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Archive for May 2012

Annuities fell in 1Q; indexed up

{May 31st, 2012} by Darla Mercado

By Darla Mercado May 27, 2012 Annuity sales took a dive during the first quarter, but sales of fixed indexed annuities jumped, thanks in large part to guaranteed-lifetime- withdrawal-benefit riders. Annuity sales fell to $54.8 billion in the quarter, down 8% from a year earlier, according to data from LIMRA International. Variable and fixed annuities [...]

Time to promote BrokerCheck

{May 31st, 2012} by N/A

May 27, 2012 NOW THAT FINRA HAS TAKEN the wraps off a new and improved version of its BrokerCheck database, it is time for the regulator to get serious about making sure that investors are aware of this valuable resource and that the information found in the database is accurate and up-to-date. The Financial Industry [...]

Choli rollers: Aviva to settle charges in alleged church insurance scam

{May 25th, 2012} by Darla Mercado

Insurer originally sought $2.1 million in case involving 131 parishioners; only two defendants left By Darla Mercado May 25, 2012 Aviva Life & Annuity Co. is settling charges against a group of insurance agents who allegedly sold coverage to some 131 church members under false pretenses. The settlement notice, filed May 10 in the U.S. [...]

LIMRA: Life Combination Products Continue to Grow

{May 24th, 2012} by Michael K. Stanley

The popularity of life combination products has proven not to be just a trend. The amalgamated products grew 56 percent in 2011, representing a third consecutive year of double-digit growth. The findings published by LIMRA, Windsor Conn., in their 2011 Individual Life Combination Products Annual Review stated that total new premium for life combination products [...]

AnnuitySpecs.com Reports 13% Rise in Fixed Indexed Annuities Sales

{May 24th, 2012} by Warren S. Hersch

By Warren S. Hersch May 22, 2012 • Sales of fixed indexed annuities rose 13% in the first quarter of 2012, according to a new report. AnnuitySpecs.com, a unit of Moore Market Intelligence, published this finding in the site’s 59th edition of Indexed Sales & Market Report, which provides sales by product, company, crediting method, [...]

IRI’s Weatherford: Want More Clients? Go Holistic.

{May 24th, 2012} by Cathy Weatherford

By Cathy Weatherford May 22, 2012 • The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) joined with other financial industry, education and advocacy organizations last month to lead National Retirement Planning Week, a national effort to increase awareness of the need for comprehensive retirement planning. Throughout the week, we were able to bring together thought leaders from the [...]

Morningstar Launches New Variable Annuity Review Tool

{May 24th, 2012} by Maria Wood

By Maria Wood May 21, 2012 • Morningstar, Inc. has launched a new web-based tool that allows financial professionals to easily research and evaluate variable annuity contracts. Live today, the Morningstar Annuity Intelligence describes features in a variable annuity in simplified terms, says Kevin Loffredi, vice president, annuity solutions, software division, of Chicago-based Morningstar. “The [...]

Why Indexed Annuities Keep Charging Ahead

{May 24th, 2012} by Linda Koco

By Linda Koco AnnuityNews In the first quarter, indexed annuities topped the charts in sales growth among all annuity lines as compared to first quarter 2011. The sales volume still did not surpass that of more traditional annuity products, such as variable annuities and fixed deferred annuities, but in terms of sales growth, the products [...]

Ratings upgrade a real benefit to Security Benefit, says insurer's boss

{May 24th, 2012} by Darla Mercado

Kiley says A rating will boost distribution of annuities; carrier’s premiums already on the rise By Darla Mercado May 23, 2012 Now that Security Benefit Life Insurance Co.’s ratings have been bumped into the A range, chief executive Michael Kiley hopes to get more banks and broker-dealers selling the insurer’s annuities. This month, Standard and [...]

Women Should Evaluate Life Insurance Needs

{May 22nd, 2012} by Daniel R. Taylor

By Taylor, Daniel R Proquest LLC When it comes to safeguarding a family’s financial future, there is a troubling gap between men and women. According to a survey commissioned by COUNTRY Financial, about four in 10 women say their family would not live comfortably if they died. Additionally, around 80 percent of all married couples [...]

