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  • DOL Fiduciary Rule Delay All but Certain as Comment Period Closes

    {September 21st, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    While detractors of the Labor Department’s plan to delay the remainder of its fiduciary rule continued to tell Labor that such a delay would be costly for investors, supporters of the delay argue that it’s all but needed in order to make revisions, propose new streamlined exemptions and coordinate with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Labor on […]

    Life Insurers Avoid Voluntary Biz at Their Peril: Report

    {September 21st, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    Life-annuity carriers are increasingly directing their focus to a fast-growth, high-margin business: group benefits, most notably employee-paid, voluntary offerings that are enjoying double-digit gains in sales. So reports A.M. Best magazine Best’s Review in an August 2017 article about the increasingly urgent efforts of insurers —AXA, Ameritas, Guardian Life, New York Life, Unum, among others — to boost sales in the employee benefits […]

    Major IMO Simplicity Financial Adds Heft with Two Acquisitions

    {September 21st, 2017} by Jay Cooper

    One of the nation’s largest independent marketing organizations has added distributional heft, with the acquisition of two smaller IMOs. Simplicity Financial Marketing announced last week it has acquired both WealthWise Partners and Liberty Financial Resources. “Simplicity Financial Marketing is growing rapidly and breaking new ground,” Simplicity’s CEO, Bill Malloy, said in a written statement. “We represent one of the top annuity, […]

    AXA, Allianz, MassMutual, MetLife Identified as Insurtech Leaders

    {September 21st, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    A new study highlights Allianz, AXA, MassMutual and MetLife as carriers on the cutting edge in the insurtech space. The World Insurance Report 2017, published by consulting, technology and outsourcing services provider Capgemini and Efma, a global non-profit organization for insurers and banks, reveals that insurtech firms are increasingly crucial to carriers’ digital innovation initiatives. Among other programs, the report highlights the carriers’ efforts […]

    Lincoln Aims to Ramp Up Sales of Hybrid Life, Annuity Products

    {September 21st, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    Lincoln Financial Group is intensifying efforts to boost sales of hybrid products enjoying growing market traction, including fixed-indexed-like variable annuities and life-long-term care insurance products, according to Lincoln President and CEO Dennis Glass. Interviewed during a question-and-and-answer session at Barclays’ 2017 Global Financial Services Conference, Glass touched on product plans for 2018 and beyond, the company’s performance on […]

    A special need for financial advice

    {September 21st, 2017} by Liz Skinner

    Advisers don’t have to be experts to help special needs families get a jump on lifelong planning ELLEN RICE’S FATHER DIED suddenly this year, and she was surprised to discover he’d left her $1.6 million in property and investments. He had envisioned the inheritance would be a great blessing for a daughter who has struggled financially […]

    Guardian Speaks Up for Whole Life in New Video Series

    {September 21st, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Guardian Life Insurance Company of America is using a new wave of YouTube videos to explain why it and its agents believe whole life insurance is worth the money. The New York-based company has recruited financial professionals and customers to talk about how owning whole life has protected and improved the customers’ financial well-being. The […]

    Northwestern Mutual Donates $100,000 to Texas Children’s Hospital

    {September 21st, 2017} by Northwestern Mutual

    MILWAUKEE, Sept. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Northwestern Mutual, a leading national financial security company, is committed to giving back to the communities it serves. The company, through its Foundation, is donating $100,000 to the Texas Children’s Cancer Center Family Emergency Fund for Hurricane Harvey relief. Texas Children’s Cancer Center Family Emergency Fund supports patients and their families that struggle with […]

    57% Of Americans Have Less Than $1,000 In Savings

    {September 21st, 2017} by GoBankingRates

    LOS ANGELES, Sept. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — More than half of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings, a new survey found. In fact, 39 percent of survey respondents said they had no money set aside in savings at all. GOBankingRates For the second consecutive year, personal finance website GOBankingRates asked more than 8,000 Americans how much money they […]

    Lincoln’s FIA Rider Signals Bullish Outlook for FIAs

    {September 21st, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    The launch of a new income rider on three families of indexed annuities indicates that Lincoln Financial product managers remain confident in the future of fixed indexed annuities. That confidence comes on the heels of disappointing second-quarter sales. Lincoln’s i4LIFE Indexed Advantage rider is available on the company’s New Directions, OptiBlend, and OptiChoice FIAs. These […]

    Annuities Solve Two Consumer Wealth Challenges: Analyst

    {September 21st, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    A focus on generating income in retirement and planning for the risk of living too long are among the trends that will define the future of consumer wealth, a consultant who tracks the financial advisor market said last week. Annuities are designed to deliver income in retirement and solving for longevity risk by generating income […]

    Guggenheim’s CEO Is Said to Seek Control of Insurer in Shake-Up

    {September 21st, 2017} by John Gittelsohn

    Mark Walter, the billionaire chief executive of Guggenheim Partners, is in discussions to take control of one of the firm’s insurance units as the $290 billion company fractures, according to people with knowledge of the plans. Walter, 57, is taking steps to remove insurer Guggenheim Life and Annuity Co. and fold it into his Delaware Life Insurance Co., […]

    Symetra Joins the Fee-Based FIA Stampede

    {September 20th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Add another insurer to the ranks of companies releasing fee-based fixed indexed annuities: Symetra Life Insurance. The Bellevue, Wash.-based life insurer announced the launch of Symetra Advisory Edge and Symetra Advisory Income Edge, two fee-based fixed indexed annuities. Advisors who sell Symetra annuities now have the traditional commission-based Edge FIA products and the fee-based Advisory […]

    ACLI and NAIFA Fear New DOL Attacks on Commissions

    {September 20th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Life insurance groups are wondering whether the U.S. Department of Labor will put off enforcing the current version of the fiduciary rule, then come back with new regulations that continue what the groups see as an attack on commission-based life insurance and annuity product distribution efforts. Click HERE to read the original story via ThinkAdvisor.  James Szostek and Howard […]

    Employers Pull Back on Popular Life Insurance Benefits, Surveys Find

    {September 20th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    One of the cruel little ironies of life insurance is that more people than ever obtain coverage through a group life contract, but fewer employers than ever are offering the benefit. That represents an obvious opportunity for agents and benefits brokers. As many as 108 million Americans have life insurance coverage through the workplace, compared […]

    Virginia Approves China Oceanwide-Genworth Deal

    {September 19th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Regulators in Virginia are backing efforts by Genworth Financial Inc. to sell two life insurance companies domiciled in Virginia to China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd. The Virginia Bureau of Insurance has given preliminary approval to China Oceanwide to buy the subsidiaries. Click HERE to view the original story via ThinkAdvisor.  Virginia officials have said their approval of the […]

    FINRA Releases Arbitrator Diversity Data for the First Time

    {September 19th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    For the first time, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority on Tuesday morning published data on the diversity of its arbitrator pool on its website. The move comes after complaints that FINRA panels were skewed toward older men and that transparency on arbitrators’ backgrounds was lacking. The information is available on a new section of FINRA’s website: Our Commitment to Achieving […]

    Tell Acosta you Support the 18 Month DOL Fiduciary Rule Delay Today!

