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Archive for January 2014

Insurance licensing reforms finally see light

{January 31st, 2014} by Cathy Weatherford

“For the first time ever, the Senate has voted to pass NARAB II legislation to help streamline and improve the insurance licensing process for thousands of financial advisors across the nation. This significant action is an important step toward removing a regulatory barrier that has been impeding broker-dealers’ ability and financial advisors’ willingness to sell […]

What to know about selling life insurance to succeed in 2014

{January 31st, 2014} by Lew Nazon

As you are reading the following information from the Life Insurance Marketing Research Association, you might want to think about the exceptional opportunities you have to be helping middle-income families today, while earning an extraordinary living in this great insurance profession. The opportunity for the “average” life insurance agent to earn in excess of $250,000 […]

Why clients aren’t providing referrals

{January 31st, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

While a large percentage of investors find their advisor through a referral, more than half of those polled in a recently conducted ByAllAccounts survey say they have not provided referrals for their own advisor. As the following chart shows, some indicate they aren’t comfortable with this, while others say their advisor hasn’t asked them to […]

Ash Brokerage Names President

{January 31st, 2014} by Ash Brokerage Corp.

News Release Fort Wayne, Ind. — Ash Brokerage has named Larry Dahl, an accomplished financial industry veteran with more than 27 years experience, as its new president. Dahl will help to create a clearly defined vision and strategy, and will be looking at new ways to enhance the Ash business model and offerings. His goal […]

Insurers Target Pre-Game and Local Ad Time in Super Bowl Marketing Blitz

{January 31st, 2014} by Michael Buck, senior associate editor, BestWeek: Michael.Buck@ambest.com

OLDWICK, N.J. – “Peanuts” characters, private events, professional athletes and military participation are among the marketing tools insurers are deploying in the hopes of capturing the millions of eyes fixed on the NFL’s Super Bowl championship at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. While marketing plans vary, one similarity among insurers has emerged: making end-runs […]

NAIC Panel Seeking to Attract More Groups, Insurers in Third ORSA Pilot

{January 31st, 2014} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

WASHINGTON – Insurers and groups interested in becoming prepared for Own Risk and Solvency Assessment Act filing requirements that will go into effect in 2015 will have at least one more chance to do so as part of a National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ 2014 pilot program. The NAIC in 2012 approved its Own Risk […]

NCOIL Forms Panel Seeking Consistency in Unclaimed Property Rules, Laws

{January 31st, 2014} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

WASHINGTON – The National Conference of Insurance Legislators has formed a new unclaimed property task force in an attempt to improve what lawmakers believe are inconsistent rules and state laws regarding unclaimed life insurance benefits. NCOIL’s new panel will examine and make recommendations to improve the NCOIL’s Model Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act, promote consistency […]

Guardian Exceeds Corporate Recruitment Goal

{January 31st, 2014} by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

NEW YORK, January 30, 2014 — The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), one of the nation’s largest mutual life insurers and a leading provider of employee benefits, today announced it hired 892 Financial Representatives in 2013, the second highest recruiting year in its 153-year history. This is the fourth consecutive year Guardian exceeded […]

LIMRA: Access Alone Won’t Improve Retirement Savings Behaviors

{January 31st, 2014} by InsuranceNewsNet

During his State of the Union Address, President Obama proposed a retirement savings bond program to reach low- and middle-income workers and others not saving for retirement. The myRA program, which would be run and backed by the federal government, tries to address one of the key issues challenging Americans’ retirement readiness: access to a […]

IRI Sees Drop In Retirement Confidence And Savings Of Generation X

{January 31st, 2014} by Insured Retirement Institute (IRI)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today released a new research report on the retirement outlook for Generation X (Gen X) that shows a decline in retirement confidence and savings among members of the cohort. GenXers, born between 1962 and 1981, reported that their retirement savings have dropped 15 percent over the last […]

Iowa Senator Introduces New Retirement Savings Program

{January 31st, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

A day after President Obama announced a new type of retirement account, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, introduced new legislation to “tackle the retirement crisis” by automatically enrolling workers into a new pension system that would stash 6 percent of a worker’s pay every year. “Our country is facing a growing retirement crisis, and it’s only […]

Americans Saving Too Little, Yet 37% Plan To Retire Early

{January 31st, 2014} by Targeted News Service

NEW YORK, Jan. 29 — TIAA-CREF issued the following news release: A majority of Americans are saving 10 percent or less of their income during their working years, including many who are saving nothing, yet 37 percent plan to retire before age 65, according to a recent survey by TIAA-CREF, a leading financial services provider. […]

Acquiring A Practice: How To Catapult Your Business To The Next Level

{January 31st, 2014} by Jeffrey Concepcion

Are you considering buying a new book of business? With an aging advisor population, acquiring a new practice might be a great way to help catapult your business to the next level. However, there is often a disconnect between desire and reality; an acquisition requires having proper systems and processes in place well in advance […]

Millennials Present Opportunity & Challenge for Advisors

{January 31st, 2014} by Andrew Welsch

The financial crisis has had an enormous impact on millennials’ attitudes towards investing, saving and success, presenting both opportunities and challenges for financial advisors, a new survey by UBS Investor Watch finds. Members of this young generation are goal-oriented, frugal and likely to seek out advice before making financial decisions. But having been burned by […]

1 In 3 Say Guaranteed Income Is Top Retirement Priority

{January 31st, 2014} by Targeted News Service

NEW YORK, Jan. 29 — TIAA-CREF issued the following news release: A new study by TIAA-CREF shows that more than one-third (34 percent) of Americans who participate in a retirement plan say the primary goal of their plan is to generate guaranteed monthly income. Another 40 percent want to ensure their savings are safe regardless […]

Live! From TD Ameritrade Institutional: How to get and keep female clients:

{January 30th, 2014} by Liz Skinner

Women feel more negatively about the financial industry than they do about car salespeople Financial advisers who want to attract female clients must carefully craft a message designed for that particular woman’s knowledge and interest level. “Women are not a niche market and you need to be deliberate about the type of sub-segment of the […]

Federal Roundup

{January 30th, 2014} by Capcity Associates

Prepared for NAFA by CapCity Advocates Tax Reform The recent two-year bipartisan budget agreement has temporarily paved the way for a revitalized tax reform debate. However, the federal debt ceiling will need to be raised by February 7 (there is a little wiggle room after this date), which might cause a few fireworks in January […]

Senate passes NARAB bill

{January 30th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

Legislation re-establishing the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB) was passed today by the Senate and sent to the House. It was passed as part of S. 1926, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 and National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act of 2014. Officials of the National Association […]

Life Insurance Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

{January 30th, 2014} by Barbara Mannino

Living in the moment might be a good approach to life, but it doesn’t work in the world of financial planning and insurance. Financial planners are constantly stressing the need to plan for the future to determine what we can do today to protect ourselves tomorrow. Experts claim consumers are more inclined to abide by […]

