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Archive for March 2012

Advisers, B-Ds step back from The Hartford

{March 30th, 2012} by Darla Mercado

By Darla Mercado March 29, 2012 Broker-dealers and financial advisers are walking away from the insurance and annuity products of The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. in the wake of the company’s March 21 announcement that it will no longer sell annuities and that it will spin off its life insurance operations and Woodbury Financial [...]

After bailing on annuities, The Hartford looks to pump up its mutual funds

{March 30th, 2012} by Jason Kephart

Insurer sees big room for growth in fund world; relocating, bulking up sales force By Jason Kephart March 29, 2012 Despite throwing in the towel on several of its operations, executives at The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. think the carrier can increase its mutual fund assets by double digits annually. And that’s a big [...]

Elderly investors bilked in annuities scam to get bubkes

{March 30th, 2012} by Darla Mercado

Will receive 2.8 cents on the dollar after getting hoodwinked by insurance agent By Darla Mercado March 29, 2012 A group of mostly elderly investors ensnared in a $7 million scam involving so-called “private annuities” will be getting back only a sliver of their original investment. On Tuesday, the trustee overseeing the bankruptcy case of [...]

Debunking Annuity Objections

{March 30th, 2012} by Sheryl J. Moore

Posted By: Editor On 3/29/2012 10:59:00 AM By Sheryl Moore AnnuityNews When I started in the insurance business, I was an indexed life insurance expert. I worked in a home office for years before I even learned what an annuity was. Once I learned that an annuity was just a retirement savings vehicle that provides [...]

Dementia’s Youngest Victims Defy Stereotypes

{March 30th, 2012} by Matt Sendensky

By Matt Sedensky March 26, 2012 • LEESBURG, Fla. (AP)—Doreen Watson-Beard cared for more people with dementia than she could count. The nurse was so moved by her patients that she led Alzheimer’s support groups. She knew the warning signs and understood there was no cure. But the 49-year-old never thought the disease would affect [...]

Is Hartford Financial's market exit a death knell for the annuity crowd or just more Hartford haplessness?

{March 30th, 2012} by Kelly O'Mara

SunAmerica, John Hancock and Hartford are all in retreat mode but trade groups say aggregated industry sales are still solid Thursday 3.29.12 by Kelly O’Mara   Hartford Financial Services Group is joining an industry rush for the door by withdrawing from the annuity business in an effort to boost shareholder returns and raise profits — [...]

Hartford Says Annuity-Block Sale More Likely as Markets Gain

{March 30th, 2012} by Andrew Frye and Andrea Ludtke

By Andrew Frye and Andrea Ludtke on March 29, 2012 Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG) (HIG), the insurer narrowing its focus under pressure from billionaire investor John Paulson, said it is more likely to divest its annuity business after stock markets rose. Hartford is considering sales, securitizations and reinsurance transactions to reduce risk tied [...]

S&P Indices Announces Changes to U.S. Indices

{March 30th, 2012} by S&P Indices

Published Wednesday, Mar. 28, 2012 NEW YORK, March 28, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ — S&P MidCap 400 constituent Fossil, Inc. (NASD: FOSL) will replace Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) in the S&P 500 index, S&P SmallCap 600 constituent BioMed Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: BMR) will replace Fossil in the S&P MidCap 400 index, and Innophos [...]

GREAT Statistic

{March 29th, 2012} by Sheryl J. Moore

According to Market Rates Insight, 18% of bank deposits were held in CDs as of December. This is down 31.1% in January 2007. Opportunities, anyone?  sjm

The Merits of Annuities

{March 27th, 2012} by Robert Miller

By Robert Miller March 26, 2012 • This blog originally appeared on NAIFA.org. It is reprinted here with permission of NAIFA. It’s unfortunate when an isolated event could threaten the legitimate use of a financial product that has benefited and will continue to benefit so many individuals and families across the country. Individual annuity contracts [...]

