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Blog + Articles

Insurance think tank forecasts more mergers, political gridlock

{October 25th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

Whoever wins the White House in November, relations between the major political parties in Washington may be as combative as ever, as neither Democrats nor Republicans are likely to secure control of both houses of Congress. That will make it difficult to enact long-stalled legislation on major national issues. The source of this dismal forecast: […]

Voya launch aims to improve retirement outcomes

{October 25th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

Surveys abound about Americans’ woefully inadequate retirement savings. The reasons for the discrepancy between what workers save and what they need to live comfortably in retirement include: Low plan enrollment; Inadequate plan contribution rates and portfolio allocations; and A lack of active engagement by employers in helping to put workers on the right track. On […]

Genworth needs Delaware regulators’ blessing, analysts say

{October 25th, 2016} by Allison Bell

Genworth Financial’s ability to chart its own course may depend on its ability to persuade insurance regulators in Delaware to approve an acquisition offer from China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd. Securities analysts asked about Delaware insurance regulators several times today during a conference call Genworth held to discuss the offer. China Oceanwide, a Beijing-based […]

DOL rule: Ex-NAIFA chief readies practice for the new regime

{October 24th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

Much of the current discussion about the Department of Labor’s conflict of interest rule is focused on the pending burdens: how much the new regulations will cost in education and training, needed changes to business processes, and other new compliance requirements. These are coming down the pike, but so too are opportunities to grow one’s […]

Millennials told JPMorgan they want to retire by 60, but they’re in for a rude awakening

{October 24th, 2016} by Bob Bryan

Millennials are way too bullish on their financial future. On Tuesday, JPMorgan Chase released a study about the savings trends of millennials as opposed to baby boomers. Among other details, the survey found that millennials started saving for retirement at 23 and that 82% of millennials are comfortable about talking about money. Another interesting snippet caught our […]

Your Simple 3-Step Process to Selling Life Insurance

{October 19th, 2016} by Christopher P. Hill

One of the biggest challenges most financial professionals face is helping clients (and prospects) truly understands life insurance. The harsh reality is that life insurance is a very complicated, misunderstood, and often overlooked piece of a comprehensive financial plan. The best solution I found is to make this difficult discussion an educational process – versus a […]

How to manage 11 different life insurance beneficiary issues

{October 19th, 2016} by Stephan R. Leimberg

A policyholder can — and should — name more than one beneficiary. A planner is derelict in duty if the policyholder is not told of the privilege and advantages of naming both a primary beneficiary, which can be more than one person or entity, and one or more contingent or secondary beneficiaries. The primary beneficiary is the […]

Warren Calls for SEC Chair’s Dismissal

{October 19th, 2016} by Ryan Rainey

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Friday called on President Obama to replace Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White because of the agency’s lack of new disclosure rules under her leadership. “From the beginning of her tenure, Chair White has made clear that she is concerned that companies disclose too much to investors — a presumption […]

The future of insurance: A look at the risk landscape of 2025

{October 18th, 2016} by Debbie Michel

Over the next decade, the insurance and third-party administrator landscape will continue to evolve. And while it is impossible to predict the top challenges that will face risk buyers, intermediaries, TPAs and insurers so far into the future, it is interesting to gaze into the crystal ball. This was the topic of a panel discussion I […]

Fiduciary rule causing some advisers to reconsider comp models

{October 18th, 2016} by Andrew Shilling

ARLINGTON, Va. – Advisers prepare for the worst as they anticipate clarification on the fiduciary rule and its possible impact. With less than six months before the DoL begins to implement its rule in April, advisers still have questions about how they will sell products as well as market themselves to prospective clients, said Mike […]

Some firms opting to sell fixed annuities under best-interest contract exemption to keep trips, bonuses intact

{October 18th, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

While financial institutions are able to sell deferred-income and immediate annuities under a less onerous exemption, some are opting to sell under BICE to keep certain compensation arrangements intact October 17, 2016 – 1:36 pm EST Some financial institutions are opting to sell certain types of fixed annuities under a stricter compliance regime of the […]

Detailed commission information on all indexed annuities.

{October 18th, 2016} by Wink's RockStars

We have received reports that insurance companies are engaging expensive consulting and actuarial firms, in order to obtain compensation information on indexed annuities, so that they can perform their due diligence in regards to “reasonable compensation.” GREAT NEWS FOR YOU!! You (your employer) are likely already paying for a resource that houses detailed commission information […]

ACLI Attorneys Ready for Legal Challenge Against DOL Fiduciary Rule

{October 18th, 2016} by Frank Klimko

WASHINGTON – Attorneys for the American Council of Life Insurers are preparing for oral arguments next month in a lawsuit that questions the legality of the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule update, which they say will upend the retirement advice industry. “We are in the early days in an important piece of litigation in […]

Retirees’ Social Security COLA raise in 2017: $3 a month?

{October 18th, 2016} by Jennifer Oppenshaw

It’s surprising that even though this year’s presidential candidates are over 65 — making them the oldest major party nominees in our nation’s history — we haven’t heard more about Social Security in the debates. Americans, like my own 74-year-old mother, are wondering exactly what Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s plans are. In the meantime, […]

DOL: Fiduciary Rule May Lead To Fewer Annuity Recommendations

{October 18th, 2016} by John Hilton

The Department of Labor filed a lengthy response Friday to the original lawsuit challenging its controversial fiduciary rule. Initially filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Dallas federal court, the lawsuit later was consolidated with two similar challenges. The DOL brief cites 88 lawsuits, along with 11 statutes, seven regulations, and 19 different acronyms. […]

Joining the M&A bandwagon: Penn Mutual to acquire Vantis Life

{October 18th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

Coveting new markets and distribution channels, mergers among life insurers are continuing apace. The latest manifestation of the deal-making is an agreement, announced on October 10, by The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. to acquire Vantis Life Insurance Co. Once finalized, Vantis Life will become a wholly-owned affiliate of Penn Mutual, a Horsham, Pa.-based mutual […]

Dealing with universal life premium increases

{October 18th, 2016} by Ed McCarthy

It’s hard to find any good news in the recent spate of premium increases for older universal life (UL) policies. Policyholders face difficult decisions they didn’t anticipate when they bought the insurance. Advisors must explain to clients why their policies are at risk, and seek possible solutions. And, insurers seeking rate hikes are experiencing bad […]

Analyst: Some Firms Want to Keep Trips, Incentives

{October 18th, 2016} by John Hilton

Most industry professionals consider the Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE) the most detested part of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. Yet some of them may end up using it to continuing selling fixed annuities without interruption, according to one analyst. Selling under the BICE will enable financial institutions to continue offering trips and other […]

Voya falls most in 14 weeks as CFO leaves for role at S&P Global

{October 18th, 2016} by Katherine Chiglinksky

Voya Financial Inc. slumped the most in 14 weeks after announcing the departure of Chief Financial Officer Ewout Steenbergen, who will take the CFO role at S&P Global Inc. The insurer tumbled 3.9 percent to $29.70 at 10:27 a.m. in New York Thursday, extending its decline for the year to 20 percent. Voya said after […]

