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Archive for February 2014

Allianz Posts 14.1% Jump in 2013 Net Income

{February 28th, 2014} by Marie Suszynski, Best's News Service correspondent

MUNICH – One of the world’s largest insurers, Allianz SE, reported a 14.1% increase in net income during 2013 as the company said it benefited from efforts to turn around its business in the United States. Net income for Allianz Group rose in 2013 to 6.3 billion euros (US$8.61 billion) from 5.56 billion euros the […]

Allianz Life Reports Strong Financial Results for 2013

{February 28th, 2014} by Business Wire

Growth in operating profit driven by asset base, improved margins, and expense management   Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America   MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–   Minneapolis-based Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) today reported operating profit of $646 million for its 2013 financial year, an increase of 10% from $586 million in […]

Allianz fourth-quarter profit misses estimates

{February 28th, 2014} by Oliver Suess

(Bloomberg) — Allianz SE, Europe’s biggest insurer, posted fourth-quarter earnings that missed analysts’ estimates and said operating profit may decline this year. The shares fell the most in seven months. Net income grew to 1.26 billion euros ($1.72 billion) in the quarter from 1.24 billion euros in the year-earlier period, the Munich-based company said in […]

Athene seeks to fill 225 full-time positions

{February 28th, 2014} by Victor Epstein

 Grant Kvalheim / Athene/Special to the Register   Written by Victor Epstein <!–individual: 9 numChar :2068 –> Athene USA is looking for a whole lot more than just a few good people. The insurer, which is holding a job fair Monday, hopes to fill 225 full-time slots created by the ongoing consolidation of its operations […]

Selling annuities: the missing ingredient

{February 27th, 2014} by Lew Nazon

The vast majority of agents and advisors who are trying to sell annuity products to seniors are really struggling to make sales. Whether they are buying leads, using a lead generation program or running seminars, for every 10 annuity leads they may get, they are setting appointments with only one or two of those leads. […]

Annuities: To surrender or not?

{February 27th, 2014} by William H. Byrnes, Robert Bloink

Whether they realize it or not, clients considering the surrender of an annuity product have many factors to weigh before determining whether walking away is the wisest course of action, and the scenario is becoming more common each day. Clients who are locked into variable annuity products may find themselves evaluating buyout offers from insurance […]

Iowa Insurance Agent Accused Of Faking Policies

{February 27th, 2014} by The Associated Press

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A 46-year-old insurance agent in northeastIowa has been accused of creating fake life insurance policies so she could make more in commissions. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier says (http://bit.ly/MqY0xF )Melissa Williams, ofDike, is charged with one count of mail fraud. She’s scheduled to be arraigned inU.S. District Court inCedar Rapids next […]

Aflac Beefs Up, Axa Launches Life Products

{February 27th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Aflac announced it has raised face amounts for its whole and term life policies, and has included a guaranteed-issue option for term life with a face amount of up to $25,000. The company’s individual whole life and term life insurance plans are offered for up to $500,000 for people under age 50, and for up […]

FINRA Suitability Fines Drop 74 Percent In 2013

{February 27th, 2014} by Linda Koco

The size of fines for suitability violations levied in 2013 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) decreased substantially over the previous year, according to a major Washington law firm. So did the number of suitability cases. The total fines in suitability cases dropped by 74 percent from $19.4 million in 2012 to $5.1 million […]

A Dip But Not A Crash In Life Applications In 2013

{February 27th, 2014} by Linda Koco

Life insurance companies didn’t exactly find themselves straining to keep up with a huge influx of applications for individual coverage in 2013. In fact, application activity for individually underwritten life insurance in the U.S. fell by 3.4 percent compared with 2012, according to the MIB Life Index 2013 Annual Report. Declines occurred in all age […]

Kansas City Life Reports Lower Quarterly And Annual Profits

{February 26th, 2014} by The Kansas City Star

By The Kansas City Star McClatchy-Tribune Information Services Feb. 26–Kansas City Life Insurance Co. on Wednesday reported a$1.5 million decline in fourth-quarter earnings and a smaller profit for the year. The company said it earned$6.4 million in the final three months of 2013. Kansas City Life attributed the smaller profit to increased policyholder benefits, lower […]

LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute: Total Annuity Sales Grow 17 Percent in Fourth Quarter

{February 26th, 2014} by LIMRA

Annuities Experience Largest Quarterly Percentage Increase in 11 Years WINDSOR, Conn., Feb. 24, 2014 — Total annuity sales hit $61.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013 representing an increase of 17 percent — the largest quarterly percentage increase in 11 years, according to LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute (SRI). For full year 2013, annuity sales […]

Slower Foot Traffic Hasn’t Hobbled Banks’ Ability To Attract Advisors

{February 26th, 2014} by Margarida Correia

Banks are still the best place for advisors to build a book of business even as traffic plummets at bank branches, according to analysts and recruiters. “You still have thousands of existing customers that all you have to do is call,” saysRick Rummage, president of theRummage Group, a career consulting firm. Wirehouse advisors, in contrast, […]

Annuity Sales In 2013: Sunny With A Bit Of Haze

{February 26th, 2014} by Linda Koco

Let it not be said that a relatively unknown annuity product cannot make major headway in sales. The object of the lesson here is the deferred income annuity (DIA). In terms of year-over-year sales growth, this product line jumped 113 percent in 2013, according to the year-end annuity sales estimate report just released by LIMRA […]

Iowa Lawmakers Poised to Pass Principles-Based Reserving Bill

{February 26th, 2014} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa lawmakers are poised to ratify principles-based reserving for life insurers, as the Senate passed legislation doing so, and a counsel for the Federation of Iowa Insurers said the House is likely to quickly follow. The bill, SF 2131, passed the Senate 49-0 on Feb. 24. Either that bill or a […]

Indexed annuities sales increased by over $5 billion in 2013

{February 26th, 2014} by Matt Sirinides

2013 fixed annuity sales up 17% over previous year   LIMRA SRI Indexed annuities, a fixed annuity that provides a minimum guaranteed rate of interest combined with an interest rate tied tied to movement of an index, accounted for 46.3% of all fixed annuities sold and 27% of total annuities sold in 2013, according to […]

Tech tools to turbo-charge your practice

{February 26th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

Picture yourself conducting a video conference call with a client on your smart phone using a multimedia instant messaging service. Or imagine building a detailed dossier about a high net worth prospect’s interests and propensity to buy, courtesy of predictive analytics and data aggregation software. These technology tools, among others, are increasingly being adopted by […]

4 product trends to know about in 2014

{February 25th, 2014} by Nichole Morford

Which product or investment areas are you most interested in learning more about or adding to your product offerings? We asked more than 100 independent producers this question late last year as part of our 2014 Advisor Survey, and the answers we received tell a lot about the direction the industry is headed. This year, […]

2nd American Equity attorney appointed to top gov post

{February 25th, 2014} by Victor Epstein

A second member of American Equity Investment Life’s six member legal team has been appointed to a top government post. The insurer’s associate general counsel, Kevin W. Techau, assumed the position of U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa on Friday. Its former general counsel, Nick Gerhart, was named Iowa Insurance Commissioner in June […]