Regulators shine spotlight on IRA rollover suitability

{January 30th, 2014} by William H. Byrnes and Robert Bloink

Threats of heightened regulatory scrutiny have loomed large in the first weeks of 2014, and perhaps no area has received greater attention than the IRA rollover transaction. Both the SEC and FINRA have issued warnings to advisors who provide guidance to clients looking to roll traditional workplace 401(k) accounts into private IRAs, and this focus […]

Wall Street pitches fit after Fed’s tapering announcement

{January 30th, 2014} by Kent Hoover

The tapering continues: The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday afternoon that it would reduce its bond-buying by another $10 billion in February. Even though this decision was expected, stock prices fell in reaction to it. The Fed said it decided to “make a further measured reduction in the pace of its asset purchases” because of “growing […]

How to market annuities to baby boomers

{January 29th, 2014} by Alanna Ritchie

There are approximately 80 million baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, who are rapidly approaching retirement. This demographic makes up a significant portion of the annuity-buying community. In fact, around half of annuity owners purchase their annuity between the ages of 50 and 64. Click here to read…

Most Americans underestimate needed retirement income

{January 29th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

More than one-third (34 percent) of Americans who participate in a retirement plan say the primary goal of their plan is to generate guaranteed monthly income, new research shows. TIAA-CREF discloses this finding in a nationwide survey of 1,017 adults, age 18 years and older, on their retirement plans. The study was conducted by KRC […]

Women The Fulcrum Of The Hispanic Household

{January 29th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

It has often been said that the way to a woman’s heart is through her children. For financial advisors, the way to the heart of the Hispanic market lies through women, the household’s de facto gatekeepers, according to experts in the Hispanic insurance and retirement market. The best way for advisors to engage Hispanic women […]

And the best job in America is …

{January 28th, 2014} by Dan Cook

If you didn’t go to med or pharmacy school, or receive a technical degree of some sort, then you simply aren’t qualified for the five “best jobs” as defined by U.S. News & World Report. The magazine’s annual survey determined that the single best job available in America today is that of software developer. No. […]

About ‘All Those Annuity Complaints’

{January 28th, 2014} by Linda Koco

Reported complaint activity involving annuities is down, and not by just a hair. In 2013, it was down in the neighborhood of 20 percent compared to the year before and by even greater percentages when compared to the two years previous to that. The improving data contradicts reports about “all those annuity complaints” that some […]

Athene Moving 200 Jobs To West Des Moines, Iowa

{January 28th, 2014} by Megan Hart

Athene USA will leaveTopeka by the end of the year, relocating most employees and selling its downtown building. Steve Carlson, public relations manager for Athene, on Thursday confirmed the insurance company’sTopeka offices, at555 and 515 S. Kansas Ave., will close and their functions will transfer toWest Des Moines, Iowa. More than 200 people work in […]

Athene USA shifting Topeka jobs to West Des Moines

{January 28th, 2014} by Victor Epstein

Kansas’ loss is going to be Iowa’s gain, according to a spokesman for Athene USA. The West Des Moines-based insurer plans to close its office in Topeka, Kan., by the end of the year and shift the positions there to Iowa, according to Athene USA Spokesman Steven Carlson. It means about 225 new jobs for […]

Identity Crisis

{January 28th, 2014} by Linda Koco

When Tony Goebel decided to become an independent life and health producer in early 2013, he had to decide how to present himself to clients. His official title at the agency was clear enough. He had become executive vice president of Goebel Insurance and Financial, a Green Bay, Wis., firm founded by his father. But […]

NARAB bill under White House scrutiny

{January 28th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

The White House has expressed concerns about some technical provisions of legislation that would re-establish the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB). At the same time, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has proposed an amendment to the legislation that would allow states to opt out, a provision that concerns industry officials. Officials of the […]

AIG back on the offensive, chairman says

{January 28th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer and Alexandria Baca

(Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc. is benefiting from an improved reputation after the insurer finished repaying a $182.3 billion U.S. bailout a year ago, Chairman Steve Miller said. “We were the most disrespected brand name on the planet and now we have come back,” Miller said today in a Bloomberg Television interview with Stephanie […]

Wells Fargo To Sell 42 Insurance Brokerage Offices

{January 28th, 2014} by Noah Buhayar

(Bloomberg) –WellsFargo, the largest U.S. home lender, agreed to sell more than 40% of its insurance brokerage locations to focus bricks-and-mortar operations on higher-growth regions and bigger clients. USI Insurance Services will purchase 42 of WellsFargo’s insurance brokerage and consulting offices, according to a statement today from theSan Francisco-based lender. The remaining 55 locations are […]

Guaranteed Income Is a “Must Have” for Annuity Sales

{January 28th, 2014} by Annuity Outlook Magazine Staff

A Recent Survey Attempts to Forecast Important Annuity Market Trends By Annuity Outlook Staff Several factors are contributing to a positive outlook for our industry. Listen to insights on this topic in this brief audio interview with Mark Fitzgerald, National Sales Manager for Saybrus Partners, a distribution subsidiary of the Phoenix Companies. The link to […]

Indexed Annuities Increase Retirement Success to 97.5%

{January 28th, 2014} by Douglas Wolff

Before 2007, whenever Americans were asked about their retirement goals, the most common responses boiled down to “retiring early” and “accumulating as much wealth as possible.” Pose the same question today, however, and the dominant answers are more likely to be “dealing with health care expenses” and “not outliving my income.” As an industry, we […]

New York Life on hiring spree

{January 28th, 2014} by Emily Holbrook

Continuing a favorable tradition, New York Life is planning to add more than 3,600 financial representatives this year, with more than half being women or those who represent the cultural markets. In 2013, 62 percent of New York Life’s new hires in the field were women or individuals who represent the cultural markets. The company […]

FIO Calls States to Adopt Uniform Annuity Suitability Regulations

{January 28th, 2014} by Linda Koco

Every state should “adopt and enforce” the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Suitability in Annuities Transaction Model Regulation, according to the Federal Insurance Office (FIO). Reading between the lines, the underlying message is that this is no time for foot-dragging. All states need to adopt and implement the NAIC suitability model ASAP. If all […]

Convincing women to build a stake in their financial future

{January 28th, 2014} by Liz Skinner

Provide timid clients incentives to gain knowledge about money An Ohio adviser is using a formal incentive program to encourage her female clients to boost their financial education. Paula Chesser, an adviser with Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. in Akron, Ohio, created a Savvy Women’s Club that hosts eight workshops or seminars for her […]

Millennials chary of long-term investing

{January 28th, 2014} by Mason Braswell

Shell-shocked by market crises, Gen Y holds onto cash, doesn’t use advisers, survey says The trauma of the financial crisis is still fresh in the minds of the youngest investors and that makes them hold tight to their cash and dubious about long-term investing. Many millennials, which UBS defines as being 21 to 36, are […]