Major Insurers Vie for ING's Asian Life Business

{March 27th, 2012} by Micheal K. Stanley

By Micheal K. Stanley March 26, 2012 •   It appears as though the stage is being set for a bidding war between some of the world’s largest insurers for ING Groep NV’s Asian life-insurance arm. It has been reported that ING is looking to unload the business for no less than $7B and major [...]

Majority of Americans Miss Opportunity to Contribute to IRAs

{March 27th, 2012} by Jeannine DeFoe

Women and baby boomers are more likely to contribute up to the maximum, while younger Americans unaware of the benefits of IRAs NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Only 22 percent of Americans say they are saving for retirement by contributing to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), according to a survey released today by TIAA-CREF, a leading financial [...]

The rippling effect of Hartford's restructuring

{March 26th, 2012} by Darla Mercado

Insurer never recovered VA business it lost after the financial crisis By Darla Mercado March 25, 2012 Financial advisers were shocked by Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.’s announcement last Wednesday that it is retreating from the annuity business. The exit was so quick that as late as two weeks ago, The Hartford’s wholesalers were still [...]

In-the-dark Edward Jones pulls plug on Hartford life, annuity sales

{March 26th, 2012} by Darla Mercado

Insurer’s surprise exit from the two businesses ‘creates an amount of uncertainty’ for broker-dealer; B-D yet to be contacted By Darla Mercado March 26, 2012 The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.’s announcement that it is restructuring its business is less than a week old. But one of the carrier’s major distributors has already decided to [...]

The rippling effect of Hartford's restructuring

{March 26th, 2012} by Darla Mercado

Insurer never recovered VA business it lost after the financial crisis By Darla Mercado March 25, 2012 Financial advisers were shocked by Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.’s announcement last Wednesday that it is retreating from the annuity business. The exit was so quick that as late as two weeks ago, The Hartford’s wholesalers were still [...]

1,600 Woodbury reps await fate after Hartford purge

{March 26th, 2012} by Bruce Kelly

By Bruce Kelly March 25, 2012 A battle is in store for the 1,600 affiliated representatives and financial advisers at Woodbury Financial Services Inc., the independent broker-dealer that is one of the businesses that The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. last week said it plans to sell as part of a wholesale restructuring of the [...]

Longevity insurance faces hurdles to become a retirement option

{March 26th, 2012} by Darla Mercado

By Darla Mercado March 25, 2012 Longevity insurance has received the Treasury Department’s blessing, but it could be years before these deeply deferred annuities become a regular part of retirement plans. Last month, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service proposed a package of rules to make it easier for retirement plan participants and [...]

Making the case for annuities

{March 26th, 2012} by Darla Mercado

They’re less attractive but still deserve a place in some retirement plans, advisers argue By Darla Mercado March 25, 2012 Harsh economic realities have led insurers to get stingy with returns and benefits on annuities, but financial advisers think that there still is a place for these products in clients’ portfolios. Ever since the 2008 [...]

Join the Conversation on Glenn Neasham's California Case

{March 25th, 2012} by Sheryl J. Moore

Perhaps one of the most controversial cases to erupt in the insurance industry, the plight of Glenn Neasham is resounding with insurance agents all over the nation. If you haven’t contributed to the conversation, join over 20,000 others in what is quite possibly the most commented-on blog ever published at Producers Web. While you are [...]

Hartford Offers Levenson $2 Million Bonus to Stay

{March 25th, 2012} by Andrew Frye

By Andrew Frye – Mar 23, 2012 Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG), the insurer scaling back amid investor demands for a breakup, offered as much as $2 million in a retention bonus to David Levenson, president of wealth management. Levenson must remain “actively employed by the company in the performance of his duties on [...]

