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Archive for July 2012

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Indexed Annuities: Back to the Basics

{July 31st, 2012} by Sheryl J. Moore

For years, indexed annuities have provided a strong value proposition to those saving for retirement: guaranteed safety of principal while having the ability to earn limited interest based off of the performance of a stock market index. This must appeal to at least a few people; the insurance industry has experienced record sales of indexed […]

Aviva approached for sale of U.S. life unit: paper

{July 31st, 2012} by Chris Vellacott; Editing by David Cowell

Sun, Jul 29 2012 LONDON (Reuters) – Aviva (AV.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Britain’s second largest insurance group, has received a number of unsolicited approaches from financial and private equity buyers for a U.S. unit estimated to be worth some 1 billion pounds ($1.57 billion), the Sunday Telegraph reported. The paper said Pat Regan, […]

Aviva set to sell US division at £800m loss

{July 30th, 2012} by James Quinn

Aviva is preparing to sell its US division after receiving approaches for the business it bought for £1.8bn in 2006.   The sale of Aviva USA, formerly known as AmerUs, will lead to the crystallisation of an approximate £800m write-off By James Quinn 9:43PM BST 28 Jul 2012 The arm is now valued at £1bn. […]

Zurich Celebrates Community Service Milestone in Contributing in “100 Ways” as Part of its 100 Year Anniversary Insuring America

{July 30th, 2012} by N/A

Business Wire, Inc. Employees give back during centennial year with more than 11,000 hours of service across more than 100 service projects and pledge to continue the effort through 2012 SCHAUMBURG, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– As part of the year-long centennial celebration of insuring America, Zurich today announced completion of its 100th service project as part of […]

Study says VA opportunities remain for lower-profile carriers

{July 30th, 2012} by Darla Mercado

Cerulli: Product innovation and channel expansion are the keys to VA growth By Darla Mercado July 13, 2012 Though variable annuity sales continue to be dominated by a few big companies, lower-profile carriers may seek opportunities in product innovation and new distribution channels. Forty-three percent of new variable annuity sales go to MetLife Inc., Prudential […]

The Inconvenient Truth About Retirement Planning

{July 30th, 2012} by David C. Lewis

By David C. Lewis July 10, 2012 • The modern idea of retirement planning is less about financial independence and more about acclimating clients to the idea of social welfare programs. While some advisers continue to pay lip service to the ideas of financial independence and success, other advisers are awakening to the dim reality […]

Prudential: More Women Are Breadwinners

{July 30th, 2012} by Maria Wood

But Many Still Lack Confidence in Making Financial Decisions By Maria Wood July 12, 2012 • Although a majority of women now classify themselves as the primary breadwinner in the household, only 20% feel confident in making financial decisions. That disconnect came to light in Prudential Financial’s most recent “Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women.” […]

Sammons Financial Group Partners with Aplifi for Annuity eApp

{July 30th, 2012} by N/A

PRWeb Thursday, July 12th 2012 Aplifi announces that it has contracted with Sammons Financial Group, Inc. (“SFG”) to place the annuity products of Midland National Life Insurance Company (a member company of SFG) on Aplifi’s AFFIRM for Annuities platform. (PRWEB) July 12, 2012 Aplifi, a leading provider of Annuity & Life Order Management, Client Management […]

A Combo Plan for Boomers

{July 30th, 2012} by Mark S. Fitzgerald

By Mark S. Fitzgerald July 10, 2012 • Your baby boomer clients and prospects have a lot on their minds. They’re concerned about having enough money to live on in retirement, rising medical and long-term care costs, and providing for the people they love. For many, the number one priority is having a guaranteed lifetime […]

What Marketing Works with Seniors?

{July 30th, 2012} by Daniel Williams

By Daniel Williams July 11, 2012 • We spoke with a group of retirees to find out what types of marketing best attract their attention. Read on to find out what they had to say. If you have additional marketing ideas that have worked for you, please leave a comment below.  Click here to read […]

Financial literacy in focus as industry awaits SEC study

{July 30th, 2012} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

By Mark Schoeff Jr. July 8, 2012 The Securities and Exchange Commission will weigh in soon on the state of financial literacy, highlighting a topic that is near and dear to advisers’ hearts. Under the Dodd-Frank law, the SEC must submit a report to Congress by July 21 outlining the most important information that retail […]

Following $84M loss, Finra board election commences

{July 30th, 2012} by Dan Jamieson

Regulator reveals three candidates for small-firm seat, as well as other nominees; some hot topics By Dan Jamieson July 10, 2012 The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. on Monday said three candidates will be squaring off for an open small-firm seat on the Finra board. The small-firm candidates are: Kevin Carreno, part owner and general […]