Manhattan Life Launches New Fixed Annuity Product Line

{February 25th, 2014} by Todd Hayden

Houston, TX – February 24, 2014 The Manhattan Life Insurance Company (MLIC) today announced the introduction of a new Multi-Year Guaranteed Fixed annuity product line. The Preferred Choice Series is a single-premium deferred annuity line offering guaranteed periods of three, five, six, and seven years. The Preferred Choice Series five, six, and seven year products […]

LIMRA: Annuities See Largest Quarterly Percentage Increase In 11 Years

{February 25th, 2014} by N/A

WINDSOR, Conn., Feb. 24, 2014 –Total annuity sales hit $61.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013 representing an increase of 17 percent — the largest quarterly percentage increase in 11 years, according to LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute (SRI). For full year 2013, annuity sales were $230.1 billion, a 5 percent increase over 2012. Fourth […]

Allstate Sees First U.S. Sales Force Growth Since 2007; Canada Also Higher

{February 25th, 2014} by Michael Buck

NORTHBROOK, Ill. – Allstate Corp. in 2013 saw a rise in its U.S. exclusive agency sales force, the first time that figure has grown since 2007 because of declines brought on by planned agency consolidations and mergers, the company said in its annual financial filing. The company in 2013 had about 9,600 exclusive agencies in […]

The Phoenix Companies Launches Phoenix Phoenix Personal Retirement ChoiceSM Annuity

{February 25th, 2014} by The Phoenix Companies, Inc

Latest addition to the company’s fixed indexed annuity portfolio is focused on growing retirement funds HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–February 19, 2014– The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (NYSE:PNX) today announced the launch of Phoenix Personal Retirement ChoiceSM, a single premium fixed indexed annuity with an optional Guaranteed Lifetime Income Benefit rider. Designed for individuals approaching or already in […]

What the Facebook-WhatsApp deal means for advisors

{February 25th, 2014} by Janet Levaux

Facebook’s (FB) $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp, a messaging application used by about 450 million users worldwide on their mobile devices, may not make financial sense to all observers. But, the strategic move, announced Wednesday, should be taken very seriously by financial advisors and their broker-dealers, experts say. WhatsApp is taking on messaging titans like […]

National Life Group Reports 2013 Financial Results

{February 25th, 2014} by National Life Group

Company Sets Record for Net Income and Life Insurance Sales Assets Under Management Pass $30 Billion Mark Statutory Surplus Stands At $1.4 Billion Insurance In Force of $75.0 Billion MONTPELIER, VERMONT, February 25, 2014 – National Life Group today released its consolidated financial results for 2013, reporting new records in net income, total assets under […]

IRS issues rollover guidance

{February 24th, 2014} by Dan Berman

The Internal Revenue Service has issued guidance for employers whose 401(k) plans offer Roth accounts for the rules governing rollovers by participants younger than retirement age. The rules for the conversions, which were first allowed last year, were annotated by Towers Watson, which noted that more than half of the 822 employers (in a company […]

A.M. Best Upgrades Issuer Credit Ratings of American Financial Group’s Key Annuity Subsidiaries

{February 24th, 2014} by Business Wire

OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–February 21, 2014– A.M. Best has upgraded the issuer credit ratings (ICR) to “a+” from “a” and affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) of Great American Life Insurance Company (GALIC) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Annuity Investors Life Insurance Company (AILIC), the key annuity subsidiaries of American Financial Group, Inc. […]

Indexed annuities gain popularity while rates remain low

{February 24th, 2014} by Darla Mercado

A former black sheep, indexed annuities are becoming more popular   Bernie Gacona, director of annuities at Wells Fargo 1 commen Indexed annuities, long the black sheep of retirement products, are enjoying a wave of popularity among financial advisers grappling with low interest rates. Indexed annuities are a type of fixed annuity that credits clients’ […]

John Hancock’s Redesigned Accumulation IUL Product Offers Strong Death Benefit Protection, Significant Cash Value Growth Potential

{February 24th, 2014} by PR Newswire Association LLC

Enhanced Product Helps Consumers Protect Their Financial Future  BOSTON, Feb. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — John Hancock Insurance today announced that it has launched a redesigned indexed universal life insurance product—Accumulation IUL. The redesigned product provides strong death benefit protection and significant cash value accumulation potential that can help consumers supplement their retirement income and meet […]

First Female CEO Underwrites New Chapter For Insurance

{February 24th, 2014} by Gilly Wright

UNITED KINGDOM One of the world’s oldest insurance markets, Lloyd’s ofLondon, has appointed the first female CEO in its 325 year history. But as theLondon market confronts one of the most challenging periods in its development, new CEOInga Beale will need to call on all the skills she has developed working for 30 years in […]

25 best insurance movies

{February 24th, 2014} by Daniel Williams

Who knew insurance could be so… cinematic? Well, Hollywood, for starters. In researching this project, I found that 1,634 movies and TV episodes come up in IMDB.com when searching the keyword “insurance.” Click here to view 21-25 Click here to view 16-20 Click here to view 11-15 Click here to view 6-10 Click here to view […]

The latest annuity innovation: Contracts with structured products

{February 23rd, 2014} by Darla Mercado

The latest annuity innovation — contracts that use structured products to buffer clients’ account values against downside losses — is starting to gain interest among financial advisers. Structured-product annuities are the latest concoction to emerge from life insurers’ test kitchens. In most cases, these annuities place a premium on principal protection and steady account value […]

The latest in annuities strategies

{February 23rd, 2014} by InvestmentNews

A new report offers a look into the popularity behind indexed and structured product annuities Two types of products are getting new attention in this low interest rate environment: indexed and structured product annuities. While indexed annuities may provide a new alternative to bonds in this low interest rate environment, structured product annuities are viewed […]

What’s ahead for Fidelity & Guaranty?

{February 22nd, 2014} by Joe Gardyasz

Business Record insurance and finance reporter Joe Gardyasz recently interviewed Lee Launer Jr., CEO of Fidelity & Guaranty Life Holdings Inc., and Phil Gass, the company’s chairman, about the company’s plans as it transitions its corporate headquarters from Baltimore to Des Moines. In December, Fidelity & Guaranty completed an initial public offering of stock, which […]

10 states with the most millionaires

{February 21st, 2014} by Investment News

Only four states had more than 7% millionaires* per capita in 2013, according to Phoenix Marketing International. Check to see if your state made the list. *Millionaire households = $1 million or more in investible assets.   Image by iStock.