    {September 19th, 2017} by Chip Anderson

      Members of the Financial Services Industry, On, September 15, 2017, NAFA filed its seventh comment letter regarding the onerous and overreaching fiduciary rule, this one in support of the proposed 18-month delay of the rule’s applicability date, from the currently-scheduled January 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019.  Now, it’s your turn to amplify this call […]

    Group One Thousand One Launches

    {September 19th, 2017} by Group One Thousand One

    INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Group One Thousand One was launched today as a newly rebranded insurance group in the United States. The group is a privately-owned insurance business with approximately 340,000 policyholders and $37 billion in assets. The rebranded group includes Delaware Life Insurance Company and Delaware Life Insurance Company of New York. Group One Thousand One will continue operating […]

    Judge Says ‘Shadow Insurance’ Documents Can Remain Secret

    {September 19th, 2017} by Associated Press

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa judge has ruled that the details of “shadow insurance” subsidiaries created by several life insurers can remain confidential. Indiana University professor emeritus Joseph Belth sought the documents last year under Iowa’s open records law, saying he believes they would expose risky financial practices that could bankrupt some insurers. Judge Lawrence McLellan […]

    Sallie Krawcheck wants Ellevest to change the way women save for retirement

    {September 19th, 2017} by Bloomberg News

    Women’s careers are different from men’s, and their retirement planning should be, too, is Sallie Krawcheck’s pitch. Now Krawcheck, one of the top women on Wall Street, has closed a hefty new round of funding for her startup robo-adviser, Ellevest. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews. 

    Legacy Launches FlexMark Select Series Of Annuities

    {September 19th, 2017} by Legacy Marketing Group

    For Immediate Release LEGACY LAUNCHES FLEXMARK SELECT SERIES OF ANNUITIES Upgraded earnings and income opportunities plus flexible liquidity—all bundled into a single FIA. PETALUMA, CA, September 19, 2017—Legacy Marketing Group® is excited to announce the launch of FlexMark SelectSM Series single premium deferred index annuities, its newest custom-designed proprietary FIA series. Developed with “A” rated […]

    Annuities Solve Two Consumer Wealth Challenges: Analyst

    {September 18th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    A focus on generating income in retirement and planning for the risk of living too long are among the trends that will define the future of consumer wealth, a consultant who tracks the financial advisor market said last week. Annuities are designed to deliver income in retirement and solving for longevity risk by generating income […]

    Guardian Life to Relocate HQ to 10 Hudson Yards

    {September 18th, 2017} by John Jordan

    Guardian Life Insurance Company of America has entered into a sublease to relocate its headquarters in New York’s Financial District into more than 148,000 square feet of subleased space at 10 Hudson Yards. The sublease deal with handbag retailer Coach Inc. was revealed in a Sept. 13th 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission by Coach. […]

    Private Equity-Backed Distributor Buys Two Firms

    {September 17th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    A big, private equity-backed life insurance and annuity distributor is expanding. Simplicity Financial Marketing announced last week that it has acquired two smaller life and annuity distributors: WealthWise Partners L.L.C. and Liberty Financial Resources Inc. Simplicity is a Hartford, Connecticut-based company that was known as Futurity First Financial Corp. up until June. It has backing from Aquiline […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Kansas City Life Insurance Company and Its Subsidiaries

    {September 15th, 2017} by Best's News Service

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OLDWICK – SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “a” of Kansas City Life Insurance Company (Kansas City Life). Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the FSR of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICRs of “a-” of Kansas City […]

    John Hancock names its first-ever female CEO

    {September 14th, 2017} by Greg Ryan

    John Hancock Financial Services will have a new chief executive come Oct. 1, the first woman to lead the Boston-based company in its century and a half of existence. John Hancock’s Canadian parent company, Manulife Financial, has named Marianne Harrison as Hancock’s president and CEO. She is replacing interim Hancock CEO Michael Doughty. The pair is swapping roles: Doughty […]

    DOL Fiduciary Rule Explained as of August 31, 2017

    {September 13th, 2017} by Investopedia

      The Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule is a new ruling, originally scheduled to be phased in April 10, 2017 – January 1, 2018, but delayed until June 9, 2017, including a transition period for the application of certain exemptions to the rule extending through January 1, 2018. Full implementation of all elements of the rule […]

    Jim Glickman Named SOA President for ’17 – ’18

    {September 13th, 2017} by The Society of Actuaries

    The Society of Actuaries (SOA) announced the results of its member voting, with James M. Glickman, FSA, MAAA, CLU, serving as 2017-2018 president-elect. Glickman will begin his duties as the 70th SOA President at the 2018 SOA Annual Meeting and Exhibit, for the 2018-2019 term. A total of 6,006 SOA members, or 26.25 percent of eligible voters, voted in this year’s […]

    IRA Beneficiary Designation Forms

    {September 13th, 2017} by Stephan R. Leimberg, L. Paul Hood, Jr., Jay Katz, Edwin P. Morrow, and Martin M. Shenkman

    Here is something to important to know about the beneficiary selections for an individual retirement account (IRA): The beneficiary designation form on file with the plan administrator or custodian will govern ownership and distribution of the plan/individual retirement. Not the client’s will or trust. Click HERE to view the original story via ThinkAdvisor. All plan administrators and IRA custodians […]

    Diversity equals profitability

    {September 13th, 2017} by Emily Holbrook

    In this issue, Emily Viner, the vice president of agency growth and leadership development for The Guardian Life Insurance Company, writes about the need for more women in sales roles within this industry. Viner, who’s also at the helm of the company’s gender balance strategy, has experience to draw from.  In 2013, she created Guardian’s strategy […]

    NAIFA Makes a Marketing Deal With Sallie Mae

    {September 13th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    If bank employees can sell life insurance and annuities, maybe financial professionals with roots in the life insurance industry can market student loans. The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors recently set up a marketing relationship with Sallie Mae, the private student loan giant, that could ease NAIFA members into the college planning market.    Click HERE to read the […]

    Manulife reveals new CEO for US business

    {September 13th, 2017} by Lyle Adriano

    Manulife has announced several structural and leadership changes across its various segments. “We are confident that the changes we are making today will enable us to achieve our significant potential and deliver on our purpose of helping customers achieve their dreams and aspirations,” said Manulife president and incoming CEO Roy Gori. “Importantly, they showcase the […]

    Advisors Split on DOL Fiduciary Rule

    {September 13th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    There’s nothing quite like compiling responses to the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule straight from the horse’s mouth: that of the individual advisor. Last month, consultant Howard Schneider decided to take stock of where advisors stood on the rule and both sides seemed as fired up as ever about the rule. Supporters, fee-based and fee-only […]

    10 Best Jobs of the Future: 2017

    {September 13th, 2017} by Michael S. Fischer

    The U.S. labor market is looking robust these days, though not all professions are thriving. Kiplinger has taken a deep look at 785 popular occupations, and produced a list of the 10 most promising ones in fields that currently pay well and are projected to burgeon over the coming decade. Click HERE to view the original […]

    DOL fiduciary rule has enforcement gaps — and they could widen

    {September 13th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, as it’s currently written, has some enforcement gaps. And they could widen, especially for annuity products, depending on how the Trump administration’s review of the rule shakes out. The primary enforcement mechanism of the Obama-era regulation, which raises investment advice standards in retirement accounts, is a “best-interest contract” between an investor […]

    California Governor Signs Annuity Cash Surrender Bill

    {September 12th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    California Gov. Jerry Brown, D, has signed A.B. 1398, a bill that will set new procedural rules for individual annuity cash surrenders that take place in California. The law created by the bill, which was introduced by Assemblymember Ash Kalra, D-San Jose, Calif., will apply to annuity contracts issued on or after Jan. 1, 2019, according to a legislative analysis posted by the […]

