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Archive for May 2018

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  • Analysts: Private Equity Eyes American Equity

    {May 31st, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    On the surface American Equity isn’t a prime candidate for a sale, so why has the company emerged as a rumored takeover target? It’s a question that analysts are puzzling through. American Equity, based in West Des Moines, “doesn’t strike us as a company looking to sell,” but the fixed annuity space has attracted interest […]

    Flexibility Key to Securian Linked-Benefit Product Tweaks

    {May 31st, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    Securian has tweaked its SecureCare linked-benefit life and long-term care contract to give the product more flexibility in a growing market segment. “We wanted to remove as many barriers to the client as possible, allowing more access to benefits, because they have enough hoops to jump through in trying to figure out the care they […]

    Are Annuities a Solution for Baby Boomers in Retirement?

    {May 31st, 2018} by Carlos Dias Jr.

    Retirement is posing a lot of challenges for Baby Boomers as many feel their money won’t last over 30 years. Lower interest rates and market fluctuations are making them pursue other options that will provide a safety net for the remainder of their lives. One potential solution for Baby Boomers is to purchase an annuity […]

    MassMutual International Completes Sale of 85.1% of MassMutual Japan to Nippon Life

    {May 31st, 2018} by MassMutual

    TOKYO and SPRINGFIELD, Mass., May 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — MassMutual International LLC (MassMutual International) – Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company’s (MassMutual) international insurance holding company – and Nippon Life Insurance Co. (Nippon Life), Japan’s leading life insurer, today announced the completion of the sale of 85.1 percent of MassMutual Japan, MassMutual International’s wholly owned life insurance and wealth management affiliate, to Nippon […]

    The Myth of the Aging Society

    {May 31st, 2018} by Andrew Scott

    Economic doomsayers have long warned that the aging populations of industrial and post-industrial countries represent a “demographic time bomb.” Societal aging is bad news for the economy, they say, because it means that fewer people work and contribute to economic growth, and more people collect pensions and demand health care. The argument that aging will […]

    Variable annuity deferral bonuses are working: Ruark

    {May 31st, 2018} by Editorial Staff

    Owners of variable annuities with living benefits are using their riders more efficiently than ever, “with over half of all withdrawals now at or near the maximum benefit amount,” according to the results of Ruark Consulting’s Spring 2018 studies of variable annuity (VA) policyholder behavior. The studies, which examine the factors driving surrender behavior, partial […]

    Wink’s 2017 Leader in Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuity Sales

    {May 31st, 2018} by Wink, Inc.

            New York Life   Per Wink’s Sales & Market Report, New York Life Insurance and Annuity Company was the #1 seller of Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuities in 2017. Rankings based on participants of Wink’s Sales & Market Report/Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuities, which considers manufacturers of declared-rate deferred annuities with a rate that is […]

    Weak growth expected for life/annuity industry: A.M. Best

    {May 31st, 2018} by Editorial Staff

    The life industry overall can expect mid-single digit growth in 2018, on a mix of premiums and policy count growth, according to a new report from A.M. Best. Ongoing innovation should also bolster growth, as companies learn to make effective use of digital capabilities for future sales. Tax expenses are likely to decline further in […]

    Ruark Consulting Releases Spring 2018 Variable Annuity Study Results

    {May 31st, 2018} by Ruark Consulting. LLC

    SIMSBURY, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE) Ruark Consulting, LLC today released the results of its spring 2018 studies of variable annuity (VA) policyholder behavior. The studies, which examine the factors driving surrender behavior, partial withdrawals, and annuitization, were based on experience from 13.9 million policyholders spanning the period January, 2008 through December, 2017. Twenty-five variable annuity writers participated […]

    We’re Number One (In Retirement Readiness Among Surveyed Wealthy Countries)

    {May 31st, 2018} by Elizabeth Bauer

    The Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement just published the results of the 2018 version of its triennial Retirement Readiness Survey, titled “The New Social Contract:  a blueprint for retirement in the 21st century,” and the headline number from this study, the Aegon Retirement Readiness Index, a measure of the average retirement readiness of the […]

    10 IBDs with the most variable annuity revenue

    {May 31st, 2018} by InvestmentNews

    Variable annuities have seen some hard times recently, with sales having declined for six years in a row. In fact, last year’s sales of about $96 billion were the lowest in two decades. But independent broker-dealers soldier on, and we’ve rounded up a list of the 10 IBDs that had the most revenue from variable […]

    SEC’s Best Interest Standard 2 Years Away, DrinkerBiddle Says

    {May 30th, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    A Securities and Exchange Commission proposal to raise investment-advice standard for brokers is still about two years away, an expert said Wednesday. Under the SEC’s proposed Regulation Best Interest, a broker-dealer would be required to act in the best interest of a retail customer when making a recommendation of any securities transaction or investment strategy. […]

    Banks, B-Ds Shorten Indexed Annuity Surrenders

    {May 30th, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    Sales of indexed annuities with shorter surrender periods racked up big gains as more annuities are sold through banks and broker-dealers, first-quarter data show. Banks and broker-dealers prefer shorter surrender periods because they come with lower commissions, which often means higher rates and caps for the client. “We’ve seen stuff going over to banks and […]

    John Hancock’s New Accumulation Indexed Universal Life Now Features Greater Income Potential to Help Consumers Prepare for the Future

    {May 30th, 2018} by John Hancock

    BOSTON, May 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — John Hancock launched a new Accumulation Indexed Universal Life (IUL) product with greater income potential and strong protection against market downturns to help policyholders achieve their retirement goals and other financial objectives. The new Accumulation IUL provides lifetime protection, along with the opportunity to build tax-deferred cash value that can be used […]

    Annuity 1Q Climbers: Athene, Nationwide, Great American, Pac Life

    {May 30th, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    Athene USA and Nationwide appear to be fierce competitors in the fixed indexed annuity market. But behind the scenes they share a common thread to their recent success: the Arizona-based annuity marketer Annexus, which works through other independent marketing organizations. Athene and Nationwide take their indexed annuity market share battles seriously, said annuity market analyst […]

    Insurer Principal Financial to Buy Fintech Firm

    {May 30th, 2018} by Lisa Beilfuss

    Principal Financial Group Inc. PFG -0.46% will buy RobustWealth, beefing up its digital capabilities at a time when retirement savers are increasingly opting for robo advisers and index funds. Des Moines, Iowa-based Principal, an insurance company with $673.8 billion in assets under management, is a big provider of 401(k) plans to employees of small and midsize companies. RobustWealth is […]

    Is Working for One Life Insurance Carrier Ethical?

