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Archive for August 2014

Tom Anfuso Appointed Senior Vice President & CIO at National Life Group

{August 29th, 2014} by National Life Group

Montpelier, Vermont – August 26, 2014 – National Life Group has appointed Tom Anfuso as a senior vice president and chief information officer. Anfuso oversees all information technology operations for the company, as well as overall IT strategy. “Tom is a seasoned IT professional with strong business acumen and deep industry experience,” said Mehran Assadi, […]

13 negotiating techniques taught at the Wharton School of Business

{August 29th, 2014} by Daniel Williams

Everything is open for negotiation—even prices, schedules, and product offerings that seem carved in stone. Steven G. Blum, who teaches at the Wharton School of Business, says no one has to just accept what’s offered…but first you must hone your negotiating skills. Blum is author of Negotiating Your Investments: Use Proven Negotiation Methods to Enrich […]

Prudential Plc builds U.S. annuity lead with $12.7 billion sales

{August 29th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer

(Bloomberg) — Prudential Plc, the largest U.K. insurer by market value, extended its lead in U.S. variable annuity sales at its Jackson National Life unit as rivals scaled back. Jackson sold $12.7 billion of the retirement contracts in the first six months of 2014, an increase of 24 percent from a year earlier, according to […]

What Keeps Advisors Awake At Night?

{August 29th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Market declines, a shaky economy and regulatory issues are the top three worries keeping financial advisors up at night, according to a recent survey. Advisors are also concerned about misinformation, client fears and emotions, and not having enough time to get work done. Those findings are contained in the Principal Financial Well-Being Index, released this […]

Investors Better Prepared for Retirement, Still Lacking Financial Knowledge

{August 29th, 2014} by Targeted News Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 — The Insured Retirement Institute issued the following news release: The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today released a new report showing that investors – those with at least $25,000 in investable assets – are better prepared for retirement compared to the broader population, but are still lacking knowledge regarding specific financial products. […]

Women Showing Greater Commitment To Retirement Savings

{August 29th, 2014} by PR Newswire Association LLC

ENFIELD, Conn., Aug. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Women have long trailed men when it comes to retirement savings but new data from MassMutual Retirement Services shows that women are responding to the challenge and are closing the gap. Data from marketing campaigns and employer-sponsored retirement plans shows that women are responding more favorably than men […]

Is MetLife a SIFI?

{August 29th, 2014} by Nick Thornton

The Financial Stability Oversight Council will meet Sept. 4 in a closed session to identify non-bank financial institutions that may be designated as systemically important financial institutions. Established by Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and the Consumer Protection Act, the FSOC is charged with monitoring the U.S. financial system, identifying systemic risks to market stability, and […]

How the top 10 publicly held life insurers performed last week

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

This week LifeHealthPro reviews the stock performance of 10 leading publicly held life insurers — AIG, MetLife, Prudential Financial, among others — and provides context by highlighted key macroeconomic and industry developments during the week. The 10 companies are the same as those featured in an August 21 LifeHealthPro story listing the top 10 life […]

Why I hate false advertising (and Ken Fisher): OPINION

{August 28th, 2014} by Michael D. Anderson

You could open any 1914 merchandise mail order catalog and read some pretty fantastic claims about just about every product described. One hundred years ago, the first meaningful regulation by the Federal Trade Commission was put in force. It seems the FTC anti-trust legislation passed that year also interpreted its mandate to include regulation pertaining […]

The Roth 401(k) vs the IUL

{August 28th, 2014} by David McKnight

Ever take an IUL application on Friday afternoon only to get a voice message from your prospect on Monday morning saying he’s had a change of heart? Over the weekend he researched what the online “gurus” had to say about IUL and, based on his findings, he’s not too eager to proceed. If you’re in […]

4 things the annuity industry can do today

{August 28th, 2014} by Gerry Murtagh, John Thelen

The last several years have been very turbulent for the individual annuity industry, especially for traditional insurance providers and the advisor community. Coming out of the financial crisis of 2008, lingering low interest rates, non-traditional new market entrants (including private equity firms and start-ups) and changing regulatory requirements have proved extremely challenging. Significant shifts of […]