Get used to it: Largest city in largest county in lower 48 to declare bankruptcy

{July 30th, 2012} by N/A

California town of San Bernardino follows lead of Stockton, files for court protection; can’t make its payroll July 11, 2012 San Bernardino’s City Council voted to become the third California municipality this year to seek bankruptcy protection after officials learned they might not have enough cash to pay workers. The council last night voted 4 […]

Indexed Annuity as Alternative Asset Class

{July 30th, 2012} by Linda Koco

Posted By: Editor On 7/11/2012 4:25:00 PM By Linda Koco AnnuityNews At the time of this writing, the Dow was down to near 12,600 — a drop from a little above 12,950 just five days ago. By the time readers see this report, the Dow could be back up again, or down further. It’s that […]

LIMRA: Advisors Positively Influence Consumers' Behavior and Sentiment Toward Preparing for Retirement

{July 30th, 2012} by N/A

Posted By: Editor On 7/11/2012 5:25:00 PM WINDSOR, Conn., July 11, 2012 — LIMRA research shows that consumers who rely on financial advisors are more likely to be saving in a retirement plan and to be saving at a higher rate than those without an advisor. In addition, consumers LIMRA surveyed who had financial advisors […]

Annuity Advisor Who Faked Suicide Charged With Fraud

{July 30th, 2012} by Karen DeMasters

July 09, 2012     An Enumclaw, Wash., financial advisor who faked his own death––and that of a client––has been charged with wire fraud by the FBI. Aaron Travis Beaird was charged after he faked a client’s death and tried to collect the life insurance on him. He also sold life insurance and annuities to […]

Report: Annuity Inflows Processed by DTCC Rose to $7.5 Billion in May

{July 30th, 2012} by Warren S. Hersch

By Warren S. Hersch July 10, 2012 • Annuity inflows processed by The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation in May increased by just over 1%, according to a new report. The DTCC’s Insurance & Retirement Services (I&RS), New York, released this finding in a report on activity in the market for annuity products. Published in […]

Can We Be Optimistic? Part 2

{July 30th, 2012} by Lloyd Lofton

By Lloyd Lofton July 9, 2012 • Last week, we discussed the challenges retirees face due to inflation and taxation. In this blog, we’ll look at longevity risk and one possible solution. Of the future challenges, which should be of most concern? Perhaps it is the possibility that your clients might live so long as […]

John Hancock Unveils Tools for HNW Clients, Small Business Owners

{July 30th, 2012} by Warren S. Hersch

By Warren S. Hersch July 9, 2012 • The Advanced Markets unit of John Hancock Life Insurance Company, Boston, has developed two technology tools that aim to help producers better meet the needs of key client groups: high net worth customers and small business owners. One tool, Business Analyzer, lets producers help business owners determine […]

Where Are the New Independents?

{July 30th, 2012} by Charles K. Hirsch, CLU

By Charles K. Hirsch, CLU July 9, 2012 • If you are one of the many independent producers who has built a successful career selling the products of a number of fine companies, no doubt you understand the value that independence brings to your working life. You have the ability to earn higher commissions since […]

Asset Repositioning in a Time of Low Interest Rates

{July 30th, 2012} by Russell E. Towers, J.D., CLU, ChFC

By Russell E. Towers, J.D., CLU, ChFC July 5, 2012 • With interest rates at historically low levels, certain types of fixed interest rate financial assets may prove to be inefficient conduits for the transfer of wealth to heirs. These fixed assets include CDs, money markets, corporate bond funds and U.S. government securities. Yields on […]

A New Norm

{July 30th, 2012} by Marvin Feldman

By Marvin Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC July 6, 2012 • As the CEO of the LIFE Foundation, I recently participated in an industry meeting with nine chief marketing officers from some of the largest companies in our industry. The subject of the meeting was the crisis of 95 million uninsured American adults and the lack […]

Aviva Plc Sells Stake in Dutch Insurer, Plots New Course

{July 30th, 2012} by Maria Wood

By Maria Wood July 6, 2012 • Aviva Plc reaped £318 million in the sale of 37 million shares of Dutch insurer Delta Lloyd. The deal, announced today, reduces Aviva’s stake in the company from 41% to below 20%. Priced at £10.75 per share, the private sale was made to qualified institutional investors, according to […]