    {May 29th, 2018} by Bill Boersma

    The life insurance world is certainly a lot different today than it was decades ago. Rather than just whole life and term insurance, there’s a wide menu of products available. Some products are driven by interest rates, some by market returns and some by indexes. Some are guaranteed while other aren’t.  Distribution models vary widely. […]

    Agent Commissions Rise For Annuities in 1Q

    {May 29th, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    Here’s some good news for agents selling fixed annuities: the products paid a bit more in the first quarter than they did last year. The difference was slight, and probably not enough to pay off the mortgage. But small numbers add up, particularly when overall sales volume jumps, as it did for indexed annuities this […]

    Best’s Special Report: U.S. Life/Annuity Insurers’ Net Income Drops Sharply in First-Quarter 2018

    {May 29th, 2018} by A.M. Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The U.S. life/annuity (L/A) industry’s net income in the first quarter of 2018 declined 54.6% from the same period a year ago, to $3.5 billion from $7.6 billion, mainly due to a drop in pretax net operating income coupled with higher net realized capital losses. These preliminary financial results are detailed in a […]

    6 Questions for Sheryl Moore, a Life & Annuity Tracking Rockstar

    {May 29th, 2018} by Maria Wood

    As president and chief executive officer of Moore Market Intelligence, Sheryl Moore has become a leading expert and market researcher in the indexed life and indexed annuity industries. In fact, her 20-year career in field and passion for indexed retirement products has earned the nickname, “Indexed Annuity Rockstar.” She started working as a market research […]

    American Equity acknowledges rumors that it could be takeover target

    {May 29th, 2018} by Donnelle Eller

    American Equity Investment, a West Des Moines annuity and insurance company that employs about 540 people, has acknowledged market rumors that it could be in talks to be sold. American Equity Investment Life Holding issued a statement Wednesday saying it “notes recent market rumors and confirms that it is in preliminary discussions regarding a potential transaction.” “No […]

    Piwowar defends SEC’s best-interest rule

    {May 29th, 2018} by John Waggoner

    Outgoing Securities and Exchange commissioner Michael Piwowar had some tart words for his fellow regulators — and occasionally for the fund industry — at the Investment Company Institute’s annual conference in Washington Thursday. Paul Schott Stevens, the ICI’s president, questioned Mr. Piwowar about the SEC’s proposed Regulation Best Interest. “The SEC recently issued one of its highly […]

    12 Best & Worst Broker-Dealers: Q1 Earnings, 2018

    {May 29th, 2018} by Janet Levaux

    The first quarter of 2018 was a strong one for most broker-dealers and their bank parent companies, as they benefited from acquired and recruiting advisors and growing levels of investor assets. As Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reported earlier this month, “The majority of banks beat or met estimates…. For our sample of 219 banks, … […]

    Women advisers driving revenue growth

    {May 29th, 2018} by Jeff Benjamin

    Even though women make up a small but growing percentage of financial professionals, their influence has the potential for a disproportionate impact on the overall financial planning industry. New InvestmentNews research found that advisory firms with a higher percentage of women tend to grow faster and embrace a more holistic approach to financial planning, which helps advisers […]

    IBDs with the most annuity revenue

    {May 29th, 2018} by InvestmentNews

    The need for a steady stream of retirement income has put the spotlight on annuities, but investors remain reluctant to buy them. Still, some independent broker-dealers are earning a solid chunk of their revenue from annuities. Here are the 10 that took in the most annuity revenue last year. These data were collected from firms […]

    BLOG: How the SEC advice rule improves on the DOL fiduciary rule

    {May 29th, 2018} by Mark M. Goldberg

    The Department of Labor building is a mere 0.7 miles from the Securities and Exchange Commission. I’ve had meetings at both offices many times in the last three years. Some celebrate the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to vacate the fiduciary rule, and approve the SEC’s new proposed rule. Others denounce the former’s demise […]

    Leverage IUL in Executive Bonus Arrangements

    {May 29th, 2018} by Jeff Barker

    Small business owners may need help recruiting and retaining valuable employees. An executive bonus arrangement using an index universal life (IUL) insurance policy allows employers to provide key employees with individual life insurance, supplementing any group term life plans in place. The employer can freely choose the employee(s) it wishes to benefit and vary the […]

    IBDs with the most female reps

    {May 29th, 2018} by InvestmentNews

    The year-over-year percentage changes were originally incorrect. The numbers have now been updated. Recruiting women to the ranks of advisers remains a challenge. In 2017, Cerulli reported that women make up less than 16% of financial advisers. But some independent broker-dealers are outpacing the competition when it comes to bringing women on board. Following are […]

    The World Isn’t Prepared for Retirement

    {May 29th, 2018} by Suzanne Woolley

    Most online quizzes are relatively mindless, promising to reveal what vegetable, sandwich or rock band best represents your personality. That was not the case for a short online test given to more than 14,000 people in 15 countries this year. It revealed just how unprepared a good chunk of the world is for retirement. The three-question test, given […]

    NCOIL APPLAUDS PASSAGE & PRESIDENT’S SIGNING OF DODD-FRANK REFORM BILL

    {May 29th, 2018} by NCIOL

    Manasquan, NJ – The National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) applauded the passage and signing of S.2155, The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, by President Trump last week.  The law garnered bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress and contains several provisions on topics that NCOIL has been closely monitoring and discussing. […]

    Trump Administration Looks To Revive Variable Annuities

    {May 29th, 2018} by PYMTS

    Variable annuities (VAs), a widely criticized retirement savings product, is coming back thanks to President Donald Trump and his administration, which is gearing up to get rid of tough rules put in place by the Obama Administration. The Financial Times reported that VAs have faced many regulatory reforms that make brokers and financial advisers act in the best interest of their […]

    Insurers Ask NAIC to Ease Annuity Index Illustration Age Rule

    {May 26th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    Life insurers are asking state insurance regulators to make it easier for issuers of indexed annuities to show how product returns linked to the performance of a young investment index have performed. The issue has come up at the Annuity Disclosure Working Group, an arm of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Click HERE to read […]

    Insurers Ask NAIC to Ease Annuity Index Illustration Age Rule

    {May 26th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    Life insurers are asking state insurance regulators to make it easier for issuers of indexed annuities to show how product returns linked to the performance of a young investment index have performed. The issue has come up at the Annuity Disclosure Working Group, an arm of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The NAIC is […]

    Wink Sees Best Indexed Annuity Sales Growth in 2 Years

    {May 26th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    Sales of indexed annuities did great in the first quarter. The insurers that participate in Wink’s industry survey are reporting their sales increased to $14 billion in the first quarter, up 10% from the total for the first quarter of 2017. Click HERE to read the full story via ThinkAdvisor. Wink analysts found that total […]

    BLOG: How to Decide If That Life Insurance Rider Is Worth It

    {May 25th, 2018} by Barbara Marquand

    A vital part of any financial plan is making sure loved ones would be OK if you died while they still depended on you. For most people that means buying life insurance. Term life insurance is the most affordable and simplest kind, and it’s sufficient for most families. It covers you for a certain number of years […]

    5 Things to Check If Your Life Insurance Sales Smell Like a Dead Fish

    {May 25th, 2018} by Maria Wood

    Even before John Graham started his own marketing and public relations firm specializing in insurance in, he always felt the pull of life insurance. In fact, when he graduated from Occidental College, back in 1953, he was offered a job selling life insurance policies. He declined the offer, and spent many years working in another […]

    Will RIAs Need To Become Therapists?

    {May 25th, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    To attract Gen Xers and millennials, RIAs will need to change their marketing strategies and service models – pronto. But in what direction should RIAs go? Michael J. Nathanson, CEO of The Colony Group, goes so far as to say RIAs need to go beyond wealth management, tax and estate planning if they want to […]

    Why Did SEC Leave ‘Fiduciary’ Out of Best-Interest Rule?