AXA Profit Rises 10% in 2013 on Life, Property and Casualty

{February 21st, 2014} by Fabio Benedetti-Valentini

AXA SA, Europe’s second-largest insurer, posted a 10 percent increase in 2013 profit on higher earnings at its life and savings and property and casualty divisions. Net income rose to €4.48 billion ($6.15 billion) from €4.06 billion [$5.568 billion] a year earlier, the Paris-based insurer said today. Earnings missed the €4.74 billion [$6.5 billion] average […]

Aegon CEO Upbeat Despite Fourth-Quarter, Full-Year 2013 Declines in Net Income

{February 21st, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

The HAGUE, Netherlands – Aegon N.V.’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2013 net income declined sharply but its chief executive officer says “solid results this quarter completed a good year for Aegon and provide clear evidence that we are delivering on our objective of growing our business profitability.” Aegon N.V.’s fourth-quarter net income declined 60% to 174 […]

IRA assets to hit $9T by 2018

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

The individual retirement account market will account for more than one-third of retirement market assets by year-end 2018, according to new research. Cerulli Associates discloses this finding in “Retirement Markets 2013: Data & Dynamics of Employer-Sponsored Plans.” This 11th edition of the annual report examines the size and segmentation of public and private U.S. retirement […]

A.M. Best Upgrades Issuer Credit Ratings of American International Group, Inc.’s Domestic Life/Health Subsidiaries

{February 21st, 2014} by Best's News Service

Oldwick – A.M. Best has upgraded the issuer credit ratings (ICR) to “a+” from “a” and affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) of American International Group, Inc.‘s (AIG) (New York, NY) [NYSE: AIG] four domestic life/health companies. The outlook for the ICRs has been revised to stable from positive, while the outlook […]

Military Families Who Work With Advisors Put Aside More Funds Than Those Who Don’t

{February 21st, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

A new survey by First Command Financial Services finds that members of the nation’s armed services who work with a financial advisor put away as much as $2,000 more per month than those who don’t, a trend that is expected to continue over the next several months. Military families put away as much as $4,018 […]

Allianz Life Promotes Renee West to Senior Vice President of Actuarial

{February 21st, 2014} by Business Wire

Recognition reflects innovative, industry-leading product development efforts MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) promoted Renee West to senior vice president of the Actuarial division. West is responsible for building competitive new products while ensuring the company’s profitability targets are met and risks are understood. Her promotion reflects the significant results she […]

He needed a script: Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman left a legal mess behind

{February 20th, 2014} by Darla Mercado

In leaving estate outright to his partner, star stuck her with a multimillion-dollar tax bill Philip Seymour Hoffman pictured in January 2006 with his Golden Globe Award for his performance in “Capote.” Bloomberg News   Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman may have left his partner and mother of his three children with a multimillion-dollar tax bill. […]

Prudential Retirement shares insights on how Americans can increase retirement savings during ‘America Saves Week’

{February 20th, 2014} by Business Wire

NEWARK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–February 20, 2014– Prudential Retirement joins the annual America Saves Week campaign to encourage more Americans to make a commitment to increase savings over their lifetime with the goal of accumulating sufficient income in retirement. Prudential Retirement is a business unit of Prudential Financial Inc. (NYSE:PRU). Established in 2007, America Saves Week is […]

Top 10 Financial Tips For Couples

{February 20th, 2014} by Proquest LLC

MetLife announced it has released a top 10 list of financial tips designed to assist couples in achieving their financial goals. According to a release, given the significant role that financial matters play in couples’ lives-with the average couple discussing money 20 times a year-the tips provide a blueprint that will help couples avoid common […]

LIFE Foundation Marks 20th Year With New Look

{February 20th, 2014} by Jamie Johnson

ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Marking its 20th anniversary year, the LIFE Foundation today unveiled a revamped brand and website to speak more directly to the millions of Americans who are inadequately insured, through a message they can intuitively understand. The effort includes a new, completely redesigned website, as well as a refreshed […]

Electronic Signatures Assume Wider Usage With John Hancock Announcement

{February 20th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

John Hancock announced it has signed off on electronic signatures for life insurance customers, as another major life insurer moves to meet the demand of advisors and customers to automate core products and services. Forms that customers and brokers can complete online using electronic signatures include name and address changes, dividend withdrawals, beneficiary changes, payment […]

5 ways the silver tsunami is impacting advisors

{February 20th, 2014} by Noah Guillaume

What happens when a baby boomer grows up? They turn into seniors. It’s an inevitable part of aging for any demographic, but boomers are unique in that there are so many of them. Click here to read…

Greenberg’s Post-AIG Empire Looking Like Mini-Berkshire

{February 20th, 2014} by Greg Roumeliotis

Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, chairman, president & CEO, American International Group, Inc. (AIG), is seen during an interview in his office in New York, Wednesday, September 22, 2004. Photographer: Diane Bondareff/ Bloomberg News. Since his ouster from American International Group Inc. in 2005, Maurice “Hank” Greenberg has been quietly building an insurance and investment conglomerate that […]

Pair Of Senate Bills Target Employer-Based Retirement Savings

{February 20th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

A pair of competing bills designed to boost retirement savings for workers at small businesses have been introduced in the Senate as Democrat and Republican lawmakers scramble to show they are doing all they can to help workers plan for the future. The two bills, introduced by lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle, […]

A New Role For Indexed Annuities: Inside 401(k)s

{February 20th, 2014} by Linda Koco

Could an indexed annuity with a guaranteed lifetime income rider become a viable retirement income option inside a 401(k) plan? And can independent agents interest employers in offering these products to employees? Independent brokerage general agent Jim Pedigo has been researching questions like this for two years and his conclusion is yes. In fact, he […]

AIG launches AG Asset Protector

{February 20th, 2014} by Noah Guillaume

American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG) launched AG Asset Protector, a suite of riders for a life product that provides financial security to customers. AG Asset Protector consists of two riders that allow policy holders to access their death benefit while they are still living: the Accelerated Access Solution in the event of a chronic […]

Yet again, insurance company cuts ties to independent broker-dealer

{February 19th, 2014} by Mary Beth Franklin and Bruce Kelly

Yet another insurance company has decided to ditch the independent-contractor broker-dealer business, citing as a factor pressures from regulators when a firm sells proprietary products. Steven Palmitier, chief executive of Sammons Securities Co., on Monday told the firm’s registered representatives and financial advisers that vice chairman and minority owner Jerome Rydell is buying the controlling […]

Permanent Life Insurance Experiences A Rebirth

{February 19th, 2014} by David B. Shannon and David E. Appel

Many times, we are asked by prospects and other advisors, “Why do people have permanent life insurance policies?” That answer can vary, depending on the individual’s circumstances, the nature of the planning and the goals of all parties involved. There are many ways to use the powerful features of permanent life insurance, in the traditional […]

Anderson Launches Campaign for Kansas Insurance Commissioner Post

{February 19th, 2014} by Associated Press

A Kansas City-area businessman has launched his campaign for Kansas insurance commissioner, with the state’s previous first lady serving as honorary chairwoman. Dennis Anderson of Overland Park is the first announced Democratic candidate in this year’s race to replace three-term Republican incumbent Sandy Praeger, who’s not running for another four years in office. Anderson formed […]

Unique Retirement Planning Challenges Facing Hispanic Americans

{February 19th, 2014} by Jamie Hopkins

While many Americans have some difficulty planning and preparing for retirement, unique challenges face certain demographic groups. One such group is Hispanic Americans. A new study released by Prudential Financial PRU +1.63%, entitled “The Hispanic American Financial Experience,” sheds new light on the distinctive challenges facing Hispanic Americans as they plan for retirement. With an […]

Life Insurance And Prenuptial Agreements

{February 19th, 2014} by Alan Lavine

High-net-worth clients getting married might consider a life insurance policy along with their prenuptial agreements. No, this isn’t the set up for a 1950s’ film noir. Death benefit proceeds can provide future money to a spouse who gets alimony due to a divorce, saysBenjamin C. Sullivan, a financial planner withPalisades Hudson Financial Group inScarsdale, N.Y. […]

Insurance Executives Hitting The Jackpot

{February 19th, 2014} by Carrie Burns

Insurance industry executives are in store to receive what could be their largest annual bonuses since the economic crisis, according to recent survey. As most insurance companies turned in a good year in 2013, executives may receive their largest annual bonuses since the economic crisis, according to a survey fromTowers Watson. Results of the survey […]

What Can Insurers Learn From The Olympics?