Krawcheck says advisory business still coming up short in reaching out to women

{January 27th, 2014} by Jeff Benjamin

Advisers need to understand distinctions between women and men investors Sallie Krawcheck’s bottom line is getting the advice industry to reach out to more women, both as advisers and clients. “Women don’t say they need a woman adviser, but I don’t think it will hurt if we got beyond 17% of the industry being women,” […]

AIG Taps Former New York Life Executive as SVP of Annuity Distribution

{January 27th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

HOUSTON – American International Group Inc. has tapped a former executive with New York Life Investments to develop and execute annuity sales strategies for its independent brokerage platform and for its newly launched career sales channel — AIG Financial Network. Liza Tyler, with 20 years experience in the industry, was named senior vice president, annuity […]

Life Insurance Carriers Release Competing Hispanic Market Surveys

{January 27th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Behind the glittering facades of life insurance companies ensconced in corporate offices lies a wickedly competitive industry, with carriers jockeying for media attention in a way that might even make a grizzled Hollywood press agent proud. On Jan. 22, when Prudential Financial unleashed its 2014 Hispanic American Financial Experience Study, MassMutual saw fit to send […]

Phoenix: Progress Toward SEC Settlement

{January 27th, 2014} by Mara Lee, The Hartford Courant

Jan. 24–HARTFORD –The Phoenix Cos. has disclosed a preliminary agreement on a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over its delay in filing quarterly financial reports for several years. The proposed settlement, the company said, would acknowledge that it violated laws on financial disclosure, promise not to do it in the future, and pay […]

Finding Sales Growth in 2014

{January 27th, 2014} by Harry Stout

As we begin 2014, this is the last year for members of the Baby Boomer generation to turn age 50.  Per a recent article in AARP Magazine, over two million Americans will retire during 2014.  The aging population creates a huge opportunity for financial advice and purchase of suitable product solutions.  The key question is […]

Zurich CEO seeks emerging market distribution deals

{January 27th, 2014} by Catherine Bosley and Carolyn Bandel, Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — Zurich Insurance Group AG, the biggest Swiss insurer, is seeking more agreements to sell life insurance via banks to help expand in emerging markets. “We will keep looking at new distribution deals, particularly in the geographies that we’re excited about” including Malaysia, Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil, Kristof Terryn, CEO of Zurich Insurance’s global […]

Aging Advisor Force Brings Challenges, Opportunities

{January 27th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Here’s a sobering fact for the future of financial advisors: the average age of all financial advisors is 50.9 years. A Cerulli Associates report also found that 43 percent of financial advisors are older than 55 years old, and nearly 33 percent fall between 55 and 64 years of age. The oldest advisors are found […]

(Interest) rate increase: The life insurance life saver

{January 27th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

Signs that a period of ultra-low interest rates may be coming to an end has stirred optimism that revenues, profitability, employment and stock prices of insurers will skyrocket, with agents – as well as mutual insurance companies – benefitting. In its outlook for the life insurance industry for 2014, released in early January, Standard & […]

Hispanic Prospects Are Driven By Trust

{January 27th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Financial advisors looking to reach Hispanics and seeking to sell to Latino consumers need to understand that this market is driven by trust. The more consistent and patient advisors are when dealing with Latino clients, the more likely they will find success in a market that is ready for advice, according to experts and a […]

Officials announce details for Global Insurance Symposium

{January 27th, 2014} by N/A

Gov.  Terry Branstad’s office released preliminary details on Friday for the Global  Insurance Symposium that will be held in Des Moines on May 20-22. The privately  funded symposium is the result of collaborative work between the Greater Des  Moines Partnership, the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Insurance  Commissioner Nick Gerhart.  Globally recognized keynote speakers […]

What Crises Lie In Wait For Janet Yellen?

{January 26th, 2014} by Jamie Johnson

EACH OF THE LAST THREE CHAIRS of the U.S. Federal Reserve faced daunting challenges soon after assuming leadership of the world’s most powerful central bank. It will be no different forJanet Yellen, the highly talented and respected incoming chair. How she reacts to the set of known challenges, let alone the unanticipated ones, will impact […]

An open letter to Next Generation financial advisers… and all who precede them

{January 24th, 2014} by Devin DeStefano

“The times they are a’changing.” So said Bob Dylan in 1964. I am fairly certain he wasn’t talking about the financial services industry, but now, 50 years later, his message most definitely applies to our world. We are caught in a whirlwind of debate and discussion about the Millennials and how they will affect our […]

Newly Independent Creative Marketing Becomes CreativeOne

{January 24th, 2014} by Merrit Strunk

 Company’s new name aligns with its vision of being the Most Trusted Independent Partner to financial services professionals CreativeOne continues its commitment to innovation and introducing new ways of equipping producers to be their best. Creative was the first IMO to design its own fixed indexed annuity products, offer producers a zero-cost deferred compensation plan, […]

Janet Sipes Named Chief Admin Officer: AmeriLife Continues Executive Leadership Expansion

{January 24th, 2014} by Wayne Shelor

As AmeriLife continues to expand its executive leadership team, Janet L. Sipes, a long-time executive and leader in the insurance industry, is AmeriLife’s new Chief Administrative Officer. (PRWEB) January 24, 2014 Janet L. Sipes, a long-time executive and leader in the insurance industry, is AmeriLife’s new Chief Administrative Officer. An insurance authority with 19 years […]

Berkshire is said to face start of SIFI scrutiny

{January 24th, 2014} by Ian Katz, Zachary Tracer, Noah Buhayar

(Bloomberg) — Regulators are starting to scrutinize Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. to determine whether it is important enough to the financial system to require Federal Reserve supervision, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Council staff’s study of Berkshire doesn’t mean the panel is inclined to designate […]

Why 2014 Will be Good for FIA Sales

{January 24th, 2014} by Jack Marrion

For the first time in three years I am very optimistic about the coming year’s indexed annuity sales. In spite of the shenanigans in Washington, the Fed’s floundering and a bull market that is long in the tooth, I believe 2014 will be a very good year for fixed indexed annuity sales. Reason 1: Annuity […]

Millennials see American dream fading

{January 24th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

Half of all Millennials ages 25-32 believe that the American dream — the ability to lead a middle class lifestyle — is disappearing for their generation, according to new research. MassMutual discloses this finding in its “State of the American Family Study,” a biennial survey conducted in 2009, 2011 and 2013 for MassMutual by the […]

Financial adviser job loses a little luster

{January 24th, 2014} by Liz Skinner

Slips further down list of top 100 jobs to No. 41, though profession still a stand-out for opportunity and work-life balance A new ranking of America’s best 100 jobs reveals that the financial advice business is an outstanding profession, even though the sector has slipped down the rankings. “Financial adviser” ranked No. 41 of the […]

How to connect with the fastest-growing client demographic

{January 23rd, 2014} by Carl ODonnell

Show respect for values, explain ‘good’ debt and accept that Hispanics don’t put much emphasis on retirement Financial advisers seeking to build relationships with the fastest growing demographic in America just need to reach out and connect with it. The Hispanic community has a significant unmet need for financial advisory services, has been historically underserved […]