    New Study Shows Consumers Desire Guaranteed Lifetime Income, But They Don’t Know Where to Find It

    {September 12th, 2017} by Jackson National Life Insurance Company

    LANSING, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new nationwide study released today, The Language of Retirement 2017: Advisor and Consumer Attitudes Toward Securing Income in Retirement, reveals most Americans favor financial strategies that offer guaranteed lifetime income1, yet they are largely unaware that annuities can provide this feature. While 75 percent of all consumers surveyed said they were familiar with annuities, less […]

    Brighthouse Leaps Into the Annuity Future

    {September 12th, 2017} by Jane Wollman Rusoff

    Brighthouse Financial, the new independent company created from MetLife’s retail annuities and life insurance operations, has spun off as a Nasdaq-traded firm focused exclusively on those two product lines. That’s where Brighthouse is right now. As for where it plans to go, ThinkAdvisor recently interviewed BHF president-CEO Eric Steigerwalt to find out. Click HERE to view […]

    Fidelity & Guaranty Life Announces Diana Hickert-Hill to lead Marketing, Investor Relations and Communications

    {September 12th, 2017} by Fidelity & Guaranty Life

    DES MOINES, Iowa, Sept. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Fidelity & Guaranty Life (NYSE: FGL), a leading provider of annuities and life insurance, announced today that Diana J. Hickert-Hill is joining the company as Senior Vice President – Marketing, Investor Relations & Communications. Ms. Hickert-Hill will report directly to Chris Littlefield, FGL’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Hickert-Hill is a seasoned executive in […]

    DOL Filing In Thrivent Fiduciary Rule Litigation

    {September 12th, 2017} by VW Staff

    In a court filing as part of the ongoing Thrivent litigation, the DOL discussed various potential claims that could be brought by retirement investors under the fiduciary rule, highlighting the uncertainty that remains for the financial industry until the fate of the proposed 18-month applicability date for certain requirements of the BIC is settled.  The […]

    Saying you are a fiduciary does not mean you are a fiduciary

    {September 12th, 2017} by Danny Sarch

    Have you noticed the plethora of recent headlines of bad advisers cheating clients? In case you missed them, here are a few from just the last few weeks: • SEC says RIA stole $1 million from clients, using some of it to support gambling habit • RIA adviser gets two years in prison for cherry-picking trades • Court […]

    Tax Overhaul Likely Punted Into 2018 Or Beyond

    {September 12th, 2017} by Washington Times

    Tax activists antsy over Congress’ ability to overhaul the country’s tax code this year are urging lawmakers to shift gears and work instead on a big tax cut, saying the GOP needs to post a win before it faces voters in 2018. Advocates of such immediate action, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, say a […]

    After LPL deal, $170M firm bolts National Planning for Securities America

    {September 12th, 2017} by Tobias Salinger

    In the first major defection announced since LPL Financial’s purchase of National Planning Holdings, a four-advisor firm with $170 million in client assets joined Securities America. Benson Financial Group bolted from National Planning weeks after LPL bought its parentwith the goal of retaining most of its advisors. Benson Financial will keep its name but merge into another […]

    Life Insurance & the Path To Financial Security

    {September 12th, 2017} by PE Kelley

      New research from the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) reveals a promising trend among consumers that indicates that more Americans possess a deeper understanding of the importance of a sound financial plan, and the role that life insurance plays in that plan. The study shows that a much larger segment of the American […]

    Annuity Regulatory Climate Looks Mild: Analyst

    {September 12th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    The current regulatory forecast for the U.S. individual annuity market may now be for a little sunshine, with a chance of helpful breezes. Ryan Krueger, a securities analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc., gave a glimpse of how helpfully calm the annuity regulatory climate might be in a report on the life insurance and annuity issuer presentations at his firm’s […]

    Study: Fee-Based Advice to Soldier on Regardless of Rule Outcome

    {September 12th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Regardless of the long-term fate of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, advisors in broker-dealer channels will continue shifting to fee-based products and passively managed investments, a new survey found. Broker-dealer advisors are also expected to disengage from smaller, less profitable clients. Likewise, these advisors say they expect changes in how they manage rollovers from […]

    Milliman launches innovative benchmarking tool for assessing the variability in unpaid claim estimates

    {September 12th, 2017} by Milliman, Inc

    SEATTLE, Sept. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Milliman, Inc., a premier global consulting and actuarial firm, today announced the launch of its latest InsurTech offering, an innovative casualty benchmarking tool that provides a new industry standard and a better, more efficient way of assessing variability in unpaid claims estimates. Milliman’s Claim Variability Guidelines™, debuting at the Casualty Loss Reserve […]

    Florida-based broker-dealers flee Irma, setting up operations out-of-state

    {September 11th, 2017} by Bruce Kelly

    As Hurricane Irma lashed the sunshine state from its tip to its top over the weekend, business continuity plans for independent broker-dealers based in Florida kicked in, keeping the firms open for business for thousands of financial advisers. Prior to the hurricane, Raymond James Financial Inc., with more than 7,000 financial advisers across business lines, […]

    Equifax Hack Teaches Hard Lessons for Firms

    {September 11th, 2017} by Gabrielle Orum Hernandez

    Most cybersecurity experts now agree that organizations should be planning incident response strategies for when, not if, their companies experience data breaches. Credit reporting agency Equifax learned this lesson the hard way when it was hit by a cyberattack that exposed addresses, Social Security numbers and financial information for 134 million customers. Equifax is the latest in a […]

    NY Life Faces Age Discrimination Suit from Former Senior VP

    {September 11th, 2017} by Jay Cooper

    A high-ranking former New York Life executive has filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging it sought reasons to fire him to replace him with younger employees who made less and were not a part of the company’s defined benefit plan. The plaintiff, Patrick McCraw, was a senior VP who was in charge of the New York Life’s […]

    Prudential, Aflac Rank Highest in Recruiting Hispanic Pros

    {September 11th, 2017} by Daniel Williams

    Multiple life-annuity manufacturers have been named to Hispanic Network Magazine‘s 2017 Best of the Best list, which recognizes employers with the best performance in recruiting and retaining Hispanic professionals. Aetna, Aflac, Allstate, Anthem, Combined Insurance, MassMututal Financial, Nationwide, New York Life, Northwestern Mutual and Prudential all made the list, conducted each year by DiversityComm, Inc., parent company of Hispanic […]

    Q2 Annuity Sales Look Better: IRI

    {September 11th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    The Insured Retirement Institute says it’s seeing the same firming in U.S. individual fixed annuity sales that two other insurance industry organizations have detected. Revenue from fixed annuity sales fell to $27 billion in the second quarter, IRI reported today. That total is down 9.5% from the total IRI reported for the second quarter of 2016. But the year-over-decline has […]

    Life Insurers May Get an FSOC Bill Onto Trump’s Desk

    {September 10th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Insurance players have a shot at overcoming partisan gridlock in Washington and getting a bill they like signed into law. The bill, S. 1463, would fix a glitch in the rules governing the Financial Stability Oversight Council — a body that’s supposed to help the federal government identify, monitor and manage potential sources of systemic risk. Click […]

    DOL Puts Non-Arbitration Policy in Writing

    {September 9th, 2017} by Hannah Glover

    The Department of Labor last week issued a bulletin officially stating that it will not enforce the controversial anti-arbitration clause within the fiduciary rule. That clause has been among the most contentious elements of the rule, and in some ways served as the teeth of its overall enforcement. By providing a private right of action — essentially […]