Brother, Can You Spare A Million? Opinion

{August 28th, 2014} by Susan Rupe

It comes as quite a shock to me to realize that the oldest members of Generation X will hit the big 5–0 next year. The 50th birthday celebration means that senior discounts are right around the corner, followed by retirement. Gen X is realizing that as they are closing in on retirement, they also are […]

The insanity in indexed annuity sales growth

{August 28th, 2014} by Kevin Startt

If the definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting different results, then Einstein would have to challenge the hypothesis today of many indexed annuity (FIA) and indexed life sales (IUL) agents. After $39 billion of FIA sales this past year and much of the $100 billion in […]

Survey: Nearly 8 in 10 workers expect to retire past age 65

{August 28th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

Working adults ages 60-plus are more pessimistic than younger colleagues that they will be able to retire by age 65, according to new research. So reports Northwestern Mutual in its annual “2014 Planning and Progress Study: Talking Money & Retirement.” Based on a survey of 2,092 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, the survey aims […]

The Principal Financial Well-Being IndexSM: Advisors

{August 28th, 2014} by The Principal Financial Well-BeingSM

Even though advisors say their financial health is on the up-and-up, they may not be reaching Gen Y clients, according to new research from The Principal Knowledge Center. Key findings include: Gen (wh)Y Only 18 percent of financial advisors surveyed are targeting Gen Y clients. Only 30 percent of American workers overall work with a […]

Merger and acquisition activity pushes life/annuity stocks higher in second quarter: A.M. Best

{August 27th, 2014} by IFAwebnews Staff

Following a 2.5% decline in the first quarter of 2014, life and annuity insurance carrier stocks rose 4.3% in the second quarter versus a 4.7% rise in the S&P 500 stock index, according to a special report from A.M. Best. Seventeen of the 24 stocks tracked for this analysis rose in the quarter, eight of […]

Roundup: New York Life leads Million Dollar Round Table for 60th consecutive year

{August 27th, 2014} by Lynette Gil

New York Life has dominated the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) in the United States for the 60th consecutive year, with 2,376 qualifying New York Life agents in 2014. MDRT granted membership to only 10,211 agents in the entire United States, making membership in this organization a distinguishing life insurance career milestone for those demonstrating […]

Wanted: Financial Advisors For Generation X

{August 27th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

It’s back-to-school season, so it’s a good time to talk about how agents and financial advisors can attract and train a new generation of talent to an industry that, as almost everyone knows, is in desperate need of new blood. The average financial advisor is in his 50s and that average age is rising. Only […]

Why Do Americans Find It So Hard To Talk About Money?

{August 27th, 2014} by PR Newswire Association LLC

MILWAUKEE, Aug. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — When it comes to conversation, Americans would rather talk about their own death and the birds and the bees instead of talking with friends and family about money, and that more than two in five Americans have not spoken to anyone about their retirement. Those findings are highlighted in […]

Closer Look At 2Q Reveals Humdrum Insurance Industry Performance

{August 27th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

A cursory look at life insurers’ profits in the second quarter would have you believe that the industry is making money hand over fist, but a closer look reveals accounting issues and foreign exchange rates were behind the gains, according to an industry analyst. A group of 19 publicly traded life insurance underwriters followed by […]

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Wink, Inc. Releases Second Quarter, 2014 Indexed Sales Results

{August 27th, 2014} by Wink, Inc.

 — FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION — NEWS RELEASE   INDEXED ANNUITY SALES DOMINATE WITH RECORD-SETTING QUARTER! Wink, Inc. Releases Second Quarter, 2014 Indexed Sales Results Pleasant Hill, Iowa. August 21, 2014- Forty-five indexed annuity carriers participated in the 68th edition of Wink’s Sales & Market Report, representing 99.8% of indexed annuity production. Total second quarter sales were […]

Wink CEO: Increased Sales of Proprietary Products Help Boost 2Q US Sales of Indexed Annuities

{August 27th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

PLEASANT HILL, Iowa – Increased sales of proprietary products specifically helped to boost sales of indexed annuities in the second quarter of 2014, says the chief executive officer of Wink Inc. Total second-quarter sales of these retirement savings and income products in the United States increased to $12.6 billion, a 36.5% gain from the same […]

Annuity sales, a major Des Moines industry, see Q2 bump

{August 27th, 2014} by Matthew Patane

A major contributor to the Des Moines area’s insurance hub saw sales rise 36.5 percent in April, May and June compared with a year ago. Sales of indexed annuities from 39 companies grew to $12.6 billion in the second quarter, according to a new Wink’s Sales & Market Report. Indexed annuities are popular among retirees […]

How to help your clients win the “longevity lotto”

{August 26th, 2014} by Susan Wright

Any reliable structure needs to have a solid foundation to withstand the test of time. As financial professionals, advice is regularly given to clients about the essentials of having a strong foundation for their savings and investments during the accumulation phase of life. This is very good advice. Click here to read…

Millennials Least Likely To Have Insurance: Opinion

{August 26th, 2014} by Susan Rupe

They’re saddled with debt, underemployed and think they’ll live forever. At least, those are the stereotypes about Generation Y, also known as the millennials. A new insuranceQuotes​.com report shows that the millennials are not only lacking in financial assets, they also are lacking insurance. Approximately one in four Americans between the ages of 18 and […]

No summer break for SEC as agency revs up exam pace

{August 26th, 2014} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Securities and Exchange Commission examiners haven’t slowed down during the dog days of summer, according to compliance consultants who attribute the uptick in the SEC exam pace to the agency’s focus on registered investment advisers who have never been examined. At the beginning of the year, the SEC launched a program to target about 1,000 […]

What U.S. life insurance agents can learn from China

{August 25th, 2014} by Lori Widmer

According to a recent Society of Actuaries (SOA) study, the Chinese life insurance market is on fire. In 2010, life insurance premiums in China rang in at a cool $142,792 million, representing a 28.1 percent spike in sales since 2006. In a country where talk of death is taboo, life insurance sales are growing at […]

Randi Zuckerberg: The 10 most exciting trends in social media

{August 22nd, 2014} by Emily Holbrook

This morning at the annual LIMRA LOMA Social Media Conference for Financial Services, Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media (and sister to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg), shared her social media story. In 2005, when her younger brother asked her to join his startup called Facebook — as their marketing lead — Randi laughed, […]

AIG Announces QoL Performer Plus

{August 22nd, 2014} by N/A

HOUSTON, August 18, 2014 – American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG) today announced the launch of QoL Performer PlusSM, affordable universal life insurance that can provide a guaranteed death benefit up to age 80. The product also offers the opportunity for cash accumulation, as well as the Quality of Life…Insurance accelerated benefit solution that can […]

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Sagicor Financial Corporation and Its Subsidiaries

{August 22nd, 2014} by Best's News Service

Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A- (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a-” of Sagicor Life Inc. and Sagicor Capital Life Insurance Company Limited (both domiciled in St. Michael, Barbados). A.M. Best has also affirmed the FSR of A- (Excellent) and the ICR of “a-” of […]

MassMutual whistle-blower identified

{August 22nd, 2014} by Emily Holbrook

Bill Lloyd is 56 years old and spent 22 years as an agent for MassMutual Financial Group. Lloyd was not, as many labeled as a whistleblower are, an unsatisfied, angry employee. Quite the contrary. Lloyd loved his job and — most of all — loved his clients. That’s why he made the decision to take […]

Annuities: A love story: OPINION

{August 22nd, 2014} by Adam Cufr

How many meetings with widows will it take before you fully grasp the power of guaranteed income annuities in a retirement income plan? I am yet to meet with a widowed woman who asked me what the rate of return is on the annuities in place after the death of her husband. When she asks […]

