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Industry Articles

Sapiens Makes Big North America Move with StoneRiver Acquisition

{February 17th, 2017} by Anthony R. O'Donnell

Counting all that StoneRiver brings in systems, industry credibility, and client base, the vendor believes it now has what it needs to face the challenges of succeeding in the North American insurance systems market. If Sapiens’ mid-2016 acquisition of Maximum Processing was a foothold in the North American insurance systems market, the vendor’s announcement yesterday […]

Masterpiece Of Love

{February 14th, 2017} by Prudential

Prudential creates a compelling testament to love, life and loss In observance of Valentine’s Day, Prudential Financial has combined love and loss to launch an artful advertising campaign to support their Individual Life Insurance (ILI) business. The “Masterpiece of Love” campaign is a series of four online short films (about 20 minutes each) detailing stories […]

DOL files to delay fiduciary rule

{February 14th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

As expected, the Department of Labor filed a notice Thursday with the Office of Management and Budget to delay implementation of its fiduciary rule via a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. OMB reviews generally take from 10 to 14 days and then once OMB approves the proposal, Labor will send the notice to the Federal Register for publication […]

Judge rules against fiduciary foes, puts onus back on Trump

{February 14th, 2017} by Andrew Welsch, Tobias Salinger

A federal judge denied a lawsuit brought by industry trade groups seeking to overturn the fiduciary rule, putting the onus on the Trump administration to make any changes to the regulation. The decision came just hours after the Department of Labor asked the judge to hold off on a ruling so that it could comply […]

8 Things Advisors Can Learn From Johnny Depp

{February 14th, 2017} by John Hilton

If you weren’t paying attention, you’d think the Johnny Depp financial crisis was a plot right out of a Hollywood movie. A multi-millionaire actor  –  no, it’s not Nicholas Cage – blows through $2 million dollars a month, and finds himself in danger of being buried in unsustainable debt, due primarily to bad advice the […]

Advisors Have Needs, Too

{February 14th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

Advisors need and want support when it comes to building investment and income portfolios for their clients, but what sort of support exactly? In their own words, full-service advisors, independent advisors and registered investment advisors gave industry consultant Howard Schneider a clue. Schneider published those results in his report titled “Trends in How Advisors Construct […]

Life insurance challenges posed by marijuana and e-cigarettes

{February 14th, 2017} by Randy L. Zipse

An increasingly discussed area in life insurance circles is the manner in which marijuana and e-cigarettes are addressed by life insurance carriers. There are ramifications for both relative to medical underwriting, and there are financial underwriting issues surrounding marijuana. E-cigarettes are plastic and metal devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution in a disposable cartridge […]

5 opportunities to turn Valentine’s Day into Life Insurance Day

{February 14th, 2017} by Daniel Williams

Buying life insurance is showing love,” says Amanda Korth, a registered representative with Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. “But it’s also showing selfless love.”  Korth and I are talking about the importance of life insurance, and the reasons why Valentine’s Day is a perfect time for advisors to discuss the topic with their clients and for […]

Greenberg settles suit over AIG deals N.Y. calls fraudulent

{February 14th, 2017} by CHRIS DOLMETSCH, SONALI BASAK

(Bloomberg) — Ex-American International Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Maurice “Hank” Greenberg admitted to taking part in two deals to make the insurer’s financial condition look better than it was as part of a $9.9 million settlement with New York that has dragged out for almost a dozen years, the state’s top lawyer said. The settlement, announced […]

FIA Distribution Could Turn into ‘Monopoly’

{February 14th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

An exemption allowing only the largest independent marketing organizations to sell fixed indexed annuities under the fiduciary rule threatens to create a “monopoly” of distributors. That was the word from an insurance company executive. The fiduciary rule is “almost turning the FIA business into a monopoly because there will be fewer and fewer IMOs, if […]

More Americans Buying Life Insurance Directly From Insurers

{February 14th, 2017} by LIMRA

WINDSOR, Conn., Feb. 13, 2017–A LIMRA study, U.S. Life Insurance Trends 2016, indicates more consumers than ever before are saying they have purchased individual life insurance policies directly rather than from a financial professional. The study finds that the direct purchasing of individual life insurance has increased by more than 25 percent in each of […]

Fintechs feature DOL fiduciary tools at T3

{February 14th, 2017} by Liz Skinner

Many new tools that fintech firms are unveiling as the T3 conference opens this week are aimed at helping financial advisers meet requirements of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, which was due to take effect in less than two months but is now in limbo as President Donald J. Trump delayed implementation by six months. […]

Lincoln Financial Group Broadens Its Suite of Guaranteed Lifetime Income Solutions with New Fee-Based Options

{February 14th, 2017} by Lincoln Financial Group

RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Lincoln Financial Group (LNC) announced the introduction of new fee-based variable and fixed indexed annuities, broadening its suite of lifetime income solutions. Designed to help advisors solve for their clients’ retirement income needs, these products provide savers with a known source of income through a competitive cost option with a broad selection […]

Voya Financial Expands its Suite of Retirement Income Solutions with New Voya Journey Index Annuity

{February 14th, 2017} by Jamie Johnson

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2017 WINDSOR, Conn., Feb. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today it has expanded its suite of fixed index annuity products by introducing the new Voya Journey Index Annuity. Its innovative design provides individuals with a simple “two stage” interest-crediting approach that offers full growth potential, while providing […]

Sen. Elizabeth Warren presses Andrew Puzder on DOL fiduciary rule

{February 14th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Gives Trump’s nominee for secretary of Labor questions on how he’ll evaluate the retirement advice regulation Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is pressing Andrew Puzder, President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for labor secretary, on what he intends to proceed in reassessing a major investment-advice rule. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

Voices The fiduciary rule’s real shortcoming that Trump should fix: Opinion

{February 13th, 2017} by Barry Ritholtz

(Bloomberg View) — President Trump’s has asked for 180-day review of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. It is, of course, reasonable to assume that this is the prelude to the new administration’s effort to kill the regulation. If there is an actual shortcoming to the rule, it is this: The fiduciary rule shouldn’t apply […]

EMC reports fourth-quarter, annual earnings

{February 13th, 2017} by News Briefs

EMC Insurance Group Inc. today reported net income of $21.3 million, or $1.01 per share, for the fourth quarter, compared with $9.9 million, or 48 cents per share, for the same period a year ago. For the year ended Dec. 31, EMC reported net income of $46.2 million, or $2.20 per share, compared with $50.2 […]

FBL reports $26.9 million in fourth-quarter earnings

{February 13th, 2017} by News Briefs

FBL Financial Group Inc. on Thursday reported net income for the fourth quarter of $26.9 million, or $1.07 per diluted common share, compared with $30.9 million, or $1.23 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2015. Operating income, which excludes the impact of realized gains and losses on investments and the change in net unrealized […]

Brokers International brings 100-plus jobs to Greater Des Moines

{February 13th, 2017} by News Briefs

Brokers International has moved from Panora to renovated office space in Urbandale, a transition that has brought more than 100 new jobs to Greater Des Moines, according to a release. The retirement and investment marketing firm unveiled its new headquarters today at 4135 N.W. Urbandale Drive in an office park that recently went through a […]