    Annuities Now Pay More Than CDs: AnnuityAdvantage

    {September 8th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Trends in the gap between what fixed annuity contracts pay holders and what comparable bank certificates of deposit pay are moving in the annuity issuers’ favor, according to AnnuityAdvantage. The Medford, Oregon-based company runs an annuity sales website. It tracks 290 annuity contracts from 35 insurers. View the original story via ThinkAdvisor, Click HERE.  The highest-paying 3-year contract now offers a […]

    Two Online Life Distributors Expand

    {September 8th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Bestow Inc., an online life insurance distribution startup, is celebrating Life Insurance Awareness Month by making a life product supplier deal. The Dallas-based company says it will be getting products for its new life distribution system from a partnership with Munich American Reassurance Company, the U.S. life and disability reinsurance division of Munich Re, and with North […]

    Congressman intends to hold Finra’s feet to the fire on how SRO spends fine money

    {September 8th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    A lawmaker who called on Finra to be more transparent about what it does with fine proceeds intends to keep the pressure on the broker regulator — even to the point of introducing legislation. “We will continue to ask Finra to provide a report to Congress on how it spends its fine money,” Rep. Brad […]

    Insurance stuck in the dark ages – Manulife CEO

    {September 8th, 2017} by Lyle Adriano

    Incoming Manulife CEO Roy Gori has stressed that the insurance industry is “still in the dark ages” and should adapt to changing consumer behavior by embracing new technologies. Gori revealed to summit participants that most of Manulife’s technology budget is spent on maintaining existing systems instead of investing in innovations. “We need to transform our […]

    Financial Security Is Up, Despite Low Financial Literacy

    {September 8th, 2017} by Danielle Andrus

    Americans feel more financially secure than they did five years ago, despite financial literacy being low, according to a survey released Thursday by Financial Engines. Almost half of Americans surveyed said they feel more secure than they did in 2012, but only 6% were able to pass a financial literacy quiz. Click HERE to view the […]

    MetLife Slashes Annuity Pay to Former Advisors

    {September 8th, 2017} by N/A

    MetLife is taking a hatchet to compensation on annuities sold by former advisors who went to other broker-dealers in the wake of MetLife’s sale of its Premier Client Group to Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, InvestmentNews reports. The publication cites a memo LPL Financial sent last week to its advisors who previously worked in MetLife’s Premier Client Group. The […]

    Congress likely to ‘push down’ the priority of killing DOL fiduciary rule

    {September 8th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    A main congressional opponent of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule said Thursday that Capitol Hill’s swelling political agenda will decrease the priority level of taking up legislation to kill the rule. “Right now, you’ve got a debt-ceiling vote coming up, a hurricane bearing down on us, … health care that hasn’t been done [and] […]

    Rep. Wagner to Introduce Bill Repealing DOL Fiduciary Rule by Sept. 30

    {September 7th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    Click HERE to view the original story via ThinkAdvisor. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., said Thursday that she plans to introduce her bill to repeal the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule by the end of September. Wagner, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, floated the draft bill, which also keeps a fiduciary […]

    How a Finance Chief Winds Down The World’s Oldest Mutual Insurer

    {September 7th, 2017} by Nina Trentmann

    Simon Small has an unusual task as finance chief of Equitable Life Assurance Society: he is winding down the business, instead of growing it. The world’s oldest mutual insurer can trace its roots back to 1762, but the company’s demise began in 1998. That’s when it started to become clear that Equitable Life would not […]

    The Time to Buy Annuities is Now

    {September 7th, 2017} by Kerry Pechter

    Investors, like George Costanza on ‘Opposite Day,’ should never trust their own instincts. In 1975, when they should have stocked up on cheap stocks (as a guy named Buffett did), they wouldn’t touch equities. In 1999, when people should have dumped tech stocks, the dot.com mystique held them transfixed. So it is today. Boomers should […]

    Advisers in Florida brace for Hurricane Irma’s wrath

    {September 7th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    Financial advisers in Florida are gearing up for Hurricane Irma as the storm — one of the most powerful ever recorded in the Atlantic — bears down on the region. “We’re in full-contingency, emergency-plan mode here,” said Richard Steinberg, president of Steinberg Global Asset Management in Boca Raton, located on the southeast coast of the […]

    Ban on fiduciary rule’s class-action waivers won’t be enforced: DOL

    {September 7th, 2017} by Nick Thornton

    The Labor Department has instructed its field investigators not to enforce the ban on class-action waivers in the fiduciary rule’sprohibited transaction exemptions. The rule’s best interest contract exemption and other prohibited transaction exemptions allow brokers, advisors, and insurance agents to receive variable compensation on sales of investment and insurance products in qualified retirement accounts. In order […]

    Irma Forces NAIFA to Cancel Annual Conference

    {September 7th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors has canceled its 2017 annual conference in the Orlando, Florida, area because of Hurricane Irma. NAIFA was preparing to bring about 1,500 life insurance agents and financial advisors to the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel from Friday through Sunday. The Falls Church, Virginia-based group had scheduled a vote on […]

    Advisors Getting More Support From Companies

    {September 7th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    With downward pressure on fees, new fiduciary regulations talking hold and interest rates still low, financial advisors say they want more support from companies with whom they do business. That life insurance companies, asset managers, broker dealers and benefits platforms. The good news is that companies are gradually heeding the call with the introduction of […]

    Too Much Gloom on Brighthouse

    {September 6th, 2017} by Aaron Back

    Brighthouse Financial BHF 0.15% had a dim start to life as an independent company. For patient investors, this could be an opportunity. Shares of Brighthouse Financial have fallen 10% since it was separated from MetLifeMET 1.91% and began trading last week. That is not terribly surprising. MetLife was keen to part with the unit, which specializes in annuities and individual life insurance, because […]

    Life Insurer Faces Off Against African-American Church in Battle Over Rates

    {September 6th, 2017} by Leslie Scism

    A federal trial in Los Angeles next week will test an increasing concern for Americans: How much leeway do their life insurers have when raising the price on old policies? In 2004, investors teamed with Praises of Zion Baptist Church in south Los Angeles to take out policies for 2,400 churchgoers in the area, most […]

    Big Form ADV Changes Coming Soon. Are You Ready?

    {September 6th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    Registered investment advisors are bracing for major reporting changes regarding their Form ADVs that begin Oct. 1. Monique Botkin, associate general counsel at the Investment Adviser Association, assembled a working group about eight months ago to help RIAs get up to speed on what’s required. “It is a very significant change” in the way advisors […]

    5 Reasons Genworth’s Would-Be Buyer Could Still Close the Deal

    {September 6th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Regulators in China have come out with tough new corporate acquisition rules in recent weeks. Officials there want to block irrational deals, and deals involving controversial activities that could hurt people in other countries, and, possibly, make China look bad. The new rules could create turbulence for Genworth Financial Inc. Click HERE to read the original story via […]

    Ash Brokerage Establishes Strategic Partnership with Century Equity Partners

    {September 6th, 2017} by Ash Brokerage

    Fort Wayne, Indiana (Sept. 5, 2017) – A leading insurance brokerage agency has established a new partnership that supports its strategic expansion initiative and continued success. Ash Brokerage, one of the largest independent insurance brokerage general agencies in the United States, today announced it has established a strategic relationship with Century Equity Partners, a Boston-based […]

    Dalia Blass could tackle fiduciary standard as first order of business at SEC

    {September 6th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Dalia Blass’ first order of business as head of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management could be to shape the agency’s position on a fiduciary standard. “I’m going to be surprised if that’s not the first order of business — getting the SEC back in charge of the fiduciary rule,” said Norm […]