LIMRA: Annuity Sales Fall 8% in 1Q, Despite IAs' Rise

{May 22nd, 2012} by N/A

WINDSOR, Conn. May 18, 2012—Total annuity sales declined eight percent in the first quarter compared to the first quarter of 2011, to reach $54.8 billion. Variable annuity sales, which largely sustained overall sales the past eight quarters, experienced a seven percent drop in the first quarter, totaling $36.8 billion. “As we noted last quarter, we [...]

ING’s Tope: ‘We’ve Always Had a Very Strong Indexed Annuity Business.’

{May 22nd, 2012} by Maria Wood

Q&A with ING’s Chad Tope By Maria Wood May 18, 2012 • Much has changed in the annuity world in recent months. Several carriers have exited the variable annuity business, while new channels of distribution have opened up for indexed annuities. Shadowing all these shifts is a tenacious low interest rate environment that has forced [...]

Acting Aviva PLC CEO Hints at Sale of Business Groups

{May 22nd, 2012} by Maria Wood

By Maria Wood May 18, 2012 • The sale of Aviva USA may be closer to reality after the acting head of the unit’s U.K.-based parent company stated that the company will consider the disposition of some of its business lines. In a statement released Thursday, John McFarlane, executive deputy chairman, outlined a set of [...]

Why You Should Care About Your Online Brand

{May 22nd, 2012} by Todd Greider

By Todd Greider May 15, 2012 • Did you know your brand starts with your online storefront and presence, also known as your website and anything else that the general public can find about you online? That’s right, your website, your Facebook account and everything else posted about you online are critically important to your [...]

AnnuitySpecs.com Releases First Quarter, 2012 Indexed Sales Results

{May 22nd, 2012} by Press Release

Forty-four indexed annuity carriers participated in the 59th edition of AnnuitySpecs.com’s Indexed Sales & Market Report, representing 99% of indexed annuity production. Total first quarter sales were $8.0 billion, down just under 3% from the previous quarter. As compared to the same period last year, sales were up more than 13%. “It is not surprising [...]

The Hartford Promotes Johnson To CIO And Gervasi To Lead HR

{May 22nd, 2012} by Dave Snowden

Business Wire, Inc. HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The Hartford has promotedBrion Johnson to the position of chief investment officer and president ofHartford Investment Management Company, andMartha Gervasi to the position of executive vice president of Human Resources. Both executives report to the company’s Chairman, President and CEOLiam E. McGee, and the promotions are effective today. Johnson [...]

Consumers Eager For Life Insurance, Survey Says

{May 22nd, 2012} by Liz Cheek

PR Newswire Association LLC NEW YORK, May 17, 2012/PRNewswire/ – A prime reason many uninsured individuals don’t have insurance coverage is that no carrier has invited them to purchase their products, according to a Deloittesurvey of life insurance buyers. Even insured individuals who are open to buying additional coverage often say that they have not been [...]

First Quarter 2012 Indexed Insurance Sales

{May 21st, 2012} by Sheryl J. Moore

Indexed Annuity AnnuitySpecs.com’s Indexed Sales & Market Report, 1st Quarter 2012 shows first quarter 2012 indexed annuity sales were $8071 million, compared with sales of $7115 million for the first quarter of 2011. First quarter indexed annuity sales were down nearly 3.00% when compared with the previous quarter, and up nearly 14.00% when compared with [...]

Aviva to weigh selling some units

{May 21st, 2012} by Adam Belz

Insurer’s ex-CEO had said he’d consider offers for W.D.M.-based U.S. division 11:52 PM, May. 17, 2012  |   Written by ADAM BELZ The acting head of Aviva’s global company said Thursday that the company would take a hard look at all its businesses and decide which to keep. Analysts have speculated for months that Aviva’s U.S. division, [...]

Allstate Files $14 Million Fraud Case

{May 21st, 2012} by N/A

PR Newswire Association LLC HAUPPAUGE, N.Y., May 16, 2012/PRNewswire/ – Allstate Insurance Company is seeking to recover $14 millionagainst 111 New Yorkarea defendants in its 4th insurance fraud lawsuit of 2012. The complaint, filed under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”) and principles of common law, alleges that the defendants engaged in schemes in [...]