    {May 25th, 2018} by Melanie Waddell

    Since floating its three-pronged standards of conduct proposal, the Securities and Exchange Commission has received questions — even from SEC commissioners — as to why the term “fiduciary” was omitted in the agency’s Regulation Best Interest for broker-dealers. During a Tuesday question-and-answer session at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s annual conference in Washington, Robert Cook, […]

    Wink, Inc. Releases 1st Quarter, 2018 Deferred Non-Variable and Structured Annuity Sales Results

    {May 24th, 2018} by Press Release

    — FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION — NEWS RELEASE   INDEXED ANNUITY SALES UP MORE THAN 10% Wink, Inc. Releases 1st Quarter, 2018 Deferred Non-Variable and Structured Annuity Sales Results Des Moines, Iowa. May 24, 2018– Wink’s Sales & Market Report, the insurance industry’s #1 resource for indexed annuity sales data since 1997, is in its third […]

    FIRST QUARTER 2018 ANNUITY SALES

    {May 24th, 2018} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Indexed Annuity Sales for the first quarter of 2018 were $14.21 billion, compared with sales of $12.92 billion for the first quarter of 2017. First quarter indexed annuity sales were up more than 4% when compared to the previous quarter, and up more than 10% when compared with the same period last year.   Total […]

    U.S. life/annuity market growth likely following robust 2017: A.M. Best

    {May 24th, 2018} by Charlie Wood

    A.M. Best has announced its expectations for the U.S. life/annuity (L/A) market to build on a generally positive 2017. They see an overall growth in 2018 thanks in part to higher interest rates and continued demand from consumers for both protection and accumulation product A.M Best also indicated the industry is well positioned to benefit from […]

    Annuities forecast climbs as FIAs rebound from fiduciary slump

    {May 24th, 2018} by Tobias Salinger

    After a sales slump across all types of annuities last year, the insurance products are poised for a greater rebound in 2018 after a jolt from new purchases of fixed-index annuities. The LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute has revised its predicted growth in total sales for the year to between 5% and 10%, up from a forecast […]

    Critics Blast Dodd-Frank Rollback Bill

    {May 24th, 2018} by Melanie Waddell

    Critics on Tuesday of the House passage of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S.2155) worry that the Dodd-Frank rollback bill will trigger another financial crisis. Phil Angelides, former chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which conducted the nation’s official inquiry into the causes of the 2008 financial crisis, said late […]

    California Insurance Broker Did Not Have to Advise Life Insurance Beneficiary How to Protect Her Interest

    {May 24th, 2018} by Steven A. Meyerowitz

    This story is reprinted with permission from FC&S Legal, an ALM digital resource for insurance coverage law professionals. Visit the website to subscribe. An appellate court in California has ruled that there was “no legal basis” to find an insurance broker liable for failing to advise a beneficiary of a life insurance policy how to protect her interest […]

    Insurers are selling off old annuity business — what advisers need to know

    {May 24th, 2018} by Greg Iacurci

    Insurance companies have been selling old blocks of annuity business at a rapid clip, and it’s likely the quick pace of transactions will continue at least through this year and possibly beyond. This could ultimately be bad news for policyholders and, by extension, their financial advisers. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews; […]

    Clayton: SEC left ‘fiduciary’ out of new advice rule to avoid investor confusion

    {May 24th, 2018} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Jay Clayton said the agency’s proposal to raise investment-advice standards for brokers doesn’t use the term “fiduciary” because it would have confused investors about the distinctions between brokers and investment advisers. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required.   

    A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Horace Mann Educators Corporation and Its Subsidiaries

    {May 23rd, 2018} by A.M. Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a” of the property/casualty members of Horace Mann Insurance Group (Horace Mann), as well as the Horace Mann Life Insurance Company (Horace Mann Life). Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “bbb” of Horace Mann Educators Corporation (HMEC) […]

    Congress Approves First Big Dodd-Frank Rollback

    {May 23rd, 2018} by Alan Rappeport and Emily Flitter

    WASHINGTON — A decade after the global financial crisis tipped the United States into a recession, Congress agreed on Tuesday to free thousands of small and medium-sized banks from strict rules that had been enacted as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law to prevent another meltdown. In a rare demonstration of bipartisanship, the House voted […]

    Why ‘fiduciary’ was left out of the SEC proposal

    {May 23rd, 2018} by Sean Allocca

    WASHINGTON — The SEC describes its new Regulation Best Interest proposal as a fiduciary standard. So why is the term not used in over 400-plus pages? “Fiduciary can mean a lot of different things in a lot of different contexts,” says SEC Chairman Jay Clayton to a packed room of hundreds of brokers and advisors […]

    An Amazon for financial services? ‘The race is on’

    {May 23rd, 2018} by Sean Allocca

    WASHINGTON — Technology is rapidly changing the way advisors meet clients, so much so that the relationship may look completely unrecognizable in just a few years. And that transformation opens up several key opportunities for innovators. “The race is on for somebody to become the Amazon of financial services,” says Boris Khentov, president of Betterment […]

    U.S. insurer American Equity explores sale -sources

    {May 23rd, 2018} by Reuters

    May 22 (Reuters) – American Equity Investment Life Holding Co, a U.S. provider of annuities and life insurance products, is exploring a sale after it attracted takeover interest, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based company, which sells fixed index and fixed rate annuity products, is working with an […]

    Lincoln Enters the Buffered VA Market

    {May 23rd, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    Lincoln Financial jumped into a fast-growing segment of the variable annuity market with its first buffered VA. The company’s Level Advantage is being sold through banks, wirehouses, independent broker dealers and registered investment advisors, said Brian Kroll, head of Lincoln Annuity Solutions. Level Advantage will be available for commission and fee-based sales, he said. “We […]

    American Equity Addresses Market Rumors

    {May 23rd, 2018} by American Equity

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 23, 2018– American Equity Investment Life Holding Company(NYSE: AEL) (“American Equity”) notes the recent market rumors and confirms that it is in preliminary discussions regarding a potential transaction. No assurance can be given that such discussions will continue, that any definitive agreement will be reached with respect to a transaction or […]

    Will SEC’s Broker Conduct Rule Work? BDs, Attorneys Weigh In

    {May 23rd, 2018} by Melanie Waddell

    Brett Redfearn, director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Trading and Markets, urged broker-dealers Tuesday to comment on the agency’s standard of conduct proposals, saying the three-pronged package is “an important step, but it’s only a step.” Broker-dealer execs were quick to weigh in with their comments at a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority […]

    DOL Fiduciary Rule 99% Dead After Appeal Denied

    {May 22nd, 2018} by John Hilton

    The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an appeal by a trio of states today, clearing the way for the controversial Department of Labor fiduciary rule to be officially killed. The final action appears to be for the court to issue a mandate to vacate the rule. With all appeals exhausted, that mandate could come […]

    NAIFA Members Approve Retooled Local Association Structure

    {May 22nd, 2018} by Susan Rupe

    WASHINGTON – In the wake of shrinking membership and difficulty finding local leaders,  National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors members voted today to implement a major bylaws change. The sweeping change will affect the way its 52 state associations and 550 local associations conduct business. It will allow state organizations to direct more resources […]

    SEC official addresses criticism of best-interest standard for brokers

    {May 22nd, 2018} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    A Securities and Exchange Commission official defended the agency’s proposal to raise investment-advice standards for brokers Tuesday, asserting it would increase investor protection while building on current broker rules. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required. 