43% of advisors older than 55

{January 23rd, 2014} by Melanie Waddell

Nearly half of the advisor workforce is at or near retirement, which means more firms must recruit younger advisors to accelerate their succession plans, and also puts broker dealerss and custodians at risk of losing assets under management, according to a just-released study by Cerulli Associates. “The average age of financial advisors is 50.9, and […]

73% of online adults now use social networking sites

{January 23rd, 2014} by Maeve Duggan, Aaron Smith

Click here to view original article for larger diagram pictures Some 73% of online adults now use a social networking site of some kind.1 Facebook is the dominant social networking platform in the number of users, but a striking number of users are now diversifying onto other platforms. Some 42% of online adults now use […]

New Rules for The New Year

{January 22nd, 2014} by John Pruitt, Cynthia Shoss, Thomas Glassic, Justin Kitchens, Saran Goldner, Meltem Kodaman

Click to read-> NewRulesForTheNewYear

How to Market Your Insurance Services to the Millenial Generation

{January 22nd, 2014} by Joyce Martin

The millennial generation, generally defined as those currently in the 18-30 age-range, are a tech-savvy and suspicious bunch. They grew up with computers and the Great Recession, and Oracle predicts they will generate $2.45 trillion in annual spending by 2015.  This demographic offers plenty of opportunities for lead generation, but you aren’t going to get […]

Outliers And Retirement Income

{January 22nd, 2014} by Jack Marrion

You are age 65 and it’s your first day of retirement. You are about to tap a putt into the ninth hole. Based on your experience, you believe you will sink the putt. Just to make it interesting, let’s make a little bet. If you sink the putt, you are guaranteed that you can take […]

Fixed Annuity Carriers See Mixed Messages in Interest Rates

{January 22nd, 2014} by Linda Koco

he fortunes of the fixed annuity business are so closely tied to the movement of interest rates that fixed annuity professionals follow rate developments closely. Right now, some professionals might be getting cross-eyed due to what seem to be mixed messages in this area. On the one hand, many carriers that issue fixed annuities are […]

How Will More Obesity and Less Smoking Affect Life Expectancy?

{January 22nd, 2014} by Samuel H. Preston,Andrew Stokes,Neil K. Mehta andBochen Cao

The brief’s key findings are: Obesity is on the rise and smoking is on the decline, so a key issue is the net effect of these two trends on future life expectancy. The analysis examines how each behavior currently affects mortality and applies the results to an estimate of the future prevalence of each behavior. […]

Genworth reaches Death Master File agreement

{January 21st, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

State insurance regulators have reached a settlement with the Genworth Life Insurance Company over the insurer’s use of the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File database. The settlement ensures protection for policyholders and beneficiaries. “I am pleased with the outcome of this agreement as it is another success in our nationwide effort to reform life […]

SYMETRA LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY FILES APPLICATION TO REDOMESTICATE FROM WASHINGTON TO IOWA

{January 21st, 2014} by BUSINESS WIRE

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Symetra Financial Corporation (NYSE: SYA) today announced that applications have been filed with the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner and Iowa Insurance Division to redomesticate (change jurisdiction of incorporation) its principal life insurance subsidiary — Symetra Life Insurance Company — from Washington to Iowa. The change in legal domicile is […]

Spokeswoman: Symetra Applies to Move Life Business to Iowa Seeking a Level Playing Field With Competitors

{January 21st, 2014} by Marie Suszynski, Best's News Service correspondent)

BELLEVUE, Wash. – Symetra Financial Corp. said it has applied to change the legal domicile of its principal life insurance subsidiary Symetra Life Insurance Co. from Washington to Iowa. With the move, the company is looking for a level playing field to compete with other life insurers, company spokeswoman Diana McSweeney told Best’s News Service, […]

Magic Johnson moves Iowa insurer to Illinois

{January 21st, 2014} by Victor Epstein

View video: http://bcove.me/pkwppl04 It’s not every day that Iowa loses an insurance company to another state, especially one with a higher premium tax rate, but EquiTrust announced Tuesday that it’s leaving the Des Moines area for Illinois and creating more than 200 jobs there. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced the relocation along with Basketball Hall […]

Magic Johnson Brings Insurance Jobs To Illinois

{January 21st, 2014} by The Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) —Earvin “Magic” Johnson will be a controlling shareholder of an insurance company that’s opening new offices in Illinois and creating about 200 jobs. Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced in a statement Tuesday that EquiTrust Life Insurance Co. will open the first office in Chicago and add jobs throughout the […]

Court Upholds Reversal of Neasham Theft Conviction

{January 21st, 2014} by Steven A. Morelli

The California Supreme Court has upheld the reversal of annuity agent Glenn Neasham’s conviction of theft for selling an annuity. The court published the opinion on Wednesday, the same day the state Insurance Department restoredNeasham’s life insurance license. The judges rejected the attorney general’s request for a review of the reversal, but also ordered that […]

Athene Holding Seeks to Raise $500 Million

{January 21st, 2014} by Fran Lysiak

PEMBROKE, Bermuda – Athene Holding Ltd., which acquired Aviva USA last year, said it plans to raise about $500 million in a private placement to “accredited investors” as the private equity-backed company may be gearing up to make more annuity acquisitions. Athene will require minimum investments of at least $5 million U.S. dollars but reserves […]

Retirement planning, financial ed. get national media forum

{January 21st, 2014} by Paula Aven Gladych

ING U.S., Inc. is partnering with NBCUniversal to inspire a national conversation about financial education and the importance of preparing for retirement. The partnership includes a cross-portfolio, multi-platform sponsored initiative to encourage people to discuss their personal financial issues. Through April 2014, viewers of NBCUniversal can interact on-air and online with financial experts through NBC […]

NAFA Member Insights on Industry Challenges & Solutions

{January 20th, 2014} by Kim OBrien

In 2013, NAFA celebrated its 15th anniversary, and we do believe that the next 15 years will be both an exciting and a challenging time for all. Here at NAFA our greatest ideas come from our members, so we asked them to provide their insight and intuition to help answer two questions. To encourage participation, […]

Largest recent IBD mergers and acquisitions

{January 20th, 2014} by InvestmentNews

The decade’s biggest M&A deals RCS Capital announced its intention to buy Cetera Financial Group and its leading network of four broker-dealers and 6,600 registered representatives and financial advisers from Lightyear Capital for $1.15B in cash. The company almost immediately struck again by buying midsize independent broker-dealer J.P. Turner & Co. for $27 million in […]

The 50 largest independent broker-dealers

{January 20th, 2014} by InvestmentNews Data

Ranked by number of reps Firm 2013 2012 % change LPL Financial LLC 13,553 13,155 3.03% Lincoln Financial Network 8,396 8,263 1.61% Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. 7,526 7,449 1.03% Northwestern Mutual 5,781 5,939 -2.66% AXA Advisors LLC 5,045 5,242 -3.76% MML Investors Services LLC 4,717 4,571 3.19% Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. 4,700 4,565 2.96% HD […]