{February 18th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, holds a lesson about the importance of insurance advisors embracing the consumer. Years ago, traditional skiers looked down on snowboarders. Snowboarders – surfers they were called – were disheveled, undisciplined, not technically proficient. They were young, untrained in proper skiing etiquette. Still, they battled their way onto the […]

The Socialympics: 2014 Social Media Statistics for Financial Advisors

{February 18th, 2014} by Katie Malone, Digital Marketing Director at Financial Social Media [@fsmkatie]

Here at Financial Social Media, we get pretty excited about the Olympics, so Sochi 2014 is no different! Because it is that time of year and because new social usage studies are always being published, we thought it would be appropriate to make an Olympic-inspired infographic with all the latest social media statistics!   Help […]

IAs: Reaching New Heights Of Potential?

{February 18th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

You can’t fault insurance carries for wanting to promote their products by using a little branding hyperbole. Words like “secure,” “income” and “protection” figure prominently in the marketing materials of life and annuity companies. After all, that’s what life and retirement insurers are there for: to protect families from longevity risk and unexpected calamities. Now, […]

Expanded Advisor Network, Sales Training Seen As Key To CNO Growth

{February 18th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

CNO Financial Group, the parent company for three middle-market insurance companies and an investment advisor group, said its plans for 2014 include growing the financial advisor program, advance life sales training, branch office expansion and sales force automation. Formerly known as Conseco, CNO Financial owns Bankers Life and Casualty, Colonial Penn Life Insurance and Washington […]

Guggenheim Racketeering Suit Dropped One Day After Filing

{February 18th, 2014} by Andrew Harris

A lawsuit in which Guggenheim Partners LLC and three life insurance companies it controls were accused of deceiving annuity buyers and engaging in racketeering was dropped without explanation the day after it was filed. The 105-page complaint was filed in federal court in Chicago on Feb. 11 by Clarice Whitmore and Helga Maria Schulzki. They […]

American Equity’s Fourth-Quarter Profit Rises Despite Being Under-Hedged

{February 18th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – American Equity Investment Life Holding Co.’s fourth-quarter net income rose but an under-hedged outcome in the final quarter of 2013 was partly magnified by strong equity market returns, according to the company’s chief executive officer. The Iowa-based American Equity is a top underwriter and seller of indexed and fixed annuities […]

Manulife Financial CEO Touts ‘Fantastic Turnaround’ of US Operations

{February 18th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

TORONTO – As Canada’s Manulife Financial Corp.’s full-year 2013 profit increased on growth in its asset-management businesses, “exceptional” investment-related gains and one-time items, its chief executive officer touted “a fantastic turnaround” at Manulife’s U.S. operations. Full-year net income attributed to shareholders increased 72% to C$3.1 billion (US$2.8 billion). Results included C$246 million in lower charges […]

Conning forecasts gains for U.S. insurers in 2014

{February 18th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

Expect financial results ranging from “stable” to “gradual improvement” for the U.S. insurance industry in 2014. So forecasts industry research firm Conning in a new report, “U.S. and Global Insurance Industry Outlook: Improving Performance Amid Economic and Regulatory Challenges.” The report explores influences on insurers — including U.S. property & casualty insurers, U.S. life insurance […]

Securian Breaks Individual Life Insurance Sales Record

{February 18th, 2014} by N/A

St. Paul, MN, February 11, 2014 – Bucking an industry-wide trend of flat growth, Securian Financial Group broke its own record for individual life insurance sales. Securian’s total individual life sales for 2013 were $214 million, far exceeding the goal for the year and standing out against weak sales across the industry. The latest information […]

2 Carriers Announce Indexed Annuity Expansion

{February 18th, 2014} by Linda Koco

Indexed annuities have started the year with signs that the vigorous product expansion seen last year may continue into this year. Take two recent rollouts as an example: Nationwide partnered up with indexed annuity designer and marketer Annexus on the launch of a new indexed annuity; and Security Benefit added a Morgan Stanley dynamic allocation […]

Benmosche: AIG to focus on balance sheet

{February 18th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

American International Group president and CEO Robert Benmosche said he will focus on improving the company’s balance sheet and rewarding shareholders after the company reported strong earnings, raised its dividend, and increased stock buybacks. A contributing analyst to Seeking Alpha said that AIG’s life and retirement “delivered fantastic results.” The analyst said that AIG has […]

Four Tips To Working With Gen Xers

{February 18th, 2014} by Ted Jenkin

Generation X is classically defined at people born between the years 1965 and 1979. Pretty much those clients in their early 30’s to their late 40’s. When the first Gen X’er turns the age of 50, I promise you that many of the large big box financial services firms will begin to adjust their marketing […]

Proposal Could Limit Access To Death File

{February 18th, 2014} by Linda Koco

New proposed rules for a Death Master File (DMF) “certification program” are in the works. The federal rules will spell out who can be certified to access the Social Security Administration’s massive database of the deceased. People in the life insurance, annuities, benefits and other businesses that use the DMF to verify deaths will be […]

New York Life Agents Achieve a Record Year in Sales in 2013

{February 18th, 2014} by N/A

Agents Lead the Company’s Strong Sales Growth of Life, Annuities and Mutual Funds Through the Fourth Quarter of 2013 NEW YORK — New York Life, America’s largest mutual life insurer, today announced very strong fourth quarter gains in sales of life insurance, annuities and mutual funds. The company said sales of recurring premium life insurance […]

2 more surprising uses for life insurance

{February 18th, 2014} by Adam Cufr

The age-old debate about which is better, term or whole life insurance, deserves to be retired. As financial advisors, our job is to upend myths that can prevent families from reaching true financial security. As I have said before, financial products are amoral, neither good nor bad. Click here to read…

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Protective Life Corporation and Its Subsidiaries

{February 18th, 2014} by Best's News Service

Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of the primary life/health subsidiaries of Protective Life Corporation (Protective) (headquartered in Birmingham, AL) [NYSE: PL], led by Protective Life Insurance Company (Brentwood, TN). Additionally, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of “a-” and […]

Why social media is too important to ignore

{February 18th, 2014} by Emily Holbrook

Of all the challenges faced by the insurance industry, the toughest is the one that is transforming consumer behavior and business models on a daily basis — digital technology. More and more, people are turning to technology or, more specifically, social media, for referrals for everything from a local doctor to a car mechanic to, […]

Transamerica Life Insurance Will Lay Off 70 In Fla.