Do You Hate Annuities? Here’s Why You Might Want to Change Your Mind

{October 18th, 2016} by Stan Haithcock

  Even the savviest stock market trader needs a guaranteed income stream to cover basic expenses and future retirement goals. So it might be time to hold your nose and objectively consider how some types of annuities can provide a contractual income floor. Many consumers and a large number of investment advisers are totally uninformed, […]

Beware Of The Annuity Illustration Optical Illusion

{October 18th, 2016} by Jeff Rose

Recently, I had a long talk with about annuities with my Director of Financial Planning at Alliance Wealth Management, Andrew Rogers. Funny thing is, the entire conversation started with me sharing a story about a crappy, overrated hotel my wife and I stayed in. The gist of that story is this: A few months ago, […]

Annuity Sellers Suck it Up to Preserve Trips, Bonuses

{October 18th, 2016} by Steve Garmhausen

Trips and bonuses are important incentives in the world of fixed annuity sales—so much so that certain institutions would submit to stricter compliance in order to keep using them, says InvestmentNews. Under the forthcoming DOL fiduciary rule, brokers and insurance agents can sell certain annuities within two sets of compliance guidelines. The Prohibited Transaction Exemption is […]

Insurance Groups: NAIC Big Data Panel Proposed Charges Are Too Broad

{October 18th, 2016} by Thomas Harman

WASHINGTON – Insurance industry groups labeled as too broad a National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ panel proposal for the panel to consider additional oversight of big data use by insurers, including having the NAIC become involved in reviewing data models used in underwriting, rating and claims. The NAIC’s big data working group has been exploring […]

The DOL rule kicks in. Will independent broker-dealers survive?

{October 17th, 2016} by Joe Duran

A year ago I wrote about the impacts of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary standard being applied to our industry and the immense implications. Now we have two important news events with ripple effects that impact every financial adviser in the U.S. On Oct. 6, Merrill Lynch announced they would no longer allow retirement investors […]

2 good reasons to move IRA funds to permanent life insurance

{October 17th, 2016} by Ed Slott

A large IRA sounds good, but it may be too much of a good thing. The larger an IRA balance grows, the greater the retirement debt that will be owed in taxes. The IRA problem If at all possible, debt should be eliminated before retirement. The retirees who are debt-free are proud of that fact. […]

How To Explain Life Insurance Payouts To A Client

{October 15th, 2016} by Ty Stewart

Processing a life insurance claim is about much more than simply going through the steps. It is important to find a balance between the emotional aspect and harsher business nature of the process. The combination of these elements often makes this process complicated to navigate. To help you with this sensitive undertaking, let’s walk through […]

Who Wants to Buy LPL? So Far, One Ex-Broker

{October 14th, 2016} by ThinkAdvisor

Earlier this week, the news broke that LPL Financial (LPLA) was working with Goldman Sachs on a possible sale of the independent broker-dealer, according to Reuters. But equity analysts, such as Steven Chubak of Nomura Securities, said Wednesday thatLPL “comes with too much baggage” for a publicly traded company to consider buying the largest IBD. […]

Dos and Don’ts of Seminar Selling Under DOL Rule

{October 14th, 2016} by John Hilton

Agents who have long relied on free seminars and steak dinners to educate prospective clients will have to tread lightly once the Department of Labor fiduciary rules take effect. The rules impose a fiduciary standard of care on financial advisors dealing with retirement accounts. The DOL says the rules are needed to better protect neophyte […]

Analyst: Brace yourself for a BIG, post-DOL rule revenue dip

{October 13th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

A new report from the global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney makes a jaw-dropping forecast: a precipitous, $20 billion dip in industry revenue resulting from the pending phase-in of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. The study, “Why investing will never be the same,” contains other provocative data points. Among them: advisor-switching is accelerating, rising […]

Fixed Indexed Annuity Industry Mortality Study October 2016

{October 13th, 2016} by Ruark Consulting, LLC

Press Release Fixed Indexed Annuity Industry Mortality Study October 2016       Key Observations  1st ever FIA industry mortality study. With the growth in the FIA market, particularly with GLWB features, Ruark has responded to the industry’s demand for what we believe to be the first FIA industry mortality study.  FIA mortality experience is […]

Headed by Starr Cos., Insurance Industry Has Spent $64 Million on Candidates, Campaigns

{October 13th, 2016} by Frank Klimko

WASHINGTON – With the general election just weeks away, representatives of the U.S. insurance industry have contributed $64 million to support lawmakers they say they believe can help address some of the insurance industry’s top priorities, like reducing the federal regulatory burden. Contributions this year have already eclipsed the $58 million the industry spent in […]

Thrivent Financial Fires Latest Salvo at Fiduciary Rule

{October 12th, 2016} by Melanie Waddell

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans became the sixth plaintiff to sue the U.S. Labor Department over its fiduciary rule in a complaint that challenges the class action waiver requirement under the rule’s best interest contract exemption. Thrivent’s case, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, takes issue with the Labor Department’s adoption of the […]

Great American Life’s New Fee-Based Annuity Now Available Through Raymond James

{October 12th, 2016} by Great American Insurance Group

CINCINNATI – October 12, 2016 – Great American Life Insurance Company® is pleased to announce that its new, fee-based fixed-indexed annuity with optional guaranteed income rider is now available through financial advisors at Raymond James. The annuity will complement the commissioned-based indexed annuities already on the firm’s platform and provide an additional fee-based option. The […]

List Significant IBD M&A deals

{October 12th, 2016} by Nicholas Yeap

With news of LPL Financial potentially exploring a sale of their business, we look back at some of the biggest IBD merger and acquisition deals over the last few years. Click to View List

DOL fiduciary rule forces Merrill to drop commission IRAs

{October 12th, 2016} by Melanie Waddell

Joining the league of other broker-dealers mulling changes to their businesses in light of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, Merrill Lynch said Thursday that beginning in April, the company will cease offering new advised, or commission-based, brokerage IRA accounts. Merrill plans to encourage its retirement clients to consult with their advisor about whether to […]

Merrill’s fiduciary plan: Commission-based IRAs will be phased out

{October 12th, 2016} by Andrew Welsch

Merrill Lynch will stop offering commission-based retirement accounts among other changes as part of its plans for complying with the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, making it the first wirehouse to explain its strategy in detail. Merrill, which is embracing the rule as a positive development for clients, revealed its strategy to the firm’s more […]

Life Insurance Industry a Critical Driver of Economic Growth & Stability

{October 12th, 2016} by The Brattle Group

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 12, 2016 — A new report co-authored by economists at global consulting firm The Brattle Group finds that the life insurance industry is a critical driver of economic growth that helps provide stability for the U.S. economy while delivering financial protection to millions of American families, including those most vulnerable to falling […]

Average Agent Comp For Indexed Annuities At Decade-Long Low

{October 12th, 2016} by Annuity news

Pleasant Hill, Iowa. October 6, 2016- How can one determine what is “reasonable compensation” on an annuity? The Department of Labor issued its final fiduciary rule on April 6, 2016. Among the products that the regulation affects are annuity sales that are funded with qualified monies. Indexed annuities, as a product class, are in the […]