Genworth introduces second index universal life product

{January 20th, 2014} by Noah Guillaume

Genworth (NYSE:GNW) introduced its second index universal life (UL) insurance product, Foundation Builder Index UL, which provides death benefit protection backed by a no-lapse guarantee of up to 30 years, plus the opportunity to build cash value for future financial flexibility. The Foundation Builder Index UL offers: Five index interest crediting strategies linked to the […]

Client prospecting tool using LinkedIn sparks debate

{January 20th, 2014} by Joyce Hanson

Automation may appeal to LinkedIn ‘Lions,’ but many advisers prefer the personal touch Jeff Tompkins and Jimmy Lyons, co-founders of technology startup advisorConnect, claim to be the first entrepreneurs to have figured out how to automate client prospecting on LinkedIn. Still in beta, advisorConnect scours a financial adviser’s first-degree contacts on LinkedIn, then finds those […]

Boomerangs, Extended Families Complicate Retirement Income Planning

{January 20th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Picture this tableau of the extended family, one that has become more familiar to many Americans in recent years. Robert and Joan Smith worked hard to raise two children and see them off to college. Their daughter, Claire, married three years after her graduation. She found a good job and had two children in quick […]

American Equity sales up 6.7 percent in 2013

{January 20th, 2014} by Business Record

American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. announced that its fourth-quarter annuity sales totaled $1.1 billion, bringing sales for 2013 to $4.2 billion, a year-over-year increase of 6.7 percent. The West Des Moines-based insurer will announce its fourth-quarter 2013 earnings after the close of markets on Feb. 12. The company will post its fourth-quarter earnings and […]

Prudential To Release Economic And Retirement Outlook

{January 20th, 2014} by Proquest LLC

Prudential Financial announced its 2014 Global Economic and Retirement Outlook briefing inNew York. According to a release,Ed Keon, managing director ofQuantitative Management Associates, said the more global markets and economies improve, the more they begin to resemble their pre-2008 levels. He expects significant growth in 2014 driven in part by technological innovations and a possible […]

Multi-Generational Households A Challenge For Life Insurers

{January 20th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

When it comes to selling life insurance, multiple generations living under the same roof present as many challenges as opportunities. As many as 10 or 12 people belonging to an extended family means more lives to insure. The surge in demand could even mean that one day the same advisor will be called upon to […]

Sammons® Financial Group Contributes for Transformational Change in 2013

{January 20th, 2014} by Sammons Financial Group

NEWS RELEASE Sammons® Financial Group Contributes for Transformational Change in 2013   WEST DES MOINES, IOWA, JANUARY 17, 2014 – Sammons® Financial Group (SFG) has contributed substantial funds to local partner charitable organizations in their Midwest locations throughout 2013. The $3.3 million increase in giving was a direct result of Sammons Enterprises’ Inc. (the ultimate […]

Understanding how broker-dealers approach Web marketing [infographic]

{January 20th, 2014} by Maggie Crowley

This infographic and the research it illustrates were created by AdvisorWebsites.com, who surveyed 13 broker-dealers to find out exactly how broker-dealers approach digital marketing. The data collected suggests a strong aptitude towards Web marketing, but an equally-as-strong uncertainty when it comes to how to implement it. In the end, though, much was revealed about the […]

Delaware Life Appoints President

{January 17th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Daniel J. Towriss, former chief actuary, chief risk officer and secretary of Guggenheim Life and Annuity, has been appointed president of newly formed Delaware Life Holdings, the company has announced. Delaware Life’s former president, David E. Sams Jr., has also been named chief executive officer. In a news release announcing the Towriss appointment, Sams said […]

5 social media trends to look out for in 2014

{January 17th, 2014} by Kristen Andree

Advisers should consider these significant aspects of the ever-changing social-media landscape Social media is an ever-changing landscape, with new platforms popping up all the time. Additionally, major social-media players continually change their platforms not only to monetize them but also to keep them interesting and useful to the user. With platforms and strategies coming in […]

RYAN: As life expectancy grows, annuities gain supporters

{January 17th, 2014} by J. Brendan Ryan is an East Walnut Hills insurance agent

What a difference a couple of decades make. It was about that long ago when annuities came under constant fire from the investment community and even from the federal government for being expensive rip-offs. One of the most common observations from the critics was that it was a waste of money to put a tax-favored […]

SEC on compliance: Do what you say you’re doing

{January 17th, 2014} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Exam chief Jane Jarcho gives tips on what advisers can expect Whether a topic is appearing on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s examination priority list for the first time, such as wrap-fee programs, or is making an encore appearance, such as dually registered advisers, the agency is looking at the intersection between what is good […]

Many advisors don’t have a business or retirement plan

{January 17th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

Half of financial advisors do not have a written business plan. Of those that do, large firms are more likely than small practices to have one. These findings, among others, are unveiled in a new report from the Financial Planning Association,   Click here to read…

Update: Glenn Neasham’s insurance license renewed, petition for review denied

{January 17th, 2014} by Paul Wilson

Blog added by Paul Wilson on January 16, 2014 UPDATE 1/16/2014: The California Attorney General office’s petition for review has been denied. Glenn Neasham told ProducersWEB that he received a phone call this morning from Vicki Lyman, head of licensing with the California Department of Insurance, informing him that his insurance license will be renewed […]

The monster under my bed

{January 17th, 2014} by Denis Storey

By Denis Storey January 16, 2014 So it turns out I’m depressed. Yeah, I know, I had the same reaction – it sounds like a lame Facebook status update – but apparently my doctor’s convinced. I even have the little white pills to prove it. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Some of you might […]

Lawmakers: SEC failed to analyze Volcker Rule

{January 16th, 2014} by Melanie Waddell

Two top GOP lawmakers told Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White in a recent letter that the agency has violated federal law by failing to conduct “any economic analysis” on the recently adopted Volcker rule, and have asked her to explain to them by Jan. 24 the “legal justification” for the agency’s oversight. […]

4 tax prep reminders for independent advisors

{January 16th, 2014} by Gloria Schultz

As an independent contractor, you can claim tax benefits specific to self-employment while filing your returns. Organizing records and paying estimated taxes, for example, can help you avoid overwhelming stress or an exorbitant tax liability and penalties. The following guidelines help independent insurance agents understand tax advantages and how to properly prep for tax season. […]

Allianz Life Earns Top 50 Ranking on the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For List

{January 16th, 2014} by Allianz

Twin Cities-based financial services company honored for third consecutive year; new veterans and LGBT employee groups earn praise MINNEAPOLIS – Jan. 16, 2014 Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) today announced that it has been named to FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the third straight year and […]

Most insurers expect to make at least moderate changes to their governance, process and controls in response.