{February 18th, 2014} by Jeff Harrington, Tampa Bay Times, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Feb. 13–Transamerica Life Insurance Co. is cutting 70 jobs inSt. Petersburg, the national insurance provider disclosed in a layoff notice filed with the state this week. Transamerica said the cuts at its office at570 Carillon Parkway would be spreadbetween July 1 and Jan. 1, 2015. A company spokesman could not be reached early Thursday for […]

Goldman-backed Rothesay Life to acquire MetLife unit

{February 18th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

(Bloomberg) — Rothesay Life Ltd., the insurer run by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Managing Director Addy Loudiadis, agreed to buy a U.K. annuity business with about 3 billion pounds ($5 billion) of assets under management from MetLife Inc. The deal for MetLife Assurance covers benefits to more than 20,000 individuals in the U.K. and Ireland, […]

Reflections on the glass ceiling: Why haven’t we broken through?

{February 16th, 2014} by Barbara J. Krumsiek

The term “glass ceiling” came into our lexicon 30 years ago. It is no surprise to me that this metaphor, which became synonymous with forces blocking women’s rise to the top ranks of organizations, was coined by a woman. She was a seasoned magazine editor who had a way with words and a message to […]

Prudential: International Chief to Retire; Three Senior Managers Are Promoted

{February 14th, 2014} by Marie Suszynski

NEWARK, N.J. – Prudential Financial Inc. said its international division chief will retire in April as the company makes several shifts in its senior management to align its management talent to its corporate strategies. Ed Baird, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Prudential’s international division, will retire on April 4. Charles F. Lowrey, […]

American Equity Reports Fourth Quarter 2013 Results

{February 13th, 2014} by BusinessWire

 WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, Feb 12, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) –American Equity Investment Life Holding Company , a leading underwriter of index and fixed rate annuities, today reported fourth quarter 2013 net income of $51.0 million, or $0.64 per diluted common share, compared to fourth quarter 2012 net income of $36.4 million, or $0.55 per diluted […]

Fixed Indexed Annuities Ease Retirement Worries

{February 13th, 2014} by Tina Beaty

DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In a time when many people are working past 65, a traditional retirement age, they are searching for retirement savings options that provide balance, growth, and reward. They are finding it with fixed indexed annuities (FIAs). The FIA is a popular retirement tool that can help supplement social security benefits, pensions, 401(k)s, […]

The 6 biggest challenges for advisers using social media

{February 12th, 2014} by InvestmentNews’ 2014 Social Media Survey

According to the findings from InvestmentNews’ latest survey of advisers on their social media usage habits, 53.1% of respondents say they use social media for both personal and professional reasons. While a majority of advisers are now utilizing social media, challenges remain. The survey respondents identified the biggest challenges that still hinder their social media […]

NG U.S. Announces 4Q And Full Year 2013 Results

{February 12th, 2014} by PR Newswire Association LLC

NEW YORK,Feb. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –ING U.S., Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), which will rebrand as Voya Financial, Inc. in 2014, today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2013: Fourth quarter 2013 after-tax operating earnings1,2 of $198 million, or $0.75 per diluted share, compared with $136 million, or $0.59 per share in 4Q’12 […]

Insurance Broker Charged With Scamming Calif. Nonprofit

{February 12th, 2014} by Gary Klien, The Marin Independent Journal, Novato, Calif.

Feb. 11–An insurance salesman was arrested on allegations he stole $30,000 from a San Rafael nonprofit by fraudulently claiming an extra broker’s fee. Russell Joseph Sage, 39, of Sacramento is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Marin Superior Court, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Barry Borden. Sage is charged with felony theft by false pretenses. […]

Wisconsin Orders $584,995 In Restitution From Agent

{February 12th, 2014} by Targeted News Service

MADISON, Wis.,Feb. 11 –The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance issued the following news release: After an extensive investigation by OCI,Wisconsin insurance agentSarah E. Laux has been accused of misappropriating funds, making misrepresentations about insurance policies, and offering consumers benefits not included in the insurance policy as an inducement to sale. The restitution and […]

Sales underperformance not exclusive to insurers

{February 12th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

Top managers and executives at life insurers who voice concern that not enough of their field agents are meeting sales quotas might take consolation in the fact that counterparts in the high-tech sector are facing a similar challenge. Companies polled in a new survey reveal that, on average, only 60 percent of their salespeople achieved […]

How the up-and-coming wealthy choose advisors

{February 12th, 2014} by Michael S. Fischer

A new survey of individuals on the fast track to wealth has found that 74 percent of respondents chose a new wealth manager on the basis of the firm’s reputation for quality of products and services, and 64 percent looked to the costs associated with those products and services. Advisors wanting to attract these affluent […]

Guggenheim Partners Accused of Racketeering in Annuity Lawsuit

{February 12th, 2014} by Michael Hytha

See 2/13/1014 update here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-13/guggenheim-partners-rico-suit-dropped-one-day-after-filing.html 2/12/2014 Guggenheim Partners LLC and three insurance companies it controls were accused in a fraud and racketeering lawsuit by annuity buyers of concealing the true state of the carriers’ finances. Lawyers for plaintiffs Clarice Whitmore and Helga Maria Schulzki claimed the asset manager raided the insurers’ cash reserves after taking […]

Retirement assets to rise to $57 trillion by 2020

{February 12th, 2014} by Dan Berman

Global retirement assets will hit nearly $57 trillion by 2020, with slightly more than half of that total in North America, according to a forecast from PricewaterhouseCoopers. Most of the growth will be in defined contribution plans, although the report said traditional pension plans will remain viable until mid-century. Total worldwide assets under management will […]

The brave new world of life insurance distribution

{February 11th, 2014} by Dan Mulé

Life insurance is constantly evolving. We’ve gone from focusing on one wage earner as the primary breadwinner to focusing on two wage earners and trying to find the best way to help our customers supplement lost income. Today, we are finding new ways to help our clients be financially secure throughout their retirement. As the […]

Would George and Honest Abe make it in today’s business world?

{February 11th, 2014} by Joseph Calloway, JoAnn Calloway

Reprint from February 2013, in light of the upcoming Presidents’ Day holiday. Presidents’ Day, which falls between the birthdays of two of our nation’s most revered leaders — George Washington and Abraham Lincoln — is today. And as every school-aged kid knows, both men are remembered for their honesty. (Okay, little George and the cherry […]

Nationwide Financial, Annexus Partnership Offers Advisors New Fixed Indexed Annuity

{February 11th, 2014} by Annexus

New Heights FIA provides principal protection, enhances earning potential with choice of riders COLUMBUS, Ohio — Nationwide Financial and Annexus announced today a new partnership and the launch of Nationwide New HeightsSM, a fixed indexed annuity product built to capitalize on what both companies see as a market poised for robust growth. In today’s low […]

Top 10 IRA rollover destinations

{February 11th, 2014} by Danielle Andrus

Investors are expected to rollover about $280 billion into IRAs this year, with almost 10 percent of affluent investors moving assets, according to Market Strategies International. Almost a quarter of investors have at least one retirement account with a former employer. Those accounts hold about a quarter of those investors’ assets, too. Click here to […]

Personnel changes happening at OneAmerica

{February 11th, 2014} by Noah Guillaume

OneAmerica chairman of the board and CEO Dayton H. Molendorp announced his plan to retire as CEO on March 31, 2014. He will remain chairman of the board of OneAmerica and its parent company American United Mutual Insurance Holding Company (AUMIHC). The AUMIHC board named OneAmerica’s current president, J. Scott Davison, CLU, ChFC, as OneAmerica’s […]

How you present yourself matters

{February 11th, 2014} by Michael Goldberg

After Hurricane Sandy hit in October of 2012, I was able to volunteer on the Jersey Shore, helping people that lost their homes (or had serious damage) clean up the mess that was left behind. I worked with a team of 10 friends as we helped one home owner remove cabinets, counters, floor boards, and […]

IRAs Comprise Nearly Half Of An Advisor’s Book Of Business

{February 11th, 2014} by N/A

February 2014, Boston. New research from global analytics firm Cerulli Associates finds that on average, nearly half of an financial advisor’s book of business is comprised of retail individual retirement accounts (IRAs, SEP). “Financial advisors play a key role in asset managers’ abilities to win flows from rollovers,” states Bing Waldert, director at Cerulli. “However, […]

Big Moves In Senior Management At ING U.S.

