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Archive for May 2013

Allstate Confirms Layoffs In Va.

{May 31st, 2013} by Jeff Sturgeon

May 30–>Allstate Corp. has confirmed that unspecified job fluctuations have recently affected its Roanoke County office, one of the region’s largest private employers with about 900 workers. Adam Polak, a spokesman for the Northbrook, Ill., insurer, said by email that the policy administration department has eliminated “some positions,” while the company has created “other positions” [...]

MetLife Has Cut 2,500 Advisor Jobs Since 2012

{May 31st, 2013} by Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) —Insurer MetLife Inc. says it has eliminated about a third of its adviser jobs, or approximately 2,500 positions, since early 2012. Treasurer Eric Steigerwalt said the company had 7,500 advisers in February 2012 and now has around 5,000. Steigerwalt said the cuts make MetLife more productive and are saving a significant amount [...]

NYLB distributing assets of failed insurers

{May 31st, 2013} by Elizabeth D. Festa

The New York Liquidation Bureau (NYLB) has released its 2012 annual report stating that the Bureau distributed a record $345.6 million in estate assets to insurance policyholders, claimants and creditors, while also significantly reducing the number of outstanding policyholder claims by nearly one-third. “The Bureau is making significant progress in resolving claims so that money [...]

Michigan annuity producer sentenced

{May 30th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

A Williamsburg, Mich., insurance agent was sentenced to serve 60 months in prison for defrauding elderly clients. William Edward Lowder, 57, who operated Lowder Insurance, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell. The judge included a 36-month concurrent sentence on a separate charge of filing a false tax return in 2008. Lowder was [...]

Which indexed annuity is right for your client?

{May 30th, 2013} by John L. Olsen, Michael E. Kitces

Perhaps the most common question asked by advisors who are considering index annuities for their clients is, “which kind is best?” In our opinion, the only reasonable answer is, “it depends.” Any crediting method can produce the best return for a given period. Click here to read…

Companies misjudging lead response times

{May 30th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

Companies are wasting sales leads because their teams aren’t responding to online contacts as quickly as they think, new research shows. Published by sales automation and analytics provider InsideSales.com, the report reveals that companies often grossly underestimate response times and overestimate response attempts. The study is based on InsideSales.com’s ResponseAudit, a standardized and automated research [...]

Insurers Finding Beneficiaries Of Forgotten Life Policies

{May 30th, 2013} by Mark Williams

By Mark Williams, The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio May 26–At first, Carol Cheatham thought the telephone call she received in March from Nationwide could be a scam. A stranger was telling her that she might be entitled to the proceeds of a life-insurance policy that had been bought decades ago. But he knew intimate facts about [...]

Lincoln Financial Study Finds Optimism On The Rise

{May 30th, 2013} by PRNewswire

RADNOR, Pa.,May 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) announced today results of a survey that show that four in five Americans (80%) are optimistic about the future. According to the study, which Lincoln Financial refers to as Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction (M.O.O.D.) of America, the percentage of people who exhibit optimism is [...]

Carriers Warm To The Cloud

{May 30th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

Over the past 12 to 18 months, two major life and annuity carriers have adopted cloud-based e-mail systems, a sign that the Internet cloud finally has begun its slow penetration of mammoth legacy systems. One carrier has moved to Google’s Gmail system for its sales and distribution organization, and another is in the process of [...]

A.M. Best Comments on the Ratings of The Allstate Corporation and Its Subsidiaries

{May 30th, 2013} by Best's News Service

OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. has commented that the financial strength, issuer credit and debt ratings of The Allstate Corporation (Allcorp) (Northbrook, IL) [NYSE: ALL] and its subsidiaries are unchanged following Allcorp’s recently announced capital restructuring plan. The outlook for all ratings is stable. Allcorp’s restructuring plan includes cash tenders and proposed new issuances [...]

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Sammons Financial Group Members

{May 30th, 2013} by Best's News Service

OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A+ (Superior) and issuer credit ratings of “aa-” of Midland National Life Insurance Company (Midland National) and North American Company for Life and Health Insurance (North American) (both domiciled in Des Moines, IA). Midland National and North American are the key life/health [...]

Study Shows Limited Social Media Interaction Between Auto Insurers, Customers

{May 30th, 2013} by Mark Sutin

Rhinebeck, NY (PRWEB)May 29, 2013 Phoenix Marketing International, a leading market research company, recently surveyed almost 2,000 consumers about their social media habits and how these consumers interact with their auto insurance provider via social media. The vast majority indicated they do use social media (84%) in some capacity, but only 7% of them have [...]

FINRA to SEC: Act on fiduciary, or we’ll make our own disclosure rules

{May 30th, 2013} by Melanie Waddell

CEO Ketchum says FINRA will also review the impact its rules have on BD firms—and will be asking for firms’ input on which ones to review Richard Ketchum, CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, called on the SEC Tuesday to “act quickly” to finalize its rule to put brokers and advisors under a uniform [...]