LPL Financial exploring potential sale: report

{October 11th, 2016} by Bruce Kelly

LPL Financial is exploring strategic alternatives, including a potential sale, according to a report late Tuesday from Reuters, which cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter. LPL would not comment on the report. “As a matter of policy, LPL does not comment on rumors or speculation,” spokesman Jeffrey Mochal wrote in an email. LPL’s stock, […]

Life insurers nab spots among top 100 global brands

{October 11th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

Two major life insurers are ranked among the world’s 100 most valuable brands, according to a new report. Interbrand, a brand consultancy and division of Omnicom, placedAXA SA and Allianz SE in the 46thand 51st positions respectively in its survey, “Best Global Brands Rankings: 2016.” The rankings are based on Interbrand’s analysis of the financial […]

Indexed annuity commission averages 4.6 percent

{October 11th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

The average street-level commission for indexed annuities was 4.6 percent as of the second quarter, according to Wink Inc.’s sales and marketing report. This is the lowest commission level in a decade. Average commissions were 8.1 percent during the second quarter of 2006 and have fallen steadily since then, according to Wink’s data. Moore Market […]

Merrill Lynch eliminates commission IRA business in response to DOL fiduciary rule

{October 11th, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

In a signal of the radical change the brokerage industry is set to undergo because of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, Merrill Lynch has announced it will no longer offer new, advised commission-based IRAs starting next year. For the wirehouse’s 14,000 advisers, new retail retirement accounts will exist in a fee-based environment as of April […]

What happens to incentive trips under the DOL fiduciary rule?: OPINION

{October 11th, 2016} by Kevin W. Mechtley, J.D.

As a compliance consultant with a specialty in the DOL fiduciary rule, I have received the following question a countless number of times: Are agent incentive trips really gone in a post-DOL fiduciary rule world? My answers? Yes. And maybe. As you might expect, this analysis requires a bit of background and some deep diving into DOL’s […]

Penn Mutual and Vantis Life Insurance Companies to Combine

{October 11th, 2016} by Penn Mutual

October 10, 2016 04:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time HORSHAM, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company (Penn Mutual) has entered into a definitive agreement to merge with Connecticut-based Vantis Life Insurance Company (Vantis Life), a deal which will expand Penn Mutual’s presence in the life insurance industry by leveraging Vantis Life’s bank-focused distribution model. As […]

AIG sued for $100 million in bonuses by ex-derivatives staff

{October 10th, 2016} by KIT CHELLEL

(Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc. was sued by former staff who say they were denied $100 million in bonuses amid public outrage over derivative trades that crippled the insurer and threatened the stability of global financial markets. Details of the U.K. lawsuit, which was filed in 2014, emerged at a London court hearing Friday. The […]

DTCC to Launch New Fiduciary Insurance Profile Service

{October 10th, 2016} by John Manganaro

Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) is seeking regulatory approval for a new Insurance Profile solution that will facilitate annuity industry compliance with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule. According to DTCC, the Insurance Profile service provides carriers and distributors with a centralized, automated and standardized method to satisfy disclosure requirements under the […]

Voya Financial Certified as a “Great Place to Work”

{October 10th, 2016} by Voya

NEW YORK, Oct. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial announced today that it has been certified by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work® — the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. “Being recognized as a Great Place to Work reflects our commitment to our people and our culture,” said Chairman and CEO Rodney […]

Wading through the BICE paperwork

{October 10th, 2016} by Ed McCarthy

On Sept. 6, Boston-based DALBAR Inc., a financial services market research firm, released a briefing paper, “The Work Behind BICE Paperwork: What You Will Actually Have to Do” (available here). The paper details how the Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE) provisions within the DOL fiduciary rule create a significant challenge for financial institutions and advisors, […]

What is the “Right Amount” of Life Insurance?

{October 10th, 2016} by Christopher P. Hill

For centuries there has been a great debate over the right amount of life insurance. In fact, if you do a little bit of research on this topic, what you will find a wide variety of professional opinions, books, studies, classes, and theories – all of which claim they have the answer to the million […]

A.M. BestTV: Fiduciary Rule Impacting Variable Annuities, Said A.M. Best Analyst

{October 10th, 2016} by A.M. Best

October 10, 2016 02:11 PM Eastern Daylight Time OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In this A.M.BestTV episode, Edward Kohlberg, associate director, A.M. Best, said that the Department of Labor’s looming fiduciary rule changes have a role in the recent shifting of annuity sales. Click on http://www.ambest.com/v.asp?v=annuities1016 to view the entire program. A.M. Best recently released a report that looks […]

Brighthouse Unveils Distribution Strategy

{October 8th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Brighthouse Financial, the new company housing MetLife’s separated distribution units, will simplify its life and annuity product line and sell those products through independent distributors, the company said. Moving the bulk of MetLife’s distribution infrastructure in the U.S. to Brighthouse will turn MetLife into a more nimble life and benefit insurer, the company added in financial filings. It […]

A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of American National Insurance Company and Its Subsidiaries

{October 8th, 2016} by A.M. Best

OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a+” of American National Insurance Company (ANICO) [NASDAQ:ANAT] and ANICO’s subsidiary, American National Life Insurance Company of New York (ANICONY) (Glenmont, NY). The Credit Ratings (ratings) of ANICO have been extended to […]

A.M. Best Removes From Under Review and Affirms Credit Ratings of MetLife Inc. and Its Subsidiaries; Downgrades Credit Ratings of Brighthouse Subsidiarie

{October 8th, 2016} by A.M. Best

OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best has removed from under review with developing implications and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa-” of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MLIC) (New York, NY), General American Life Insurance Company (St. Louis, MO) and Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance […]

The new fiduciary standard’s effect on customer experience

{October 7th, 2016} by Andrew Hellard

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) finalized a new standard broadening the definition of who constitutes a “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). This controversial move is causing insurance and other financial services brokers to rethink their business models as well as the way they communicate with their customers. Before the new […]

Voices How one adviser coped as Hurricane Matthew bore down: Opinion

{October 7th, 2016} by Carolyn McClanahan

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – At the age of 5, I experienced the eye of Hurricane Camille. Images are branded in my brain – the dead stray dog flying through the air when my parents let us peek out the window, the large tree that sliced through the neighbor’s home, and long lines at the water truck […]

Life insurance denied: 3 reasons to review medical records for accuracy

{October 7th, 2016} by Tomas McFie

Having spent over 35 years in and around health care records, first as an intern, then as a doctor and now as a life insurance agent, it never ceases to amaze me how frequently people are shocked about the data found in their medical records. Be it a prescription never filled, a physician’s comment never […]

Gloom Could Lift for MetLife After Brighthouse Split

{October 7th, 2016} by Aaron Black

It is a gift that few shareholders probably want, but probably one for which they should be thankful. MetLife is preparing to spin off its consumer business to shareholders, giving them a company weighed down by low interest rates and a lousy market for variable annuities. Overall, the deal probably makes sense. When MetLife said […]