Life insurers face financial, regulatory and reporting changes

{January 16th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

Chief financial officers from North American life insurance companies acknowledge that their industry faces considerable cost and talent management challenges coinciding with several significant regulatory initiatives, according to a new survey by global professional services company Towers Watson. The survey explores life insurers’ preparation to comply with current and emerging regulatory reporting requirements, and the impact these […]

NAILBA Selects 2014 Leadership

{January 16th, 2014} by N/A

Barbara Crowley, President and CEO of West Des Moines-based Brokers Clearing House, Ltd has been named Chairman of the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA) for 2014. “As a second-generation agency principal, Barbara has been a dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer for NAILBA for many years,” said NAILBA CEO Jack Chiasson. “Her passion for […]

Neasham’s Insurance License Is Restored

{January 15th, 2014} by Steven A. Morelli

Glenn Neasham took another step to getting his life back in order when California restored his life insurance license today following the overturning of his theft conviction. His next hurdles are finding errors and omissions (E&O) liability coverage, getting appointed with companies to sell their products and waiting for final word from the state Supreme […]

Financial advice business grapples with diversity challenges

{January 15th, 2014} by Carl O'Donnell

Could a wave of retirements open unprecedented opportunity for minorities? While America is only decades away from becoming a minority-majority country, the financial planning industry is still stuck with demographics that are eerily reminiscent of a 1950s sitcom. Just look at the statistics. At 76% male, the industry claims only a slightly higher proportion of […]

FBL Financial Group’s COO to Retire in March as Company’s Chief Actuary Gets Ready to Take His Position

{January 15th, 2014} by Marie Suszynski, Best's News Service correspondent

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Holding company FBL Financial Group Inc. said John D. Currier, Jr. will be promoted to chief operating officer-life companies when Richard J. Kypta retires on March 1. Kypta, 61, served in the position for six years. He joined FBL in 2007 as senior vice president and general counsel and was […]

Top 15 best foreign countries for retirement: 2014

{January 15th, 2014} by Danielle Andrus

For those with retirement around the corner or who are already retired, picking a place to retire could be a key element into how fulfilling, meaning financially comfortable, retirement will be. With many early boomers’ retirement portfolios punished by the financial crisis and low interest rates, the choice of where to live is even more […]

LIMRA Launches Trustworthy Selling® Quick Start

{January 15th, 2014} by Vanessa De La Rosa

WINDSOR, Conn., Jan. 15, 2014 — LIMRA today announced it has launched a new training program, designed for new recruits and leveraging the core tenets of the award winning Trustworthy Selling® program. “After successfully training and improving the productivity of scores of experienced producers, LIMRA recognized the core curriculum of Trustworthy Selling could be leveraged […]

Affluent clients are engaging more advisors

{January 15th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

High net worth investors are seeking advice from more financial advisors than in years past, according to new research. Cerulli Associates discloses this finding in a report, “High Net Worth and Ultra High Net Worth Markets 2013: Understanding the Contradictory Demands of Multigenerational Wealth Management.” The sixth annual survey analyses the market size, structure and […]

NAIC Releases Report On Profitability By Line By State In 2012

{January 15th, 2014} by Targeted News Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 — The National Association of Insurance Commissioners issued the following news release: The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) released the Report on Profitability by Line by State in 2012. The report estimates and allocates profitability in property/casualty insurance by state and by line of insurance. The ability to analyze results on […]

Making Financial Planning Less Scary For Investors

{January 15th, 2014} by Mike Spangler

Five years have passed since the financial crisis of 2008, but its consequences continue to play out. Investors who have stayed or jumped back in the markets have an understandably optimistic outlook, since at the end of 2013, the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit all-time highs and the Nasdaq topped […]

Employers To Provide Easier Access To Financial Advice, Survey Finds

{January 15th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Large employers, many of whom have established the concept of wellness as a way to lower medical expenses, are extending the idea to the financial and retirement well-being of employees with the help of tools, information and access to advisors in 2014. The findings are included in the latest retirement survey by the benefits broker […]

National Retirement Planning Week® 2014 to run April 7-11

{January 15th, 2014} by Catherine Weatherford

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 14, 2014 – ​National Retirement Planning Week® 2014 will take place from April 7 to 11, the National Retirement Planning Coalition (NRPC) announced today. The NRPC, which will lead the week, is a group of prominent financial industry, education and advocacy organizations that have joined together to increase awareness of the […]

Employers To Provide Easier Access To Financial Advice, Survey Finds

{January 15th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Large employers, many of whom have established the concept of wellness as a way to lower medical expenses, are extending the idea to the financial and retirement well-being of employees with the help of tools, information and access to advisors in 2014. The findings are included in the latest retirement survey by the benefits broker […]

Dealing with death: Tips for advisors

{January 15th, 2014} by Paul Wilson

Co-created with Daniel Williams At the age of 25, Amy Florian became the widowed mother of a seven-month-old child when her husband was killed in an auto accident. In the following weeks and months, it became apparent that while people had the best intentions, they clearly didn’t know what to say or how to act. […]

Eyes Open Wide In Group Annuity Market

{January 15th, 2014} by Linda Koco

Changes are afoot in the retirement plan market that could impact the nature and future of the group annuity business — and annuity practitioners who work in and around that business. Group annuities are fixed or variable annuities used in employer-based retirement plans on both the defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) sides of […]

Average IA Commissions Dip To Lowest Level Ever

{January 14th, 2014} by Linda Koco

Indexed annuities hit more than one quarterly record in third quarter. The record that’s been getting all the industry attention lately is the sales high of slightly over $10 billion. But commissions paid to indexed annuity agents also hit a record — a record low, that is. The indexed annuity commission received by the agent […]

AIG, ING Push The Branding Envelope

{January 14th, 2014} by Linda Koco

Two major insurance holding companies — American International Group (AIG) and ING U.S. — are pushing the branding envelope with new or revitalized identities. AIG says it plans to “transform” its existing American General Life career distribution channel via launch of a new financial services group, the AIG Financial Network. Meanwhile, ING U.S. has announced […]

Glenn Neasham’s insurance license renewed

{January 14th, 2014} by Paul Wilson

Glenn Neasham told ProducersWEB that he received a phone call this morning from Vicki Lyman, head of licensing with the California Department of Insurance, informing him that his insurance license will be renewed today.  In October 2013, the Court of Appeal of the State of California, First Appellate District, Division Three, reversed the verdict handed down in […]

AIG Launches Distribution Group to Transform Career Agent Channel of Its American General Life Business

{January 14th, 2014} by Fran Lysiak

HOUSTON – American International Group Inc. has launched a new distribution group that it says will “transform” the career agent channel of its American General Life Insurance Co. business, and geared to experienced and new financial sales professionals and representatives. Dubbed the AIG Financial Network, the network will use AIG’s resources to expand and better […]

AIG seeks to add 600 advisors in annuities push

{January 14th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer

(Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc. plans to add 600 advisors in a push to increase sales of retirement products as some rivals retreat from annuities. The insurer will increase the number of career agents at its newly named AIG Financial Network to 2,000 by 2019 from about 1,400, John Deremo, chief distribution officer for AIG Financial […]