Allianz Life Promotes Matt Gray to VP, Market Management, Product Innovation

{March 24th, 2012} by Sara Thurin Rollin

Business Wire, Inc. Top Actuary Joins Marketing Division MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) named Matt Gray as the new vice president, Market Management and Product innovation (MMPI). In this role, Gray will be responsible for several key initiatives for Allianz Life, including product strategy and development, customer experience, and [...]

Here's Why The Hartford Is Really Killing Its Annuity Business

{March 24th, 2012} by Halah Touryalai

Love them or hate them, annuities sell. Last year sales hit $240.3 billion, an 8% jump from 2010. So why is The Hartford, a pioneer in the industry, dumping them? Yesterday the insurance giant said it is exiting the annuity business so it can focus on its property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual [...]

Hartford breaks up, bowing to Paulson pressure

{March 24th, 2012} by Maureen Farrell

By Maureen Farrell @CNNMoneyMarkets March 21, 2012: 10:49 AM ET NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The Hartford Financial Services Group said Wednesday that it’s exiting the annuities and life insurance businesses to focus on property and casualty insurance — a move that hedge fund investor John Paulson pushed for just last month. Hartford (HIG, Fortune 500) [...]

Hartford Financial exiting annuity business, will concentrate on property, casualty insurance

{March 24th, 2012} by N/A

By Associated Press, LEAVING ANNUITIES: Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. said Wednesday that it will leave the annuity business, instead concentrating on its property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. OTHER TRIMS: The company also is looking to sell or pursue other options for its individual life, its retirement plans and broker-dealer Woodbury [...]

Hartford insurance company will spin off annuity business

{March 24th, 2012} by N/A

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Hartford Financial Services Group (HIG) is exiting the annuity business so it can focus on its property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds businesses. Its shares rose in premarket trading. The announcement Wednesday comes a little over a month after hedge fund manager John Paulson urged Hartford to spin [...]

Hartford Rises as CEO Responds to Paulson’s Breakup Push

{March 24th, 2012} by Andrew Frye

By Andrew Frye – Mar 21, 2012 Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG) gained after Chief Executive Officer Liam McGee responded to billionaire John Paulson’s call for a breakup with plans to shut or sell parts of the 201-year-old insurer. Hartford rose 1.4 percent to $22.02 at 4:04 p.m. in New York and advanced as [...]

Should Hartford’s Annuity Holders Be Worried?

{March 24th, 2012} by Leslie Scism

  Under pressure from hedge-fund titan John Paulson, Hartford Financial Services Group said Wednesday it would exit its annuity business and weigh a sale of a large portion of its life-insurance operations. Hartford will stop new annuity sales on April 27. So what does this mean for holders of Hartford annuities? In industry parlance, Hartford [...]

Hartford Exiting Life Business

{March 24th, 2012} by Arthur D. Postal

Stock jumps several points after announcement By Arthur D. Postal March 21, 2012 •     The Hartford Insurance Group is exiting its life business in order to concentrate on its stronger property and casualty and casualty operations. The company also said it is seeking to find a buyer for the remainder of its life [...]

U.S. Residents Not Confident in Their Ability to Save for Retirement

{March 24th, 2012} by N/A

SARASOTA, Fla., March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Adequate retirement savings has become an issue of significant concern to members of every income bracket. It should come as no surprise that according to a recent BMO Harris survey, the majority of U.S. residents (57 percent) are not confident in their ability to save for their ideal retirement [...]

RI Lawmaker Pleads Not Guilty In Life Insurance Case

{March 24th, 2012} by Laura Crimaldi

LAURA CRIMALDI, Associated Press PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Providence lawmaker pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he pocketed funds from a life insurance policy on his friend’s dead daughter, calling the case a “big misunderstanding.” State Rep. Leo Medina, a Democrat, pleaded not guilty to embezzlement over $100, obtaining more than $500 under false [...]