    Money Managers Weigh In On Vexing Morningstar Ratings

    {May 22nd, 2018} by Brian O'Connell

    A new study has some analysts questioning the effectiveness of Morningstar’s fund rating system. Only 12 percent of Morningstar five-star funds maintained that pristine rating five years later, according to the Wall Street Journal report. Ten percent of five-star picks wound up being one-star picks over the same timeframe. Those statistics prompted renewed criticism of Morningstar, with […]

    Pope Francis wants financial advisers to work like fiduciaries

    {May 22nd, 2018} by Bruce Kelly

    Pope Francis weighed in on the debate over the need for a universal fiduciary standard for financial advisers Thursday in a wide critique of global finance that admonished advisers who worked against the best interests of their clients. Issued by the Vatican, the bulletin took aim at broad targets, such as selfishness in the financial industry, to […]

    Thirsty Life Insurers See Bond Yields Rise to Highest Level in Five Years

    {May 22nd, 2018} by Allison Bell

    Life insurers may finally start to get higher interest rates on their investments in corporate bonds, after years of waiting for the interest rate drought to end and rates to turn up. Life insurers invest about $2.1 trillion of their $4.3 trillion in general account assets in corporate bonds, according to the American Council of Life Insurers. […]

    Finra anticipates oversight role for SEC advice rule

    {May 22nd, 2018} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Finra chief executive Robert Cook said the regulator is likely to play a role in oversight of a new broker investment-advice standard that the Securities and Exchange Commission is developing. Last month, the SEC released an investment-advice proposal package that includes a regulation that would require brokers to act in the best interests of their clients. It […]

    Indexed Annuity Sales Jump

    {May 22nd, 2018} by Al

    Overall sales of individual annuities fell slightly in the first quarter, but sales of products with returns linked to the performance of the stock market increased, according  to LIMRA. Insurers reported $51.8 billion in total U.S. individual annuity sales during the latest quarter, down from $52 billion for the first quarter of 2017. But sales of variable […]

    Susan Neely Named President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers

    {May 22nd, 2018} by American Council of Life Insurers

    WASHINGTON, May 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) announced today that Susan Neely, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association (ABA), will join ACLI as president and CEO this summer. Neely will succeed Dirk Kempthorne, who earlier this year announced his intention to step down as president and CEO after eight successful years at […]

    Lincoln Financial Group Launches Indexed Variable Annuity with Unique Income Option and Simple Investing Choices

    {May 22nd, 2018} by Lincoln Financial Group

    RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) today announced the launch of Lincoln Level AdvantageSMindexed variable annuity, a retirement planning solution offering savers options for protection and growth opportunities, with the ability to take income in retirement when ready. Designed for investors approaching their retirement years and for those already in retirement,Lincoln Level AdvantageSM helps clients protect […]

    Insurance on the Fortune 500 list

    {May 22nd, 2018} by Fortune 500

    This year’s Fortune 500 marks the 64th running of the list. In total, Fortune500 companies represent two-thirds of the U.S. GDP with $12.8 trillion in revenues, $1.0 trillion in profits, $21.6 trillion in market value, and employ 28.2 million people worldwide. See a complete list here  See which insurers made the list 

    Annuities Can Fit With A Fiduciary Practice, Prudential Exec Says

    {May 22nd, 2018} by Ben Mattlin

    Amid the uproar over changing fiduciary regulations, the volatility of annuities sales and the introduction of myriad new annuity products and features, it can be hard to keep up. Kent Sluyter, president of Newark, N.J.- based Prudential Annuities, a unit of Prudential Financial, helped shed light on what’s going on and what to expect going […]

    Securian Financial Launches New Brand Identity, First-Ever National Television Advertising Campaign

    {May 22nd, 2018} by Securian Financial

    May 21, 2018 — ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Families that feel confident with their finances can more easily enjoy the here and now, making life’s everyday, unexpected and occasionally unbelievable moments count. That is the central idea anchoring Securian Financial’s new brand campaign—“Every Moment Counts”—which is being brought to life through the company’s first-ever national television advertising […]

    Another longshot bid to save DoL fiduciary rule

    {May 22nd, 2018} by Kenneth Corbin

    Attorneys general from three states are asking a federal court to reconsider its decision to vacate the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, one of a dwindling number of procedural moves available to supporters of the regulation. Earlier this month, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a motion from the attorneys general of California, New […]

    Opinion: 10 facts about the SEC’s best interest rule

    {May 22nd, 2018} by Todd Cipperman

    A few weeks ago, the SEC proposed the Regulation Best Interest rule, which requires brokers to act in the best interest of each retail customer at the time the recommendation is made — notwithstanding the broker’s own financial interests. However, the regulator doesn’t define the term “best interest” in 400-plus pages. Now that the U.S. […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Thrivent Life Insurance Company

    {May 22nd, 2018} by Thrivent

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A++ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “aa+” of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and its subsidiary, Thrivent Life Insurance Company (both headquartered in Minneapolis, MN) (together known as Thrivent Financial). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. The ratings reflect Thrivent Financial’s balance sheet strength, […]

    Inside John Hancock’s four-year core transformation effort

    {May 21st, 2018} by Sharon Goldman

    John Hancock is launching a four-year effort, in partnership with technology consulting leader Infosys, to implement a single, integrated platform to provide its life and annuity customers with a holistic digital experience. The initiative is part of a broader corporate ambition to digitize operations and position the company as a customer-centric leader. These efforts already […]

    Opinion: Advisor Questions Some High Annuity Return Projections

    {May 21st, 2018} by Allison Bell

    Anil Vazirani, a financial advisor who regularly sells indexed annuities, says some life insurers should be more conservative when they tell consumers about possible returns from indexed annuities that aren’t filed as securities. If an issuer wants to show a consumer that an annuity can earn 10% annually, with no risk, the issuer should file […]

    Investors Perk Up As Bank CD Rates Near 3 Percent

    {May 20th, 2018} by Brian O'Connell

    With interest rates rising, bank certificates of deposit are surging ahead of bonds as the apple in investors’ eyes. In March, after the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by 0.25 percent, banks, especially online financial institutions, started to inch their CD rates up toward 3 percent. Compare that to terms as recent as 2015, when […]

    States trying to save DOL fiduciary rule appeal rejection of effort to intervene

    {May 17th, 2018} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Another attempt to appeal a federal court ruling striking down the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule is keeping the measure viable for now, but it still faces long odds of defying death. California, New York and Oregon filed a motion late Wednesday in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, seeking a rehearing of a May 2 ruling ruling by a […]

    This Is Worse than the Fiduciary Rule

    {May 17th, 2018} by Kerry Pechter

    With the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to vacate the Obama fiduciary rule on May 7, the securities, life insurance and retirement industries had effectively thwarted a big threat to their product distribution model. But, based on what I’ve heard at industry conferences, they’re not uniformly satisfied with their victory. That’s no surprise. The […]

    Buffered Annuities Boost Allianz Sales In 1Q

    {May 17th, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    Sales of life and annuity products in the U.S. rose 4 percent in the first quarter to $2.5 billion compared to the year-ago period, Allianz SE reported. Buffered variable annuities were largely responsible for the sales growth, the company said. Buffered VAs are structured to protect, or buffer, buyers against most market losses – but […]

    States Ask For Review Of DOL Rule Overturn

    {May 17th, 2018} by John Hilton

    California, New York and Oregon filed a last-minute, long-shot appeal for a court to reconsider its request for a full review of its decision to toss the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals had denied the states’ request for appeal in a May 2 decision. Wednesday was the deadline for […]

    The life-insurance industry is in need of new vigour

    {May 17th, 2018} by The Economist

    LIFE insurance is among the oldest financial products. The Amicable Society, founded in London in 1706, charged members a set contribution and paid out annually to widows and children of those who had died in the previous 12 months. Today it is a vast industry: life and health insurers employ over 800,000 people in America […]

    5 New Life Products for Spring

    {May 17th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    U.S. insurers have kept the spotlight on permanent life products in recent announcements of new life policies and features. Personal finance columnists and advisors with roots in the financial planning community tend to promote the benefits of term life, but some of the most heavily promoted new life products are universal life, indexed universal life or […]

    First Protective Streamlines Case Management for Advisors

    {May 16th, 2018} by First Protective Insurance Group, Inc.