DeClerck named to 10,000 Small Businesses program

{February 13th, 2017} by Conference Event Management

Michelle DeClerck, owner of Conference Event Management in West Des Moines, has been selected as a participant in 10,000 Small Businesses, an entrepreneurial program for small business owners developed by Goldman Sachs. Each year Goldman Sachs selects 150 small business owners from around the country to attend the entrepreneurial program at Babson College in Wellesley, […]

‘Do not fear the fee’: Why advisers should discuss costs with clients

{February 10th, 2017} by Tobias Salinger

The cost of planning matters less to clients than their advisers’ willingness to discuss the touchy subject with them, according to an IMCA training session. “Do not fear the fee, ladies and gentlemen. Talk about it, not just once, talk about it often. They expect it and they want it,” John Hancock Investments National Sales […]

Fiduciary rule is ‘difficult to kill’

{February 10th, 2017} by Andrew Welsch

The fiduciary rule is proving to be one tough survivor — for now. So far, three lawsuits seeking to undo the rule have been rejected. Those come after years of lobbying by some of the industry’s largest trade groups as well as fierce opposition from Republicans in Congress. “The Obama administration did some extremely smart […]

3 ways the big life app checker bureau could grow

{February 10th, 2017} by Allison Bell

The head of an insurance industry support organization founded in 1902 is still looking for ways to grow. Lee Oliphant, president of MIB Group Inc., talked about his idea for expanding the Braintree, Massachusetts-based risk exposure organization’s horizons earlier this week in an interview. Insurers started MIB in an effort to share information they could use […]

UBS exploring fee-based annuities for advisers

{February 9th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

UBS Wealth Management Americas is mulling the potential offer of fee-based annuities to its adviser force for use with clients, according to a company executive. Click HERE to read via InvestmentNews; registration required

American Equity Beats 4Q Profit Forecasts

{February 9th, 2017} by American Equity

WEST DEMOINES, Iowa (AP) _ American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. (AEL) on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter net income of $120.8 million. The West Demoines, Iowa-based company said it had net income of $1.35 per share. Earnings, adjusted for investment gains, came to 63 cents per share. The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate […]

DOL Court Win on Fiduciary ‘Troublesome’ For Trump: Lawyer

{February 9th, 2017} by John Hilton

The Trump administration might have difficulty killing the Department of Labor fiduciary rule after a third federal judge upheld the rule Wednesday, one labor expert said. Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn granted a summary judgment to the DOL in an 81-page ruling released just hours after the agency asked for a stay until March 10. Plaintiffs […]

ACLI RESPONDS TO FEDERAL COURT RULING ON FIDUCIARY REGULATION

{February 9th, 2017} by ACLI

American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) Executive Vice President and General Counsel Gary Hughes issued the following statement in response to a federal court decision on the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule:   Washington, D.C., (February 8, 2017) – “The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) is disappointed with the decision from the U.S. […]

DOL wins fiduciary rule case in Texas

{February 9th, 2017} by Jamie Johnson

Texas federal trial Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn ruled in favor Wednesday of the Labor Department in the case brought by nine plaintiffs against Labor’s fiduciary rule. Lynn had promised a ruling by Friday. The nine plaintiffs, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and the Financial Services Institute, sued the DOL […]

DoL asks judge for timeout in fiduciary lawsuit, cites Trump order

{February 8th, 2017} by Andrew Welsch

The Department of Labor has asked a federal judge to hold off on issuing a ruling in a pending lawsuit seeking to overturn the fiduciary rule, a move which could indicate the department is considering overturning its regulation. The department cited President Trump’s recent memo instructing it to review the regulation and possibly rescind it […]

No turning back the clock on fiduciary

{February 8th, 2017} by Andrew Welsch

Is it too late to overturn the fiduciary rule? That question might seem far-fetched in the wake of President Trump’s memorandum, instructing the Department of Labor to review the regulation once again with an eye toward killing it or aggressively scaling it back. But the environment has changed over the past year. Ameriprise spent tens […]

White House memo confuses Wall Street on fate of fiduciary rule

{February 7th, 2017} by Sarah N. Lynch and Elizabeth Dilts

Conflicting signs from the White House have left brokerage firms and lobbyists unsure whether a controversial rule governing retirement advice will ever be put in place, but they are taking no chances and complying anyway. President Donald Trump’s Friday memorandum ordered the Labor Department to review the so-called “fiduciary” rule, which requires brokers to put […]

Fidelity survey finds advisers still focusing on DOL rule implementation

{February 7th, 2017} by InvestmentNews

Despite possible postponement of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, 44% of advisers did not slow down their implementation and compliance plans in January, while another 19% were proceeding only slightly slower with their plans, according a poll of advisers conducted last month by Fidelity. Click HERE to view the full article via InvestmentNews; registration […]

Finance, insurance groups react to Trump’s executive orders

{February 7th, 2017} by ELANA ASHANTI JEFFERSON

Retirement advisors and insurance agents have long known that shifting political winds in the U.S. federal government would continue to affect their businesses and processes. Many in the finance industry supported Donald Trump for president expressly because they hoped for the type of decisive action that arrived Friday in the form of Presidential Executive Order […]

Kitces: Fiduciary rule not yet delayed after all

{February 7th, 2017} by Michael Kitces

Once President Trump won the election, it was widely believed it would be a matter of time before he issued an executive order to delay April’s rollout of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. Yet, the final version of the memorandum that the president signed on Friday did not match the originally circulated draft and […]

Fidelity & Guaranty Discussing Another Merger Extension With Anbang

{February 7th, 2017} by Marie Suszynski,

DES MOINES, Iowa – Fidelity & Guaranty Life is again looking to extend its $1.58 billion merger agreement with Anbang Insurance Group. F&GL’s net income more than doubled during its fiscal first quarter of 2017. Fidelity & Guaranty’s is in talks with Anbang to extend the termination date of the deal beyond Feb. 8, Chris […]

Allianz Life Launches New Retirement Foundation ADV Annuity

{February 7th, 2017} by Allianz

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) announced today that it has launched the new Retirement Foundation ADVSM Annuity, the first fee-based fixed index annuity (FIA) offered by Allianz Life. Retirement Foundation ADV features benefits such as protection of principal and credited interest from market downturns, tax deferral and the potential to […]

Fiduciary rule delay not a ‘slam dunk’

{February 7th, 2017} by Chelsea Emery

Even as President Trump pushes to loosen U.S. regulations, there is one he might find more difficult to roll back or abolish. The fiduciary rule, set to begin implementation on April 10, has little chance of being derailed, says Skip Schweiss, the managing director of TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Advisor Advocacy & Industry Affairs division. In […]

DOL Rule Delay Could Come Tuesday

{February 7th, 2017} by John Hilton

Despite the awkward rollout of President Donald J. Trump’s policy strategy for the Department of Labor fiduciary rule, officials say the president remains committed to killing the regulation. In fact, a 180-day delay could be announced by the DOL as soon as Tuesday, said Erin Sweeney of the Washington, DC-based law firm Miller & Chevalier. […]