    Hartford Insurers Seeking A Tech Upgrade Look To Start-Ups For Ideas

    {September 6th, 2017} by Stephen Singer

    Hartford’s venerable insurance industry may be getting the technology jump-start it needs. Nearly 100 investors, insurance executives, start-up business owners and others gathered last week in a downtown Hartford office meeting room to listen to business pitches that would extend app technology, boost data storage and otherwise apply technology to insurance. The gathering, part of an initiative […]

    Kitces: The fiduciary rule’s invisible boost: Editorial

    {September 6th, 2017} by Michael Kitces

    While the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has generated no shortage of discussion centered around advisors and their clients, an under-acknowledged secondary shift merits attention too. Although portions of the regulation may be diminished amid an ongoing review by the Trump administration, it will still affect actively managed mutual funds and their performance —in a surprisingly positive […]

    SBLI of Massachusetts Completes Conversion to Mutual Insurance Company

    {September 6th, 2017} by SBLI

    WOBURN, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Savings Bank Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts (SBLI) today announced the successful completion of its conversion from a stock insurance company owned by 30 shareholder banks to a mutual insurance company owned by its policyholders. Following the conversion, the company’s name will change to The Savings Bank Mutual Life Insurance Company of […]

    Kim Humbert Named National Accounts Manager at W&S Financial Group Distributors

    {September 6th, 2017} by W&S Financial Group Distributors, Inc

    CINCINNATI – August 16, 2017 – W&S Financial Group Distributors, the wholesale distributor of annuities and life insurance from Western & Southern Financial Group (Western & Southern) member companies, has promoted Kimberly A. Humbert to national accounts manager for independent marketing organizations. Humbert works consultatively with financial professionals to advance the retirement and legacy planning […]

    Action must be taken to make Finra more accountable

    {September 5th, 2017} by Editorial Staff

    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.’s mission is to protect investors from fraud and bad practices. It does this by writing and enforcing rules and regulations governing the nation’s 3,700 broker-dealers and the 631,000 brokers who are affiliated with them. Finra expects its members to operate with complete transparency, especially when it comes to the products […]

    3 New Thoughts From the AXA US Individual Annuities Chief

    {September 5th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Kevin Kennedy is one of the life insurance industry executives in charge of pulling the U.S. individual annuity market out of its current slump, in time to do something for the baby boomers, and older members of Generation X, who are rushing toward retirement age. Kennedy, head of individual annuities at AXA US, talked about the challenges facing the […]

    Sen. Warren: Firms Don’t Need DOL Rule Delay. Just Ask Their CEOs.

    {September 5th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    A week after the Labor Department filed to begin a 15-day comment period regarding the 18-month delay of its fiduciary rule’s most onerous provisions, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is urging Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to fully implement the rule in light of recent remarks by financial and insurance company CEOs. In her Tuesday letter to Acosta, Warren cites recent earnings […]

    SEC Assembles Team to Craft Fiduciary Rule

    {September 5th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    The Securities and Exchange Commission has assembled the team of officials who will be instrumental in coordinating a fiduciary rulemaking with the Department of Labor.   The agency announced Thursday that Dalia Blass will serve as director of the agency’s Division of Investment Management, replacing David Grim, and that John Cook is the new lead advisor […]

    NAIFA Activates Relief Fund for Advisors Hit by Harvey

    {September 5th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors hopes to provide recovery grants for some of the insurance and financial advisors hurt by Harvey. The Falls Church, Virginia-based advisor group is reactivating the NAIFA Hurricane Relief Fund. NAIFA first established the fund in 2005, to help agents and advisors hurt by Hurricane Katrina and other Gulf Coast hurricanes. […]

    Fiduciary rule may be neutered by new DoL proposal, critics say

    {September 5th, 2017} by Kenneth Corbin

    With its contentious fiduciary rule only partially in effect, the Department of Labor is pressing ahead with a new proposal to add exemptions to the regulation that business groups say could relieve compliance burdens but that critics contend will effectively neuter the rule. In its formal call for an 18-month delay of the best-interest contract exemption and other controversial […]

    DOL Publishes Delay of Fiduciary Rule Until July 2019

    {September 5th, 2017} by John Hilton

    The Federal Register will publish a proposed rule tomorrow to delay phase two of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule by 18 months to July 1, 2019. Delay documents were announced Aug. 9, but inched closer to becoming official this week when the Office of Management and Budget completed its review and did not change the […]

    Life Insurer CEO: Vision Matters

    {September 5th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    The 15th annual Life Insurance Awareness Month 2017 Life Insurance Awareness Month campaign began September 1st. Peter Tedone, president of Vantis Life Insurance Company, said in a recent interview that one of the most important, most time-consuming tasks for a life insurance company leader today is coming up with a vision that includes millennial outreach. Somehow, Tedone […]

    AIG Teams Actively Support Houston Colleagues and Community Following Harvey

    {September 5th, 2017} by AIG

    AIG has announced that it is providing $1 million in aid to organizations focused on emergency relief and ongoing recovery following Hurricane Harvey. The company will allocate $500,000 to Houston-based nonprofits for immediate local relief efforts. The remaining $500,000 will go toward critical medium- and longer-term recovery efforts in partnership with The Center for Disaster […]

    Former MetLife rep fined $15,000 for borrowing from clients

    {September 5th, 2017} by Investment News

    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has imposed a fine of $15,000 on a former MetLife broker. A rep with 25 years of experience, William Roy Kimberlin was also suspended for 18 months in connection with allegations that he borrowed $30,000 from customers. Accepting or giving loans to clients is forbidden under Finra regulations, the regulator […]

    Finra: Who’s watching the watchdog?

    {September 5th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr. and Bruce Kelly

    If you’re a broker, there are three things in life that are certain: death, taxes — and answering to Finra. Finra is the self-regulatory organization that makes sure the nation’s 3,700 broker-dealers and 631,000 brokers comply with securities laws and regulations to ensure that investors are protected and treated fairly. It has the power to […]

    Raymond James Advisors Help Save 75 in Houston

    {September 5th, 2017} by Janet Levaux

    Two Raymond James advisors working with others helped rescue at least 75 people this week in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Weston Keenan, an employee advisor in Austin, and Kyle Hawthorne, who recently joined the employee channel of Raymond James from Wells Fargo Advisors in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, participated in volunteer-organized relief efforts that saved […]

    Best’s Special Report: U.S. Life/Annuity Insurers’ Net Income Rebounds Significantly in First-Half 2017

    {September 2nd, 2017} by AM Best

    August 29, 2017 11:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The U.S. life/annuity (L/A) industry’s net income for the first six months of 2017 rose to $18.5 billion, compared with a net loss of $2.6 billion for the same period in 2016. These preliminary financial results are detailed in a new Best’s Special Report, titled, “A.M. […]

    DOL fiduciary rule: Agency says it will come up with new ways to comply during delay period

    {September 1st, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    The Labor Department said Wednesday that it will propose new ways for financial advisers to comply with its fiduciary rule during its proposed 18-month delay in the implementation of the measure’s second phase. The DOL said that the paused is needed to review the regulation under a directive issued by President Donald J. Trump earlier this year. […]

    Kansas-Based Company Security Benefit Named NASBE’s 2017 ‘Friend of Education’