Are robo advisers fiduciaries? One law firm thinks so

{October 7th, 2016} by Suleman Din

Do robo advice clients understand they’re not receiving comprehensive financial planning? Yes — and as fiduciaries, robos don’t require new rules, argues a new white paper supporting digital advice. But a leading critic of digital advice says the argument “reflects an astonishing lack of respect for fiduciary law.” The paper, “The Evolution of Advice: Digital […]

Merrill’s move to end commission IRAs a ‘tectonic shift’ for brokerage industry

{October 7th, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

Merrill Lynch’s decision to shutter its commission IRA business in response to the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule could signal a sea change in the brokerage industry, and could push Merrill brokers reliant on commissions to find another home, according to industry observers. “I think the Department of Labor regulatory initiative is a game changer in […]

Software pundit: Plan for a total IT overhaul after DOL rule

{October 7th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

Among the various issues engendered by the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, one is especially concerning to insurers, advisors and intermediaries in the distribution chain: What will the rule mean for the industry’s massive information technology infrastructure? Will software and systems need to be tweaked, retrofitted or replaced? What are the stumbling blocks to surmount […]

WinkLogo (2)


{October 7th, 2016} by Wink's RockStars

Wink, Inc.’s AnnuitySpecs Tool is Strategically Positioned to Aid with DOL Rule Implementation Pleasant Hill, Iowa. October 6, 2016– How can one determine what is “reasonable compensation” on an annuity? The Department of Labor issued its final fiduciary rule on April 6, 2016. Among the products that the regulation affects are annuity sales that are […]

New data confirms a low national retirement IQ

{October 6th, 2016} by LifeHealthPro Editors

Although many Americans think they are financially savvy, new data shows how the group closest to retirement, baby boomers, struggles with retirement fundamentals and is not saving enough for their golden years. New data released by the Indexed Annuity Leadership Council shows that many baby boomers aren’t financially prepared for retirement — they have little […]

The DOL: In your face once more with an overtime pay rule

{October 6th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

You would think that advisors have enough on their plate scrambling to prepare for the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, due to be fully phased in by April 2017. Think again. A new DOL overtime pay rule, finalized last May, raises by 100 percent (to $47,476 from $23,660) the threshold at which employees can qualify […]

Ward Group: Top 50 life insurers for 2016

{October 6th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

Allianz Life, General Re, Principal life, Thrivent Financial and USAA are among the industry’s top 50 life insurers, according to a new research. So reports The Ward Group, a unit of Aon Hewitt, in its 2016 annual report on life insurers. The benchmarking firm analyzed the financial performance of nearly 3,000 property-casualty insurance companies and […]

DOL Rule Appeals Likely to Drag Well Into ’17

{October 6th, 2016} by John Hilton

As the financial services industry eagerly awaits decisions from the bench, thoughts are turning to appeals in lawsuits filed against the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. The first lawsuit by the National Association for Fixed Annuities – requesting a preliminary injunction stopping the entire rule – was heard Aug. 25 in District of Columbia District […]

How to sell insurance products people believe they don’t need: Opinion

{October 6th, 2016} by Tom Dougherty

Every insurance company and its agents face the same hurdle each day: Convincing audiences that they should buy something they believe they don’t need. Selling insurance isn’t like selling something people want. Consumers want iPhones and a nice-looking car. They will gladly pony up for them. They don’t want to think about what insurance is protecting […]

MetLife to spin off life insurance operations after weighing IPO

{October 6th, 2016} by Carl Surran

MetLife (NYSE:MET) +2.2% AH after confirming that it filed for a spinoff of its U.S. life insurance unit after considering alternate plans to sell the business or exit through an IPO. At least 80% of the shares in Brighthouse Financial will be distributed to MET investors under the plan, with the timing of the transaction […]

Humans have reached their lifespan limit, researchers say

{October 6th, 2016} by Bianca Britton, CNN

(CNN)Humans can only live so long and we’re reaching the natural biological limit, researchers say in a report published in Nature. The paper, published Wednesday, says that despite life expectancy being dramatically higher than it was 100 years ago, it’s highly unlikely it will continue to rise any more than what it is right now. […]

4 common misconceptions about FIUL

{October 5th, 2016} by Jason Wellmann

Don’t believe the hype: FIUL is too good to be true! This seems to be the common refrain from the majority of articles and commentary directed toward fixed index universal life insurance (FIUL), usually made in response to claims that sales people too often promise the moon whenever FIUL is discussed as an option for […]

Allianz Life Pro+ FIUL Policy Adds New Allianz True Balance Index

{October 5th, 2016} by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 4, 2016 – Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) today announced the addition of the Allianz True BalanceSM index to its Allianz Life Pro+® Fixed Index Universal Life Insurance (FIUL) Policy. Along with helping agents provide income-tax-free death benefit protection for beneficiaries, Allianz Life Pro+ now offers an additional way […]

Thrivent Files Suit Against DOL Fiduciary Rule

{October 4th, 2016} by John Hilton

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans filed a sixth lawsuit Thursday against the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. Filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, Thrivent’s 29-page lawsuit claimed the DOL rule will render its dispute resolution mechanism obsolete. Although five other lawsuits have been filed against the fiduciary rule since June, what makes […]

Market Synergy Hammers DOL on Public Notice of Rule Changes

{October 4th, 2016} by John Hilton

Market Synergy Group reminded a judge this week that the Department of Labor denied it the opportunity to comment on key changes to its fiduciary rule. Market Synergy Group filed the brief in response to the 3 1/2-hour hearing Sept. 21 before Judge Daniel Crabtree in Kansas City. Some analysts say the proceeding went very […]

Get a life – Insurance, that is

{October 4th, 2016} by Valerie Vinyard, Special to The Explorer

Though mortality remains alive and well, fewer U.S. residents own life insurance policies nowadays.  With September being Life Insurance Awareness Month, AAA Insurance experts want consumers to know it’s never too early to start planning. “Life insurance tends to be one of the areas that consumers put off or ignore,” said Brad Oltmans, vice president […]

Voya Financial to Announce Third Quarter 2016 Results on November 2

{October 4th, 2016} by Voya

NEW YORK, Oct. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today that it will host a webcast of its third quarter 2016 earnings conference call on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (ET). A press release containing information about the company’s financial results for the third quarter of […]

Sammons Financial aims at making sure workers stay

{October 4th, 2016} by Matthew Patane

No. 3 Sammons Financial Group Member Cos. | Large company category Sammons Financial Group wants it employees around for a long time. “We know that people don’t stay in jobs like they once did for 20, 30 years at a time, but we’d like to change that,” said Cindy Reed, president of Sammons’ annuities group. To […]

CNO Alleges Fraud in Lawsuit Against Life Reinsurer Beechwood Re

{October 4th, 2016} by David Pilla

CARMEL, Ind. – Two insurance subsidiaries of CNO Financial Group Inc. are terminating reinsurance agreements with Beechwood Re, and filing a lawsuit against the life reinsurer as the units look to recapture about $550 million of closed block long-term care liabilities they say were funded in a fraudulent manner. The CNO subsidiaries, Bankers Conseco Life […]

How to target millennials with life insurance marketing

{October 4th, 2016} by Kim Brumbaugh

By now, many agents and advisors have begun to see the value of multi-generational planning. When done well, working with younger generations of clients can be win-win for everyone involved. It offers advisors an opportunity to grow their businesses in a way that is poised to last for decades to come. By welcoming new, younger […]