Executive Sees IMOs Entering An Age Of Consolidation

{February 7th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

Independent marketing organizations (IMOs) are headed for an era of consolidation. This is happening as insurers look to form fewer but deeper relationships with distributors seeking more scale to access larger amounts of capital, the new CEO of a top IMO said last week. The first consolidations are expected among smaller IMOs. Click HERE to […]

Three life insurers report fourth-quarter profits

{February 7th, 2017} by Allison Bell

Three midsize life insurers seem to have taken a different approach to the derivatives market than MetLife Inc. did in the fourth quarter.  Lincoln National Corp., Ameriprise Financial Inc. and Fidelity & Guaranty Life all reported positive net income for the quarter. Last week, MetLife posted a $2.1 billion net loss. The company blamed the loss on […]

Horace Mann CFO Dwayne Hallman Dies

{February 7th, 2017} by Renée Kiriluk-Hill

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Horace Mann Educators Corp. Chief Financial Officer Dwayne Hallman, 54, has died following a short hospitalization. The company said he had suffered a severe medical incident Jan. 29 and was on medical leave. It appointed Bret Conklin, controller and chief accounting officer, as acting chief financial officer. On Feb. 4, the company […]

Indexed Annuities Exemption Would Ease DOL Fiduciary Burden

{February 7th, 2017} by Professors Bloink and Byrnes

The Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule, as it currently stands (see Details Emerge on Trump Order to ‘Review’ Fiduciary Rule), would sweep sellers of increasingly popular fixed indexed annuities under the definition of fiduciaries—requiring these sellers to take steps toward compliance in just a few short months (by April 10).  This would create a […]

5 questions still lingering on Trump’s fiduciary order

{February 6th, 2017} by Andrew Welsch

President Trump’s hotly anticipated action on the fiduciary rule landed with a bang, but it wasn’t quite what some anticipated (or feared). Here’s a breakdown of what the president did, and what may happen next. What actually happened? Trump signed a memorandum on Friday that instructs the Department of Labor to begin a review of […]

Despite new review of DOL fiduciary rule, firms are sticking with higher standard of care

{February 6th, 2017} by Bruce Kelly

With the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule now shrouded in uncertainty, large brokerage firms are taking a step back to understand what potential options they may have if the rule changes or simply goes away altogether. Click HERE to read via InvestmentNews; registration required

MetLife on Track for Brighthouse Spinoff in First Half

{February 6th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

MetLife is on track to spin off Brighthouse Financial, its huge U.S. retail life and annuity distributor, in the first half of 2017, MetLife’s top executive said. Spinning off Brighthouse Financial into a separate company represents a key element to MetLife’s plan to transform itself into a leaner, more nimble life insurer. “Our target is […]

Details emerge on President’s fiduciary rule directive

{February 6th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday afternoon directing the Labor Department to undertake an assessment of its fiduciary rule, and if it deems appropriate, a proposal to revise the rulemaking, which industry officials say would delay the rule’s April 10 effective date. Acting Labor Secretary Ed Hugler said in a statement that the […]

Dodd-Frank’s tentacles go deep, won’t be easily cut

{February 6th, 2017} by ROBERT SCHMIDT, JESSE HAMILTON, ELIZABETH DEXHEIMER

(Bloomberg) — It took seven years to put in place the regulatory strictures imposed on Wall Street after the financial crisis. They won’t be removed fast or easily. President Donald Trump’s Friday directive that set in motion a scaling back of the Dodd-Frank Act was more pageantry than policy, said lawyers and former government officials who worked […]

OneAmerica® Introduces New Indexed Dividend Crediting Option Rider for Whole Life Policies

{February 6th, 2017} by OneAmerica

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — OneAmerica® today introduced the Indexed Dividend Crediting Option (IDO) Rider – a unique product that allows Legacy and Legacy 121 policyholders to participate in market upswings without sacrificing whole life guarantees, including a steady cost of insurance and increasing cash value. With IDO, a policyholder may earn up to double […]

IRS Launches 13 Issue-Based Corporate Compliance Campaigns

{February 6th, 2017} by Mark D. Allison, J. Clark Armitage, Kirsten Burmester, Niles A. Elber, Neal M. Kochman, Rachel L. Partain, Charles M. Ruchelman, James E Salles, Zhanna Ziering and Dustin J. Barzell

On January 31, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) launched its first wave of compliance “campaigns.” A campaign is an issue-based compliance process centering on focused examinations, staffed with IRS experts on the targeted subject matter. The 13 identified campaigns (click here to access more information) cover a broad range of topics, including TEFRA partnerships, […]

Annuities: Guaranteed income comes at a price

{February 5th, 2017} by Mark Cussen, The Motley Fool

If you’re looking for a guaranteed stream of income throughout retirement, then an annuity may be the best option for you. Annuities offer lifetime income, tax-deferral, and many other benefits that can help to make your retirement financially secure. However, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Before you think about buying an annuity, […]

NCOIL COMMUNICATES WILLINGNESS OF STATE LEGISLATORS TO WORK WITH CONGRESS

{February 3rd, 2017} by NCOIL

For Immediate Release   February 2, 2017   Contact: Paul Penna             (732) 201-4133   NCOIL COMMUNICATES WILLINGNESS OF STATE LEGISLATORS TO WORK WITH CONGRESS   Sent Letters about Future of Dodd-Frank and Affordable Care Act   Manasquan, NJ: As the 115th Congress has begun work to reform the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank […]

Dallas Judge to Decide by Next Week on DOL Rule

{February 3rd, 2017} by John Hilton

Dallas federal Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn announced Thursday that she intends to rule by next week on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce-led lawsuit against the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. The judge took the unusual step of issuing a one-sentence notice to the parties that the long-awaited ruling is coming. “The Court expects to issue its […]

Villas, Castles, and Vacations, 2017 edition

{February 3rd, 2017} by The Office of Senator Elizabeth Warren

The Office of Senator Elizabeth Warren updated Villas, Castles, and Vacations published on February 3, 2017. Click HERE to view via www.warren.senate.gov     Download the pdf:  2017-2-3_Warren_DOL_Rule_Report

President Trump: Halt DOL fiduciary rule, Dodd-Frank now

{February 3rd, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

President Donald Trump is expected to sign a directive Friday telling the Department of Labor to halt implementation of its fiduciary rule, which is set to take effect April 10. Another executive action to be issued simultaneously will roll back the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Trump will order DOL to review […]

Can you see it? This Iowa building has an R2 unit as its dome

{February 3rd, 2017} by Aaron Young

Do you see it? The internet has gone back and forth on social media the past few days saying that this building has an R2 unit on its top, famously known from the “Star Wars” series. The building is actually home to the American Equity Investment Life Holding Company, located at 6000 Westown Parkway in West […]

4 times the Super Bowl made people think about life insurance

{February 3rd, 2017} by ELANA ASHANTI JEFFERSON

From the hot wings and Seven Layer Dip to the downright quaint idea of family and friends gathering together in the digital age to watch a live television broadcast, it’s hard to take issue with the traditions that characterize Super Sunday. The Super Bowl also tends to distract consumers from thinking about potentially sombering issues […]