5 common whole life myths, debunked

{August 22nd, 2014} by Thomas Smoot

Whole life insurance provides a broad range of financial benefits, and has proved its long-term value over generations. While many financial instruments faltered during the recent “Great Recession,” whole life insurance provided families and small business owners with a much-needed source of funds and retirees with access to additional income — all the while building […]

4 ways insurance agencies sabotage success

{August 22nd, 2014} by Alan G. Robinson, Dean M. Schroeder

Today’s insurance agencies are challenged as never before to keep pace with highly dynamic markets. Swiftly changing industry rules and a constant stream of new products and services mean that agencies have to be agile and responsive. Intense competition, much of it from new online channels, means costs must be continually lowered and service standards […]

9 things consumers need to know about life insurance

{August 22nd, 2014} by Emily Holbrook, Mary Shaub

Each September, Life Insurance Awareness Month provides the ideal opportunity to clear up a host of consumer misconceptions about life insurance, including the size of death benefit needed (it’s often too low), the need to extend coverage beyond what your employer provides (it’s rarely enough) and the need to communicate the details of your policy […]

Middle-Market Insureds Keep Their Life Insurance

{August 22nd, 2014} by Linda Koco

How’s this for an anomaly? Although a lot of middle-income households are either not insured or underinsured for life insurance, those who do have life insurance tend to keep it. Consider the data: LIMRA estimates that 44 million U.S. households have no life insurance, and that 35 million middle market households are underinsured. And a […]

Life insurance: a vital debt management and asset protection tool for young doctors

{August 21st, 2014} by Ike Devji

A case in a recent headline once again illustrates the importance of basic financial and estate planning for doctors, as a young medical professional’s untimely death led to her family inheriting six figures in debt.  Like most medical professionals, Lisa Mason took out loans to finance the cost of her medical education; in her case, […]

Do Consumers Want Advice Or Not: Opinion

{August 21st, 2014} by Linda Koco

Some reports rolled out this week having to do with whether and how consumers use financial and retirement advice. The long-story-short is that people do tend to use advice in investment venues but not so much in retirement plan venues such as the 401(k) market. This divergence can be confusing to insurance and financial professionals […]


Hearsay Social lets advisers pay to spread Facebook posts

{August 21st, 2014} by Trevor Hunnicutt

Hearsay Social Inc. on Thursday announced a new feature on its social media platform that integrates with Facebook, allowing advisers on the platform to pay to distribute promotional posts to a wider audience. Financial advisers and brokers on the platform will now be able to “promote” their Facebook posts or pay to have them distributed […]

Sad statistics about the state of American savings

{August 21st, 2014} by Susan Rupe

“Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.” — Mark Twain Much of our news coverage is based upon statistics, numbers resulting from some kind of survey or study. Some statistics that made the headlines recently should make everyone take notice. More than one-third of Americans (36 percent) have no retirement savings. Even worse, […]

Moody’s: Top 10 life insurers by net income in Q2 2014

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

In an August 2014 “Special Comment,” Moody’s Investors Service examines life insurers’ financial results in the second quarter of 2014 — GAAP net income, net operating, return on average shareholders’ equity, among other parameters — and explores factors contributing to the companies’ performance. Listed on the following pages are the top 10 publicly held life […]

Kristine M. Wolfe Gets NAIFA Executives Award

{August 21st, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) has recognized Kristine M. Wolfe with the 2014 C. Carney Smith Award. The award, established in 1976, is NAIFA’s most prestigious honor for its state and local association executives and has come to symbolize lifetime achievement. NAIFA President John Nichols said Wolfe’s lifelong dedication to service […]

Can I build my own annuity?