Why Women Need Life Insurance

{October 4th, 2016} by Brian Greenberg

Oct. 4, 2016 — Now more than ever, women are redefining their roles at work and at home. Women have more options than ever, from full-time careers outside the home to careers as full-time homemakers with stops nearly everywhere in between. While women are achieving an unprecedented work-life balance, a piece of the puzzle that […]

Solvency II, European Insurance Regulation, Impacts US Insurers Too

{October 4th, 2016} by Effisoft USA

MIAMI, FL–(Marketwired – October 3, 2016) – US insurance executives need to know about Solvency II, an influential recent European Union insurance regulation. “They may not need to grasp it in great detail but should be familiar with its broad outlines because it will have a lot of impact internationally,” says Grégory Moliner, CEO of […]

IRI Announces New Training to Navigate DOL Fiduciary Rule Compliance

{October 4th, 2016} by Insured Retirement Institute

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 3, 2016 – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today announced its plans to unveil training platforms designed to help financial professionals and home office personnel comply with the Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiduciary rule. IRI is partnering with RegEd, Inc. on this training initiative. “Training will be one of most critical parts […]

Opinion: Here’s what you should understand about annuities before you buy

{October 4th, 2016} by Phil Simonides

Annuities, despite promising guaranteed income during retirement, are widely misunderstood. Indeed, over the years some common myths about annuities have become accepted as fact. Here are some of the most common misunderstandings about annuities, and how to avoid their pitfalls. 1: Annuities are expensive There are fees associated with some annuities, just as there are […]

The secret that is insurance industry philanthropy: Opinion

{October 4th, 2016} by Emily Holbrook

One may not think of insurance when pondering which industries are most charitable. I know I didn’t when I first started my career in this sector. But I soon learned the truth. In fact, I’m constantly amazed at how much this industry gives back — and how little recognition it receives for it. Take these […]

J.D. Power: Life insurers make gains in customer satisfaction

{October 4th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

Multiline carriers nabbed the two top spots in a recent customer satisfaction survey of life insurers. The “J.D. Power 2016 Life Insurance Study,” released today, ranks State Farm and Nationwide as, respectively, the No. 1 and No. 2 carriers in customer satisfaction. State Farm received an “Overall Customer Satisfaction Index Score” of 828, with Nationwide […]

The income stream death benefit

{October 4th, 2016} by Brian Leising

I’d like to help you close more life insurance sales by showing how an income stream death benefit can help your clients save money and better understand how their coverage works. We will explore the problem, present a money-saving solution and work to simplify it all for our clients. The Problem How many people do […]

How broker-dealers are preparing for the DOL fiduciary rule

{October 4th, 2016} by INTV

Oct 4, 2016 @ 12:00 am Runtime: 3:09 Executives from firms including LPL Financial and Voya Financial Advisors discuss the steps they are taking to prepare for the compliance requirements tied to the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. Click HERE  to watch the video via InvestmentNews: registration may be required to view 

Nationwide to Acquire Annuities Company Jefferson National: Deal reflects impact of Labor Department’s new fiduciary rule

{October 3rd, 2016} by Lisa Belifuss

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. is acquiring an annuities company that specializes in fee-based products, a sign of how new federal retirement-savings rules are starting to transform parts of the financial-services industry that rely on commission-paid agents. The Columbus, Ohio, property-casualty and life-insurance company is buying Jefferson National Insurance Co., an issuer of annuities that are […]

Marrying fixed index annuities with actively managed accounts

{October 1st, 2016} by Michael Kalen

Editor’s note: The following article is excerpted from a white paper produced by Dressander|BHC. While it is cliché to state that all clients are unique — and indeed all investors have unique needs and face different circumstances — those planning for retirement are choosing annuities more often than not as one of the many investment […]

Your Female Clients Might Have More Risk Tolerance Than You Think

{September 30th, 2016} by Christopher Robbins

Today might be the day to stop assuming that women are risk-averse decision makers. Research release this week from BMO Wealth Management has found that female business owners are actually quite comfortable making bold decisions — more comfortable than their male counterparts.. In a report titled “Are there gender differences among entrepreneurs?” a BMO survey […]

Attrition fears play into broker-dealers’ hesitation to detail new commission schedules under DOL fiduciary rule

{September 30th, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

One main theme emerged amid discussion about the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule at the Insured Retirement Institute’s annual conference this week: Broker-dealers are either still determining the annuity commissions that would likely satisfy the rule’s “reasonable compensation” requirements, or they’ve made that determination but have taken a vow of silence. While it’s likely not broker-dealers’ […]

Nationwide To Acquire Jefferson National

{September 30th, 2016} by John Hilton

Nationwide’s acquisition of Jefferson National, a blockbuster deal announced this morning, gives the venerable company an opening in the fee-only advisor space. The acquisition will expand Nationwide’s ability to sell financial service products through Jefferson National’s network of RIAs and fee-based advisors, Nationwide said in a news release. Nationwide has been rocketing up the fixed annuity sales board […]

New York Life Sees 11% Jump In Whole Life Sales In First Half Of 2016

{September 28th, 2016} by LIMRA International

NEW YORK, September 27, 2016 — New York Life, America’s largest mutual life insurer, today announced continued record sales of life insurance by agents through the second quarter of 2016, as well as solid growth in sales of income and fixed annuities, and long-term care insurance.  The company reported a three percent rise in individual […]

Ex-CEO Greenberg defends reputation during AIG trial

{September 28th, 2016} by Kevin Dugan

In a packed Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday, Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, a veteran of World War II and 36 years as chief executive of insurance giant AIG, faced one final mission: rescuing his reputation.     Greenberg, 91, took the witness stand to personally turn aside allegations from the state that he engineered two sham insurance […]

Financial industry rhetoric riles DOL officials

{September 28th, 2016} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Despite years of intense opposition, a Labor Department regulation that would raise investment advice standards for retirement accounts is marching toward implementation. It’s not yet clear if the financial industry’s Hail Mary pass to stop the final rule in court will be completed in the end zone. But even if it loses the war over […]

IMO makes targeted claim against DOL rulemaking procedures

{September 28th, 2016} by Nick Thornton

Oral arguments were heard last week in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas on behalf of Market Synergies Group, a Topeka, Kansas-based consortium of 11 independent marketing organizations that accounted $15 billion worth of fixed indexed annuity sales in 2015 through more than 3,000 independent insurance agents. In Market Synergies Group, Inc. v. […]

Illinois Court Declares Fixed Indexed Annuities Are Not Securities

{September 27th, 2016} by Annuity Outlook Staff

NAFA Filed Amicus Curiae Brief, Pushed for Published Decision WASHINGTON D.C. (Sept. 21, 2016) — After three years of agency and court litigation, the Illinois Appellate Court for the Fourth District has ruled that, under Illinois law, fixed indexed annuities are only to be regulated as insurance products and not as securities. This comes as […]

DOL Rule Causing Ripple Effect In Retirement Industry

{September 27th, 2016} by Richmond Times- Dispatch (VA)