Bankers Life And Casualty Launches Critical Illness Insurance Product

{July 30th, 2012} by N/A

Bankers Life and Casualty Company Launches New Critical Illness Insurance Product CHICAGO, July 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Bankers Life and Casualty Company today announced a new addition to its portfolio of life and health insurance products, Critical Benefit(SM). Critical Benefit is critical illness insurance that pays a lump-sum benefit when an insured person is diagnosed […]

New Finra suitability rule worries B-Ds

{July 30th, 2012} by Dan Jamieson

By Dan Jamieson July 8, 2012 A major overhaul of suitability mandates that take effect today has some in the broker-dealer world worried about much broader obligations to oversee customer accounts and investment strategies. Of particular note is a provision that requires brokers to perform reasonable diligence on products, understand those investments and have a […]

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Indexed Life as a Replacement for Indexed Annuities?

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

IUL should only be sold to fulfill a life insurance need. If you asked me four years ago what the average cap was on an indexed annuity’s annual point-to-point crediting method, my response would have been, “a decent 6.86 percent.” Today, my response is, “a lousy 3.13 percent.” Click here to read more…

WOMAN Fall Forum

{July 24th, 2012} by Sheryl J. Moore

Join independent female financial professionals from across the country to network, learn, and share on October 15-17, in Panora, Iowa. At the 2012 WOMAN™ Fall Forum you can: Learn how to better market yourself and your practice with marketing and sales ideas from some of the top female producers in the country. Gain new insights […]

TEXT-S&P cuts Aviva Plc U.S. insurance units ratings

{July 9th, 2012} by N/A

Mon Jul 9, 2012 2:51pm EDT Overview — We have lowered our ratings on the operating entities that form Aviva USA by one notch, including the counterparty credit and financial ratings to ‘A’ from ‘A+’, and removed them from CreditWatch Negative, where they were placed May 17, 2012. — Our rating action follows Aviva PLC’s […]

Social Media Moves Into List Of Top Risks For Executives

{July 9th, 2012} by Chris McMahon

Chris McMahon Fewer than 25% of executives report their organizations continuously monitor risk, according to a Deloitte and Forbes Insights survey, and more than a quarter (27%) said the risks posed by social media would be increasingly important. “Social media wasn’t even on the radar a few years ago, and we’re now seeing it ranked […]

Aviva to Cut 16 Segments in Strategy Shift

{July 9th, 2012} by David Pilla

 Best’s News Service – July 05, 2012 12:02 PM LONDON – U.K.-based Aviva plc unveiled a strategic plan that will involve its exit from 16 underperforming segments, including its South Korea presence, U.K. large-scale bulk purchase annuities and small partnerships in Italy. In an investor and analyst briefing, Aviva said its new strategy will involve […]

Toilet Paper, Lightbulbs … and Life Insurance?

{July 9th, 2012} by Corey Dahl

By Corey Dahl July 5, 2012 • Frequent Life Insurance Selling contributor Maria Ferrante-Schepis (formerly Umbach) has been warning readers for years now about the possibility of an upcoming “Napster moment” in the life insurance industry — even as recently as our July issue. (See: Is Infertility Killing Independent Distribution?) A Napster moment, Ferrante-Schepis says, […]

Former Deputy Insurance Commissioner Charged with Racketeering in Operation Blighted Officials

{July 9th, 2012} by N/A

Targeted News Service BATON ROUGE, La., July 2 — The U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana issued the following news release: United States Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux, Jr., announced that another individual has been charged in Operation Blighted Officials. RICHARD L. CHAMBERS, SR., age 67, of LaPlace, Louisiana, has been charged in a […]

Nearly 15% of Variable Annuity Policies With a Guaranteed Withdrawal Benefit Started Withdrawals Within the First 12 Months After Attaining Eligibility

{July 9th, 2012} by N/A

 PRESS RELEASE * Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release. Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:00am EDT Nearly 15% of Variable Annuity Policies With a Guaranteed Withdrawal Benefit Started Withdrawals Within the First 12 Months After Attaining Eligibility Milliman Survey Provides Insight into Consumer Use of Guaranteed Living Benefits on Variable Annuities […]

New deadline looms for retirement plan fee disclosure

{July 9th, 2012} by Darla Mercado

A ‘mad dash’ by some firms to meet previous July 1 deadline, say attorneys By Darla Mercado July 2, 2012 Now that a new federal rule took effect requiring plan providers to disclose certain 401(k) fees to plan sponsors, those sponsors have until the end of next month to pass the information on to plan […]