Nasdaq to pay $10 million to settle SEC Facebook case

{May 30th, 2013} by Bloomberg News

IPO debacle of social media darling led to losses of almost $500 million Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. agreed to pay $10 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges that its mishandling of Facebook Inc.’s initial public offering last year was a violation of securities laws. Regulators cited the second-largest operator of U.S. equity markets [...]

Auction of lunch with Warren Buffett starts Sunday

{May 30th, 2013} by Josh Funk

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Warren Buffett has already helped raise nearly $15 million over the years for a San Francisco homeless charity, and the group hopes someone will again be willing to pay more than $2 million for a private lunch with the Omaha, Neb., investor. There are no guarantees someone will pay that much [...]

Who Will Win The Next Annuity Iditarod?

{May 29th, 2013} by Linda Koco

Annuity carriers with first quarter sales drops don’t need to feel like the last musher on the Iditarod Trail. They have plenty of company. In first quarter 2013, a majority of the top 20 fixed annuity carriers reported sales declines compared to a year ago, and nearly half of the of the top 20 variable [...]


Buy term and “invest” the rest with indexed universal life

{May 29th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

For as long as I’ve been handling my own finances, I’ve been hearing that people should “buy term and invest the difference.” I have never really taken stock in the concept. I mean, I am a financial services professional that cut her teeth on whole life, but who would adopt this theory centered around buying [...]

A risk worth taking?

{May 29th, 2013} by Carsten Quitter

Recent comments from Benjamin Lawsky, New York Superintendent of Financial Services, shined a spotlight on concerns about private equity firms investing in the life insurance industry, particularly the annuity business. “Private equity firms follow a model of aggressive risk taking, high leverage, typically making high-risk investments,” Lawsky noted during remarks at the recent 22nd Annual [...]

Insurers embrace bill to tailor proposed Fed capital rules

{May 29th, 2013} by Elizabeth D. Festa

The insurance industry has been helping birth new legislation that would address one of the most vexing issues for insurers in the Federal Reserve’s stable of supervision. H.R. 2140, Insurance Capital and Accounting Standards Act of 2013, introduced in the House by Rep. Gary G. Miller, R-Calif., and Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., would offer relief from [...]

The future of commission-based compensation

{May 29th, 2013} by Charles K. Hirsch

There are a number of threats to the life insurance business that hover over us and never seem to go away. One that’s been around for many, many years is the threat of taxation on the inside buildup of values within an insurance policy. Another more recent concern is the very real potential of the business having [...]

NAPFA Appoints New CEO Geoffrey Brown

{May 29th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

Geoffrey Brown, an expert in managing nonprofit groups and trade associations, has been appointed chief executive officer of National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), effective July 1. He succeeds long-time CEO Ellen Turf, who led the 2,500-member organization for more than 20 years. Brown, who will be charged with growing NAPFA membership, will work [...]

The annuity sales opportunity

{May 29th, 2013} by Nichole Morford, Mary Shaub

Any way you slice it, $650 billion is a pretty impressive number. And for advisors who sell annuities, it’s also a big-picture sales target; the precise number of assets available — from pre-retirees and post- — for conversion to an annuity. Explore our infographic below for the breakdown of who owns these assets and how interested [...]

Finra going all out to control e-mail

{May 29th, 2013} by Dan Jamieson

The $7.5 million fine against LPL Financial LLC last week for e-mail violations is noteworthy for its size — it is the largest ever brought by Finra exclusively for e-mail violations — but a review by InvestmentNews shows that it is just the latest example of the regulator’s stepped-up enforcement effort in this area. Furthermore, [...]

A Rush to Recruit Young Analysts, Only Months on the Job

{May 28th, 2013} by MICHAEL KAPLAN

For Wall Street’s top young analysts, landing at a prestigious investment bank out of college was the easy part. Now comes the fierce competition to line up a high-paying job at a prominent buyout fund, just months into their first professional jobs. When private equity recruiting season began in early April, junior analysts at banks [...]

Allianz Employee Sentenced To 27 Months For Fraud

{May 28th, 2013} by Jennifer Mann, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

May 23–ST. LOUIS — A former claims adjuster for Allianz insurance company in O’Fallon was sentenced Thursday to 27 months in federal prison for defrauding the company of more than$400,000 that he diverted to himself. Brian Behl pleaded guilty in February to mail fraud. After he serves his time, he will be under three years [...]

Top 50 Annuities

{May 28th, 2013} by KAREN HUBE

Armand Baughman, 71, a retired Continental Airlines pilot of Valley View, Texas, has always viewed annuities as too complex, illiquid, and expensive to warrant his consideration. But last year, he socked $200,000 into a tax-deferred variable annuity, calling it “the best thing since Cracker Jacks.” What changed? As part of an effort to lift sagging [...]