Proposed rules regarding retirement savings are creating jitters in the financial services industry – and they will affect retirement planning for years, financial advisers and consultants say. “Any practice handling individual retirement accounts will be affected significantly by this,” said Evan Fabricant, incoming president of the Richmond chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals. […]

Fiduciary rule could spur innovation

{September 27th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

The DOL fiduciary rule is likely to be a disruptive force within the insurance and financial industries during the next several years. Panelists during a session Monday at the Insured Retirement Institute’s Vision annual conference in Colorado Springs explored some of the possible outcomes of the rule. While industry players are still absorbing the language […]

Dispelling The Myths and Misinformation Of Whole Life

{September 27th, 2016} by Brad Crockett

Our clients are often confronted with conflicting advice. Case in point is the myriad of varying opinions regarding whole life insurance. Many investment gurus continue to publicly discount the benefits of whole life insurance. As a result, many families have failed to realize the broad range of financial benefits whole life insurance provides. In times […]

Broker-dealers on DOL fiduciary rule: Expect advisors to walk

{September 27th, 2016} by LifeHealthPro Editors

More than half of broker-dealers (54 percent) believe some of their advisors will retire rather than sell under new business rules to comply with the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, according to a LIMRA Secure Retirement study. “Because the rule increases advisors’ liability, B-Ds also expect their advisors to stop providing advice to clients with […]

Insurers cite broker-dealer annuity requirements as ‘big issue’ under DOL fiduciary rule

{September 27th, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

The catering by insurance companies to specific broker-dealer requests on annuity product design has been a major change, and challenge, for the industry as implementation of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule draws closer. Insurers are trying to remain flexible as product distributors weigh the annuity specifications that make the most sense for their adviser forces […]

Advisers warming up to the DOL rule, see business opportunity: Fidelity poll

{September 27th, 2016} by Grete Suarez

Financial advisers’ views on the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule have taken a surprising turn, as more are seeing the rule as having a positive impact on their business, according to a new study from Fidelity Investments. A recent poll of financial advisers at wirehouses, broker-dealers and RIAs revealed that 29% see opportunity in the […]

5 disadvantages of indexed universal life insurance

{September 27th, 2016} by STEPHAN R. LEIMBERG, ROBERT J. DOYLE, JR., KEITH A. BUCK

Policy-owners of indexed universal life bear virtually all the disadvantages they would bear if they owned regular universal life policies. Many of these disadvantages stem from or are natural consequences of the advantages that IUL offers. The following excerpt from, “The Tools & Techniques of Life Insurance Planning” (2015, The National Underwriter Company), surveys the disadvantages of […]

To the rescue: Ex-coast guard pilot pitches DOL rule revamp

{September 27th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has faced a barrage of industry condemnation since its unveiling last April. One of those giving a thumbs-down may, at first glance, seem a bit far afield: a former search and rescue helicopter pilot for the United State Coast Guard. In fact, that critic, Don Trone, founder and CEO […]

IRI study: Lifetime income providing financial security for retirees

{September 26th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

A new study by the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), released today at the its annual meeting being held in Colorado Springs, found that 80 percent of retirees are receiving some income from a pension plan, and 42 percent are receiving at least half of their retirement income from a pension. But while pensions are serving […]

Judges named in MetLife SIFI case

{September 26th, 2016} by Arthur D. Postal

WASHINGTON — Judges appointed by President Barack Obama Monday in the federal government’s ongoing case regarding whether or not MetLife is a systemically important financial institution (SIFI) will constitute a majority on the panel that will review the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s appeal of a lower court decision earlier this year. Judge selection was viewed as a […]


This is likely to be Wink’s only blog about golf.

{September 26th, 2016} by Jamie Johnson

Does playing golf enhance your career in the financial industry? It certainly can be effective for networking; how may other chances do we get to build relationships and allot time for a four hour meeting?!  This is likely to be Wink’s only blog about golf. While we do have a couple of deft golfers who are more […]

‘Hit Pause’ on DOL Fiduciary Rule, Insurer’s Lawyers Urge Federal Judge

{September 23rd, 2016} by ThinkAdvisor staff

Lawyers representing insurer Market Synergy in its case against the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule told a Kansas judge Wednesday that Labor failed to prove that the current state-based regulation of fixed-indexed annuities is broken, and that the judge should “hit the pause” button on including them in the rule. In arguing their case in […]

Judge Could Issue Partial Block of DOL Rule, Lawyer Says

{September 23rd, 2016} by John Hilton

Kansas judge could throw out the tougher regulation of fixed indexed annuities, while allowing the rest of the controversial fiduciary rule to stand. Judge Daniel Crabtree heard three-and-a-half hours of testimony Wednesday in the Market Synergy Group vs. Department of Labor lawsuit. MSG is taking a nuanced stand with its request for a preliminary injunction, […]

Culver City man is accused of running a Ponzi scheme targeting elderly disabled people

{September 23rd, 2016} by Joseph Serna

Culver City man has been arrested on suspicion of operating a Ponzi scheme that bilked people out of more than $2 million through fake annuities and insurance policies, authorities announced Friday. Steven Edward Branstetter, 60, was booked on 13 felony counts of elder and grand theft and is being held on $715,000 bail. If he wants […]

Principal Promotes Strable to Finance Chief, Replacing Lillis

{September 23rd, 2016} by Jordyn Holman, Katherine Chiglinsky

Principal Financial Group Inc., the seller of life insurance and retirement products with more than $500 billion of assets under management, promoted Deanna Strable-Soethout to chief financial officer, replacing Terry Lillis, who is retiring. Strable, who was named president of U.S. insurance solutions in 2015, will take the CFO post early next year and was […]

Nassau Re Rebrands Acquired Phoenix Life Subsidiary

{September 23rd, 2016} by David Pilla

HARTFORD, Conn. – Phoenix Cos. Inc. unveiled a new corporate brand it said will align the Phoenix’s logo with Nassau Reinsurance Group Holdings LP, Phoenix’s new parent. The brand change introduces “a consistent brand across its enterprise,” Phoenix said in a statement. Phillip J. Gass, chief executive officer of Phoenix and Nassau Re, said in […]

Why some life insurance policies perform better than others

{September 22nd, 2016} by Andrew Gordon

Life insurance producers gravitate toward guaranteed universal life (GUL) contracts because of their simplicity. To put it bluntly, these products are a known commodity that doesn’t cause problems and are easy to explain to consumers. At the end of the day, if the client pays the premiums exactly as illustrated, that’s all it takes. There […]

Selling annuities under the DOL fiduciary rule is a whole new ballgame

{September 22nd, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule will fundamentally change the way brokers can select annuities for clients. Brokers are currently able to sell annuities under a suitability standard, but fiduciary experts describe new DOL requirements as a suitability standard on steroids that will require a comprehensive client analysis similar to one performed by a traditional […]

Court Hearings on Fiduciary Litigation Offer Little Clarity

{September 22nd, 2016} by John Manganaro,l EDITORS@ASSETINTERNATIONAL.COM

ERISA specialist Erin Sweeney recently attended a key hearing in one of the five ongoing pieces of litigation filed against the DOL fiduciary rule reforms; she offers an update for PLANADVISER readers. Erin Sweeney, of counsel with Miller & Chevalier, has an impressive background when it comes to understanding complex pieces of employee benefits law […]

With eye on DOL, IRI hires Milliman to survey annuity comp

{September 22nd, 2016} by Editorial Staff

To help financial services firms and financial professionals comply with the reasonable compensation standard under the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, the Insured Retirement Institute will survey current compensation practices regarding sales of annuities and other investment products, IRI announced.   Milliman, Inc., the global consulting firm, will conduct the survey for IRI. Financial firms […]

A Fee-Based Annuity for the DOL Era?