    Birmingham, AL, May 15, 2018. First Protective Insurance Group, Inc. announced today that it has released a cutting-edge mobile application exclusively for the use of First Protective producers. Levering technology developed by SalesUp HQ, Inc., First Protective has made it simple and convenient for agents and advisors to receive real-time updates on case management, underwriting, […]

    How clients can use annuities to pay for long-term care

    {May 16th, 2018} by Donald Jay Korn

    With millions of baby boomers in or nearing retirement, the need for long-term care insurance might seem obvious. Retirees face extended life expectancy as well as rising costs for nursing home stays, assisted living facilities and home care. Nevertheless, standalone policy sales declined nearly 70% from $550 million in premiums in 2012 to just $176 […]

    Next up for Envestnet: Insurance

    {May 16th, 2018} by Charles Paikert

    NEW ORLEANS — Envestnet is getting into the insurance business. The technology and platform giant will begin offering insurance products on its platform later this year, Envestnet President Bill Crager said at the company’s annual conference. “We’re going to fully integrate insurance into the life cycle of advice on the Envestnet platform,” Crager said, while […]

    Advisers Want Improved Annuity Options for Clients

    {May 16th, 2018} by Amanda Umpierrez

    As annuities struggle to gain traction within the retirement industry, advisers are finding it increasingly difficult to address various client needs with few annuity options, according to a recent study from Global Atlantic Financial Group. The nationwide study—which surveyed 400 advisers—found that 56% of those surveyed consider annuities as an integral factor to retirement planning, but nine […]

    AIG Enhances Underwriting For Two IUL Insurance Products

    {May 16th, 2018} by AIG

    HOUSTON, May 15, 2018 – American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG), a leader in the index universal life (IUL) insurance market, announced new, non-medical underwriting for Max Accumulator+ IUL insurance policies and improvements to non-medical underwriting for QoL Max Accumulator+ IUL insurance policies, both issued by American General Life Insurance Company (AGL). “Non- medical underwriting” […]

    Financial Advisors Want More Options from Annuity Providers, According to Global Atlantic Study

    {May 15th, 2018} by Global Atlantic Financial Group

    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–More than half of financial advisors (56%) believe that annuities are an important part of a retirement plan, but nine out of ten (90%) find it difficult to address client needs using a “one-size-fits-all” approach with a single type of annuity. Of these advisors, almost all (96.4%) said they would likely increase their […]

    Allianz Steps Up Venture Investments in Insurance Startups

    {May 15th, 2018} by Julie Verhage

    Allianz Life Insurance set up its venture arm two years ago, as more new startups using breakthrough technology promised to one day transform its industry. Now, after a slow initial period, the insurance giant’s VC investments are picking up steam. Allianz has invested in six startups so far, half of them in 2018 alone, and […]

    Life Insurance Activity Off In April

    {May 15th, 2018} by N/A

    Braintree, MA.  — U.S. life insurance application activity was off in April down – 2.1% 1 year-over-year, according to the MIB Life Index. Just as March results were inflated by the inclusion of Good Friday (one less business day), April’s results were artificially low by its exclusion (one more business day); April’s composite was up 2.8% on an […]

    How Young Is Too Young? Life Insurance And Children

    {May 15th, 2018} by Edward C. Auble

    I would like to begin with a personal story. My brother George was born when I was six years old. But he had a respiratory condition and lived only 19 days. Shortly after George’s death, my father purchased life insurance on my sister and me. I can only assume that the $1,000 benefit was intended […]

    David Byers Takes Over at AALU

    {May 15th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    David Byers Jr. took over from Rich DeVita earlier this month as the president of AALU in Washington, at the group’s annual meeting. AALU is a Reston, Virginia-based group for financial professionals. It attracted about 1,000 people to the meeting, according to AALU. Click HERE to read the original story via ThinkAdvisor.  Byers is the managing […]

    Insurers Report Strong 1Q Annuity Sales

    {May 15th, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    After several uneven quarters for annuity sales, insurers are reporting a strong first quarter in earnings calls. Official sales statistics for the overall market are expected next week, but across several top annuity sellers a peek into their sales numbers augurs well. Annuity sales got a shot in the arm from regulatory developments in the […]

    Lincoln Financial Group Launches Indexed Universal Life Solution with Cash Growth Flexibility for Changing Client Needs

    {May 15th, 2018} by Lincoln Financial Group

    RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC) today announced the latest addition to its broad suite of life insurance products, Lincoln WealthAccumulateSM Indexed Universal Life (IUL). Lincoln WealthAccumulateSM IUL provides clients the flexibility to achieve a wide range of financial goals as life changes, offering significant cash value growth opportunities and supplemental income through distributions. “As clients move through life’s […]

    Securian Adds New Premium Payment Options, Enhanced Benefits to “SecureCare” Universal Life Insurance Policy with Long-Term Care Benefits

    {May 15th, 2018} by Securian Financial Group

    ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Securian Financial Group of St. Paul, Minnesota, has added new premium payment options and enhanced benefits to SecureCare Universal Life, a permanent life insurance contract with long-term care benefits. Launched in 2017 as a single premium-only linked benefit product, the enhanced version of SecureCare, issued by MINNESOTA LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, allows customers […]

    New York State Fines Life Insurer Over Reinsurance Arrangement

    {May 15th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    The New York State Department of Financial Services has imposed a $6.3 million fine on a life insurer, over allegations that the insurer used improper reinsurance transactions involving an affiliate to minimize term life reserves. The department imposed the fine on William Penn Life Insurance Company, a unit of Legal & General America, which is a […]

    The Impact Partnership announces first-ever Fixed Indexed Annuity designed for high net worth individuals, developed in partnership with Lincoln Financial Group

    {May 15th, 2018} by The Impact Partnership

    ATLANTA, May 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Impact Partnership announced today a new partnership with Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) to launch Lincoln Impact AdvantageSM, a fixed indexed annuity providing higher net worth clients with competitive upside opportunities through equity-like returns while protecting from equity-like losses. Lincoln Impact AdvantageSM features the Balanced Capital Strength 6 Index, utilizing First Trust’s Smart Beta […]

    B-Ds Have To Go Big Or Narrow, Cerulli Says

    {May 14th, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    Grow, specialize, merge or die. That’s the message to broker-dealers struggling with thinning profit margins, according to a new report by Cerulli Associates. Broker-dealers competing “with the highest degree of scale or niche specialization are best positioned for competitive strength and fiscal health,” the report said. Click HERE to read the full story via INN; […]

    2 Charged With Theft, Forgery in $1.2M Annuity Scam

    {May 14th, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    A California insurance agent sold a $1.2 million annuity to a man with dementia and helped a relative of the man steal $700,000 in withdrawals, according to court documents. Life agent Michael David Wolf, 59, of Moorpark, sold the $1.2 million policy to the man in 2014, six months after he had been diagnosed with […]

    AALU targets growth, diversity as priorities during 2018 annual meeting

    {May 14th, 2018} by Brian Anderson

    A focus on growth and diversity was evident during the recent 2018 Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. New CEO Marc Cadin (shown, left), who will be taking over later this year for David Stertzer (shown, right) after Stertzer’s 33-year run as the organization’s CEO, stressed the need for growth […]

    What If Investment Companies Hate Their Life Insurer Affiliates?

