We would love to hear from you. Click on the ‘Contact Us’ link to the right and choose your favorite way to reach-out!


media/speaking contact

Jamie Johnson

business contact

Victoria Peterson

Contact Us


Close [x]

Archive for June 2013

Advisors: Don't Miss The Under-40 Opportunity

{June 28th, 2013} by Paul MaCaffrey

Under-40 investors are unhappy with the financial advice they’re receiving and advisors should pay attention. Financial advisors are concentrating too much of their resources on baby boomers and not enough on the next generation of clients, suggests are port published Thursday by Boston-based consulting firm Cerulli Associates. Fewer than one in five under-40 investors say [...]

New derivatives rules raise life insurers' collateral needs

{June 28th, 2013} by Elizabeth Festa

New derivatives regulations that kicked in this month will be costly for U.S. life insurers, requiring between $10 billion to $30 billion of additional collateral and liquidity needs over time for the top 20 U.S. life insurers, according to a new report from Moody’s Investors Service. Life insurers are major users of derivatives, which are [...]

Securian Targets Agencies For Recruiting

{June 28th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

St. Paul-based financial services provider Securian Financial Group, looking to attract new talent, keep existing advisers and expand its adviser network, will focus its future recruiting efforts on nine markets, the company has announced. The change represents a more focused approach to talent recruitment. Atlanta, home to WealthSpan Financial Group, which joined the Securian Financial [...]

Life Insurance And Philosophy: The Good Of A Life Secured

{June 28th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

As its name implies, life insurance is connected to life, but also to what the Greek philosopher Aristotle called “the Good.” That proper life insurance coverage is synonymous with a life that is good, as well as the good life, is a foregone conclusion. Just in case there was any doubt, the latest analysis of [...]

Industry Looking At Likely Megatrends

{June 28th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

Tighter regulation and tougher capital requirements, economic volatility and longevity risk due to big demographic changes are the trends insurance executives say are most likely to affect their companies in the next five years, according to a new survey. A total of 47 percent of respondents said that new laws and capital management would have [...]

Allstate Lays Off More Employees In Va.

{June 28th, 2013} by Jeff Sturgeon, The Roanoke Times, Va.

June 27–Allstate Corp. has confirmed for the third time in about three months that layoffs have occurred at its 900-employee Roanoke County office complex. Company spokesman Adam Polak said Thursday that “some” employees were notified this week they were being terminated. He did not say how many and declined to give numbers when he confirmed [...]

Workers Revolt: Forget Stocks, Give Me Lifetime Income!

{June 28th, 2013} by Dan Kadlec

The do-it-yourself retirement has largely failed. Swapping traditional pensions for 401(k) plans sounded good while markets were roaring. But 15 years of choppy returns has brought us full circle: Most workers now say no benefit would be more valuable than guaranteed retirement income. Four in five employees would forfeit at least 5% of their salary, [...]

Hartford Selling U.K. Variable Annuity Business

{June 27th, 2013} by The Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) —Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is buying The Hartford’s British variable annuity business for about $285 million. Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. announced in March that it was exiting the annuity business so that it can focus on its property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. Hartford CFO Christopher Swift [...]

Greenberg suit cleared for further action

{June 27th, 2013} by Arthur D. Postal

A federal court judge in Washington has cleared for trial claims by former AIG CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg that the “federal government’s methodology in aiding a troubled American International Group amounted to an attempt to ‘steal the business.’” Greenberg refiled his suit last July through Starr International, which owns approximately 13 percent of AIG. In [...]

Mixed Messages Regarding Benefits

{June 27th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

Talk about mixed messages. Pick up the latest LIMRA survey on the dearth of small businesses offering workplace insurance benefits, and it’s like hearing a broken record. Business owners say they have neither enough money nor enough employees to make selling insurance through the workplace worthwhile. Besides, owners say, their employees often get benefits elsewhere. [...]

NFP Announces Stockholders' Approval Of Merger Agreement

{June 27th, 2013} by National Financial Partners Corp.

NEW YORK, June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –National Financial Partners Corp. (NYSE: NFP) announced today that, at a special meeting of stockholders of NFP held on June 19, 2013, NFP’s stockholders voted in favor of the proposal to adopt the previously announced Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of April 14, 2013 (the “Merger Agreement”), [...]

Penn Mutual Calls For Improved Captives Transparency

{June 27th, 2013} by Thomas Harman

The insurance industry must look to improve transparency in captive insurer transactions and provide consumers with confidence about the quality of industry reserves, said David O’Malley, chief operating officer of the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. O’Malley’s comments to BestWeek follow a recent call for a national moratorium on captive transactions by New York Department [...]

Finra bails on plan to supervise reps' outside businesses

{June 27th, 2013} by Dan Jamieson

Controversial plan dropped in updated supervisory rules   Finra has dropped a controversial idea to extend its supervisory rules. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. filed a new package of updated supervisory rules last Friday with the SEC. Gone from the latest list: a hotly debated plan requiring broker-dealers to supervise non-securities-related businesses. An earlier [...]