One, Inc. Launches ClaimsPay Instant Claims Payment Solution

{February 3rd, 2017} by Anthony R. O'Donnell

The new ProcessOne payment software component, lets insurers deliver claim payouts instantly to a claimant’s bank account, debit card, or prepaid debit card. Speaking at the One, Inc.’s first user group meeting yesterday in Scottsdale, Ariz., CEO Chris Ewing made a blunt statement introducing the vendors new ClaimsPay solution, officially announced this morning: “The check […]

Interim SEC Boss Goes Beyond Caretaker Role to Plot Rules Revamp

{February 3rd, 2017} by Benjamin Bain

Republican economist Michael Piwowar plans to use his role as interim leader of Wall Street’s top regulator to lay the groundwork for revamping financial industry rules, possibly including those governing the stock market and corporate disclosures. A week after being named acting chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Piwowar said in an interview he […]

Plan B for Trump’s ‘big number’ on Dodd-Frank bypasses Democrats

{February 3rd, 2017} by Elizabeth Dexheimer

(Bloomberg) — Donald Trump faces a major hurdle in fulfilling his pledge to do a “big number” on the Dodd-Frank Act: persuading enough Democrats to go along. That’s why Republican lawmakers say they are considering a backup plan for dismantling parts of the financial-rules overhaul that wouldn’t require support from a single Democrat. In the narrowly-divided Senate, […]

4 ways to bridge the $12 trillion life insurance gap

{February 3rd, 2017} by Daniel Williams

Why don’t more people buy life insurance? That’s the first question I ask Doug “Buddy” Amis, president and COO of Cary, NC-based Cardinal Retirement Planning, Inc., when I get him on the phone. I know the potential answers to the question before I ask. Click HERE to view the full story via LifeHealthPro; free registration

Interest rate fears hit world’s life product menus

{February 3rd, 2017} by Allison Bell

The International Association of Insurance Supervisors says prolonged low interest rates are causing sobering changes in life insurers’ operations all around the world. Some life insurers may be making some changes in investment strategies. But partly due to stringent investment regulations, insurers are responding to low rates mainly by changing what they sell, the Basel, Switzerland-based regulator group says […]

Former SEC chair Mary Jo White speaks

{February 3rd, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

After nearly four years as head of the Securities and Exchange Commission — one of the longest terms served by any SEC chair — outgoing Chairwoman Mary Jo White quips that she’s “not tired at all. This is a great job. […] The issues are not only critically important to investors and the markets, but […]

Trump to Order Review of Dodd-Frank, Halt Obama Fiduciary Rule

{February 3rd, 2017} by Justin Sink, Elizabeth Dexheimer, Katherine Chiglinsky

President Donald Trump will order a sweeping review of the Dodd-Frank Act rules enacted in response to the 2008 financial crisis, a White House official said, signing an executive action Friday designed to significantly scale back the regulatory system put in place in 2010. Trump also will halt another of former President Barack Obama’s regulations, hated […]

Ameriprise ‘will adjust’ if Trump delays fiduciary rule

{February 2nd, 2017} by Andrew Welsch

After spending millions to revamp systems and procedures to prepare for the fiduciary rule, Ameriprise won’t jettison months of effort should the regulation be overturned. That was CEO Jim Cracchiolo’s message to analysts during an earnings call Thursday, when he sought to explain how the firm’s efforts to comply with the rule will leave Ameriprise […]

Derivatives hit contributes to $2.1 billion MetLife net loss

{February 2nd, 2017} by Allison Bell

Rising interest rates contributed to a $3.2 billion after-tax loss on MetLife Inc. and its derivatives in the fourth quarter, but higher rates should be good for company fundamentals, overall. Fluctuations in currency exchange rates and stock prices also contributed to the derivatives loss, executives at the New York-based company said. MetLife executives talked about the derivatives loss […]

Buffer annuities, an index-variable hybrid, garner mixed reactions

{February 2nd, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

While brokerage regulators and some attorneys have seen an uptick in complaints lodged against a type of annuity known as a “buffer annuity,” there’s mixed reaction as to the validity of criticism lodged against the products. Click HERE to view the full article via InvestmentNews; registration required

‘Focus on issues in your direct control,’ A.M. Best urges annuity issuers

{February 2nd, 2017} by RIJ Editorial Staff

Rising rates, increased potential for lower taxes and reduced regulatory hurdles: These post-presidential signs bode well for U.S. life/annuity insurers in 2017, according to a new A.M. Best special report. But insurers “still need to remain focused on the issues that… remain more directly in the industry’s control,” said an A.M. Best release this week. Click HERE […]

Morgan Stanley to Cut Fees, Keep Commissions Despite DOL Doubts

{February 2nd, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

As Donald Trump’s presidency has raised the possibility of delays and even a repeal of the Labor Department’s new fiduciary standard, Morgan Stanley is telling its 15,700-plus advisors that many of its planned changes will happen regardless. The wirehouse has said its retirement account clients can work with commissions or fees in the future and […]

Nationwide Renews NFL Sponsorship; Expert Says Sports Deals Build Brand

{February 2nd, 2017} by Renée Kiriluk-Hill

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Nationwide remains an official National Football League sponsor for the next four years, with retired Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning continuing to play a large role in the insurer’s NFL advertising. This second, multiyear agreement with the NFL continues Nationwide’s role as presenting sponsor of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the […]

While 70% of Parents Are Comfortable Discussing Wills & Estates, Most Children Remain in the Dark on the Details

{February 1st, 2017} by Fidelity Investments

On average, children underestimate value of parents’ estate by $278,000 BOSTON, February 2, 2017 — How prepared are American families when it comes to leaving a legacy and discussing estate plans with their loved ones? Perhaps less than they may think. According to findings from a recent Fidelity Investments® Family & Finance Study, while the […]

Principal CEO Says Company Ready for Fiduciary Rule as 4Q Net Rises 25%

{February 1st, 2017} by Marie Suszynski,

DES MOINES, Iowa – Principal Financial Group posted a 25% jump in fourth-quarter 2016 earnings as its chief executive officer said the company balanced investments and growth with expense discipline. Net income available to common shareholders during the fourth quarter jumped 25% to $318 million. For the full year, net income climbed 9% to $1.32 […]

Doug Ommen to lead Iowa Insurance Division

{February 1st, 2017} by Allison Bell

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, says he will appoint Doug Ommen to be Iowa’s insurance commissioner. Ommen has been the state’s acting commissioner since Dec. 26. He succeeds Nick Gerhart, who left to become the chief administrative officer of West Des Moines, Iowa-based FBL Financial Group. Ommen has been Iowa’s deputy insurance commissioner since […]

Conditions fertile for annuities if industry can connect with investors

{February 1st, 2017} by Evan Cooper

Most investors want a guaranteed, pension-like income yet, are reluctant to buy an investment that can provide it: an annuity. Click HERE to view the full story via InvesmentNews; registration required   A number of factors — DOL fiduciary, low interest rates and longevity — are coming together in favor of annuities if certain impediments […]

American National launches its second original series on FuelTube.com

{February 1st, 2017} by American National Insurance

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — American National is inviting car lovers everywhere to check out “A Car Story,” the latest original series on FuelTube.com. This series, which is written, directed and produced exclusively by American National, offers an up close and personal look at some unique cars. This first season features speed […]

