} by Lee Barney

December 18, 2011 Lee Barney The Insured Retirement Institute Friday responded to the Federal Insurance Office’s request for comment on how to modernize insurance regulation in the U.S. IRI said the nation’s insurance regulatory system needs to be modernized – and insurance products, most notably annuities and other insured retirement income products – need to [...]

VA carriers hunkering down

{December 20th, 2011} by Darla Mercado

Despite investor demand, insurers want to steer clear of added exposure By Darla Mercado December 18, 2011 Despite a marked increase in investor appetite for variable annuities, 2011 will go down as a year of retreat for many of the VA industry’s biggest players. The volatile stock market, coupled with a prolonged low-interest-rate environment, made [...]

A.M. Best Places Ratings of Allianz Life Insurance Co. of NA & Its Subsidiaries Under Review With Negative Implications

{December 20th, 2011} by N/A

Best’s News Service – December 19, 2011 01:23 PM OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. has placed under review with negative implications and affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a+” of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Minneapolis, MN) and its subsidiary, Allianz Life Insurance [...]

Is the NAIC a Trade Group or Official Standard-Setter?

{December 20th, 2011} by Elizabeth Festa & Arthur D. Postal

By Elizabeth Festa & Arthur D. Postal December 19, 2011 The National Association of Insurance Commissioners Tuesday plans to announce an initiative to brand itself as a “standard-setting organization” rather than a trade group–a designation other industry officials say the trade group does not have the legal authority to assume. The NAIC staff and leadership [...]

Producers Face Insurance Challenges in 2012

{December 20th, 2011} by Alan Levine

By Alan Lavine Penton Business Media Financial advisors are increasingly concerned about the financial strength of the insurance companies whose products they sell. They cite low interest rates and exposure to the stock market via product principal guarantees as grounds for their concern, according to a fall study by LIMRA. Some 26 percent of financial [...]

Liberty Life Insurance Company Opens Sales and Marketing Office

{December 16th, 2011} by N/A

Business Wire, Inc. GREENVILLE, S.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–      Liberty Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Athene Holding Ltd., has      expanded its retail annuity operations into the Northeast financial      corridor with the opening of a new sales and marketing office in      Wilmington, Delaware. The 6,000 square foot facility, located at 500 Delaware Avenue along the      western gateway to [...]

Dalbar Announces Its 2011 Annuity Service Award Winners in Financial Services

{December 16th, 2011} by N/A

Today Dalbar released the 2011 winners of its annual Annuity Service Award. AXA Equitable-Equivest, New York Life, Pacific Life, Prudential Financial and SunAmerica Annuity and Life Assurance Company emerged as the leaders in customer service in 2011. For over two decades, Dalbar has conducted rigorous testing of service delivery and, each year identifies those annuity [...]

2012 Could Be Rebuilding Year for Annuities

{December 15th, 2011} by Linda Koco

By Linda Koco Contributing Editor, AnnuityNews At an insurance conference this year, an agent in the audience stood up and asked a panel of company executives about when they are going to come out with some new products. A review of new products shows that annuity carriers have definitely unveiled new products this year, but [...]

Allianz Shakes Up Management Board; Appoints First Female Member

{December 15th, 2011} by David Pilla

December 14, 2011 By David Pilla A.M. Best Company, Inc. Allianz SEannounced major changes to its board of management, as three veterans depart to make way for what the group’s chief executive called an “even more diverse, younger and more experienced” management team. TheGermany-based multiple-line insurer said board veteransPaul AchleitnerandEnrico Cucchianihave been “released” from their [...]

Allianz Life names new CEO to replace Bhojwani

{December 14th, 2011} by Ed Stych

Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal by Ed Stych, Web Producer Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 1:19pm CST Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America    Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America Latest from The Business Journals Allianz sells out, giving REIT entree to Rickenbacker industrial marketAllianz names new chief investment officerAllianz Life Insurance [...]

Allianz Life names new CEO

{December 14th, 2011} by Darla Mercado

Walter White takes helm of U.S. ops, arrives with brokerage expertise By Darla Mercado December 14, 2011 Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America today promoted Walter White to chief executive, succeeding Gary Bhojwani. Parent company Allianz SE has elevated Mr. Bhojwani to its management board, where he now will oversee the U.S. property/casualty and life [...]

Sun Life To Ax 800 Jobs

{December 14th, 2011} by Jerry Kronenberg

By Jerry Kronenberg, Boston Herald Dec. 13–Canadian insurance giant Sun Life Financialis cutting some 800 U.S. jobs, with roughly half of the layoffs hitting the firm’s American headquarters in Wellesley. “It’s fair to say that the vast majority of the impacts will be in the Boston area,” Sun Life spokesman Frank Switzer told the Herald, [...]

Is it a Great Time for Indexed Annuities?

{December 14th, 2011} by Daniel Williams

By Daniel Williams December 12, 2011 Last week, LifeHealthPro and ProducersWEB co-hosted a Twitter chat with indexed annuities expert Sheryl Moore, (left) president of annuityspecs.com. You can check out the entire transcriptat ProducersWEB.com. Below, we’ve highlight some of the key topics, including booming indexed annuity (IA) sales, non-traditional competitors entering the annuity space and the [...]

Genworth Financial, Pacific Life, W&S Financial Group, Jefferson National Debut New Products

{December 14th, 2011} by Warren S. Hersch

By Warren S. Hersch December 12, 2011 Genworth Financial, Inc., Richmond, Va. (NYSE:GNW), has launched two new index annuities. Dubbed SecureLiving Index 7 and SecureLiving Index 10 Plus, the products will be issued by Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company. Genworth says the single-premium, fixed deferred annuities offer index-based and fixed interest crediting strategies. Consumers [...]

Policyholders Getting Smarter, Leading to Charges for VA Products, Says Moody's

{December 14th, 2011} by Elizabeth Festa

By Elizabeth Festa December 12, 2011 Image courtesy AP Charges related to changes in policyholder assumptions on variable annuities with guaranteed benefits may emerge among life insurance companies in the U.S., putting a dent in earnings and capital, according to a new Moody’s report in the wake of ING’s announcement that it would take a [...]

Genworth Launches New Fixed Index Annuity Product Suite

{December 14th, 2011} by N/A

PR Newswire Association LLC RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE:GNW) announced today the launch of two new index annuities designed to meet the growing needs of America’s security-conscious consumers. SecureLiving® Index 7 and SecureLiving® Index 10 Plus will be issued by Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company. To view the [...]

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