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Archive for July 2013


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  • Consumer Tips: How to Locate a Missing Life Insurance Policy

    {July 31st, 2013} by Ohio Department of Insurance

    If you suspect a life insurance policy exists but cannot locate it, you should conduct your own search for a policy using the following steps: Review the deceased’s personal papers to learn if there is a life insurance policy on file at the deceased’s last place of residence. In addition, check with the deceased’s bank […]

    2008 economic crisis had minor effect on insurers

    {July 31st, 2013} by Arthur D. Postal

    The major impact of the recent financial crisis on insurers was on certain annuity products underwritten by the life insurance industry, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study released today. The report said that the crisis “generally had a limited effect on the insurance industry and policyholders.” However, the stock prices—based on an index […]

    Moore Blames Bullying After Son’s Suicide

    {July 31st, 2013} by Steven A. Morelli

    A well-known indexed annuity expert is speaking out on bullying after her 16-year-old son committed suicide last week in Iowa. Alexander “A.J.” Betts was taken off life support Sunday after he attempted to kill himself Friday. His mother, Sheryl J. Moore, said he had been bullied at Southeast Polk High School because he was half-black […]

    True grit

    {July 30th, 2013} by Liz Skinner

    For female advisers, getting ahead takes grit, grind and goals Female financial advisers stand out in a crowd of their colleagues because of their small numbers in this male-dominated field. More importantly, they stick out because they often are the most dynamic people in the room. In a field where men often are taken more […]

    Bullied to death

    {July 30th, 2013} by Bill Coffin

    On Saturday, July 26th, 16-year-old A.J. Betts took his own life. A.J. was born to a black father and white mother, and with a variety of birth defects (including a cleft palate that required numerous surgeries, and only recently had finally been fixed). He spoke a little funny.  Please click here to read

    Sincerest Condolences to Sheryl J. Moore & Family

    {July 30th, 2013} by Annuity Outlook

    Sheryl J. Moore is a valued contributor to the NAFA Annuity Outlook magazine and a well-known advocate, educator and leader in our industry. The life and annuity industry is a small and close-knit group and our entire industry mourns with Sheryl and her family  on news of the unexpected passing of their 16-year old son […]

    Life insurance fraud? Do you recoup this claim?

    {July 30th, 2013} by Stephan Forman

    I first heard of this story while enjoying drinks on the patio with friends one weekend, and before we were through debating it, I said, “Let’s put it to the experts on ProducersWEB!” My party was discussing a Friday night segment on ABC’s “20/20” in which a husband of 34 years and father of two […]

    Zurich Among Insurers Said to Be Probed in Expanded N.Y. Inquiry

    {July 30th, 2013} by -With assistance from Noah Buhayar in New York. Editors: John Pickering

    Zurich Insurance Group AG is among companies being questioned by New York’s insurance regulator in a widening probe into compliance with an Iran sanctions law, according to a person familiar with the matter.   The state Department of Financial Services is asking insurers to explain their policies and procedures to avoid violations of the Iran […]

    FIAs Power Symetra To Positive Quarter

    {July 29th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    Net income at Symetra Financial, the Bellevue, Wash., life, annuities and benefits carrier, rose to $45 million, or 34 cents per share, from $43.8 million, or 32 cents a share, in the same period last year on the strength of fixed indexed and deferred annuities, the company reported. Revenues also rose to $513.2 million from […]

    Our hearts go out to Sheryl J. Moore, President and CEO of Wink, and her family in this difficult time of sorrow.

    {July 29th, 2013} by Wink, Inc

    Many of you have heard the story, however you may not have known his name or face. A.J., Sheryl J. Moore’s son, inspired her to start her company in 2005, and he is a treasured member of our Wink family. A.J.’s life ended unexpectedly early Saturday morning, we are deeply saddened to lose him. Sheryl […]

    S&P: G-SII Designation Could Affect Ratings in the Longer Term

    {July 25th, 2013} by Standard & Poor’s

    The longer-term rating implications for insurers that the Group of 20′s Financial Stability Board (FSB) has designated global systemically important insurers (G-SIIs) will be mixed, according to a report published by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services. The report – “Possible Ratings Implications For Global Systemically Important Insurers -” explains “how the new requirements that the […]

    Another blight on the bruised annuity industry's reputation

    {July 25th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

    Last week it was quite hot in the New York City metropolitan area and keeping the oven turned off seemed like a great idea. After having seen a poster for complimentary appetizers at a tidy little Italian restaurant down the street, my girlfriend and I got dressed and slowly meandered down the hot sidewalk to […]

    Fixed Annuity Interest Rates Ticking Up

    {July 25th, 2013} by Linda Koco

    Are fixed annuity rates heading up along with the uptick in interest rates on 5- and 10-year Treasury bonds? Why, yes they are. At least a bit. At least at some carriers. This could start giving certain annuities a boost in competitive attractiveness, bringing a little steam into the sales environment for annuity agents, distributors […]

    Why Millennials matter

    {July 25th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

    Millennials, Generation Y, Generation Next, Generation Net or whatever the term de jour is to describe the demographic cohort born somewhere between 1980 and 1999 are a group that perplex, frustrate and intrigue anyone trying to keep a pulse on their habits and culture. Assailed for being lazy while lauded for their entrepreneurial acumen; derided […]

    Marketers, how valuable are you to advisors?