    {September 1st, 2017} by Michael Spaeth

    For Immediate Release: August 30, 2017 Contact: Michael Spaeth, michael.spaeth@nasbe.org, 703-684-4002   Kansas-Based Company Security Benefit Named NASBE’s 2017 ‘Friend of Education’ Alexandria, Va.—The 125-year-old Kansas-based Security Benefit Life Insurance Company is being honored this year as the 2017 “Friend of Education” of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE). This national award is […]

    Transamerica has Laid Off 20-Plus VA Wholesalers: Report

    {September 1st, 2017} by Greg Shulas

    This updated article first ran Thursday morning as a breaking news alert in Life Annuity Specialist. Transamerica has laid off 20-plus wholesalers who support variable annuity distribution, the retail fund industry trade publication Ignites reported Thursday, citing industry sources. In a statement to Ignites, Transamerica said it made adjustments “to better align our resources and enhance efficiency within the […]

    DOL Set for 15-Day Comment Period on Fiduciary Rule Delay

    {September 1st, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    The Department of Labor plans to file in the Federal Register on Thursday a 15-day comment period for its proposed 18-month delay to the more onerous provisions of its fiduciary rule — and states that it plans to propose a new, more streamlined exemption built on “recent innovations” in the financial services industry. The Office of Management and Budget […]

    Eagle Life Announces New No-Commission Fixed Index Annuity

    {September 1st, 2017} by Eagle Life

    August 30, 2017 04:17 PM Eastern Daylight Time WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Eagle Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of a leading fixed index annuity (FIA) provider—American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company®, announced today the addition of a no-commission fixed index annuity product to their portfolio. The Eagle Advisory 8 provides principal protection with guaranteed income […]

    RIAs, Manufacturers Find Middle Ground on Fee-Based Indexed Annuities

    {September 1st, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    In a fee-based world, independent agents want to know – above all else – why fixed indexed annuities come with surrender charges and how they are going to get paid. Manufacturers are working with agents/advisors and providing answers as both camps make the rapid transition to a fee-based world. Consider a new fee-based product developed […]

    Structured VA Sales Rise 36 Percent in 2Q

    {September 1st, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Structured variable annuity sales in the second quarter rose 36 percent to $1.8 billion compared with the year-ago period. The product subcategory now accounts for 7 percent of the variable annuity market, a market expert said. “You have subsets of products doing well out there,” said Todd Giesing, director, Annuity Research, with LIMRA Secure Retirement […]

    Life Insurers Ramp Up Hiring Activity, with Focus on Marketing

    {September 1st, 2017} by Jay Cooper

    Hiring activity is picking up in the life insurance industry, and there is no greater hot spot than the sales and marketing department, a new study from insurance recruiting firm The Jacobson Group shows. An increased focus on the digital experience and direct-to-consumer life insurance offerings are large drivers of the hiring influx within sales and marketing […]

    Does Life Insurance Deserve a Place in Your Retirement Portfolio? OPINION

    {August 31st, 2017} by Zach Gray

    Most people don’t like to talk about life insurance. They might acknowledge that it’s a necessity — especially when their kids are still young. But few look beyond the traditional payout of death benefits. They don’t necessarily think of life insurance as an asset for their own future; it’s more about helping to provide financial […]

    Life Insurance Industry Improves Its Marketing To Women

    {August 31st, 2017} by Corporate Insight

      NEW YORK, August 31, 2017 – Competitive intelligence and consulting firm Corporate Insight today published a report that examines the current state of women-oriented life insurance marketing, the industry’s progress since 2015 and the substantial opportunities for reaching this underinsured market. The report, titled Marketing Life Insurance to Women, identifies industry leaders in marketing […]

    SE2 Opens New Operational Service Center in Dallas to Support Continued Growth

    {August 31st, 2017} by SE2

    TOPEKA, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SE2, a leading third-party administrator for the North American life insurance and annuity industry, today announced the opening of its new Dallas operational service center. As SE2 experiences significant and continual growth, the Dallas site will play an integrated part of the company’s existing business operations in support of its strategic growth, to […]

    Financial industry steps up in Harvey’s wake

    {August 31st, 2017} by Jeff Benjamin

    As downgraded-to-a-tropical-depression Harvey moves across the country, the damage in its wake has left at least 32 people dead and displaced more than 32,000 Gulf Coast residents. Also in the storm’s wake: a financial services industry that seems eager to help in any way possible. Firms both large and small have stepped up with internal initiatives, including […]

    The Standard Names Ben Wacker Assistant Vice President & Individual Annuities Actuary

    {August 31st, 2017} by Standard Insurance Company

      August 30, 2017 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Standard Insurance Company (The Standard) announced today that Ben Wacker has been named assistant vice president and Individual Annuities actuary. In his new role, Wacker leads the Individual Annuities actuarial team at The Standard. Wacker has 13 years of experience in financial services. Most recently […]

    Athene Holding: Growth in Annuities

    {August 31st, 2017} by James Pearce

    Athene Holding Ltd. (ATH), a retirement services company, issues, reinsures, and acquires retirement savings products designed for individuals and institutions seeking to fund retirement needs in the United States, the District of Columbia, and Germany, notes Jim Pearce, editor of Investing Daily’s Systematic Wealth. It offers fixed deferred, immediate, and payout annuities; funding agreements to institutional investors; and […]

    United States: The DOL Fiduciary Rule: Charting A Course, Avoiding Collisions & Potential Litigation Q&A #2

    {August 31st, 2017} by James F. Jorden

    Q&As on Annuity Sales Practices, ‘Investment Advice’ and Litigation   Last month, we wrote about potential litigation issues under the “revised temporary” DOL Rule involving the offer and sale of annuities in the IRA market. This paper continues that discussion. I emphasize to the reader that the questions, and the answers below are limited to […]

    Do Your Homework on Fee-Based Annuities

    {August 30th, 2017} by Barron's

    Insurers have been scrambling recently to introduce fee-based annuities with the aim of helping advisors comply with the DOL’s fiduciary rule. But annuity experts say an advisor needs to don the proverbial eyeshade before selecting one of these products for a client, writes MarketWatch. John Olsen, author of “John Olsen’s Guide to Annuities for the Consumer,” […]

    M3 Financial Forms Strategic Alliance with BRAMCO Financial Services

    {August 30th, 2017} by M3 Financial

    NEW YORK, Aug. 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — New strategic alliance formed. BRAMCO Financial Services and M3 Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of Simplicity Financial Marketing, are pleased to announce a strategic alignment creating a new avenue of annuity sales for representatives under both organizations. By aligning their resources, they are expected to generate $4 billion in annuity sales annually, with […]

    Half of Life Insurers Using Automated Underwriting

    {August 30th, 2017} by LIMRA

    Half of life insurers have some type of automated underwriting solution in place and 41 percent of companies are in the planning process, according to LIMRA research. By investing in automated underwriting solutions, insurers seek to reduce the time it takes to issue a policy. Almost three quarters of companies who have implemented automated underwriting […]

    Symetra Names New CEO

    {August 29th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Symetra Financial Corp. has picked Margaret Meister, an actuary, to succeed Tom Marra as the company’s president and chief executive officer. Meister will get those titles in February, the company announced Thursday. Marra is Symetra’s chairman as well as its president and CEO, and he will continue to be the company’s chairman, Symetra said. Click HERE to read […]

    3 Ways Harvey Is Touching the Life and Health Community Now

    {August 29th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    When Hurricane Harvey came ashore on Friday, it brought torrents of rain to areas in and around Houston. By early Saturday morning, one woman, whose home was still dry, tweeted about earthworms sliding under her front door, and into her home, to escape from the flooding. Around that same time, many people started tweeting in shock […]