{September 22nd, 2016} by WealthManagement.com Staff

Great American Life Insurance Company has introduced a new fee-based fixed indexed annuity with an optional guaranteed income rider that the firm says meets the compensation requirements of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. The product, called Index Protector 7, is being distributed by Clarity 2 Prosperity and Prosperity Capital Advisors. The companies say investors […]

Allianz Life Hires Robin Holicky as Assistant Vice President, Life Underwriting

{September 22nd, 2016} by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) has hired Robin Holicky as assistant vice president of Life Underwriting. In this role, she is responsible for life underwriting strategies that support automated systems, health interview processes and service-model changes to enhance the customer experience. Holicky reports to Vice President of New Business Sandy […]

Hartford said to enlist JPMorgan to sell annuity runoff business


Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co. to see if the insurer can find a buyer for Talcott Resolution, the unit that includes U.S. variable annuities, according to people familiar with the matter. Apollo Global Management LLC, Wilton Re Holdings Ltd., Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and JC Flowers & Co. are […]

Securian Introduces CareShield: A Life Insurance Policy with Built-In Living Benefits for Chronic and Terminal Illness

{September 21st, 2016} by Securian Financial Group

ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Securian Financial Group has launched CareShield™, a new product simplifying the combination of life insurance protection with living benefits for chronic and terminal illness. As an alternative to long-term care insurance, CareShield provides benefits to policyholders regardless of whether they need care.1 “CareShield is for aging Americans concerned about developing and needing […]

Opponents of DOL fiduciary rule hurt by Wells Fargo woes

{September 21st, 2016} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Wells Fargo chief executive John Stumpf achieved a rarity in Washington on Tuesday: bipartisan consensus. Unfortunately for him, the agreement across the aisle at a Senate Banking Committee hearing was that Wells Fargo failed to do what’s right for its retail banking customers. Although the investment advice unit of the bank has not been implicated […]

3 reasons Lemonade’s CEO wants to disrupt the insurance industry

{September 21st, 2016} by ELANA ASHANTI JEFFERSON

Lemonade, the startup that’s been dubbed “the Uber of insurance” for its mobile-based, peer-to-peer sales model, brought its product to market on Wednesday with the official launch of lemonade.com. The company is headquartered in New York City, and is currently focused on selling renters’ and homeowners’ insurance products there. Also pivotal to the Lemonade model […]

Opponents Take On the DOL in a Topeka Court

{September 21st, 2016} by John Hilton

Opponents of the controversial Department of Labor fiduciary rule will have another go in court today in Topeka, Kan. Judge Daniel Crabtree of the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas will hear Market Synergy’s request for a preliminary injunction at 9 a.m. As in two other lawsuits, Market Synergy claims the DOL has […]

Fiduciary rule causes insurers to pull back on financial products

{September 20th, 2016} by Arthur D. Postal

WASHINGTON — State Farm Insurance says it will not be accepting liability under the Best Interest Contract (BIC) on the sale of annuities or mutual funds by the more than 12,000 of its agents throughout the U.S. who have licenses to sell securities. At the same time, Allstate, USAA and Nationwide, three other insurers with large […]

Not ready to become a DOL-compliant FI? Go partner with one

{September 20th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

The handful of independent marketing organizations that, since July, have applied to become a financial institution under the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has a lot of market-watchers wondering how other IMOs on the sidelines intend to do business once the rule is phased in next year. Indeed, there are more than 350 of these […]

New fiduciary registry will promote advisers who adhere to strictest guidelines

{September 20th, 2016} by Ann Marsh

A new fiduciary registry aims to counteract perceived shortcomings in the SEC and the CFP Board’s fiduciary requirements by identifying the strictest fiduciary advisers nationwide. Run by the Institute for Fiduciary Standard, and publically supported by TD Ameritrade Institutional and Pershing Advisor Solutions, the registry will promote advisers who observe its 12 best practices. The […]

IMO President: Here’s How We’ll Sell Under DOL

{September 20th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Brokers International is all-in on a Department of Labor waiver to allow the marketer to continue selling popular fixed indexed annuities. The Iowa-based marketing organization has requested the DOL grant it financial institution, or FI, status. The company partners with more than 20 insurance companies to distribute retirement and life insurance products through about 35 independent marketing […]

Clarity 2 Prosperity to Provide New, Fee-Based Fixed Indexed Annuity Product to Investment Advisory Channel

{September 20th, 2016} by Clarity 2 Prosperity

CLEVELAND, Sept. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Sister companies, Clarity 2 Prosperity (C2P), the coaching and insurance division, and Prosperity Capital Advisors (PCA), an SEC Registered Investment Adviser, announce the distribution of a new fee-based fixed indexed annuity with optional guaranteed income rider is now available through its organization. The innovative product, the Index Protector 7 […]

Got a fiduciary question? DoL to issue FAQs soon

{September 20th, 2016} by Andrew Welsch

 BALTIMORE — Advisers perplexed by the ins and outs of the Department of Labor’s new regulation may soon get a road map, according to an agency official. The department will be issuing FAQs for advisers and wealth management firms this fall at an unspecified date, and will continue to do so on an ongoing basis, […]

Phoenix Launches New Brand as a Nassau Re Company

{September 20th, 2016} by The Phoenix Companies

HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (Phoenix) introduced its new corporate brand today, aligning Phoenix’s logo to its new parent company, Nassau Reinsurance Group Holdings, L.P. (Nassau Re). The change coincides with a refreshed look for Nassau Re and the introduction of a consistent brand across its enterprise. Phoenix adopted Nassau Re’s lighthouse as its […]

8 insurance sales tips especially for millennial producers

{September 20th, 2016} by KENNETH L. FIELDS, CIC, CPCU

Small-business owners (those with fewer than 500 employees) make up nearly all businesses in the United States. Less than 20 percent of those owners are under the age of 35. Here are some insights for millennial producers on how to sell to those prospects and clients of other generations. If you are a newer producer, chances […]

NAIFA ratchets up FI focus as DOL phases in fiduciary rule

{September 20th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

With so much attention now focused on the U.S. Department of Labor’s plans to phase in its conflict of interest rule next year, it’s easy to lose track of one aspect that could prove critical to the insurance and finance industry: how financial institutions beholden to the new regime will interpret and implement the rule’s […]

NAIFA survey: Fiduciary rule likely to reduce retirement advice

{September 20th, 2016} by LifeHealthPro Editors

A survey by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors of its members finds that many advisors believe the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule affecting retirement products and services will damage their ability to serve their clients, particularly those who are lower- or middle-income clients. According to the survey of 1,167 NAIFA members, more […]