Business Record Forty Under 40

{February 1st, 2017} by Business Record

The Business Record is proud to announce the 18th annual list of Forty Under 40 honorees. These 40 local business leaders, who were chosen by past award winners, are under the age of 40 and have demonstrated impressive career achievements and unparalleled community involvement. Together, they join 680 past Business Record Forty Under 40 honorees […]

Second Annual Insurance Careers Month Kicks Off as Initiative Goes Global

{February 1st, 2017} by InsuranceCareersTrifecta.org

MALVERN, Pa., Jan. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The second annual Insurance Careers Month kicks off Feb. 1, 2017, rallying young insurance professionals around the world to share pride in their careers and stimulate interest in the industry among their peers. First organized in 2016, the objective of Insurance Careers Month is to encourage carriers, brokers, agents […]

4Q Earnings Preview: IMOs, DOL and Rates

{February 1st, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

Life and annuity company executives, challenged by sluggish premium growth, are expected to offer clues this week on how they plan to sell more annuities through a key distribution channel. A draft proposal by Department of Labor regulators issued earlier this month restricts the type of independent marketing organizations eligible to apply for exemptions under a new […]

Trump to Direct DOL to Delay Fiduciary Rule: Sources

{January 31st, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

President Donald Trump is expected to issue this week an order directing the Department of Labor to delay its fiduciary rule, according to two attorneys familiar with the matter. Trump appointed Edward Hugler as acting secretary of Labor on Jan. 20. Hugler also has been serving as the acting assistant secretary of Labor for administration […]

Second Annual Insurance Careers Month to Build on Industry Momentum

{January 31st, 2017} by Insurance Careers Month and Insurance Careers Movement

Survey: 93 percent of young professionals proud to work in the industry; 73 percent have encouraged others to join Malvern, PA (January 26, 2017) — The second annual Insurance Careers Month kicks off February. 1, rallying risk management and insurance professionals to share their pride in their careers and encourage young people to learn more […]

Fixed indexed annuities to dominate 2017 annuity marketplace

{January 31st, 2017} by William H. Byrnes, Esq.

Co-written by Robert Bloink Now that we’re in 2017, the forecast for the future of annuities remains hazy—rather than an uncertainty that is driven by new product innovations, this fog is generated almost entirely by new regulatory changes. Importantly, the future of the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule remains uncertain under the new administration, […]

FSI renews efforts to scrap DOL rule and push for universal standard by SEC

{January 31st, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

The Financial Services Institute plans to go on offense this year to shape an investment-advice standard to replace a Labor Department regulation that is likely to be delayed. Click HERE to read more via InvestmentNews about “The trade group for independent broker-dealers will take the offensive in trying to shape the kind of fiduciary standard […]

RiverSource Life to Pay $1.5 Million as Part of Death Master File Settlement

{January 31st, 2017} by Thomas Harman

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – RiverSource Life Insurance Co. has agreed to pay multiple states a combined $1.5 million settlement agreement and to use the Social Security Death Master File database to identify life insurance policyholders to search for beneficiaries owed benefits. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation said the settlement agreement focused on the practice of […]

Life Insurers ‘Like’ Social Media Marketing

{January 31st, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

U.S. Life insurers are expected to budget about $4.2 billion for advertising and marketing in 2017, a 12 percent increase over last year, according to a recent survey. Social media, internet marketing and radio and television notch the largest gains in the survey. In 2017, on average, budgeted advertising for television and radio is expected to […]

Registration Opens For 2017 Global Insurance Symposium

{January 31st, 2017} by Global Insurance Symposium

DES MOINES, Iowa, Jan. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Iowa Insurance Institute, the Federation of Iowa Insurers, Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the Global Insurance Accelerator, Insurance Thought Leadership, and the Iowa Insurance Division today announce that registration is open for the 2017 Global Insurance Symposium, held April 25-27 in downtown Des […]

The $2 Trillion Woman Who’s Turning Around Pimco

{January 31st, 2017} by SARAH JONES, OLIVER SUESS

Walk down a side alley in Munich, beneath apartments with net curtains in the windows, past figures of female superheroes on a cafe storefront, and you come to the unprepossessing headquarters of a $2 trillion asset manager. On the fifth floor, an elegantly dressed woman leans forward to field questions. She’s focused. In her hands […]

DOL fiduciary rule not yet caught up in Trump maelstrom: Opinion

{January 31st, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Speculation mounts as to what is taking administration so long to act— click HERE to read the article via InvestmentNews; registration required.  What we probably can safely say at this point is that the DOL rule, which became effective last June, cannot be stopped by an executive order. Even proposing a delay likely would require […]

Many Headwinds

{January 31st, 2017} by AM Best

OLDWICK, N.J., January 31, 2017 — Many post-presidential election signs appear favorable for U.S. life/annuity (L/A) insurers in 2017: rising rates, increased potential for lower taxes and reduced regulatory hurdles. However, according to a new A.M. Best special report, L/A insurers still need to remain focused on the issues that have plagued the industry in […]

Principal reports 25 percent bump in fourth-quarter earnings

{January 31st, 2017} by Business Record Staff

Principal Financial Group on Monday reported record earnings for both the fourth quarter and the full year. Net income available to common stockholders for fourth quarter 2016 increased 25 percent to $318.0 million, compared with $253.6 million for fourth quarter 2015. For the 12 months ending Dec. 31, net income available to common stockholders was a record […]

New York state tightens life contestability period rules

{January 31st, 2017} by Allison Bell

Insurers in New York state should not count on life policy beneficiaries sending them the dead insureds’ medical records, even during a policy contestability period. Officials at the New York State Department of Financial Services make that point in a new circular letter about life insurance policy claim settlement practices. Life insurance regulations typically give insurers […]

If DOL Fiduciary Gets Delayed, Seize the Moment: FSI’s Brown

{January 31st, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

With a new sheriff in town, the new Department of Labor fiduciary rule is expected to be delayed — giving the industry the chance to work on reforms that make more sense for it, according to Financial Services Institute President and CEO Dale Brown. “Here we are a few days into the Trump administration with […]

Super-IMOs Get 16 Months To Comply With DOL Rule For Exemption

{January 31st, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

Independent marketing organizations will have a 16-month grace period before they have to follow the Department of Labor’s new IMO exemption in the fiduciary rule. Qualified IMOs only need to show that they are making a good faith effort and are “presently taking steps to put in place the systems necessary” to meet best interest […]

The Standard Promotes Rich Lane to Second Vice President of Individual Annuity Sales and Marketing

{January 31st, 2017} by Standard Insurance Company

PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Standard Insurance Company (“The Standard”) announced today that Rich Lane has been promoted to second vice president of Individual Annuities sales and marketing. Lane, who has more than 20 years of experience in the fixed annuity industry, joined The Standard in 2004 as director of Individual Annuities Sales and Marketing. Under his leadership, […]

Forward-thinking advisors focus on women

{January 30th, 2017} by Gina Mckague

A shift in the financial market is taking place, and it seems many advisors are choosing to ignore it, despite the unfavorable affect it may have on their business.  Not only do most today’s women control their own finances, they’re also the primary consumer and positively or negatively influence 85 percent of all purchases. So, if […]

A.M. Best Special Report: Many Headwinds, But Life/Annuity Insurers Remain Focused on What They Can Control