Regular Life Insurance Review: A Lesson in the Supreme Court

{June 27th, 2013} by Lori Messina, JD

By Lori Messina, JD It’s standard advice that financial professionals give all of their clients: Be sure to update your beneficiaries whenever you have a life-event change. Unfortunately, amid the upheaval that such changes in circumstances cause, many clients simply forget to update things like beneficiary designations. The fact is, changing beneficiaries on a life [...]

Don't listen to Suze Orman's "buy term and invest the difference"

{June 26th, 2013} by Jeffrey Berson

To most of us who understand the insurance world and the real choices available for our clients, the advice that Suze Orman gives is, at best, irritating and, at worse, negligent. It is virtually impossible for one piece of advice to be the answer for millions of people all at the same time. In our [...]

Genworth Launches The Index Institute(SM), a Virtual Learning Community to Help Producers Tap Into the Soaring Demand for Index Insurance Products

{June 26th, 2013} by PRNewswire

RICHMOND, Va., June 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — In response to producers’ demand for better resources to help them educate their clients about the benefits of index products, Genworth has launched The Index Institute(SM) , a first-of-its-kind virtual community for producers. The Index Institute contains index life insurance and index annuity training, market insights, presentations, product [...]

Annuities: Heading into summer 2013

{June 26th, 2013} by Kathy Donovan

With some of the legislative sessions winding down, now is a good time to assess changes that need to be accounted for in the annuity business. From annuity disclosures to replacement requirements, and a variety of developments in between, legislative activity across the country continues to impact the life insurance industry. Click here to read…

Fidelity & Guaranty Life Introduces Traditional Deferred Annuity Series Focusing on Income

{June 26th, 2013} by N/A

BALTIMORE – Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company has introduced the Simplicity Elite series, a traditional deferred fixed annuity designed to address the needs of today’s consumers who are nearing retirement. “We wanted a product that boldly addresses pre-retirees’ and retirees’ need for guaranteed lifetime income. Simplicity Elite’s primary value focuses on creating income through [...]

Will N.Y. Block Private Equity From Insurance?

{June 26th, 2013} by Linda Koco

By Linda Koco AnnuityNews Deal watchers in insurance gave a knowing nod to news last week from Sun Life Financial that its December agreement to sell its U.S. annuities business to private equity firm Delaware Life Holdings will be on delay. Since April, many observers had been expecting that to happen. April was when Benjamin [...]

2013: The year of the hybrid

{June 26th, 2013} by David Port

Randy Rowray has been around the life insurance business long enough to sense when a product is on the verge of a breakthrough. And based on the surge in interest he’s seeing from advisors and consumers alike, Rowray, vice president of marketing at The National Benefit Corp. (TNBC) in West Des Moines, Iowa, says a [...]

World War Z: It’s actually about life insurance

{June 26th, 2013} by Corey Dahl

I saw “World War Z” over the weekend. The first 20 minutes make you think, “Wow, this is going to be good.” And then the remaining 102 minutes make you think, “Oh. Uh. Never mind.” So when I wasn’t guffawing at ridiculous plot holes or making snarky jokes in my head (the “Z” should stand [...]

Finra gets OK to share more info about reps' disciplinary records

{June 26th, 2013} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

SEC approves SRO’s plan to issue monthly notices, online action system to publish more data The brokerage industry regulator has won Securities and Exchange Commission backing to provide more public information about brokers who are the subject of disciplinary complaints and actions. The SEC approved a proposal by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. that [...]

Digital generation investors don’t trust you — here's why

{June 26th, 2013} by Amy McIlwain

Back in 2010, there was a dark cloud of skepticism hovering around social media — especially in the financial services industry. At that time, many advisors and financial professionals I spoke with struggled to see the value in social technologies like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Three years later, I am ecstatic to see how the [...]

Do You Have a Contract for Your Retirement Income?

{June 25th, 2013} by Ryan Thacker and Tyson Thacker

By Ryan Thacker and Tyson Thacker Published June 21, 2013 FOXBusiness In the movie “Moneyball,” Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, the protagonist who  created a revolutionary way to look at  professional baseball management.  His famous saying is,  “Stop  solving the same problems the same way.” If you’re applying this concept to retirement income planning and [...]

Gen X Stretched Thinnest, Most Likely To Dip Into Savings

{June 25th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

More than one third of Generation X employees are likely to dip into their retirement savings to pay for non-retirement expenses, a sign that these adults are under enormous financial pressure, according to a recent survey. The study also showed that 49 percent of Gen Xers find it difficult to meet household expenses on time [...]

MetLife must pay $2M tax-amnesty fine, court rules

{June 25th, 2013} by AP Staff Writer

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. must pay a $2 million tax penalty imposed by a 2003 amnesty program even though it didn’t know it owed extra taxes at the time. Justices decreed Thursday that MetLife must forfeit the enhanced penalty even though an audit showing [...]

Living Longer + Lack Of Lifetime Income = Risky Business

{June 25th, 2013} by PRNewswire / USNewswire

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Actuarial projections show Americans living longer, but if they are truly to enjoy their retirement years, they need to look differently at their lifetime income needs. A new discussion paper, “Risky Business: Living Longer Without Income for Life,” developed by the American Academy of Actuaries’ Lifetime Income Risk Joint [...]