Why Many Americans Don’t Save for Retirement

{March 24th, 2012} by Jeanette Harrison-Sullivan

One in Five Americans Over Age 50 Are Unsure of How Much to Save, Say They Lack Money for Investing BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Amid concern about Americans’ level of preparedness for retirement and other long-term financial goals, a survey of 463 investors commissioned by Natixis Global Asset Management (NGAM) found that even many affluent people aren’t [...]

Finra taking an interest in wholesalers’ role in product sales

{March 24th, 2012} by Bruce Kelly

Eyeing what info they possess, basis for suitability By Bruce Kelly March 21, 2012 Wholesalers, watch out. Finra is taking a clear interest in wholesalers’ roles in the sale of products that clients — and sometimes brokers — do not fully understand. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.’s concerns over wholesalers include how well-trained the [...]

Hartford Says Goodbye to Annuities .

{March 24th, 2012} by Erick Holm, Leslie Scism and Gina Chon

By ERIK HOLM, LESLIE SCISM and GINA CHON   Bowing to pressure from hedge-fund titan John Paulson, Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. said Wednesday it would exit its annuity business and weigh a sale of a large portion of its life-insurance operation.   Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. on Wednesday unveiled plans for a radical [...]

1,600 Woodbury reps await fate after Hartford purge

{March 24th, 2012} by Bruce Kelly

Embattled insurer latest carrier to bail on the indie B-D business, aims to sell Minnesota brokerage; $239M in revenue nothing to sneeze at By Bruce Kelly March 21, 2012 The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.’s announcement Wednesday that it intends to sell independent broker-dealer Woodbury Financial Services Inc. marks the third time this year that [...]

Bail Granted for Neasham, Keeping Him Out of Jail until Appeal

{March 24th, 2012} by Steven A. Morelli

March 20, 2012 Click here to read more on the Glenn Neasham case. By Steven A. Morelli InsuranceNewsNet A California insurance producer who was convicted of theft for selling an annuity was allowed to stay out of jail while he appeals his conviction. Glenn A. Neasham, 52, was allowed by a judge in a hearing [...]

Hartford to Exit Annuity Business, Fitch Affirms Rating

{March 24th, 2012} by Brian Schneider

March 21, 2012 Business Wire, Inc. CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Fitch Ratings has affirmed all Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs), debt and Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) ratings for the Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (HFSG) and its primary life and property/casualty insurance subsidiaries. The Rating Outlook is Stable. A full list of ratings appears at the end of [...]

Amid Hartford Split, Woodbury’s 1,600 Reps Face Tough Choice

{March 24th, 2012} by Diana Britton

By Diana Britton Penton Business Media Insurance giant The Hartfordannounced plans Wednesday to sell its life insurance and retirement businesses, as well as Woodbury Financial Services, the firm’s independent broker/dealer. The news leaves Woodbury’s 1,600 reps faced with the tough choice: Find another broker/dealer or stick around and see who the new owners will be. [...]

Prosecutor Admits Not Proving Agent Knew Client Had Dementia

{March 24th, 2012} by Steven A. Morelli

By Steven A. Morelli InsuranceNewsNet The agent who was convicted of theft for selling an annuity to a woman with dementia was never proven to have known the client was impaired, according to the prosecutor in the case. Dementia was a central element in the case that led to the felony theft conviction of Glenn [...]

Hartford Exits Annuities. Industry Shrugs.

{March 24th, 2012} by Maria Wood

By Maria Wood March 22, 2012 •   Now that the news has sunk in that Hartford has decided to abandon its annuity business, industry groups and advisors say the action will have a negligible impact on annuity sales going forward. What it could mean, however, is that advisors and their clients must take a closer [...]

The Ultimate Pyramid Scheme?

{March 20th, 2012} by Michael Ham

By Michael Ham March 12, 2012 •   There are few MLM (multi-level marketing) products or schemes that are successful or even legal in some states. Yet, when trying to figure out exactly what are the varying levels of compensation passed down to you, “Joe Agent,” from FMOs/IMOs (field/independent marketing organizations) the water gets very [...]

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