{January 30th, 2017} by Best's News Service

Oldwick – Many post-presidential election signs appear favorable for U.S. life/annuity (L/A) insurers in 2017: rising rates, increased potential for lower taxes and reduced regulatory hurdles. However, according to a new A.M. Best special report, L/A insurers still need to remain focused on the issues that have plagued the industry in recent years as they […]

DOL Tries to Clarify QDIA Regs on Annuities in TDFs

{January 30th, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

Target-date funds that feature annuities may be used as qualified default investment alternatives in 401(k) plans, according to a Labor Department information letter. The letter, which was a response to an inquiry from TIAA regarding one of the firm’s custom TDF products, attempts to clarify existing agency guidance on how TDFs with annuities can comply […]

A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Principal Financial Group, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries

{January 30th, 2017} by Best's News Service

Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa-” of Principal Life Insurance Company (PLIC) and Principal National Life Insurance Company. Both are life insurance operating companies of Principal Financial Group, Inc. (PFG) [NYSE: PFG], which is headquartered in Des […]

A.M. Best Chief Rating Officer: Life and Annuity Insurers Respond to Reserving, Product Changes

{January 30th, 2017} by Best's News Service

OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Chief Rating Officer Stefan Holzberger outlined highlights from A.M. Best’s annual Review/Preview report on the life and annuity sector, including the introduction of principle-based reserving for new business, regulatory changes and insurers’ efforts to more closely tie products to the interest rate environment. View the video version of this interview […]

A.M. Best Places Credit Ratings of American International Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries Under Review with Negative Implications

{January 30th, 2017} by Best's News Service

Oldwick – A.M. Best has placed under review with negative implications the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “ bbb ” of American International Group, Inc. (AIG) (headquartered in New York, NY) [NYSE: AIG] and the Financial Strength Ratings (FSR) and Long-Term ICRs of its insurance subsidiaries. (Please see link below for a detailed […]

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

{January 30th, 2017} by Best's News Service

Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa-” of the primary life insurance subsidiaries of Protective Life Corporation (Protective) (headquartered in Birmingham, AL). Additionally, A.M. Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “a-” and the existing Long-Term Issue Credit […]

Trump renews pledge to curb Dodd-Frank financial regulations

{January 30th, 2017} by Dave Boyer

President Trump reiterated his intention Monday to ease financial regulations imposed by Washington in 2010, saying he plans to “do a big number” soon on the Dodd-Frank law. “Dodd-Frank is a disaster,” the president told reporters in the Oval Office as he signed an executive order trimming government regulations. “We’re going to be doing a […]

NY Gov. Cuomo Warns Life Insurers to Pay Beneficiaries Within Two-year Contestable Period

{January 28th, 2017} by Best's News Service

ALBANY, N.Y. – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has told life insurers to be prompt in paying beneficiaries even if the insured dies within two years of signing the insurance contract. A guidance notice said Department of Financial Services investigations have uncovered some life insurers “have contested numerous life insurance claims following the death of […]

Franklin insurance agent sentenced to prison for defrauding elderly client

{January 28th, 2017} by Ray Howze

A Franklin-based insurance agent has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for defrauding more than $100,000 from an elderly client. Scott Rolin, 56, of Franklin, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw Jr. on Friday to the 18-month prison term along with three years of supervised release for his role in selling […]

EMC Upgrades Fourth-quarter Guidance on Improved Prior-year, Catastrophe Outlook

{January 27th, 2017} by David Pilla

DES MOINES, Iowa – EMC Insurance Group Inc. said it raised its guidance for fourth-quarter and 2016 results ahead of its Feb. 10 earnings release on favorable prior-year reserve development and low property/casualty catastrophe losses. “We exceeded our expectations for 2016,” said Bruce G. Kelley, president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “Our strong […]

Prudential Fires Back Against Three Former Employees

{January 27th, 2017} by Leslie Scism

Prudential Financial Inc. said three former employees who accused Wells Fargo & Co. and the insurance firm of fraudulent life-insurance sales tactics were fired for inappropriate conduct, including degrading statements about co-workers, according to court documents. The three former Prudential employees sued the insurance company last month alleging wrongful dismissal. Their suit was the latest […]

DOL rule could lead to broader tech use, spread of fiduciary standard

{January 26th, 2017} by Marlene Y. Satter

A new report from Celent says that the conflict-of-interest rule from the Department of Labor could lead to a wider adoption of optimization software to assist in recommendations that would satisfy the fiduciary rule. And the application of a fiduciary standard beyond the area of retirement could also happen regardless of any action against the […]

Chamber: IMO Exemption Proves DOL Fiduciary Fail

{January 26th, 2017} by John Hilton

Plaintiffs suing to kill the Department of Labor fiduciary rule seized on a new exemption offered by the department last week as evidence of the flawed process. U.S. Chamber of Commerce attorneys argue that the DOL is conceding the futility of its rule by publishing a new exemption allowing independent marketing organizations to participate in […]

A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of NLV Financial Corporation and Its Affiliates

{January 26th, 2017} by Best's News Service

Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a+” of National Life Insurance Company (NLIC) (Montpelier, VT) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Life Insurance Company of the Southwest (Dallas, TX) (together known as National Life). Both companies are life insurance subsidiaries […]

MIB Life Index Reveals Uptick in Younger, Older Age Life Applicants

{January 25th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

U.S. life insurance application activity rose 1.3 percent last year compared with 2015, according to the MIB Life Index. The index gained 2.7 percent in 2015 over 2014. This represented the largest annual year-over-year percentage increase since the MIB index began tracking life insurance inquiries in 2001. The index does not release the number of […]

Even if DOL fiduciary rule is delayed, many firms preparing to serve as fiduciaries

{January 25th, 2017} by Nick Thornton

As industry awaits what insiders say is an imminent delay of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, one consultant says many financial institutions are planning to keep compliance protections in place even if the rule is ultimately dismantled. “A number of our clients are saying they don’t intend to turn back,” said Jason Roberts, CEO of […]

Industry Veteran Scott R. Perry Named CEO of AmeriLife

{January 25th, 2017} by AmeriLife

January 24, 2017 12:18 PM Eastern Standard Time CLEARWATER, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Scott R. Perry, a highly regarded insurance industry veteran, has been named CEO of AmeriLife, the nation’s premier annuity, life and health insurance marketing group. Mr. Perry succeeds Timothy O. North, who announced his plans to retire last year, and will now serve as Chairman […]

Finra’s new chief Robert Cook vows to take a ‘fresh look’ at enforcement

{January 25th, 2017} by Bruce Kelly

Striking a conciliatory tone with broker-dealers, Robert Cook, the recently appointed head of Finra acknowledged Monday night that he’d heard loud and clear the complaints brokerage industry executives had with their principal regulator. Click HERE to read the full article via InvestmentNews; registration required

Complaints surface at Finra over buffer annuities

{January 25th, 2017} by Bruce Kelly

A new type of variable annuity called a buffer annuity is beginning to gain attention from regulators.   Please click here to read more via InvestmentNews about “A new type of VA is highly complex and uses structured products — not mutual funds — in the sub account as the underlying investment.” Registration is required.