Vermont Taps NJ Captive Chief for Deputy Commissioner Post

{June 25th, 2013} by Meg Green

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Vermont has hired Crosby Sherman, the New Jersey chief of captive insurance, to be deputy insurance commissioner in the Green Mountain state, Susan L. Donegan, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, said. Sherman will join the department on July 8. The Vermont position has been open since Donegan became commissioner [...]

Interest rates have 'modest' impact on retirement preparedness

{June 25th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

A confluence of factors is playing a major role in America’s troubling retirement security situation. A drop in housing wealth and a decline in equity values coupled with a protracted low interest rate environment and an increase in Social Security’s full retirement age have rendered many Americans underprepared for a comfortable retirement. A recent Prudential [...]

Not Many Female Advisors Serving Wealthy Women

{June 25th, 2013} by GLOBE NEWSWIRE

Los Altos, CA and New York, NY , June 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — One-fifth of all financial advisors are women. There are over 9 million single women with investable assets over$100,000 and their affinity for using financial advisors is increasing. “When you look at where the women financial advisors are located within the broker [...]

Insurance A Force In Wisconsin Economy

{June 25th, 2013} by Paul Gores, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

June 25–While manufacturing, tourism and farming are considered the big keys to Wisconsin’s economy, the insurance industry — with good-paying jobs and top companies nationally — often is overlooked as an important contributor to the state’s well-being, insurance industry advocates said. Wisconsin is home to almost 250 insurance companies, fourth-highest among states nationally, according to [...]

The effects of marijuana use on life insurance rates

{June 25th, 2013} by Brad Cummins

With eighteen states accompanied by Washington DC now allowing marijuana for medicinal use, you and your clients may be wondering how life insurance companies are viewing this new outlook on marijuana usage. Nearly 40% of the states have legalized the medical use of this substance. In addition, eleven more states have pending or failed legislation. [...]

American Equity founder has staying power

{June 25th, 2013} by Victor Epstein

West Des Moines resident Dave Noble still leads at 81 The prospect of retirement does not agree with Dave Noble, the founder of West Des Moines-based American Equity Group. He said he started the fast-growing insurance company with $160 million on Dec. 15, 1995, at the age of 64, after being retired for all of [...]

Russell survey: Optimism high among financial advisors

{June 25th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

Most financial advisors are feeling optimistic about their ability to grow their businesses and acquire new clients throughout 2013, according to global asset manager Russell Investments’ latest quarterly survey of U.S. advisors, the Financial Professional Outlook (FPO). The current iteration of the FPO survey includes responses from 251 financial advisors working in more than 100 [...]

Moody's: Unpredictable policyholder behavior challenges US life insurers' variable annuity business

{June 24th, 2013} by Global Credit Research

Global Credit Research – 24 Jun 2013 New York, June 24, 2013 — Unpredictable behavior by variable annuity policyholders will continue  to pressure US life insurers going forward, says Moody’s Investors  Service in its new special comment, “Unpredictable policyholder  behavior challenges US life insurers’ variable annuity business.”   US life insurers’ inability to predict policyholder [...]

No more immediate departures planned at Aviva USA

{June 24th, 2013} by N/A

Although two Aviva USA senior managers have left  the company recently, no more executive departures are expected until the sale  of the company is completed, a spokesman said Wednesday. “(CEO) Chris  Littlefield and Aviva USA’s other executives remain in place leading our life  and annuity business until the sale closes later this year,” company spokesman  [...]

5 Mistakes That Kill Life Insurance Claims

{June 24th, 2013} by Susan Ladika

You’ve got the best of intentions in providing for your loved ones after you’re gone, but your actions could come back to haunt them in the form of a bumbled life insurance payout if you’re not careful. Here we explain five mistakes to avoid so that your beneficiaries get what they’re owed – no matter [...]

Sun Life: Closing on Sale of US Annuities, US Life Insurance Businesses Delayed on NY Review

{June 24th, 2013} by Fran Lysiak

TORONTO – Canada’s Sun Life Financial said its closing on the sale of its U.S. annuities business and some of its U.S. life insurance businesses will be delayed, due to New York insurance regulators undertaking a review of private investor groups as owners of annuity businesses. Sun Life Financial (TSX/NYSE/PSE: SLF) in December said it [...]

Shenandoah Life CEO: Post Receivership, Company Strives for Alternatives to Mainstream Products

{June 24th, 2013} by Fran Lysiak

Best’s News Service – June 21, 2013 10:01 AM ROANOKE, Va. – After successfully exiting receivership a year ago, Shenandoah Life Insurance Co. has tapped a new president and chief executive officer who arrived from ING US. But Paul Mistretta said rather than traditional life products, the company is eyeing alternative ones for its middle-income [...]

Life is better for Americans with life insurance

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

Owners of life insurance report more fulfillment and optimism in their lives compared to those without coverage, according to a new report. New York Life, New York, discloses this finding in “Keep Good Going Report,” which surveyed 2,069 individuals age 21 or older. Conducted by Greenwald & Associates, the survey explores the attitudes and expectations [...]