    Katrina Survivors, Please Share Your Lessons for Advisors Hit by Hurricane Harvey

    {August 29th, 2017} by Danielle Andrus

    ThinkAdvisor: Advisors work hard to make sure their clients are prepared to handle setbacks that could derail their financial lifestyles. But what about when advisors’ own businesses are derailed? Continuity planning sometimes takes a backseat to the more immediate concerns of running a business and serving clients. As Harvey bears down on Houston and the […]

    Hurricane Harvey twist: Advisor flees storm, clients offer aid

    {August 29th, 2017} by Jonathan Swanburg

    This is all very surreal. On Friday night, as Hurricane Harvey ravaged my Houston neighborhood with driving rain, a tornado came down and missed my home by a few blocks. On Saturday, parts of Houston started to flood. On Sunday, the waters of the rivers and bayous around the area started to rise. Expenses for […]

    Economists predict long-term effects of Harvey will remain local

    {August 29th, 2017} by Bloomberg News

    Tropical Storm Harvey will come with major economic consequences for an area critical to U.S. energy production that will be painful, costly and lasting, but the damage is unlikely to reverberate across the country, economists said. Harvey has been downgraded from hurricane status, but it’s drawing forecasts for unprecedented flooding across the heart of an […]

    Financial advisers in Harvey’s path ride out the Texas storm

    {August 29th, 2017} by Jeff Benjamin

    Financial advisers and their clients are weathering Tropical Storm Harvey in classic Texas style: by hunkering down and helping each other as much as possible. “A lot of people are checking in to see how other people are doing, but nobody is worried about their money right now,” said Tom Samuels, a portfolio manager at Palantir Capital […]

    Hurricane Harvey: Advice on tax planning, rebuilding costs

    {August 29th, 2017} by Carolyn McClanahan

    Seeing pictures of the horrific floods in Houston after Hurricane Harvey, I’m reminded of what television personality Mr. Rogers often said, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping”. The people in Houston and surrounding areas will need many resources to recover from this event. Thankfully, our country is full of […]

    OMB Approves 18-Month Fiduciary Rule Delay, With ‘Change’

    {August 29th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    The Office of Management and Budget approved on Monday the 18-month delay for the more onerous provisions of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule. The OMB approval, which usually takes 90 days, took less than a month. The office listed its action as “Consistent with Change,” which means OMB “had to make some changes as a result of […]

    OMB approves proposal for 18-month delay of DOL fiduciary rule’s second phase

    {August 29th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    The Office of Management and Budget has approved a proposal to delay for 18 months implementation of the remaining provisions in the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule. The OMB made its determination on Monday and posted the decision on its website on Tuesday, taking only a fraction of the 90 days that it could have had to review […]

    Despite misleading ads, annuities can be critical for lifetime income planning: Blog

    {August 29th, 2017} by Greg Cicotte

    If you’re in the annuity industry, a client has probably walked into your office with preconceived notions about annuities for retirement planning, partly due to some critics’ opinions on annuities that may not consider the needs of everyone. Critics believe variable annuities aren’t right for anybody, and they convince people lifetime income retirement strategies are […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Members of Brighthouse Insurance Group; Assigns Issuer Credit Ratings to Holding Companies

    {August 29th, 2017} by Best's News Service

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NEW YORK – AUGUST 23, 2017 A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a+” of Brighthouse Life Insurance Company (Wilmington, DE), the largest operating entity for the group, New England Life Insurance Company (Boston, MA), and Brighthouse Life Insurance Company of NY (New York, NY), […]

    Thrivent Financial quietly expands beyond Christians

    {August 29th, 2017} by Jeff Benjamin

    Thrivent Financial doesn’t do anything necessarily fast, so it might have been easy to miss the evolution over the past several years of the world’s largest fraternal organization, which has a history dating back 115 years. But the Appleton, Wisc.-based diversified financial services organization is committed, in its uniquely deliberate way, to establishing a bigger […]

    For clients to get the most from fee-based annuities, you need to dig into the numbers

    {August 29th, 2017} by Robert Powell

    Hardly a month goes by these days when an insurance firm doesn’t launch, or announce plans to launch a fee-based annuity. In fact, the insurance industry introduced almost two dozen fee-based variable and indexed products in the last 12 months, according to Scott Stolz, president of Raymond James Insurance Group. In recent weeks, companies including Brighthouse Financial—the annuity […]

    Fiduciary Rule Is Squashing Annuity Surrender Charges

    {August 28th, 2017} by William H. Byrnes, and Robert Bloink

    Despite the slowed implementation of the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule, the new rule has unquestionably had an impact on the market for financial products—and some buyers of annuity products may benefit from the new changes.  One important trend that has emerged in the wake of the fiduciary rule is the replacement of certain […]

    Jim Beck – running for Georgia Insurance Commissioner

    {August 28th, 2017} by Sam Boyer

    Jim Beck, a 30-year insurance veteran, underwriting association president, and former deputy commissioner, has announced he is running for the position of Georgia’s insurance commissioner. In a Q&A with Insurance Business, Beck said he’s the right man to take the helm for insurance regulation in the Peach State. What is your insurance experience? “My insurance experience […]

    DOL fiduciary rule driving fundamental shift in variable annuity market

    {August 28th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule is shaking things up in the variable annuity market. While the regulation has accelerated the downward trend in overall variable annuity sales for the past several quarters, only recently has the rule’s impact extended to the market share of different VA products. The fiduciary rule, which raises investment-advice standards […]

    DOL: Fiduciary Rule Lawsuit Angle ‘Will Likely Be Mooted’

    {August 28th, 2017} by John Hilton

    The Department of Labor sent its clearest signal yet this week that it plans to eliminate the hated class-action lawsuit provision of the Obama-ere fiduciary rule. In a court brief filed in District of Minnesota federal court, government attorneys said the lawsuit angle “will likely be mooted in the near future.” The lawsuit right is […]

    New York Life introduces Asset Flex, a flexible linked-benefit life insurance and long-term care product.

    {August 28th, 2017} by New York Life


    Another Sign DOL Rule Will Exclude Class-Action Provision

    {August 26th, 2017} by Bernice Napach

    The Trump administration has dropped another hint that it’s likely to pursue the elimination of the class-action suit provision in the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule. In a letter filed with U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson, who is presiding over a lawsuit brought by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans opposing that provision, the Justice Department wrote that “a stay of […]

    If you win the Powerball lottery, don’t take the payment in a lump sum

    {August 25th, 2017} by Lauren Lyons Cole

    The Powerball lottery jackpot has reached $700 million, the second-highest jackpot in US history. If there’s a winner or winners in Wednesday’s drawing, they will be given a choice of how to take the money: as an annuity or as a lump sum. Choosing the annuity option distributes the jackpot over 30 payments, which increase by 5% […]

    Latest DOL Fiduciary Fight Zeros In on Advice vs. Sales

    {August 25th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    Lawyers representing the Department of Labor and the nine plaintiffs suing Labor over its fiduciary rule recently filed briefs arguing their stance on whether Labor has the authority to regulate advice versus sales. A three-judge panel heard oral arguments on Aug. 1 at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in the U.S. […]

    DOL Rule Delay a Boon for Indexed, Variable Annuities

    {August 24th, 2017} by Alex Padalka

    The proposed 18-month delay to the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule is a big relief to distributors of indexed and variable annuities, InvestmentNews writes. The rule, which was originally scheduled to go into full effect January 1, would have cut sales in indexed annuities by up to 10% this year and up to 20% in 2018, according to […]