It’s time for a reset on the fiduciary rule: Opinion

{January 25th, 2017} by John Taft

The fiduciary rule’s future is uncertain, as opponents and advocates of the regulation anticipate that President Trump may delay or overturn it. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined the fray by issuing a letter to more than 30 financial services firms, asking their leaders how they’ll respond to any changes to the rule that she has […]

Broker-dealers have different views on recruiting over next six months

{January 25th, 2017} by Bruce Kelly

Senior executives at leading independent broker-dealers are split in their assessment of recruiting over the first half of this year, with some expecting a strong start to 2017, while others are not as sanguine.   Click here to read the full article on Investment news regarding “DOL rule could prompt some advisers to move ahead of […]

Two index options added to Nationwide New Heights fixed indexed annuities

{January 24th, 2017} by Nationwide

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The recent addition of two indices unique to Nationwide New Heights® fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) provides clients with more options to help with growth potential in a variety of market environments. The J.P. Morgan Mozaic IISM Index is a momentum-based index that strategically rebalances every month among a diverse […]

IMOs to DOL: Fiduciary rule class exemption sets too high a bar

{January 24th, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

Critics are voicing alarm over a Department of Labor proposal permitting independent marketing organizations to act as financial institutions under the DOL’s best interest conflict rule. Chief among their concerns: that the proposal establishes too high a sales threshold for most IMOs, one that could force widespread consolidation of a distribution channel already facing an […]

Annuities Can Play a Larger Role During the Trump Administration

{January 24th, 2017} by Stan Haithcock

Donald Trump wants America to return to a past economic prosperity, that included guaranteed pensions for dutiful and loyal workers to their company. The Trump administration should know that annuities can be a building block to achieve this goal.   Promote Guaranteed Income   For some unknown reason, the annuity industry has never truly promoted […]

SEC could step up if DoL fiduciary rule is overturned, FINRA CEO says

{January 24th, 2017} by Chelsea Emery

SAN FRANCISCO – If President Trump overturns the fiduciary rule, the SEC and FINRA could fill in the regulatory gap, according to FINRA CEO Robert Cook. Cook, speaking at the annual conference of the Financial Services Institute, said the SEC would be the most appropriate agency to implement a new regulatory standard. And FINRA would […]

Great American Life Insurance Company Offers Annuity Customers More Options with Two New Indexed Strategies

{January 23rd, 2017} by Great American Insurance Group

January 23, 2017 02:00 PM Eastern Standard Time CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Great American Life® is expanding its annuity offerings with two new indexed strategies that earn interest based on the performance of the iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF and the S&P U.S. Retiree Spending Index. iShares U.S. Real Estate Indexed Strategy The iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF […]

5 Key Fixes That Will Improve Dodd-Frank: Opinion

{January 23rd, 2017} by George W. Madison, Michael E. Borden and William A. Shirley, The National Law Journal

When it comes to financial regulation and reform, one issue matters more than all others: systemic risk. In 2010, when Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act, its authors made choices that they believed would address that problem. Since then, debate about the law has not been particularly constructive. One side has argued that no part of […]

Voya Financial Recognized in 2017 Bloomberg Financial Services Gender-Equality Index

{January 23rd, 2017} by Voya

MONDAY, JANUARY 23, 2017 NEW YORK, Jan. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today that it has been recognized in the 2017 Bloomberg Financial Services Gender-Equality Index (BFGEI) for its strong commitment to gender parity. Voya was recognized as a leader among its peers in the 2017 index, which includes only […]

Lawsuits could be used to delay DOL fiduciary rule

{January 23rd, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Supporters and opponents of a Labor Department investment advice rule continue to sit on the edge of their chairs waiting for the newly minted Trump administration to address the regulation — a move that could be related to several lawsuits underway in courts across the country. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; […]

Two possible routes Trump could take to delay DOL fiduciary rule

{January 23rd, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

While President Donald Trump’s order on Friday for a regulatory freeze doesn’t pertain to an investment advice regulation issued under the Obama administration, it has led financial industry stakeholders and analysts to engage in a dizzying guessing game on the rule’s fate. Click HERE to view the full article via InvestmentNews; registration required

ERISA consultants expect Trump to delay fiduciary rule

{January 23rd, 2017} by Nick Thornton

High-placed industry consultants and administrative law experts are expecting a formal delay of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule to be announced this week, as President Trump sets about issuing executive orders to roll back the regulatory initiatives of the Obama administration. Last Friday, hours after Trump was sworn into office, Reince Priebus, White House Chief […]

Trump Lowers Boom on Taxes and Regulations

{January 23rd, 2017} by John Hilton

President Donald J. Trump signed an order Friday freezing all government regulations in the works, even those published but not yet in effect. The Department of Labor fiduciary rule falls into that latter group. However, the Trump-ordered 60-day delay will not affect the fiduciary rule timeline — yet. Scheduled to begin taking effect April 10, […]

Reserving Requirements, Premium Volume Top DOL’s IMO Exemptions

{January 23rd, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

Insurance intermediaries will need to reserve 1 percent of annual premium from fixed annuity sales and sell at least $1.5 billion in fixed annuities for each of three preceding years to qualify as a financial institution under the Department of Labor’s class exemption. The class exemption allows insurance intermediaries such as independent marketing organizations (IMOs) […]

A.M. Best Special Report: Shifts in Bond Portfolio Strategies Help Life/Annuity Insurers Navigate Low Interest Rates

{January 23rd, 2017} by AM Best

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OLDWICK – JANUARY 20, 2017 The challenging low interest rate environment has been, and will likely remain, a key obstacle facing the life/annuity (L/A) insurance industry as organizations continue to invest new money as well as proceeds from higher-yielding maturing assets into new assets at current rates, according to an A.M. Best […]

DOL Proposes Easing Fiduciary Rule on Some Annuities

{January 23rd, 2017} by Alex Padalka

The Department of Labor has proposed easing the fiduciary rule to allow some sellers of fixed annuities to collect commissions. The rule requires retirement brokers put clients’ interest first but allows commissions on the sales of some products under the best interest contract exemption, which requires brokers to sign a best interest contract with their […]

Trump’s Regulatory Freeze Might Delay Fiduciary Rule

{January 23rd, 2017} by Ted Knutson

The first stage of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule may be delayed from April 10 to May 10 because of President Trump’s regulatory freeze announced after his swearing-in Friday. However, the directive won’t have any impact on the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the […]

NAMIC Chief Executive: Mutual Insurance Has Appeal for Younger Insureds

{January 23rd, 2017} by Meg Green

NEW YORK – Chuck Chamness, president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, said the mutual insurance sector aligns the interests of policyholders with the company, which should resonate with younger prospects. Chamness spoke with A.M. BestTV at the Property Casualty Insurance Joint Industry Forum in New York. View the […]

AXA Announces Extended Guarantee On BrightLife Protect

{January 23rd, 2017} by AXA

NEW YORK – AXA US, a leader in providing financial security and retirement products, announced today that it is extending the no-lapse guarantee on its BrightLife® Protect, protection Indexed Universal Life policy. With a “no-math” guarantee to age 90 for level annual premium payments, there’s no guesswork or calculation, just a simple number clients can […]

Jackson National aims at fee-based, investment-only market

{January 23rd, 2017} by Allison Bell

Jackson National Life Insurance Company is adding another type of fee-based annuity. The Denver-based unit of Prudential PLC has introduced the Elite Access Advisory variable annuity contract. The contract is a fee-based, investment-only variable annuity contract. An IOVA offers the same kinds of investment options as a traditional variable annuity contract, without any principal or […]

Will Trump’s Hiring Freeze Test Financial Regulators’ Independence?