    {May 12th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    Variable annuity regulation writers are fighting a complicated capital requirement fight that has raised a simple, painful question: What if the managers of a financial services company stop caring about the fate of a life insurance company affiliate? Two panels at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners have drawn attention to the plight of life […]

    NAIC Veteran Regulator ‘Concerned’ About SEC Best Interest Rule

    {May 12th, 2018} by John Hilton

    Signs of tensions between state regulators and the Securities and Exchange Commission over their simultaneous work on a best-interest standard were evident at a Washington, D.C., conference this week. SEC official Paul Cellupica let out a nervous chuckle when asked how the SEC best-interest rule is being received by other regulators. He appeared at the […]

    Financial advisor: The best job for working moms?

    {May 11th, 2018} by Amanda Schiavo

    Working moms are still fighting plenty of old stereotypes, but some are finding solace in the advisory industry. In fact, some women are becoming advisors in their mid-career years, specifically for perks like better work-life balance and the ability to spend more time with their kids. To be sure, old stigmas linger despite academic evidence […]

    Voya To Purchase Non-Qualified Plan Provider Pen-Cal

    {May 11th, 2018} by Christopher Robbins

    Windsor, Conn.-based Voya Financial announced on Friday that it will purchase Pen-Cal Administrators, a nonqualified, deferred-compensation benefit plan provider and consultant. Under the agreement, Pen-Cal will become part of Voya’s retirement unit. Voya will use the transaction to provide nonqualified services across its 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plan markets. Click HERE to read the original […]

    DOL Fiduciary Rule Still Effective Until Court Issues Mandate: Lawyer

    {May 11th, 2018} by Melanie Waddell

    The Labor Department’s fiduciary rule is still effective until the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit issues its mandate to vacate the rule, David Kaleda, principal at Groom Law Group, said Thursday. “Yes, the [Labor Department’s] rule is still in effect until the mandate is issued,” Kaleda said at the Practising Law Institute’s […]

    How Not to Sell an Indexed Annuity

    {May 11th, 2018} by Kerry Pechter

    “Run like hell.” When RIJ invited comments on our April 5 article, “Should My Neighbor Buy That Indexed Annuity?” which described a woman’s real-life experience with an advisor she met at a free retirement planning seminar, we didn’t expect to hear much praise for the advisor’s assertive approach. Click HERE to read the full story via RIJ; subscription […]

    Iowa insurance regulator cautions SEC about modifying suitability rule

    {May 11th, 2018} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    A state insurance official on Thursday asserted that current investment-advice regulations for brokers are working and that modifying them under a proposal from the Securities and Exchange Commission could hamstring state regulators. Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said that the suitability rule that requires brokers to sell investment products that align with their clients’ objectives […]

    AXA Equitable Shares Debut on New York Stock Exchange

    {May 10th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    AXA Equitable Holdings Inc. shares began trading today on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “EQH.” AXA Equitable pointed out, in a banner hanging on the front of the exchange building, that the company has been around since 1859.  Click HERE to read the original story via ThinkAdvisor. AXA Equitable executives got a few […]

    DOL Rule Demise Coincides with Growing Popularity of Hybrid Annuities, says Nationwide Boss

    {May 10th, 2018} by Alex Padalka

    Craig Hawley, chief of Nationwide’s advisory solutions unit, is neither celebrating nor mourning the imminent death of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. But a calmer regulatory environment is coinciding with the growing popularity of some annuity products, he tells ThinkAdvisor. The saga of the DOL’s rule meant that “the industry hunkered down a little bit,” according […]

    A.M. Best Upgrades Issuer Credit Ratings of Members of Pacific Life Group

    {May 10th, 2018} by A.M. Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best has upgraded the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) to “aa” from “aa-” and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior) of the members of Pacific Life Group (Pacific Life) (headquartered in Newport Beach, CA): Pacific Life Insurance Company and Pacific Life & Annuity Company. Additionally, A.M. Best has upgraded the Long-Term ICR to “a” from “a-” […]

    With fiduciary rule out of the way, VA sales may improve, but won’t return to previous peak

    {May 10th, 2018} by Nick Thornton

    Sales of variable annuities, which have been slumping for years, are expected to see some improvement now that the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule has been vacated by an Appellate Court, and the agency has extended a temporary enforcement policy that will give sellers of investments wider compliance latitude. “The DOL’s announcement of a new temporary fiduciary rule […]

    Lincoln To Offer First Buffered VA

    {May 9th, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    Lincoln Financial is jumping into the booming buffered variable annuity market with its first product next month. “There are some advantages to our product versus the competition, and we expect that to both help us take market share and expand the size of the market with our presence and wholesaling capability,” said Lincoln president and […]

    SEC publishes advice rule, sets Aug. 7 comment deadline

    {May 9th, 2018} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    The Federal Register published the Securities and Exchange Commission’s investment advice reform proposal Wednesday, officially opening a comment period that will last until Aug. 7. The SEC voted 4-1 on April 18 to release the three-part proposal, which includes a best-interest standard for brokers; new disclosure requirements for brokers and investment advisers, as well as financial adviser title reform; and an interpretation […]

    Insurance ‘Great Restructuring’ Seeds AXA Equitable’s Giant U.S. IPO

    {May 9th, 2018} by Alex Barinka and Katherine Chiglinsky

    U.S. initial public offerings (IPOs) have the seismic changes in the insurance industry to thank for 2018’s biggest share sale. AXA Equitable Holdings Inc. aims to raise as much as $3.7 billion in its IPO, which is expected to price after the market closes on Wednesday. The business is made up of the U.S. operations […]

    Brighthouse Index-Linked Shield Annuities Up 59% In 1Q

    {May 9th, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    First quarter sales of Brighthouse Financial’s Shield brand of index-linked variable [structured/buffered] annuities soared 59 percent over the year-ago period to $729 million. Sales reflect the strength of the company’s distribution relationships and advertising and marketing campaigns, Brighthouse president and CEO Eric Steigerwalt said in a conference call. Sales of Shield annuities along with the […]

    FINRA slams Fifth Third Securities with $6M in sanctions over variable annuity sales lapses

    {May 9th, 2018} by Margarida Correia

    Fifth Third Securities, the retail brokerage arm of Fifth Third Bank, has gotten into trouble with FINRA yet again over the sale of variable annuities. The firm agreed to pay a $4 million fine and approximately $2 million in restitution to customers to settle charges that it failed to accurately describe the costs and benefits […]

    When Is an Annuity a Good Choice?