IRI Study: Investors Favor Summary Prospectus When Deciding on a VA

{July 9th, 2012} by Arthur D. Postal

By Arthur D. Postal June 26, 2012 • Investors prefer to read summary prospectuses when determining whether to add variable annuities to their portfolios, according to a survey released today. The survey, commissioned by the Insured Retirement Institute, Washington, D.C., found that investor demand for a variable annuity summary prospectus remains strong, with 95% of […]

LIMRA: Most Advisors Favor Including Annuities in Clients’ Portfolios

{July 9th, 2012} by Warren S. Hersch

By Warren S. Hersch June 28, 2012 •   More than half of insurance and financial professional believe that a segment of their clientele should have annuities as part of their investment portfolio, according to a new report. The study, published by LIMRA, Windsor, Conn., says that 55% of advisors whose clients typically have less […]

FINRA and SEC Warn About Annuity Risks

{July 9th, 2012} by Melanie Waddell

FINRA is looking closely at disclosure, suitability and yield-chasing practices associated with VAs By Melanie Waddell, AdvisorOne June 26, 2012 •   Officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued some warnings about annuities on Tuesday. FINRA views variable annuities (VAs) as complex products, Daniel Sibears, executive […]

Ratings or Rates: When You Can’t Have Both Which One Do You Choose?

{July 9th, 2012} by Laura Hahn

By Laura Hahn July 2, 2012 • Insurance company ratings or current annuity rates‑which “R” trumps the other? I don’t know about you but I’m hearing this question more than ever before. We all want to get the best annuity rate we possibly can for our clients but when the carrier rating is the trade-off, […]

New FINRA Suitability Rule to Take Effect July 9

{July 9th, 2012} by Maria Wood

By Maria Wood July 2, 2012 • It’s finally here. After over a year of discussion and a postponement, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Rule 2111 on suitability requirements governing the sale of securities is set for implementation July 9. Also scheduled to go into effect on the same date is its companion regulation, FINRA […]

Is This a Great Time to Sell Annuities?

{July 9th, 2012} by Daniel Williams

By Daniel Williams June 29, 2012 •   With pessimism in Europe and volatility throughout the financial world, is this becoming a bullish market for annuity products? It’s something to think about and something to discuss with your clients. What do senior clients want at this point in their financial lives? Click here to read […]

InsuranceNewsNet Mourns Loss of Colleague, Pete Winer

{July 9th, 2012} by Steven A. Morelli

By Steven A. Morelli InsuranceNewsNet Camp Hill, Pa. – It is with regret that we report the death of a colleague, Peter A. Winer. Pete was 54 when he died on June 29 as a result of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in Silver Spring, Pa. Our hearts and thoughts go out to his […]

REINSURANCE GROUP OF AMERICA INC FILES (8-K) Disclosing Regulation FD Disclosure

{July 9th, 2012} by N/A

Edgar Online, Inc. Item 7.01 Regulation FD Disclosure. On June 29, 2012, RGA Reinsurance Company (“RGA Re”), a subsidiary of Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated (the “Company”) entered into a binding letter of intent (the “LOI”) with John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) (“John Hancock”). Pursuant to the LOI, RGA Re and John Hancock will […]

Genworth Financial Survey Identifies Needs Gap in Life Insurance Coverage

{July 9th, 2012} by Arthur D. Postal

By Arthur D. Postal June 25, 2012 • A new study indicates that there is a significant gap between the amount of life insurance most Americans own and what they actually need.  The report, published by Genworth Financial, Richmond, Va., finds that college-educated insured adults have 2.5 times the amount of life insurance coverage of […]

Most annuity holders will duck Obamacare's tax goose

{July 9th, 2012} by Darla Mercado

Few make enough money to be hit by 3.8% surcharge; did insurers cry wolf? By Darla Mercado June 29, 2012 Health care reform will hit investment income — including income from annuities — with a tax, but advisers and clients likely will continue using the products. The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in favor of the […]

Kevin Startt, ChFC, CLU, CWS, CPCU Joins Annuity Think Tank as Advanced Sales Consultant

{July 9th, 2012} by N/A

Annuity Think Tank, leader in annuity education, announced the new hire of Kevin Startt as Advanced Sales Consultant. Houston, TX (PRWEB) June 30, 2012 Annuity Think Tank, leader in annuity education, is proud to announce that Kevin Startt, ChFC, CLU, CWS, CPCU has joined the organization as Advanced Sales Consultant. Kevin started his career as […]

Attorney Disbarred After Trying to Sell Annuities to Elderly Client

{July 9th, 2012} by Gregory Monday and John T. Brooks

Florida Supreme Court broadly defines “business transactions” Jun. 25, 2012 Gregory Monday and John T. Brooks According to the Florida Supreme Court, an attorney’s activities fall under ethical disclosure rules whenever he participates in a business transaction with a client, even if he’s not a principal (for example, buyer or seller) in the transaction.  In […]

To Use Exclusive Annuity Distribution or Not?