Aviva Survey Links Women’s Stress Level to Their Financial Situation and Health

{May 21st, 2012} by Warren S. Hersch

By Warren S. Hersch May 17, 2012 •   A strong relationship exists between women’s level of stress, how they feel about their financial situation and their health, according to new research. Aviva USA, West Des Moines Iowa, published this finding in a summary of results from a survey conducted in collaboration with Mayo Clinic, [...]

Broker-Dealer ordered to recover $1M+ in annuities sold to elderly widow

{May 21st, 2012} by Thomas Grillo

Boston Business Journal by Thomas Grillo, Real Estate Editor Date: Thursday, May 17, 2012, 1:39pm EDT Thomas Grillo Real Estate Editor- Boston Business Journal H. Beck, a Maryland-based broker-dealer, has been ordered by the Massachusetts Secretary of State to refund more than $1 million in annuities improperly sold to an elderly widow by one of [...]

Secretary of state: Investment adviser took advantage of elderly widow with possible Alzheimer’s

{May 21st, 2012} by Alli Knothe

By Alli Knothe, Globe Correspondent A Maryland-based investment firm has been ordered to return more than $1 million after an employee allegedly took advantage of an elderly widow likely suffering from dementia. Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin also levied a $90,000 fine, as well as several other financial sanctions, against H. Beck Inc. after [...]

Seniors on Their Finances and Health

{May 21st, 2012} by Daniel Williams

By Daniel Williams May 16, 2012 •   In our annual senior survey, we asked older consumers how they feel about their current financial and health situation. We also got them to talk about how well they have prepared for the present and their retirement. Read on to find out what they had to say.  [...]

How Young Insurance Agents Are Changing the Industry

{May 21st, 2012} by Andrea Wells

  There’s a change happening — a big change. And some say young independent insurance agents are the catalyst for that change. They may even be leading a revolution, of sorts, says one young agent leader. Jason D. Cass, owner of the JDC Insurance Group based in Centralia, Ill., who also serves as chair of [...]

Natalie Choate Talks Estate Planning & Annuities

{May 21st, 2012} by Joyce Hanson

What’s coming next: higher taxes in 2013, a wave of boomer Roth conversions and more. By Joyce Hanson, AdvisorOne May 11, 2012 •   To judge by the hundreds of attentive advisors who packed the Chicago Hilton’s International Ballroom on Thursday, nothing can compare to getting estate planning advice from tax lawyer Natalie Choate. The [...]

Transamerica: More than Three-Quarters of Workers Fund an Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plan

{May 21st, 2012} by Warren S. Hersch

By Warren S. Hersch MAY 16, 2012 • More than three in four workers continue to fund an employer-sponsored retirement plan, according to a new report. Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, Los Angeles, disclosed this finding in its 13th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey. The online survey polled a nationally representative sample of 3,609 full- and [...]

Fla. Agent Arrested for Alleged $2 Million Investment Fraud

{May 17th, 2012} by Fran Matso Lysiak

Best’s News Service – May 16, 2012 04:05 PM TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A former Florida insurance agent was arrested on grand theft charges for allegedly misrepresenting factual details of financial products, including variable annuities, to several elderly clients who lost more than $2 million from the unsuitable investments, state officials said. An investigation by the [...]

Annuity Carrier Exits: Tsunamis or Small Waves?

{May 16th, 2012} by Linda Koco

Posted By: Editor On 5/16/2012 11:11:00 AM By Linda Koco AnnuityNews The news that Andrew Moss is resigning from as chief executive of Aviva, Britain’s largest insurer, set off another round of annuity industry jitters. Those jitters get stirred up every time a major annuity carrier makes a market exit or announces a surprise departure [...]

Annuities Are Always in Vogue

{May 16th, 2012} by Eric Thomes

By Eric Thomes May 15, 2012 • Clients need guarantees, not Wall Street promises. From a financial industry perspective, the first quarter of 2012 was a reason to celebrate. The stock market had its best first quarter in 14 years, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 8 percent and the S&P 500 up 12 [...]