Insurance M&A deals: rocketing to new heights

{September 20th, 2016} by LifeHealthPro Editors

Mergers and acquisitions in the insurance industry rose by 176 percent between 2014 and 2015, the transactions driven by a host of factors, including a long-standing drag on the industry: continuing low interest rates. Timetric discloses this finding in its “Insight Report: M&A in the Global Insurance Industry.” The report discusses in detail the trends […]

Education, training programs crop up as DOL fiduciary rule looms

{September 20th, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

With the industry at about the halfway point between release of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule and implementation of the regulation in April 2017, most firms are still trying to make heads or tails of their specific approaches to compliance. Once executives at broker-dealers and registered investment advisers make those determinations, however, there’s still the […]

Institute for Fiduciary Standard begins program to hold advisers publicly accountable

{September 20th, 2016} by Christine Idzelis

The Institute for the Fiduciary Standard has started a program for financial advisers that’s designed to demonstrate they’re adhering to best practices when engaging with investors. Advisers who participate will publicly communicate their commitment to putting clients’ interests ahead of their own at all times by agreeing to post a statement of the Institute’s best […]

DOL fiduciary rule’s unintended consequence: higher fees for investors

{September 20th, 2016} by Bruce Kelly

As broker-dealers adjust to the new Department of Labor fiduciary rule by instituting uniform commissions on a wide swath of investments, investors could be faced with higher prices on some investment products. LPL Financial, the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer, is instituting new uniform pricing rules for alternative investments such an nontraded real estate investment trusts […]

Strable-Soethout named Principal’s next CFO

{September 20th, 2016} by Business Record Staff

Principal Financial Group announced today that Deanna Strable-Soethout will become chief financial officer when Principal’s current CFO, Terry Lillis, retires in February. Strable has been promoted to executive vice president of Principal, effective immediately, the company said in a release. She will retain her current position as president of United States Insurance Solutions until her […]

Why Insurers Must Pick Up Their Technology Pace

{September 20th, 2016} by Gregory Hoeg

The insurance industry is on the horns of a dilemma: how to use new technologies to improve their operations and how to insure the risks these new technologies present to their customers. The pace of technology is changing at faster rates than ever before and continues unabated despite the associated risks. New technology startups constantly […]

Additional DOL fiduciary pitfalls to avoid

{September 20th, 2016} by Ed McCarthy

Many registered investment advisors (RIAs) breathed a sigh of relief after the Department of Labor (DOL) issued its fiduciary ruling. While the new rules certainly fall less heavily on RIAs, they are not off the hook for potential compliance problems, particularly when it comes to IRA rollovers. I recently spoke at length with Jason Roberts, […]

Racing to insure: 8 questions for LIAM’s Danica Patrick

{September 20th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors commemorated Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM) at its annual meeting in Las Vegas on Sunday by featuring several “Real Life Stories,” or tales from the proverbial real world that illustrated why consumers need life insurance and other protection products in their financial plans. One person with her […]

DMI Launches New Website and Releases Exclusive New Programs

{September 19th, 2016} by Annuity Outlook Staff

Hingham, Massachusetts, September 15, 2016—With the launch of a new website, DMI is excited to announce the release of exclusive marketing programs and a suite of proprietary products. Through these new programs advisors can: Engage with thousands of active listeners in a one hour show on a weekly basis with THE DMI Radio Edge Program. […]

Top 20 life insurance firms ranked by direct premiums, market share

{September 18th, 2016} by Ellie Zhu

Life insurance companies ranked by direct premiums     Company 2015 total direct premiums ($M) Market share 1 MetLife $12,530.1 8.14% 2 Northwestern Mutual $10,089.5 6.55% 3 New York Life $8,740.2 5.68% 4 Purdential of America $8,593.8 5.58% 5 Lincoln National $6,729.6 4.37% 6 MassMutual Life $6,157.2 4.00% 7 John Hancock $4,743.6 3.08% 8 Aegon […]

DOL official downplays advisers’ lawsuit fears stemming from fiduciary rule

{September 16th, 2016} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

A Labor Department official tried to ease fears a new rule to raise advice standards for retirement accounts will lead to an explosion of lawsuits. The rule, which requires that advisers act in the best interests of their clients, shouldn’t make advisers leery to work with clients with modest assets because they are worried about […]

Rolling’ DOL Fiduciary Guidance Begins in Fall: DOL’s Hauser

{September 16th, 2016} by N/A

The Department of Labor plans to start pushing out guidance this fall to address questions about its fiduciary rule, Timothy Hauser, chief operating officer of DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, said Friday. Speaking during a session at the Financial Planning Association’s national conference in Baltimore, Hauser said the guidance will come out on a “rolling […]

Voya Financial Announces Executive Committee Appointments

{September 16th, 2016} by Voya

NEW YORK, Sept. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today several appointments and expanded leadership roles that will increase and diversify the experience and talent on the company’s Executive Committee as well as position Voya well to achieve its broader strategic and financial goals. Carolyn M. Johnson has been named chief executive officer of Insurance Solutions, […]

Life insurance in a low interest rate environment

{September 15th, 2016} by Myra Thomas

Low interest rates might be good for homebuyers, but that just isn’t the case for the average investor. Returns on vehicles like certificates of deposit (CDs) are meager at best, and they require people to lock up their money for a long time, reducing liquidity. Early withdrawal penalties make CDs an even less attractive investment. […]

The Best Bond Alternative No One Is Talking About

{September 15th, 2016} by Michael Reese, CFP® from Centennial Wealth Advisory, LLC

What is the job of a bond in your portfolio? When you think about it, bonds have two primary roles in a well-balanced portfolio. Role #1 is to provide steady income. Role #2 is to provide stability for a portion of your principal to offset some of the volatility of market positions. How are bonds […]

Lincoln Financial Group’s Heather Milligan Earns Women in Insurance Leadership Award

{September 15th, 2016} by Lincoln Financial Group

RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lincoln Financial Group is pleased to announce that Heather Milligan, senior vice president of underwriting and new business for Lincoln’s individual life insurance business , has been recognized by Insurance Networking News as one of its Women in Insurance Leadership honorees. Insurance Networking News’ Women in Insurance Leadership award measures the accomplishments of […]

Pacific Life anticipates 120 Lynchburg employees by year’s end, 300 by early 2018

{September 15th, 2016} by Margaret Carmel

Pacific Life’s expansion into Lynchburg is on schedule. The company, projected to add 300 jobs to the region, has hired 79 people so far and is on track to employ 120 by the end of the year. “We’re tracking to our project schedule to be ready to do business by the end of this year,” […]

Delaware Commissioner Stewart’s Bid for Third Term Ends in Primary Election Defeat

{September 15th, 2016} by Thomas Harman

DOVER, Del. – There will be a new insurance commissioner in Delaware after incumbent Karen Weldin Stewart’s bid for a third term was derailed Sept. 13 by opponent Trinidad Navarro in the Democrat primary election. Poised to meet Navarro in the Nov. 8 general election is insurance industry veteran Jeff Cragg, who won the Republican […]