{January 23rd, 2017} by Aaron Klein

One of President-elect Donald Trump’s first actions may test the independence of financial regulators during his Administration. Trump has said that he will freeze hiring government-wide during his first 100 days in office. The pledge echoes President Ronald Reagan’s hiring freeze that he instituted on Inauguration Day. It is unclear whether Trump’s hiring freeze will […]

President Trump Issues Directives on Regulatory Freeze, Affordable Care Act

{January 23rd, 2017} by Laura Meckler

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump issued his first executive order Friday, directing federal agencies to do what they can to pare back provisions of the Affordable Care Act and laying the groundwork to potentially gut the requirement that Americans carry health insurance, which lies at the heart of the law. The executive order, signed just hours after being sworn in, […]

2017 to be year of independent broker-dealer mergers

{January 22nd, 2017} by Bruce Kelly

If past is prologue, 2017 should see a steady pace of independent broker-dealer consolidation and mergers and acquisitions. Click HERE to view the full article regarding “A looming fiduciary rule, combined with regulations limiting product sales, have experts predicting more consolidation is inevitable” via InvestmentNews; registration required

Trump puts freeze on new regulations

{January 21st, 2017} by Tal Kopan, CNN

Washington (CNN)White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus issued a memorandum Friday night to all executive departments and agencies to freeze new or pending regulations — giving the new administration time to review them. The action is a fairly standard move for a new administration taking over from the other party. It effectively halts any […]

Nationwide Insurance fraud case moves forward

{January 20th, 2017} by Robert Storage

A federal judge has denied a motion by Nationwide Life Insurance Co. to dismiss a family’s lawsuit accusing the insurance giant of fraud and breach of contract related to two $500,000 life insurance policies purchased in the 1990s. In his six-page ruling on Jan. 9 denying Nationwide’s bid to dismiss, Senior U.S. District Judge Warren […]

No ‘joke’: SocGen admits fault, pays $50 million in U.S. fraud case

{January 20th, 2017} by Jonathan Stempel

Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) agreed to pay a $50 million civil fine and admit to misconduct to settle U.S. claims that it fraudulently concealed from investors the poor quality of residential mortgage-backed securities it marketed and sold. In a statement on Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice said the French bank concealed problems in a $780 […]

Financial industry expects quick action from Trump to delay DOL fiduciary rule

{January 20th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

While President Donald Trump’s order on Friday for a regulatory freeze doesn’t pertain to an investment advice regulation issued under the Obama administration, it has led financial industry stakeholders and analysts to engage in a dizzying guessing game on the rule’s fate. Click HERE to view the full article on InvestmentNews; registration required

For Families With Special Needs, Listening Is Key for Advisors

{January 20th, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

Parents of children with special needs are facing a three-fold challenge when it comes to financial planning, according to Todd Sensing, founder of FamilyVest. “You’re planning for a family that could be typical, you’re planning for family members that may not be, and you’re planning for yourself,” Sensing said. “When you add in a wrinkle […]

Sen. Elizabeth Warren challenges financial firms to resist efforts to delay DOL fiduciary rule

{January 20th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., challenged financial firms that have already started to comply with a Labor Department investment advice rule to resist potential Trump administration efforts to delay its implementation. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

Labor Proposes Easing Fiduciary Rule on Fees for Some Annuities Sellers

{January 20th, 2017} by Lisa Beilfuss

The Labor Department is proposing to water down an element of its new retirement-savings rule that would allow purveyors of certain annuities to continue charging commissions, though the concession isn’t likely to appease the rule’s harshest critics. The proposal, coming in the waning hours of the Obama administration, would effectively exempt some indexed-annuity sellers from […]

Donald Trump Is Expected to Move Quickly to Start Regulatory Rollback

{January 20th, 2017} by Andrew Ackerman and Amy Harder

WASHINGTON—President-elect Donald Trump is expected to launch swiftly his administration’s deregulatory agenda, according to lobbyists who have discussed the matter with the transition team, affecting rules governing everything from investment advice to mortgage insurance and power-plant emissions. Among Mr. Trump’s first acts as president Friday may be an order to federal agencies to temporarily cease ongoing rule-making initiatives, […]

NAFA responds to the DOL’s proposed fiduciary rule exemption

{January 19th, 2017} by Elana Ashanti Jefferson

The National Association for Fixed Annuities is scoffing at a new U.S. Department of Labor proposal for letting some independent marketing organizations that distribute indexed annuities serve as financial institutions under the DOL fiduciary standard. “This is the classic case of too little too late,” NAFA Executive Director Chip Anderson said in a statement Wednesday. “It’s too little […]

NAFA Criticizes IMO Exemption as “Too Little Too Late”

{January 19th, 2017} by NAFA

NAFA Stands By Its Efforts to Seek Repeal WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 18, 2017) — NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities indicated today it would continue its challenge to the Department of Labor fiduciary rule, notwithstanding the release earlier today by DOL of a proposed class exemption to permit certain insurance intermediaries to be “financial […]

Advisor Group gears up for acquisitions ahead of DoL rule

{January 19th, 2017} by Ann Marsh

Advisor Group is gearing up for an acquisition spree, looking to snap up smaller independent broker-dealers as the Department of Labor fiduciary rule begins to phase in, starting in April. While some have speculated that the election of Donald Trump could delay or even halt the rule’s implementation, Advisor Group and other firms say they […]

Proposed Best Interest Contract Exemption for Insurance Intermediaries

{January 19th, 2017} by A Proposed Rule by the Employee Benefits Security Administration on 01/19/2017

SUMMARY:  This document contains a notice of pendency before the Department of Labor of a proposed class exemption from certain prohibited transaction restrictions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the Code). The provisions at issue generally prohibit fiduciaries with respect […]

Fixed Annuity Sellers May Get Fiduciary Rule Relief

{January 19th, 2017} by Sean Forbes

Insurance intermediaries would be allowed to receive commissions when selling fixed annuity contracts, under a proposed exemption from the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. The fiduciary rule tightens conflict-of-interest restrictions on financial advisers handling retirement accounts. The rule was finalized in April 2016 and is set to take effect this April. It faces an uncertain […]

DOL proposes allowing some insurance intermediaries to use a BICE under fiduciary rule

{January 19th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

The Department of Labor issued a proposed rule Wednesday that would ease compliance with its fiduciary rule for some distributors of fixed annuity products such as indexed annuities. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

DOL posts indexed annuity fiduciary rule exemption draft

{January 19th, 2017} by Allison Bell

The U.S. Department of Labor wants to let indexed annuity distributors act as financial institutions under its new fiduciary rule. But only if those distributors generate more than $1.5 billion in annual fixed annuity contract sales, according to a draft proposal that appeared Wednesday in the Federal Register. The DOL fiduciary rule sets standards for how retirement […]

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