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AIG resurrects brand in financial advice industry

{January 14th, 2014} by Bruce Kelly

New network to house employee reps American International Group Inc. is once again embracing its three-letter moniker — AIG — as it looks to expand in the financial advice industry. The giant insurer said Monday that it is once again anointing a broker-dealer and registered investment adviser network with the AIG name and launching AIG […]

AIG Rebranding, Expanding Retirement Services As Others Retreat

{January 14th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer, Bloomberg

American International Group Inc. plans to add 600 advisers and expand their offerings to boost sales as rivals retreat from some retirement products. The insurer will increase the number of career agents at its newly named AIG Financial Network to 2,000 by 2019 from about 1,400, John Deremo, chief distribution officer for AIG Financial Distributors, […]

ING U.S. rebrands as Voya Financial

{January 14th, 2014} by Paula Aven Gladych

ING U.S., a major player in the retirement and 401(k) industries, will spend 2014 rebranding its U.S. operations as Voya Financial, Inc. The company filed its initial public offering on May 1, 2013, and its common stock trades under the ticker symbol “VOYA.” The IPO was part of ING Group N.V.’s decision to divest some […]

Ahead of Rebranding, Britton Retires as CEO of ING US Insurance Solutions Business; Succession in Place

{January 14th, 2014} by Fran Lysiak

NEW YORK – ING U.S Inc. said Donald “Butch” Britton will retire effective immediately as chief executive officer of its U.S. insurance solutions business. He takes over as senior adviser to the chairman and CEO of ING U.S., and to the CEO of insurance solutions, until June 30. Insurance solutions includes ING U.S.’s individual life […]

ING Group Shedding Pension Obligations, Will Result in 1.2 Billion Euros First-Quarter Charge

{January 14th, 2014} by Fran Lysiak

AMSTERDAM – ING Group NV plans to transfer all future funding and indexation obligations under its closed defined benefit pension plan in the Netherlands to the ING pension fund to reduce the equity volatility for ING Bank and ING Insurance due to requirements under revised international accounting rules. ING will pay 549 million euros ($746 […]

ING U.S. names Michael Smith to run insurance

{January 14th, 2014} by Alexandria Baca

(Bloomberg) — ING U.S. Inc., the insurer being divested by its Dutch parent, promoted Michael Smith to chief executive officer of the insurance unit as Butch Britton retires. Smith, 50, is currently the New York-based insurer’s chief risk officer. Britton, 65, will be a senior adviser to CEO Rodney Martin and Smith until June 30, […]

ING US Will Begin Transition to Voya Financial in Second Quarter

{January 13th, 2014} by Best's News Service

NEW YORK – ING U.S. Inc. will change its name to Voya Financial Inc. in April, followed by a rebranding period through September as its Dutch parent ING Group N.V. divests certain global businesses. ING U.S., a publicly listed holding company, will change its name to Voya Financial on April 7. ING U.S. Investment Management […]

Apollo insurer’s share sale seen improving prospect for buyouts

{January 13th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer

Athene Holding Ltd., the insurer controlled by Apollo Global Management LLC, is gearing up for more acquisitions by raising $500 million from investors. Athene will probably fund deals by raising equity “in the near-term,” according to a document on the website of an Apollo affiliate. The insurer said yesterday it would raise the funds through […]

Carriers Eye Simpler Products In 2014

{January 13th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Financial advisors can anticipate that life and annuity carriers in 2014 will develop simpler products for consumers, and will develop new products targeting underpenetrated market segments like Generation X, according to a new report from the Deloitte Center for Financial Services. The strategy is designed to grow the size of the total life insurance market […]

Break these 10 bad marketing habits

{January 13th, 2014} by Jean M. Gianfagna

Even the best marketers can find themselves stuck in bad habits — harmful behaviors that limit the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and waste valuable resources. As with any bad habit, the New Year is a good time to break these 10 bad habits: Setting your marketing strategy on “auto-play.” CLICK HERE TO READ…

Live with your kids and work till you die

{January 13th, 2014} by Bill Coffin

A great deal of the life industry’s marketing efforts these days are devoted toward educating consumers on the notion of outliving their retirement savings. The natural solution, of course, is to buy an annuity or some other product that provides income over time, so no matter how old you live to, you can support yourself […]

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The Best Quotes of 2013

{January 13th, 2014} by Insurance Journal

A new year is a chance to look back and review the past. Here’s a view at some of the best quotes found on InsuranceJournal.com in 2013. What was your favorite quote of the year? “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” — President Barack Obama “I think you will see […]

LGBT: The emerging market closest to home

{January 13th, 2014} by Emily Holbrook

The LGBT community is an income force to be reckoned with. They are generally more educated and have a higher income than heterosexual couples, making them perfect candidates for the life insurance and financial advisor industry. The Williams Institute, a think tank at UCLA that focuses on LGBT issues, dissected Census data to arrive at […]

Fidelity & Guaranty: Des Moines area ideal for growth

{January 12th, 2014} by Victor Epstein

Insurer shifts headquarters from Baltimore, opens new office Leland Launer, chief executive officer of the Des Moines area’s newest insurance company, can summarize his decision to move its headquarters from Baltimore in a single sentence: “Right now, there are more actuaries walking around in the Jordan Creek mall than there are in the whole state […]

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company and Its Subsidiaries

{January 10th, 2014} by Best's News Service

OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings of “a-” of American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company (AEILIC) and its subsidiaries, American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company of New York (Lake Success, NY) and Eagle Life Insurance Company. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the […]

2014: A Year of Transformation for L&A Industry

{January 10th, 2014} by Chris McMahon

The outlook for the life and annuity industry is stable and could present an opportunity for more aggressive technology investment by insurers to increase market share and innovation, especially when it comes to servicing consumers, according to ratings agencies and other industry experts. As the U.S. economy has improved, unemployment has receded to 7 percent […]

U.S. life insurers’ credit outlook in 2014: stable

{January 10th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

The credit outlook for U.S. life insurers remains stable, according to a new report. Standard & Poor’s discloses this assessment in a January 2014 report “Industry Economic and Ratings Outlook.” The report’s conclusions assume an improving economy, which could yield a “much-needed boost” to interest rates. Click here to read…

Seven Strategies for Marketing to Women

{January 10th, 2014} by Annette Bau, CFP

Ms. Bau is the founder of millionaireseries.com, a ‘mastermind performance community’ providing training and consulting services for advisors, agents and brokers. Connect with her by e-mail: MillionaireSeries@Gmail.com One of the biggest opportunities, and challenges, for advisors is marketing to women. There are fundamentals to approaching this market and to mastering strategies to achieve success. In […]

Never-examined advisors top SEC’s 2014 exam priorities list

{January 10th, 2014} by Melanie Waddell

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced its examination priorities for 2014, which include advisors who have never been examined, including new private fund advisors; wrap fee programs; quantitative trading models; and payments by advisors and funds to entities that distribute mutual funds. As for broker-dealers, the securities regulator says it will zero in on sales practices […]