{July 9th, 2012} by Linda Koco

June 27, 2012 By Linda Koco Contributing Editor, AnnuityNews Many insurance agents are curious about exclusive distribution arrangements for indexed annuities but they also find the arrangements to be a bit of a puzzle. That is even though exclusive arrangements have existed in the variable life and annuity market for many years, and in the […]

The Phoenix Companies, Inc. Announces Reverse Stock Split

{July 9th, 2012} by N/A

HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jun. 28, 2012– ThePhoenix Companies, Inc.(NYSE:PNX) today announced a 1-for-20 reverse stock split ofPhoenixcommon stock. “We believe this is the right time for a reverse stock split, which will reduce administrative costs and improve our ability to interact with our shareholders. We also believe the resulting increase in share price will improve the […]

American Equity Investment Names John Matovina CEO

{July 9th, 2012} by Steven Norton

By Steven Norton – Jun 27, 2012 3:46 PM CT American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. (AEL), the seller of fixed annuities, named John M. Matovina as chief executive officer following the death of Wendy Waugaman this month. Matovina, 58, the chief financial officer and interim CEO since Waugaman took a medical leave about three […]

Sales of New York Life's Guaranteed Future Income Annuity Now Exceed $500 Million

{July 9th, 2012} by N/A

press release June 28, 2012, 9:55 a.m. EDT Sales Reveal That Pre-Retirees are Using IRAs, 401(k)s to Fund This Future Stream of Income NEW YORK, Jun 28, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — –New Insight: Interesting Trend Emerges Around Income Start Date for Qualified Vs. Non-Qualified Money New York Life today announced that its new Guaranteed Future […]

Pacific Life Expands Distribution of Fixed Annuities

{July 9th, 2012} by N/A

press release June 28, 2012, 11:11 a.m. EDT Introducing Pacific Life Producer Alliance NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Jun 28, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — The Retirement Solutions Division of Pacific Life Insurance Company has introduced Pacific Life Producer Alliance, enabling a wider range of financial professionals to sell the company’s fixed annuity products and benefit from Pacific […]

New Finra suitability rules worry industry

{July 9th, 2012} by Dan Jamieson

B-Ds see broad interpretation as approaching a fiduciary standard By Dan Jamieson July 5, 2012 A major revamp of suitability mandates taking effect July 9 has some in the broker-dealer world worried about much broader obligations to oversee customer accounts and investment strategies. Of particular note is guidance Finra issued in late May about the […]

Site offering inside view of 401(k)s could be boon to advisers

{July 9th, 2012} by Mary Beth Franklin

Guardian web site explains what plan advisers do, and what they get paid for doing it By Mary Beth Franklin July 6, 2012 Now that you have delivered the required 401(k) fee disclosure documents to your plan sponsor clients, the real challenge begins: Explaining what you do to earn your money. On July 1, retirement […]

Interested in Recruiting Activities for Securities Firms?

{July 9th, 2012} by N/A

If so, check-out this great tool that is the brainchild of “Investment News.”

Blame game over Madoff — SEC v. Finra — raises advisers' ire

{July 9th, 2012} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Republicans point finger at SEC to deny funding, support SRO By Mark Schoeff Jr. July 6, 2012 When Congress returns from its Independence Day recess next week, the House is poised to take up an appropriations bill that includes the Securities and Exchange Commission budget. Republicans are almost certain to bring up the $65-billion Bernard […]

Aviva mum on possible sale of U.S. insurance unit

{July 5th, 2012} by Victor Epstein

8:26 AM, Jul 5, 2012 | by Victor Epstein | Aviva Plc made virtually no mention of the future of its U.S. insurance unit, which employs about 1,400 people in the Des Moines area, during a presentation to analysts in London Thursday morning. The stressed insurance giant is trying to sell 16 non-core business units […]

Aviva USA poised for big changes

{July 3rd, 2012} by Victor Epstein

1:54 PM, Jul 2, 2012 | by Victor Epstein | Employees of Aviva USA, the West Des Moines-based subsidiary of the global insurance giant, are bracing for change as their beleaguered employer looks to boost profits by shedding business units. Aviva Plc is the second-largest insurer in the United Kingdom by market value and its […]

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