Nonlife Profit Surges For Allianz, Life Results Fell

{May 16th, 2012} by David Pilla

David   Pilla Allianz SE said a strong earnings recovery in the first quarter added to management’s sense of optimism that its life and nonlife insurance businesses will do well following the impact of catastrophe losses of 2011 and a weak European economy. Chief Financial Officer Oliver Bate said in a conference call that Allianz [...]

Prudential Cracks Top 10 on "Top 50 Companies for Diversity" list

{May 15th, 2012} by Michael K. Stanley

By Michael K. Stanley May 9, 2012 • Prudential Financial has secured a top spot on DiversityInc magazine’s “Top 50 Companies for Diversity” list. A total of 587 companies entered into the competition, an 11% uptick from the previous year. Prudential came in this year at number nine after being ranked at 16 last year, [...]

Youth Will Be Served

{May 15th, 2012} by Brian Anderson

By Brian Anderson May 11, 2012 • Youth and the life insurance industry haven’t gotten along very well lately, with a widespread and (sadly) largely accurate perception that young people just aren’t interested in careers in life insurance. We’ve got a couple of stories scheduled for the June issue of Life Insurance Selling (which will [...]

What's a L.I.R.P.?

{May 15th, 2012} by Sheryl J. Moore

By David C. McKnight May 11, 2012 • Americans are watching with a growing sense of dread as our nation’s debt levels continue to spiral out of control. In just 15 short years, we’ve gone from budget surpluses to more than $15 trillion of debt. What’s worse, the federal government doesn’t show any signs of [...]

A.M. Best Special Report: Universal Life Secondary Guarantees Generate Increasing Risk Profile

{May 15th, 2012} by N/A

Best’s News Service – May 14, 2012 09:14 AM OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. views positively the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) draft framework for regulatory guidelines to evaluate reserves for universal life products with secondary guarantees (ULSG). The NAIC took the first step toward resolving the AG 38 issue on February 21, [...]

Allstate Announces Plans To Grow Florida Agency Force

{May 15th, 2012} by N/A

PR   Newswire Association LLC ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., May 14, 2012/PRNewswire/ — Allstate’s Florida Regionannounced plans today to expand its footprint across the state of Florida, mostly concentrated in North and Central Florida. The company hopes to add dozens of new agencies and the total growth plan will also bring more than 70 support staff [...]

Young workers on 401(k) offerings: We want sure things

{May 14th, 2012} by Darla Mercado

Gun-shy employees keen on investments that provide guaranteed income; little interest in diversification By Darla Mercado May 14, 2012 Employees in their 20s may have decades of investing ahead, but right now they’re craving access to guaranteed income through their 401(k) plans. Fully 95% of workers under 30 who don’t have access to a guaranteed [...]

Insurer Allianz Q1 profit surges to (EURO)1.4 billion

{May 14th, 2012} by N/A

May 09, 2012 Associated   Press FRANKFURT, Germany — Insurance company Allianz SE says net profits shot up more than 50 percent to (EURO)1.4 billion in the first quarter compared to a year ago as claims from natural disasters fell. Earnings a year ago were (EURO)915 million, when the company reported (EURO)737 million in payouts [...]

Lincoln National Life Insurance Assigned Patent

{May 14th, 2012} by N/A

Targeted   News Service By Targeted News Service ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 9 — Lincoln National Life Insurance, Fort Wayne, Ind., has been assigned a patent (8,175,940) developed by Anthony C. Laudato, Westfield, Mass., and Douglas K. Noble, Avon, Conn., for a “method and system for administering a variable universal life insurance product having a volatility [...]

Half of Americans Not Contributing to Retirement Plan

{May 14th, 2012} by N/A

WINDSOR, Conn., May 9, 2012 — According to a new LIMRA survey, 49 percent of Americans said they weren’t contributing to any retirement plan; Americans ages 18-34 were more likely (56%) to be among those not saving. “The findings from this survey were disturbing, given that people will increasingly need to rely on their personal [...]