First Quarter 2013 Indexed Insurance Sales

{May 27th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

Indexed Annuity Wink’s Sales & Market Report, 1st Quarter 2013 shows first quarter 2013 indexed annuity sales were $7846 million, compared with sales of $8071 million for the first quarter of 2012. First quarter indexed annuity sales were down more than 8.00% when compared to the previous quarter, and down nearly 3.00% when compared with [...]

The History of Memorial Day

{May 27th, 2013} by N/A

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration [...]

Best source of referrals? Not clients

{May 24th, 2013} by Liz Skinner

The lion’s share of financial advisers say other professionals — not clients — are their best source for bringing in new accounts. And those who take a deliberate approach to seeking such referrals are seeing even more business walk through their doors. Michael Fischer, founder and principal Sequoia Financial Advisors Inc., said the firm is [...]

The 2013 NUL top 100

{May 24th, 2013} by Bill Coffin

This is an industry of numbers. While life and health insurance is a deeply personal business, requiring human interaction to address serious familial needs, those things are all driven by clear financial realities, the true engine of the modern life and health industry. What follows are 10 graphs charting some of the biggest indicators of [...]

Jackson National takes top spot in annuity sales

{May 24th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

Jackson National Life Insurance Company was the top seller of individual annuities in the U.S. in the first quarter, new research shows. LIMRA, Windsor, Conn., publishes this finding in its top 20 rankings of total, variable and fixed annuity writers for the first quarter of 2013. The rankings peg Jackson National Life’s sales in the [...]

Insurers eye alternative strategies

{May 24th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

Eight in ten insurers say they are actively considering increasing their allocation to alternative strategies as they look for sources of additional yield, according to new research. Sponsored by State Street’s study and conducted jointly with The Economist Intelligence Unit, the study—“Facing the Future: Blueprint for Growth”—surveyed more than 300 insurance executives globally and focused [...]

The New Retirement: Forget Being Rich, All We Want Is Peace of Mind

{May 24th, 2013} by Dan Kadlec

We may never tire of discussing lessons from the Great Recession,  which hit two groups especially hard: teens who saw parents lose a home or job,  and boomers who saw their savings depleted at precisely the wrong moment in  life. The kids’ scars are mostly emotional. Financially, they had little to lose;  indeed they stand [...]

Allianz Life Hires Tim Armbrustmacher as Finance Director, Sales Distribution

{May 24th, 2013} by N/A

MINNEAPOLIS – Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) hires Tim Armbrustmacher as finance director for Sales Distribution. He will serve as the key finance resource and strategic business partner providing financial decision advocacy and analysis. His role supports the distribution areas that are responsible for variable annuity, fixed annuity and life insurance [...]

In Finance Profession, Executive-Level Salaries Rise Most

{May 24th, 2013} by N/A

WASHINGTON, May 22 — The Association for Financial Professionals issued the following news release: North American finance professionals continue to see pay raises, but percentage increases fell last year for all but the executive tier, according to a survey by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP). Average salaries for professionals in finance departments of corporations [...]

The Leading Edge Of The Boomer Generation Is Retiring

{May 24th, 2013} by Diane Stafford, The Kansas City Star

May 24–”Healthy, retiring rapidly and collecting Social Security”: The heading on theMetLife Mature Market Institute report, released Thursday, says it all. The nation’s oldest baby boomers — now turning 67 — are not hanging on to their jobs at the rate expected. Fifty-two percent are fully retired. Fourteen percent are working part time. Only 21 [...]

Selling to Boomer Women

{May 24th, 2013} by Michael Sullivan

Women live longer than men by an average of seven years. Yet, studies indicate they are much less prepared for making financial decisions after their spouse dies. Women and men are divorcing at a faster pace than at any other time in U.S. history – 50% for this generation. And women are likely to experience [...]

How to annoy your audience

{May 24th, 2013} by Michael Goldberg

Article added by Michael Goldberg on May 24, 2013 I recently attended a Saturday morning business meeting. I went to the meeting (did I mention it was a Saturday morning?) for the sole purpose of supporting the speaker, whom I met at a past conference. Seemed harmless enough… The presentation started off in a very [...]

A.M. Best Withdraws Ratings of Presidential Life Insurance Company – USA

{May 23rd, 2013} by Best's News Service

OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. has withdrawn the financial strength rating of B++ (Good) and the issuer credit rating of “bbb” of Presidential Life Insurance Company – USA (formerly Great American Life Assurance Company) (Wilmington, DE). The withdrawal of the ratings was due to the change in business strategy following Athene Holding Ltd.’s (Athene) [...]

MetLife CFO: Merger of Three Life Companies, One Foreign Reinsurer to Create 'Larger, Well-Capitalized' Company

{May 23rd, 2013} by Best's News Service

NEW YORK – MetLife Inc.’s plan to merge three life companies and one foreign reinsurer is aimed at creating a larger, well-capitalized U.S. life insurance company, according to the company’s chief financial officer. The move also addresses recent regulatory concerns about the use of captive reinsurers, according to John Hele. The company will merge its [...]