{August 20th, 2014} by Kevin Startt

My son drove for a major pizza chain back in the day when they advertised that they could guarantee a 30-minute delivery. It was a great advertising promotion, until a couple of zealous delivery boys wrapped themselves in pepperoni around an old oak tree in front of a customer’s house. This promo begged the premise […]

WellPoint: Buying life insurance remains top priority of Americans

{August 20th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

Most Americans believe that selecting a life insurance policy is very important to protecting their family financially, according to a new report. WellPoint disclosed this finding in a survey of 1,005 adults, 18 years and older, the report timed for release in advance of Life Insurance Awareness Month. Held annually in September and coordinated by […]

Answers to 8 burning questions that confront the industry

{August 20th, 2014} by David Port

At the sales peaks and valleys of recent years, all the hot products and features that have burst on the scene only to be eclipsed by the next big thing, are just subplots to the real storyline in the life insurance market, one that Deloitte neatly captures in three words in the subtitle of its […]

MetLife Announces Rate Cuts To Term Life

{August 20th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

  MetLife, which missed its second-quarter earnings estimates, has announced rate reductions on some of its guaranteed level term insurance products as the company seeks to boost life insurance sales in an era of slow growth marked by low interest rates. Rate changes do not apply to all ages, rate classes, coverage amounts and level-premium […]

Rogue advisors on parade

{August 20th, 2014} by Harry Lew

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged a Virginia broker with defrauding elderly customers, including some who are legally blind, by stealing their funds for her personal use and falsifying their account statements to cover up her fraud. According to the SEC’s complaint, the broker siphoned $730,289 from elderly customers and used the money to pay […]


The American College Names New President And CEO

{August 20th, 2014} by InsuranceNewsNet

BRYN MAWR, PA – August 20, 2014 – The Board of Trustees of The American College of Financial Services today named Robert R. Johnson, Ph.D., CFA, CAIA, as president and chief executive officer beginning October 1, 2014. Dr. Johnson’s extensive scholarship, experience in investment management, and results in building global awareness for financial services education […]

American National Selects iPipeline AFFIRM for Annuities to Automate Advisor Selling Process

{August 20th, 2014} by Business Wire

Advisor Order-Entry Solution Provides Customized Workflows and Reviews to Support FINRA, SEC and State Compliance August 19, 2014 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time EXTON, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–iPipeline® – the leader in on-demand marketing, selling, and processing solutions for the nation’s top insurance carriers, distributors, financial institutions, producers, and advisors – today announced American National Insurance Company, […]

It’s just a name change, how hard could it be?

{August 20th, 2014} by Liz Skinner

ING Financial Partners’ 2,500 financial advisers have seven workdays to get ready to take on a new identity. As of Sept. 1, they’ll be Voya Financial advisers and will need new business cards, letterhead and a logo on the door. Adviser will need to make these changes individually, while ING Inc. has done many more […]

Response to “Are EIAs a Safe Investment” @ Bankrate.com

{August 20th, 2014} by Kim O'Brien, NAFA President & CEO

This has been posted at Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com and the WSJ.com. If you are aware of another reprinting, please let us know and we will post our comment there as well. ~NAFA  Dear Jay: I read with interest and, frankly, with some concern your recent article, “Are Equity-Indexed Annuities a Safe Investment?” which originally appeared at […]

U.S. investors opt for human over online financial advice

{August 20th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

U.S. investors are more likely to have a dedicated financial adviser than to use a financial website for obtaining advice on investing or planning for their retirement, according to new research.  This finding is unveiled in a Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index, a telephone survey conducted in June. The study polled 1,036 U.S. […]

Millennials Not Buying Life Insurance

{August 20th, 2014} by Thomas Rockford

After a survey we conducted on our site regarding millennial life insurance purchasing habits, we at Life Ant have concluded that the millennial generation is largely avoiding purchasing life insurance.  While historical purchase rates of life insurance by people in their 20′s are not available, after consulting with industry experts it appears that fewer people […]

Wirehouse recruiting loans measure in the billions

{August 20th, 2014} by Mason Braswell

It’s no secret that veteran wirehouse advisers can command top dollar when moving between firms but disclosures from Morgan Stanley and UBS AG show just how much advisers are able to bring in. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, the largest advisory firm by head count, reported it is holding more than $5.2 billion in outstanding loans […]