{February 11th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

For ING U.S, it’s a new year and a new brand. Now, a bevy of new faces and young managers step into senior positions to guide the company as a stand-alone insurance carrier freed of its Dutch parent in the wake of last year’s initial public offering. ING U.S. Chief Risk Officer Michael Smith was […]

Prudential employees get $57M as CEO beats target

{February 11th, 2014} by Zackary Tracer

(Bloomberg) — Prudential Financial Inc. is spending about $57 million to reward workers after topping Chief Executive Officer John Strangfeld’s profitability goal last. Prudential, the No. 2 U.S. life insurer, is distributing a one-time bonus of $1,300 to about 44,000 employees who don’t usually get such payouts, said Bob DeFillippo, a company spokesman. The cost […]

Apollo: Aviva USA deal boosted fee income in 2013

{February 11th, 2014} by Victor Epstein

Apollo Global Management, the New York City-based private equity firm, reported Friday that its acquisition of Aviva USA helped it increase its revenue from management, advisory and transaction fees by more than $100 million in 2013. Its management fee revenue rose by  $107.6 million, or 17 percent, and it recorded an additional $46.6 million in […]

Fed role in insurance oversight a given

{February 11th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

A top official of the American Council of Life Insurers made clear to the House Financial Services Committee last week that life insurers acknowledge that federal regulators will be playing an increasing role in their lives, and that it is best for all concerned that everyone work together in order to get the job done […]

FINRA reconsiders BrokerCheck Web link plan

{February 10th, 2014} by Melanie Waddell

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority plans to reconsider at its board meeting Thursday a revised proposal to require firms to provide a link to BrokerCheck on their websites and specified online retail communications with the public. FINRA decided last April to pull the plug on the rule after it drew criticism from industry officials. A […]

92% Of Insurer CEOs Say 2014 Revenue Will Increase

{February 10th, 2014} by Chris McMahon

Insurance CEOs are overwhelmingly optimistic about growth and hiring, but more than half are concerned about their ability to manage technological change and new market entrants, according to survey. Insurance revenues will increase over the next three years, according to 92 percent of insurers’ CEOs surveyed by PwC in its 17th annual “CEO Survey,” and […]

If today was your last day…

{February 10th, 2014} by Paul Mallett

If you are a licensed life insurance professional, you understand how uncomfortable some folks can get when you bring up the topic of death. At the risk of triggering a similar reaction from you, I ask: Would you do anything differently if you knew today was going to be your last day? After you got […]

Genworth Financial CFO: 2013 First Profitable Year for US Mortgage Insurance Since 2007

{February 10th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

RICHMOND, Va. – As Genworth Financial Inc.’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2013 profits rose in part on the company’s improved mortgage insurance business in the United States, its chief financial officer said the actions Genworth has taken on its long-term care insurance business are starting to have “a meaningful impact” on financial results. Net income in […]

After Posting Net Loss for 2013, Prudential CEO Says Goal Is ROE of 13% to 14% ‘Over Full Cycle’

{February 10th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak, senior associate editor, BestWeek: fran.lysiak@ambest.com

NEWARK, NJ – As Prudential Financial Inc. recorded fourth-quarter and full-year 2013 net losses, its chief executive officer said the company is looking ahead and that Prudential’s results reflected strong organic growth coupled with pricing discipline and effective expense and risk management. Fourth-quarter net loss widened sharply to $427 million, compared with a net loss […]

ING Completes Unwinding of Illiquid Assets Back-Up Facility

{February 10th, 2014} by Marie Suszynski

AMSTERDAM – ING said it and the Dutch state have completed the unwinding of the Illiquid Assets Back-Up Facility, which was meant to lower risk and uncertainty for its U.S. Alt-A mortgage securities portfolio. The facility was established in 2009 during the “depth of the financial crisis,” ING said in a statement. ING and the […]

Allstate CEO Touts Huge Response to Esurance Super Bowl Ad Response

{February 10th, 2014} by Marie Suszynski, Best's News Service correspondent

NORTHBROOK, Ill. – A profitable 2013 for Allstate Corp., with its direct-to-consumer unit Esurance showing significant premium and policy growth, was topped off with a successful Super Bowl television ad and contest that lit up Twitter. The ad aired following the Super Bowl and featured actor John Krasinski sitting in front of a pallet of […]

A.M. Best Special Report: U.S. Life/Annuity Sector Holds Gains As Economy Continues to Strengthen

{February 10th, 2014} by A.M. Best

Oldwick – The U.S. life and annuity sector has maintained strong risk-adjusted capital, generated steady GAAP and statutory operating earnings, improved balance sheet fundamentals and enhanced risk-focused decision making by company management, according to a special report by A.M. Best. Co. A.M. Best notes that the benign credit environment, combined with significant de-risking of life […]

NAIC Panel Considers Principles-based Reserving Pilot Program

{February 10th, 2014} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

WASHINGTON – A National Association of Insurance Commissioners task force is considering creating a pilot program to help states and regulators manage implementation of principles-based reserving for certain life insurers. The idea to consider a pilot was presented to the Principles-based Reserving Task Force by Andrew Rarus, a member of the principles-based reserving company outreach […]

Financial execs voice compliance concerns

{February 10th, 2014} by Carla Main

(Bloomberg) — Financial industry executives are almost as concerned about the growing demands of regulatory compliance as they are with market volatility, according to today’s survey of 400 financial companies by SunGard Financial Systems LLC and Longitude Research. Preoccupation with existing and anticipated regulatory reforms dwarfs concerns such as weak growth outlook, shareholder pressure, liquidity […]

Hartford offers to buy back old fixed annuities; about 90,000 contracts affected

{February 10th, 2014} by Darla Mercado

The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. will offer a buyback of its old fixed annuities. The insurer has been working toward shrinking the size of its legacy annuity block since March 2012, back when it announced that it would exit the business. In the fall of that year, The Hartford announced it would offer a […]

Allianz Life Receives Top Honors from DALBAR for Sales and Service

{February 10th, 2014} by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

Twin Cities-based financial services company provides ‘far superior’ support February 07, 2014 09:15 AM Eastern Standard Time MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) announced that for the third consecutive year it earned DALBAR’s Award for Excellence in Sales Support and the Financial Intermediary Service Award. The DALBAR awards recognize companies that achieve […]

Life insurance is the 2014 business succession tool

{February 10th, 2014} by Steve Parrish

Privately owned businesses are increasingly turning to life insurance as the financing tool of choice for exit plans. Here’s why. A classic definition of a market: there is a need and the ability to pay. The simple fact is that the business arena represents one of the best markets for life insurance in the current […]