    Voya receives $500,000 in incentives for 3-block move

    {August 24th, 2017} by CH Joel Aschbrenner, Donnelle Eller, Kevin Hardy, Mike Trautmann, Patt Johnson, Grant Rodgers

    State officials awarded financial services company Voya more than half a million dollars Friday as it prepares to move its downtown Des Moines offices about three blocks away to Hub Tower. Voya received $553,080 in tax credits and tax refunds from the Iowa Economic Development Authority board. The investment, insurance and retirement firm plans to […]

    Charles Gipple Joins North American Company® as Vice President of Sales, Life Division

    {August 24th, 2017} by North American Company for Life and Health

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, Aug. 22, 2017 — North American Company for Life and Health Insurance®, a member of Sammons® Financial Group, is pleased to announce the recent hiring of Charles Gipple, CLU, ChFC as Vice President of Sales, Life Division. Gipple will be responsible for the overall sales management of North American life insurance products. […]

    Thrivent Fights DOL Fiduciary Rule’s Anti-Arb Clause

    {August 23rd, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, the insurer suing the Department of Labor over its fiduciary rule, said Monday that it plans to file a preliminary injunction soon to halt the anti-arbitration clause set out in the rule’s best-interest contract exemption. In a Monday letter to Judge Susan Richard Nelson in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, […]

    John Hancock Acquires HarborView At The Navy Yard

    {August 23rd, 2017} by John Jordan

    John Hancock Real Estate has increased its portfolio in Boston with the purchase of the HarborView at the Navy Yard multifamily property in Charlestown. The iconic Boston-based firm reportedly purchased the 224-unit Class A property for $149.25 million from Prudential Financial. The property, which is adjacent to the famed U.S. Constitution warship in Charlestown Harbor, was constructed […]

    Allstate sues Ameriprise for allegedly stealing client information

    {August 23rd, 2017} by Bruce Kelly

    Allstate Insurance Co. is suing Ameriprise Financial in a spat alleging Ameriprise is stealing Allstate’s confidential information by recruiting the giant insurance company’s salespeople, known as “exclusive financial specialists.” Ameriprise is allegedly encouraging the Allstate sales agents to create contact lists from customer information, use flash drives and portable electronic devices to download client data, and then […]

    How Nationwide, Transamerica Bring AI to Customer Service

    {August 23rd, 2017} by Emily Holbrook

    An estimated 30% to 50% of human call center tasks can be streamlined with artificial intelligence (AI) technology, and nearly 80% of businesses are planning to adopt AI as a customer service solution by 2020. That’s according to the “2017 Customer Service Trends” report from Jacobson, an insurance recruitment agency. Though AI’s initial impact primarily relates […]

    Largest industry in each state

    {August 23rd, 2017} by Sam Stebbins

    Connecticut has never been referred to as “the insurance capital of the world.” London has always captured this title. However, we do agree that Connecticut will lose their position as “the insurance capital of the United States” to Iowa soon.   Despite the inaccuracies, see the slideshow at http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/largest-industry-in-each-state/ss-AAqgcef?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout#image=51

    Up to $3 Million of Life Insurance with No Medical Exams

    {August 23rd, 2017} by Pacific Life

    August 22, 2017 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A simple form and a brief client phone interview can get you up to $3 million of cash value life insurance from Pacific Life. The simplicity and speed of Pacific Life’s Executive Class Underwriting make it a hit with financial professionals1 and their clients. […]

    First Half 2017 Annuity Sales Reach Lowest Level in 16 Years

    {August 23rd, 2017} by LIMRA

    WINDSOR, Conn., August 23, 2017 – In the first half of the year, total annuity sales decreased 10 percent to $105.8 billion compared with the first six months of 2016, according to LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute’s Second Quarter 2017 U.S. Retail Annuity Sales Survey. First half sales have not been this low since 2001. Second […]

    Lincoln Financial Group Launches i4LIFE® Indexed Advantage

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Lincoln Financial Group

    Fixed indexed annuity benefit provides dependable, tax efficient income with continued access to account value August 22, 2017 11:03 AM Eastern Daylight Time RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC) today announced the launch of i4LIFE® Indexed Advantage, a fixed-indexed annuity benefit rider providing dependable, tax efficient income for life, with continued account value access. Available for an additional […]

    Life Agents Face Internal Awareness Threat: Marvin Feldman

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Agents and brokers who specialize in selling life insurance may need to spend some time marketing themselves to other players in the life insurance market. Marvin Feldman, president of Life Happens, talked about the need for professional-to-professional outreach last week in an interview about the Life Insurance Awareness Month 2017 campaign. Life Happens, an Arlington, […]

    Will fixed index annuities stay ahead of fiduciary concerns?

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Tobias Salinger

    Debate over the fiduciary rule cast annuities in a harsh light, resulting in a recent sales slump, but fixed index annuity issuers and distributors remain optimistic. Few firms have slammed the Department of Labor rule more vocally than annuity firms and their advocates. The Trump administration pushed back full implementation of the rule by 18 months, but experts have […]

    Fiduciary Rule Delay Comes With Its Own Set of Problems

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    While industry groups applaud the Labor Department’s recent decision to seek a delay of the January compliance date for its fiduciary rule by 18 months, they say such an extension comes with its own set of problems. The ERISA Industry Committee told Labor in a Wednesday comment letter that while ERIC supports a delay, “uncertainty as to plan fiduciaries’ […]

    Channels, Agents Mix It Up In The UL Sales Wars

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    With universal life (UL) and indexed universal life (IUL) insurance consistently capturing close to 40 percent of all life insurance sales, it’s no surprise that distribution channels battle incessantly over market share. The latest field report comes from actuaries Carl Friedrich and Susan Saip at Milliman, who compare the changes in share distribution from calendar […]

    Here’s What to Expect if You Sell Annuities

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Over the next three years, retail life and annuity agents and financial advisors can expect simpler annuity structures, more fee-based annuities and fewer riders and income guarantees in product rollouts, a consultant said Wednesday. The days when annuities giants pumped out an “overwhelming volume of complex, tough-to-understand annuity products are gone,” said Chris Eberly, vice […]

    Advisors Need To Better Engage Female Clients On Retirement

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Brian O'Connell

    A new study spotlights the uphill climb females and their financial advisors face while planning for retirement. Just 18 percent of retirement-age women are informed on how to make a nest egg last in retirement (compared to 35 percent of similarly-aged men), according to The American College of Financial Services’ 2017 RICP Retirement Income Literacy […]

    10 Companies Flagged as Top Lead-Gen Providers: Report

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    A new report from market research Aite Group identifies 10 companies as among the most innovative providers of lead-generation tools for insurers. The study, “Lead Generation in Insurance: In Search of the Golden Leads,” flags ApexChat, Conversica, Finanzen, Jornaya, LeadCloud, Lead Assign, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Life.io, PredictiveBid, and TransUnion as software developers meriting special recognition for their distinctive and differentiated products. Collectively, the providers offer one or several capabilities […]

    Life/Annuity Companies Take Different Paths to Fastest Growth Rates

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Jay Cooper

    Strong fixed index annuity sales were a common theme among many life insurance and annuities companies experiencing the highest growth rates in admitted assets in 2016. But the sales strategies to achieve that growth were quite different. Sammons Financial Group, American Equity Investment Group, Global Atlantic Group and Great American Life Group showed the greatest percentage growth in […]