    {May 9th, 2018} by Matthew Frankel

    Spoiler alert: I’m not a big fan of annuities. Annuities often come with astronomical fees and commissions, some of which can be quite difficult for investors to identify and understand. More often than not, I find myself trying to talk retirees out of buying annuities. Having said that, there are some cases when buying an […]

    The Far Reach Of Protection

    {May 9th, 2018} by Ray Caucci

    As our average life expectancy grows and healthcare costs skyrocket, Americans should take some time to revisit their income needs in retirement. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates Americans spent approximately $3.3 trillion on healthcare-related expenses in 2016, or about $10,348 per person. Not to mention, advances in modern medicine are keeping individuals […]

    Piwowar departure will complicate action on SEC advice rule

    {May 9th, 2018} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    When Securities and Exchange Commission member Michael Piwowar departs July 7, it will make the agency’s already heavy lift to promulgate an investment advice reform package even more of a backbreaker. Mr. Piwowar, a Republican, announced Monday he would step down following the completion in June of his five-year term on the five-member commission. Click […]

    What’s Wrong With Suitability? Industry Groups Wonder

    {May 8th, 2018} by John Hilton

    Regulators set their sights on the suitability standard governing insurance sales almost from the time it was adopted in 2010. Meanwhile, agents keep delivering life insurance and annuities as their industry representatives wonder: What’s wrong with suitability? Dwight Carter of the Fixed Annuity Consumer Choice campaign denounced the rush to create a “theoretical ‘standard of […]

    How 7 Annuity Issuers Are Really Doing Now

    {May 8th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    The first quarter of the year was a good period for some big, publicly traded U.S. annuity issuers and a tough period for others. Earnings releases have begun to pour out of the issuers since last Monday, and the sales and earnings pictures are jumbled. One point was clear, however: Top executives at the issuers are […]

    Mystery Shopper Rates Insurers Online

    {May 8th, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    A mystery life insurance shopper – call her Alice – bought term coverage for her family recently and was thoroughly stumped. Filling out her family’s details in online forms in exchange for an estimated monthly premium was easy enough, but the follow up was another, mostly nonexistent, story. “They can lure you to the website […]

    Wink’s 2017 Leader in Fixed Annuity Sales

    {May 8th, 2018} by Wink, Inc

                Jackson National Life Insurance Company       Per Wink’s Sales & Market Report, aggregately Jackson National Life Insurance Company and Jackson National Life of New York were the #1 sellers of Fixed Annuities in 2017. Rankings based on participants of Wink’s Sales & Market Report/Fixed Annuities, which considers manufacturers of […]

    Wink’s 2017 Leader in Indexed Annuity Sales

    {May 8th, 2018} by Wink, Inc

              Allianz Life         Per Wink’s Sales & Market Report, Allianz Life of North America was the #1 seller of Indexed Annuities in 2017. Rankings based on participants of Wink’s Sales & Market Report/Indexed Annuities, which considers manufacturers of indexed deferred annuities, which earn excess interest that is limited, […]

    Wink’s 2017 Leader in Indexed Life Insurance Sales

    {May 8th, 2018} by Wink, Inc

                  Pacific Life Companies         Per Wink’s Sales & Market Report, aggregately Pacific Life Insurance Company and Pacific Life & Annuity Company were the #1 sellers of Indexed Life Insurance in 2017. Rankings based on participants of Wink’s Sales & Market Report/Indexed Life, which considers manufacturers of […]

    Wink’s 2017 Trailblazer in Fixed Annuity Sales

    {May 8th, 2018} by Wink, Inc

                  Minnesota Life – Securian         Per Wink’s Sales & Market Report, aggregately Minnesota Life Insurance Company and Securian Life Insurance Company increased their Fixed Annuity market share the greatest percentage of any company, from 2016 to 2017. Rankings based on participants of Wink’s Sales & […]

    Wink’s 2017 Trailblazer in Indexed Annuity Sales

    {May 8th, 2018} by Wink, Inc

                Thrivent Financial         Per Wink’s Sales & Market Report, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans increased their Indexed Annuity market share the greatest percentage of any company, from 2016 to 2017. Rankings based on participants of Wink’s Sales & Market Report/Indexed Annuities, which considers manufacturers of indexed deferred annuities, […]

    Wink’s 2017 Trailblazer in Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuity Sales

    {May 8th, 2018} by Wink, Inc

                    Protective Life Companies         Per Wink’s Sales & Market Report, aggregately Protective Life Insurance Company and Protective Life and Annuity Insurance Company increased their Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuity market share the greatest percentage of any company, from 2016 to 2017.  Rankings based on participants of Wink’s […]

    Wink’s 2017 Trailblazer in Indexed Life Insurance Sales

    {May 8th, 2018} by Wink, Inc

                Farm Bureau Life         Per Wink’s Sales & Market Report, Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company increased their Indexed Life Insurance market share the greatest percentage of any company, from 2016 to 2017. Rankings based on participants of Wink’s Sales & Market Report/Indexed Life, which considers manufacturers of permanent […]

    Wink’s 2017 Excellence in Annuity Innovation Award

    {May 8th, 2018} by Wink, Inc

                Security Benefit Life Insurance Company for RateTrack Annuities   (the first “floating rate” annuities)         About Wink’s Sales & Market Report Wink’s Sales & Market Report has served as the insurance industry’s #1 resource of indexed insurance product sales since 1997. Providing sales by product, company, […]

    Wink’s 2017 Excellence in Life Insurance Innovation Award

    {May 8th, 2018} by Wink, Inc

              Accordia Life for Lifetime Builder ELITE IUL   (“Linked Loan” option)           About Wink’s Sales & Market Report Wink’s Sales & Market Report has served as the insurance industry’s #1 resource of indexed insurance product sales since 1997. Providing sales by product, company, crediting method, index, […]

    NAIFA Launches New Learning Center To Boost Advisor Productivity

    {May 8th, 2018} by NAIFA

    FALLS CHURCH–The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) has launched the NAIFA Learning Center, a virtual, on-demand video-based platform that builds financial advisors’ confidence by enhancing their knowledge of financial products and clarifying the habits and skills they need to build meaningful client relationships. The Center offers hundreds of engaging, high-impact videos along with […]

    Fiduciary rule critic Piwowar to leave SEC

    {May 8th, 2018} by Margarida Correia

    SEC Commissioner Michael Piwowar plans to step down from his post on July 7, after serving nearly five years on the five-person commission, according to a statement posted on the SEC website. Piwowar, a Republican, has been an outspoken critic of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. “To me, that rule, it was about one […]

    Northwestern Mutual shutting down LearnVest

    {May 8th, 2018} by Ryan W. Neal

    Northwestern Mutual is shutting down digital financial planning startup LearnVest just three years after the insurance company paid $250 million for it. In a statement posted to the Northwestern Mutual website, the company announced that it is discontinuing LearnVest’s financial planning offering for consumers and the LearnVest@Work program for businesses. Northwestern Mutual will relaunch LearnVest later this year […]

    Advisors To Get Ranked — And Not Everyone Is Thrilled About It

    {May 8th, 2018} by Brian O'Connell

    Financial advisors may not be thrilled by the idea of being ranked against one another on job performance. But that’s exactly what one financial technology firm intends to do with its ranking of several key advisory areas, like portfolio management, client interaction, and fees. The firm, StackUp, was founded on the premise that money managers […]