Penn Mutual Will Donate $5,000 To Charity For Best Life Insurance Story

{August 20th, 2014} by N/A

HORSHAM, Pa. – Aug. 19, 2014 – Imagine the Possibilities is the name of a Facebook contest just announced by The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company as part of Life Insurance Awareness Month. The contest asks consumers to submit a story about how life insurance has made a significant impact on their life. The contest […]


Second Quarter 2014 Indexed Insurance Sales

{August 20th, 2014} by Sheryl J. Moore

  Indexed Annuity Wink’s Sales & Market Report, 2nd Quarter 2014 shows second quarter 2014 indexed annuity sales were $12,566 million, compared with sales of $9,203 million for the second quarter of 2013. Second quarter indexed annuity sales were up more than 15% when compared to the previous quarter, and up nearly 37% when compared […]

Annuities Got It Goin’ On: Blog

{August 20th, 2014} by Steve Morelli

Will you need me? Will you still feed me? When I’m 64?” Short answer: no. When The Beatles sang this, today’s 64-year-olds were 17. Like most teenagers, they probably never imagined 64 would happen to them. Heck, they wouldn’t have trusted someone over 30. The age of 64 may as well have been 104. Just […]

Why Fixed Annuities Are Smokin’ Hot

{August 20th, 2014} by Linda Koco

Fixed annuities were smoking in second quarter. Smoking hot, that is. According to the latest individual annuity sales estimates from LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute (LIMRA SRI), total fixed annuity sales hit $25.2 billion in second quarter, up 34 percent from the same period last year. For the first half, fixed sales totaled $49.1 billion, up […]

NAIC Adopts Corporate Governance Models

{August 19th, 2014} by NAIC

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 18, 2014) —The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) adopted a Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure Model Act and supporting Model Regulation, which provides a means for insurance regulators to receive additional information on the corporate governance practices of U.S. insurers on an annual basis. Under the requirements of the Model Act, U.S. […]

What’s next for Robin Williams’ family?

{August 19th, 2014} by Danielle and Andy Mayoras

Although he had ‘bills to pay,’ he put his real estate in a trust and appears to have provided for his children. The initial shock of Robin Williams’ tragic death is giving way to reflections of his memory and legacy. Many people are also asking what happens next for his family, and what shape was […]

Insurers blast effort to change financial rules revision deadline

{August 19th, 2014} by Allison Bell

Insurers and their software companies are joining to fight a proposal to give regulators more time to update the risk-based capital (RBC) reporting rules for a given year. Regulators use RBC figures to determine whether insurers have enough capital to support the policies they have written. Changes in RBC may increase or decrease what insurers […]

Total Annuity Sales Improve 8% In 2Q

{August 19th, 2014} by LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute Annuity Research

WINDSOR, Conn., Aug. 18, 2014 — Total U.S. annuity sales reached $61.4 billion in second quarter, improving eight percent from prior year. In the first six months of 2014, total U.S. annuity sales increased 10 percent, compared with 2013. “This is only the second time we have seen quarterly sales over $60 billion since the […]

Jackson National extends variable annuity lead

{August 19th, 2014} by Bloomberg News

Jackson National Life, owned by UK-based Prudential Plc, extended its lead in U.S. variable annuity sales at its unit as rivals scaled back. Jackson sold $12.7 billion of the retirement contracts in the first six months of 2014, an increase of 24% from a year earlier, according to data released Monday by the Limra Secure […]

2014 Advisor of the Year: Jason Jenkins

{August 19th, 2014} by Paul Wilson

After earning his undergrad in business and economics, Jason Jenkins, partner and co-founder of Denver, Co.-based Jenkins Wealth Management Group, got started by selling mortgage leads before moving into the fixed annuity space. After hosting a few seminars, he says he quickly realized, “Hey, I really like this.” “You can help people in a significant […]

The SEC Doesn’t Want To See ‘Safe’ Words, Either: Opinion

{August 18th, 2014} by Linda Koco

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) appears to be no more enamored of the word “safe” when used with insurance products than is the Colorado Insurance Division. The SEC’s director of investment management Norm Champ said the SEC has “concerns” when names of variable insurance products suggest safety or protection from loss. “We understand that […]