Survey Reveals Gap In Attitudes Toward Retirement Income Options

{February 10th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Americans say they want their retirement plans to generate guaranteed monthly income, but many plan participants either do not have a lifetime income option or are unsure of whether their plans even offer one, a recent study finds. The latest findings help shift the retirement debate, already underway, from accumulating assets to one of providing […]

Fidelity & Guaranty Life Reports First Quarter Results

{February 10th, 2014} by Fidelity & Guaranty Life

DES MOINES, Iowa, Feb. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Fidelity & Guaranty Life (“FGL”) (NYSE: FGL), a leading provider of fixed annuity and fixed universal life products, today announced its results for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 ended on December 31, 2013(1). Lee Launer, FGL Chief Executive Officer, said, “The results reflect a strong quarter […]

Apollo: Aviva deal boosted fee income $46.6M

{February 8th, 2014} by Victor Epstein

Private equity firm acquired W.D.M. insurer Aviva USA Oct. 2  Athene USA’s headquarters in West Des Moines.  /  Special to the Register Apollo Global Management, the New York City-based private equity firm, reported Friday that it generated an additional $46.6 million in fees in 2013, primarily due to monitoring fees related to buying Aviva USA […]

FBL operating earnings rise 4.5 percent in fourth quarter

{February 7th, 2014} by Victor Epstein

 James Brannen  /  Special to the Register Operating earnings at FBL Financial Group, which does business under the Farm Bureau Financial Services brand, rose 4.5 percent to $25.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared with a year ago. That worked out to operating earnings of $1 a share in October, November and December […]

11 more annuity tax facts you need to know

{February 7th, 2014} by Robert Bloink, William H. Byrnes

An annuity is a complicated beast — and during tax season, your clients’ questions can pile up faster than hospitality complaints from the journalists at Sochi. How are payments under a variable immediate annuity taxed? When is the exchange of one annuity contract for another a nontaxable exchange? Click here to read…

67% Of Consumers Willing To Buy Insurance From Banks Or Online Retailers

{February 7th, 2014} by Chris McMahon

A vast majority of insurance customers, 67 percent, are open to the idea of purchasing insurance products from companies other than insurers, according to a multinational survey byAccenture, a management consulting company. And 23 percent would consider buying from online service providers, such as Google and Amazon. “Competition in the insurance industry could quickly intensify […]

Lessons advisers can learn from Olympians

{February 7th, 2014} by Jennifer Geoghegan

You don’t have to be an elite athlete to have the right stuff I’m an avid sports fan, and I enjoy playing sports myself and watching live events.  But the Olympics are different and I find myself recording and watching events that I know nothing about and thoroughly enjoying each and every athlete’s story along […]

Jobs Report: US Insurance Industry Loses 300 Jobs in January

{February 7th, 2014} by Jeff Jeffrey, Washington Bureau manager: jeff.jeffrey@ambest.com

WASHINGTON – The U.S. insurance industry lost 300 jobs in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Feb. 7. The seasonally adjusted 0.01% decrease marked an apparent stall in the growth the industry has seen over the past year. The employment figures released by BLS show industry employment, which sits at roughly 2.4 million, […]

Aren’t Millennials afraid of the market?

{February 6th, 2014} by Mary Beth Storjohann

No, but they have other things to spend money on – check back in 5 years Mary Beth Storjohann Yes, I work with Gen Y. And no, they don’t come to me risk-averse and afraid of the stock market. Lately, it seems that every few weeks a report comes out addressing how conservative Millennials and […]

Fidelity & Guaranty Life Reports First Quarter Fiscal 2014 Results

{February 6th, 2014} by PRNewswire

Company Reports Net Income of $42.7 Million Reflecting Strong Quarterly Performance Achieves Key Business Milestones, Including Achieving Sales Goals, Redomestication, & IPO DES MOINES, Iowa, Feb. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Fidelity & Guaranty Life (“FGL”) (NYSE: FGL), a leading provider of fixed annuity and fixed universal life products, today announced its results for the first […]

Industry Representatives to FIO: Move Cautiously Before Moving to Change Regulatory System

{February 6th, 2014} by Jeff Jeffrey, Washington Bureau manager: jeff.jeffrey@ambest.com

WASHINGTON – Insurance industry representatives told House lawmakers Feb. 4 that the Federal Insurance Office should help to fix inefficiencies in the regulation of the marketplace. But many of those who testified before the House Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance said the FIO should not move to establish “one-size-fits-all” regulations that could hamper competition both […]

Finra board set to reconsider BrokerCheck website link

{February 6th, 2014} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Rule would allow customers easier access to their brokers’ profiles in the database Finra next week plans to revive a proposal that would require brokers to include a link on their website and other online communications leading investors to their profile on BrokerCheck, a database which contains information about their disciplinary history. The board is […]

This Annuity Is No Alternative For A MyRA

{February 6th, 2014} by Linda Koco

Move over, MyRAs. Small deposit fixed annuities are here. Well, let’s rethink that. President Obama’s initiative to create small-deposit workplace retirement savings plans (MyRAs) with a savings bond has annuity professionals buzzing about how small deposit annuities could serve the same purpose but without creating another government program. That purpose, according to the Administration, is […]

SEC To Probe Rollover IRA Sales Practices

{February 6th, 2014} by Linda Koco

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is putting rollover individual retirement account (IRA) recommendations and sales practices on its radar screen, with special focus on potential conflicts of interest. This is one of the priorities that the SEC has set for its National Examination Program for 2014, said Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar in a speech […]

This Annuity Is No Alternative For A MyRA

{February 6th, 2014} by Linda Koco

Move over, MyRAs. Small deposit fixed annuities are here. Well, let’s rethink that. President Obama’s initiative to create small-deposit workplace retirement savings plans (MyRAs) with a savings bond has annuity professionals buzzing about how small deposit annuities could serve the same purpose but without creating another government program. That purpose, according to the Administration, is […]

Millennial Women Show Strong Interest in Personal Finance, but Lack Confidence to Take Action, According to Allianz Life Study

{February 6th, 2014} by Allianz Life

2013 Women, Money & Power Study Finds Younger Women Both Engaged and Confused   Business Wire   MINNEAPOLIS — November 20, 2013   Although millennial women are eager to learn about personal finance and take responsibility for their financial future, they also show a surprising lack of confidence in taking financial planning action, according to […]

Symetra To Expand Distribution For Annuities, UL In 2014

{February 6th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Tom Marra, president and chief executive officer of Symetra Financial, said the company would push even harder to sell fixed, indexed and single-premium annuities through banks and broker/dealers in 2014 to take advantage of rising interest rates. “Our products are being sold in most of the major U.S. banks and several of the largest broker-dealers, […]

Genworth Announces Fourth Quarter 2013 Results

{February 6th, 2014} by Genworth Financial, Inc

RICHMOND, Va., Feb. 4, 2014/PRNewswire/ — Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW) today reported results for the fourth quarter of 2013. The company reported net income1 of $208 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, compared with net income of $168 million, or $0.34 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2012. Net operating income2 for […]