    Court ruling aside, for now DOL will rely on fiduciary rule to govern investment advice

    {May 8th, 2018} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Despite a court decision to vacate the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, the DOL said it will continue to rely on the regulation for now to govern advice in retirement accounts. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals was expected to issue a mandate on Monday that would put into effect its March 15 split decision striking […]

    How Nationwide’s Advisory Solutions Unit Head Sees the World

    {May 8th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    Craig Hawley could be complaining about federal regulators’ on-and-off-again efforts to set annuity sales standards. Hawley runs Nationwide Advisory Solutions — the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company subsidiary formerly known as Jefferson National. Jefferson National. Jefferson National has been courting fee-based advisors with commission-free variable annuities since 2008, before the fiduciary rule was a gleam in […]

    FINRA Sanctions Fifth Third Over Variable Annuity Exchanges

    {May 8th, 2018} by Melanie Waddell

    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said Tuesday that it has fined Fifth Third Securities, Inc., $4 million and required the firm to pay approximately $2 million in restitution to customers for failing to appropriately consider and accurately describe the costs and benefits of variable annuity exchanges. Fifth Third also recommended exchanges “without a reasonable basis […]

    DOL Announces Fiduciary Rule Enforcement Policy

    {May 8th, 2018} by Melanie Waddell

    The Labor Department announced Monday that financial institutions should be allowed to continue to rely upon the temporary enforcement policy set out in its fiduciary rule, pending the department’s issuance of additional guidance, which it plans to issue “in the future.” The Department states in its Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2018-02 that it is “convinced that this […]

    Pacific Life Introduces New Variable Annuity Rider Providing 7% Annual Credit for Up to Five Years

    {May 8th, 2018} by Pacific Life

    NEWPORT BEACH, California, May 1 — Pacific Life, an insurance company, issued the following news release: When clients want guaranteed growth of their retirement income within the next five years, financial professionals can now offer a new solution. Pacific Life Insurance Company has launched Core Protect Plus, an optional guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit available for […]

    Prudential Financial, Inc. Announces First Quarter 2018 Results

    {May 8th, 2018} by Prudential

    Net income attributable to Prudential Financial of $1.363 billion or $3.14 per Common share versus $1.369 billion or $3.09 per share for year-ago quarter. After-tax adjusted operating income of $1.340 billion or $3.08 per Common share versus $1.237 billion or $2.79 per share for year-ago quarter. Significant items: Net income and adjusted operating income include […]

    American Equity Reports First Quarter 2018 Results

    {May 8th, 2018} by American Equity

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American Equity Investment Life Holding Company (NYSE: AEL), a leading issuer of fixed index annuities, today reported first quarter 2018 net income of $141.0 million, or $1.55 per diluted common share, compared to net income of $53.9 million, or $0.60 per diluted common share, for first quarter 2017. Non-GAAP operating income1 for […]

    Voices: Why your firm needs to hire more women advisors

    {May 8th, 2018} by Samantha O'Neil

    At the beginning of 2017, only 16% of all advisors were women, according to a report by Cerulli Associates. Sixteen percent. That number paints a very stark picture. While there is still a great deal of work to be done in our industry when it comes to recruiting women, there are benefits, too. Aside from […]

    What are the fees on that annuity? Good luck finding them

    {May 8th, 2018} by Bryan Borzykowski

    Three months ago, a new client came to Jeff Cutter’s office to get help reviewing a financial plan. He noticed the client had about $800,000 in a variable annuity and wondered how much he knew about that annuity. “I asked him to tell me his understanding of the expenses associated with it,” says Cutter, founder […]

    How annuities have changed since the DOL proposed the Fiduciary Rule.

    {May 8th, 2018} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Before I count the ways, let me comment that the average premium for a deferred annuity is $102,964 as of 4Q2017. I would surmise that the typical fee-based advisor asks that their clients have no less than $500,000 in assets before they consider managing their assets- am I right? There would be no one less-served by […]

    FINRA Sanctions Fifth Third Over Variable Annuity Exchanges

    {May 8th, 2018} by Melanie Waddell

    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said Tuesday that it has fined Fifth Third Securities, Inc., $4 million and required the firm to pay approximately $2 million in restitution to customers for failing to appropriately consider and accurately describe the costs and benefits of variable annuity exchanges. Fifth Third also recommended exchanges “without a reasonable basis […]

    Four challenges in using annuities for retirement planning — and how to overcome them

    {May 8th, 2018} by Paula Nelson

    Over the years, I’ve had countless conversations with advisers about retirement planning and the use of guaranteed income products. While some embrace annuities and their ability to offer consistency in retirement income, others are more dismissive. It’s not hard to see why these advisers are skeptical, especially if their experience with annuities is limited to […]

    Brighthouse Financial Announces First Quarter 2018 Results

    {May 8th, 2018} by Brighthouse Financial, Inc

    CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Brighthouse Financial, Inc. (“Brighthouse Financial”) (Nasdaq: BHF) announced today its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018. First Quarter 2018 Results The company reported a net loss available to shareholders of $67 million in the first quarter of 2018, or $0.56 on a per share basis, compared to a net […]

    A Fix Everyone Loves to Hate for the $4 Trillion Retirement Savings Gap: Opinion

    {May 8th, 2018} by Katherine Chiglinsky and Ben Steverman

    Saving for retirement is hard enough, but another difficult challenge is making sure the money lasts. Invest your nest egg conservatively, and you might not be able to stretch the money out, especially if you live longer than you expect. Putting more in the stock market could keep the pile growing—but once you stop adding […]

    State-registered investment advisers, mostly one and two-person offices, total 17,688

    {May 8th, 2018} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    The number of state-registered investment advisers grew slightly over the past two years to a total of 17,688, according to a statistical snapshot of the sector released on Monday by state regulators. In its first annual report about the investment advisers it regulates, the North American Securities Administrators Association said that the number of advisers increased by […]

    Life Application Activity Falls: MIB

    {May 7th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    MIB Group Inc. says overall life insurance application activity was 2.1% lower in April than it was in April 2017. The decrease followed a big gain in March. In March, the overall MIB activity level was 6.7% higher than in March 2017. Click HERE to read the original story via ThinkAdvisor. Activity fell in April […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Northwestern Mutual’s Financial Strength Rating

    {May 7th, 2018} by Northwestern Mutual

    MILWAUKEE, May 7, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — A.M. Best has affirmed Northwestern Mutual’s A++ (Superior) financial strength in a recently released report, the highest possible rating from the agency. The rating reflects Northwestern Mutual’s balance sheet strength as well as “very strong operating performance, very favorable business profile and very strong enterprise risk management.” According to A.M. Best, Northwestern Mutual […]

    Lincoln Financial Group’s Sean Hutchinson Recognized by LIMRA as a Rising Star of Retirement Under 40

    {May 7th, 2018} by Lincoln Financial Group

    RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) announced today that Sean Hutchinson, vice president, Customer Experience Marketing, Retirement Plan Services, was recognized by LIMRA as a “Rising Star of Retirement Under 40.” This distinction honors young professionals who are not only adapting to the changes in the retirement industry, but who are successfully and creatively […]

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