Fed briefs Council on enhanced SIFI standards

{January 9th, 2014} by Elizabeth Festa

Acting Deputy Treasury Secretary Mary Miller today convened a meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) in a closed session at the Treasury Department that made no apparent movement toward designating MetLife a systemically important financial institution (SIFI) as it is expected to do at a later date. MetLife has been under Stage 3 review consideration […]

4 compliance tips for leveraging YouTube to grow your business

{January 9th, 2014} by Todd Greider

We’ve all seen the stats that VIDEO is what people want to see. They are so prevalent that at some point you have probably thought about making your own videos to post on YouTube and embed on your website. However, in the financial services industry, there is a “right” and “wrong” way to use YouTube.  […]

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10 more life insurance tax facts you need to know

{January 9th, 2014} by Robert Bloink, William H. Byrnes

April 15 is just a few short months away, which means your clients will be coming to you with questions. Lots of them. Are life insurance proceeds paid after the insured’s death taxable to the beneficiary? Click here to read…

Industry Panel Sees Evolving Relationship Between NAIC, Global Regulatory Movement

{January 9th, 2014} by Best's News Service

OLDWICK, N.J. – A recent array of global regulatory bodies and standards have emerged, profoundly affecting some U.S. insurance organizations, which until recently took most of their direction from state insurance regulators. Once again, the fall national meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, held Dec. 15-18, saw commissioners moving to respond to international […]

Zurich Hires Former AIG Exec as Chief Operations and Technology Officer

{January 9th, 2014} by Marie Suszynski, Best's News Service correspondent

ZURICH – Zurich Insurance Group has made Robert Dickie its chief operations and technology officer and a member of the group executive committee, effective March 2014. Dickie will be responsible for shared services, information technology, procurement and sourcing, and operational transformation initiatives. Most recently, Dickie was chief operations and systems officer and a member of […]

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Forethought Financial Group, Inc. and Forethought Life Insurance Company

{January 9th, 2014} by Best's News Service

OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit rating (ICR) of “a-” of Forethought Life Insurance Company (FLIC) (Indianapolis, IN). In addition, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of “bbb-” and the debt rating of “bbb-” on $150 million 8.625% senior unsecured notes, due 2021 […]

Insurers to favor deals over buybacks after rally

{January 9th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer

U.S. life insurers will use cash for acquisitions rather than share repurchases after buybacks helped drive a rally last year, Deloitte LLP said in its 2014 industry outlook. “Stock buybacks, which were an important part of the capital allocation story for 2013, may not be quite as appealing,” Boris Lukan, a principal at Deloitte, said […]

It’s the question, stupid

{January 8th, 2014} by Brian Hicks

You know I tell stories for a living, but here’s one that I couldn’t make up. It’s the real deal. And it’s my new favorite. While speaking at the 12th Annual DI Day in Minneapolis in the fall, I met fellow speaker Billy McLaughlin. Billy is a virtuoso guitarist who has a condition called Focal […]

5 steps to a stronger social-media presence

{January 8th, 2014} by Caitlin Zucal

Consider January as a starting-off point and opportunity to enhance social-media strategies and strengthen online brands Now that 2014 has officially begun, it’s time to make new resolutions and plan for what the New Year will bring. Thought leaders and businesses that use social media should consider January as a starting-off point and opportunity to […]

Gen Y most receptive to financial advice

{January 8th, 2014} by Michael S. Fischer

Financial advice has a strong influence on the savings and spending habits of a majority of young adults who seek it, according to a recent survey from TIAA-CREF. The survey, conducted between Aug. 28 and Sept. 2 by KRC Research, polled a random sample of 1,000 American adults on their attitudes, preferences and behaviors about […]

Pacific Life Modifies Annuity Offerings, Tax Analyzer Tool

{January 8th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Pacific Life, looking to tweak its annuity offerings to consumers in search of income to fund retirement expenses, has introduced a fixed annuity that features a 6 percent credit for every year the annuitant defers the income. The new annuity, marketed as Pacific Income Advantage, combines the advantages of a traditional deferred fixed annuity with […]

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Competive Intel Rockstar wanted. Is it you?

{January 7th, 2014} by Victoria Peterson

We’ve got the Intel – and the career – you need! 😉 Wink is a group of cool, fun, and intelligent insurance professionals. Our specific mission? (And yours, should you choose to accept it!) To provide the best darned competitive intelligence to the life insurance and annuity industries. Period. SUMMARY: We are looking for a […]

Why producer payouts are on the rise

{January 7th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

Pundits commonly measure the life insurance industry’s financial health and success in terms of product sales, top-line revenue, operating income and other measures that impact the bottom line. Less commonly used yardsticks are the amounts in commission paid to the companies’ agents and brokers.  If guided by this benchmark — albeit one limited to compensation paid […]

Iowa Revokes License Of Two Insurance Producers

{January 7th, 2014} by Targeted News Service

Targeted News Service DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 30 –The Iowa Department of Commerce’s Insurance Division issued the following news release: Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart today announced that he has revoked the licenses of two insurance producers doing business in Iowa, James Roberts of Omaha, Nebraska and Todd Miller of Ankeny. Commissioner Gerhart and his […]

Protective To Adjust Its Sales Strategy In 2014

{January 7th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Protective Life, one of the few life insurers with a consistent track record of successful acquisitions, is honing its life product portfolio to attract more of the mass affluent category of customers. The company is also reconfiguring its technology platform to get more feedback from retail customers. The strategy, Protective Life executives said, is part […]

Delaware Reaches Settlement Agreements in Death Master File Cases Totaling $320,000

{January 7th, 2014} by Thomas Harman

DOVER, Del. – The Delaware Department of Insurance has reached settlement agreements totaling more than $320,000 with three companies concerning payouts of proceeds owed in life insurance policies, annuity contracts and retained asset accounts. The agreements between companies and state regulatory agencies are related to multistate examinations of the 40 largest life insurers regarding timely […]

Genworth Introduces Flexible, Affordable Index Universal Life Insurance

{January 7th, 2014} by PR Newswire Association LLC

RICHMOND, Va., Jan. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Genworth (NYSE: GNW) announced that it has introduced its second index universal life (UL) insurance product, Foundation Builder Index UL.  The new product provides affordable death benefit protection backed by a no-lapse guarantee of up to 30 years, plus the opportunity to build cash value for future financial flexibility. In […]

$1.19 Million In Grants To Public Libraries To Support Financial Education

{January 7th, 2014} by 2014 Targeted News Service

FINRA Investor Education Foundation and the American Library Association Announce$1.19 Million in Grants to Public Libraries to Support Financial Literacy CHICAGO, Jan. 6 — The American Library Association issued the following news release: The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation and the American Library Association (ALA) have announced$1.19 million in grants to 17 […]

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