Allstate Profit More Than Doubles as Disaster Costs Fall

{February 6th, 2014} by Alexandria Baca

Allstate Corp. (ALL), the largest publicly traded U.S. auto and home insurer, said fourth-quarter profit more than doubled as catastrophe costs declined. Net income rose to $810 million, or $1.76 cents a share, from $394 million, or 81 cents, a year earlier, the Northbrook, Illinois-based insurer said today in a statement. Operating profit, which excludes […]

Hartford CEO: We Still Have a Lot of Work to Do, But Company Is Operating More Efficiently

{February 5th, 2014} by Marie Suszynski, Best's News Service correspondent

HARTFORD, Conn. – Hartford’s top executive said the company has narrowed its focus and is set to run the company more effectively and efficiently. “Heading into 2014, we have positive momentum with expanding margins in property and casualty and group benefits, and improving performance in mutual funds,” Liam E. McGee, chairman, president and chief executive […]

Blizzard Of Activity Around Retirement Savings

{February 5th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

A blizzard of activity around retirement legislation swept through the nation last week, heating up the debate about long-term savings, current spending and guaranteed income after the working years. Just what is going on? First, President Obama called for the creation of savings bonds accounts in the form of the MyRA, or “My Retirement Account.” […]

Last year a good year for annuities

{February 5th, 2014} by David Port

According to the Chinese calendar, 2013 was the Year of the Snake. But the investment and insurance community may well look back on it as the Year of the Annuity. Fresh sales data from Beacon Research and the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) document an annuity sales boom, at least through the first three quarters of […]

An annuity renaissance

{February 5th, 2014} by David Port

The image makeover that annuities have undergone of late is enough to make Anthony Weiner envious—and to make advisors such as Christine Proulx take notice. “They’re not the devil anymore” in the eyes of the investing public, observes Proulx, founder and president of Proulx Insurance & Financial Services in Kingfield, Maine. Indeed, quite the opposite.  […]

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Quotable

{February 4th, 2014} by Jamie Johnson

“It seems I’ve been preaching about how valuable these [indexed annuity] products are for 15 years, and people are finally starting to get the memo!” ~Sheryl J. Moore, president and chief executive officer, Moore Market Intelligence and Wink, Inc.

Two Major Carriers Announce Big Hiring Initiatives

{February 4th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

With the economy on the mend, the approaching shortage of financial advisors and large segments of the population underinsured or lacking coverage outright, two nationwide insurance carriers have announced major hiring initiatives. New York Life has announced it will hire more than 3,600 financial representatives in 2014, with a focus on women advisors and advisors […]

Genworth Financial Names Former John Hancock President as President, CEO of US Life Insurance Business

{February 4th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

RICHMOND, Va.  – Genworth Financial Inc. has named James Boyle, the former president of John Hancock Financial Services Inc., as president and chief executive officer of its U.S. life insurance division. He also was named an executive vice president at the Richmond, Va.-based Genworth Financial (NYSE: GNW). With more than 30 years in insurance and […]

Genworth taps ex-Hancock exec to lead life unit

{February 4th, 2014} by Alexandria Baca

McInerney makes his mark (Bloomberg) — Genworth Financial Inc. (NYSE:GNW) has picked James Boyle to run its U.S. life insurance business — the unit that writes long-term care insurance (LTCI). The move comes as Tom McInerney, Genworth’s chief executive officer, works to reshape the company’s management Boyle was previously president of John Hancock Financial Services […]

Big Branding for Small Companies

{February 4th, 2014} by Paul Feldman

If you think branding is only for big companies, this might surprise you: Big companies don’t brand very well. In fact, individual agents and advisors might serve as better brands for insurance companies than the companies themselves. That’s what one of the top thinkers in branding has to say about the life insurance business. Al […]

JamieJohnson

Heads up D.C! Here’s a new position for your energy and expertise. Are you qualified?

{February 4th, 2014} by Jamie Johnson

Heads up to those in the D.C. metro area! Here’s an opportunity that was sent to us to forward on. This is one for a high-energy, self-starting individual who thrives in an entrepreneurial environment. Don’t miss out! Are you qualifed?  Company: Kestler Financial Group Position: Internal Wholesaler Location: Washington D.C. Metro Area Job Description: Kestler Financial Group, […]

Security Benefit Debuts New Crediting Option for Leading Fixed Indexed Annuity

{February 4th, 2014} by Globe Newswire

Secure Income Annuity Adds Morgan Stanley Dynamic Allocation Index Account TOPEKA, Kan., Feb 03, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE via COMTEX) –Security Benefit Life Insurance Company (Security Benefit), a leader in the U.S. retirement market, announced today the addition of an interest crediting option based on the Morgan Stanley Dynamic Allocation (MSDA) Index for its Secure Income […]

Speakers for Global Insurance Symposium announced

{February 4th, 2014} by N/A

Experts from around the globe will speak at the Global Insurance Symposium in  Des Moines May 20-22, according to Gov. Terry Branstad. 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.  Participants will hear about  trends affecting […]

Advisers need younger clients, but aren’t reaching out: Survey

{February 4th, 2014} by Carl O'Donnell

Most rely on client referrals for growth, but that doesn’t diversify a client base Despite recognizing that wooing younger clients is vital to the longevity of their businesses, most advisers aren’t making any effort to do so. Six in 10 advisory firms don’t have any strategy in place to court younger clients, according to a […]

SEC to keep eye on advisors ‘highly successful’ at rollovers

{February 4th, 2014} by Melanie Waddell

Two top broker dealer regulators explained Tuesday why qualified plan rollovers and sales to seniors will face heightened scrutiny this year. “The goal is to see whether there is an abuse of rollovers,” Kevin Goodman, national associate director of the BD exam program for the Securites and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, […]

How to explain compensation to your clients

{February 3rd, 2014} by Danny Sarch

Presumably, sometime during 2014, FINRA will implement Regulation 13-02. This rule will require financial advisors who change broker-dealers to disclose the compensation they received from their new firm as part of the recruitment deal. The details are sketchy on how it will be implemented, but this regulation is causing a great deal of consternation within […]

A new financial planning frontier for same-sex marriage

{February 2nd, 2014} by Darla Mercado

Advisers working with LGBT clients need to stay up on state laws, due to residency’s big impact on retirement and estate planning. Choosing color schemes and centerpieces aren’t the only things on Susan Owens’ to-do list as she prepares to get married May 23. She and her partner, Laura Medvitz, are revamping their finances in […]

In insurance captives debate, ‘everything is on the table’ – NAIC president

{February 1st, 2014} by Leslie Scism

A national standards-settings group for the state-regulated insurance industry has “everything on the table” as it seeks to resolve issues over the use of controversial “captive” entities that critics say allows insurers to mask their financial health, the new president of the organization said in an interview. “Everything” includes moves to potentially eliminate use of […]

Wash. Recovers $31 Million Lost In Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy

{February 1st, 2014} by C.R. Roberts, The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.) McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Jan. 30–When Lehman Brothers Inc. collapsed in 2008, the Washington State Investment Board lost $92 million. In 2009, the state sued. On Thursday, the State Attorney General’s Office announced that it had recovered $31 million. Before declaring bankruptcy, Lehman Brothers was the fourth largest investment bank in the U.S. The lawsuit alleged Lehman “failed to […]

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