    {July 25th, 2013} by Blog by Kathran Martin

    You know that connecting with advisors is essential to a growing business. No connections = no growth. Period. End of story. How do you cut through all the noise and build connections with the right advisors? Michael Lazerow, a serial entrepreneur, is currently CMO for Salesforce Cloud. He knows a little about selling and marketing […]

    S&P: ‘Systemically Important’ Designations Could Trigger Restructurings of Global Insurers

    {July 25th, 2013} by Standard & Poor’s, A.M. Best

    New requirements that will be imposed on insurers that the Group of 20′s Financial Stability Board has designated to be global systemically important insurers (G-SII) may motivate restructurings of these companies down the road, Standard & Poor’s said in a report. Overall, the report says that long-term rating implications for the nine G-SII designees are […]

    The Curious Case Of Bad Math & Why It Does Not Matter

    {July 25th, 2013} by Chris Burand

    I have recently been reminded of some of the nonsensical insurance idiosyncrasies that veterans of the industry take for granted. Several of these involve math—and bad math in particular 1. Combined Ratios Combined Ratio = Loss Ratio + Expense Ratio. A ratio is a fraction. Sometime around the fourth grade most kids learn that to […]

    Salazar Chosen as New Colorado Insurance Commissioner

    {July 25th, 2013} by Thomas Harmon, Associate Editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

    DENVER – Marguerite Salazar, a former U.S. Department of Health and Human Services director, has been chosen as the new Colorado state insurance commissioner. Doug Dean has been serving as interim director since July 9. Dean was chosen to follow Director Jim Riesberg, who resigned July 8 after two years on the job. Gov. John […]

    Partners Advantage Unveils Partners Elite Advisory Group

    {July 25th, 2013} by N/A

    Riverside, CA – July 24, 2013 – Partners Advantage is pleased to announce the newest member of its premier division, Partners Elite Advisory Group. Partners Elite will enhance the overall value proposition that Partners Advantage currently provides to select insurance professionals, financial advisors, and agencies. The senior leadership of Partners Elite combines the unique talents […]

    3 Time Saving Tips for Financial Advisors Using Social Media

    {July 25th, 2013} by Amy McIlwain

    It’s happened to all of us.  You were just going to check your Facebook for five minutes and the next thing you know it’s been an hour.  Social media has a reputation for being one big black hole.  It sucks you in and makes you lose all sense of time and any chance for productivity. One […]

    Court: Insurance company not to blame for wrong beneficiary designation

    {July 24th, 2013} by Steven A. Meyerowitz

    A federal district court in Illinois has ruled that a life insurance company owed no duty to an insured’s employer (in this case, the U.S. government) to properly maintain designation of beneficiary forms. If that duty existed, the district court found, it ran to the insured and beneficiaries. The case: A lawsuit against the U.S. […]

    New Jersey broker’s Ponzi scheme defrauded elderly clients

    {July 24th, 2013} by Harry Lew

    A New Jersey broker has been sentenced to a 15-year prison sentence for scamming elderly clients out of their savings and using the money to pay for his mortgage, house repairs and European vacations. According to authorities, the advisor persuaded his clients to invest in a health-care investment program, which was to make investments in […]

    FSOC Meets to Consider Prudential's Challenge to Non-Bank SIFI Designation

    {July 23rd, 2013} by Jeff Jeffrey

    WASHINGTON – The Financial Stability Oversight Council held a hearing in Washington to consider Prudential Financial Inc.’s challenge to a proposed designation as a non-bank systemically important financial institution. Prudential was included on a proposed list of non-bank SIFIs earlier this month. However, Prudential requested a hearing, arguing that its businesses do not pose a […]

    The most interest-rate sensitive insurers

    {July 23rd, 2013} by Arthur D. Postal

    While interest rates are a key area of concern for life insurers at this time, a new report said interest-rate sensitive life insurance premiums constituted only 4.1 percent of total premiums of large insurers for 2012. The report said insurers with more than $10 billion in premiums had $433.069 billion in premiums written outstanding at […]

    Clients are an advisor’s biggest competition

    {July 23rd, 2013} by Joyce Hanson

    Advisors’ biggest competition comes not from other advisors but rather from their own clients’ human nature, which poses obstacles such as inertia, fear, overspending and under-saving, according to the results of a Principal Financial Group study released Monday. Key findings in the Principal Financial Well Being Index show that for 80 percent of clients, their top financial […]

    How to overcome 4 real barriers to social media engagement

    {July 23rd, 2013} by Jay Palter

    Social media is one of the best ways to communicate, network and market your business, but for many of us there are some serious barriers to fully engaging. To start, there may be compliance concerns associated with jumping into social media. Then, what if someone says something negative about you online — how do you deal […]

    Florida puts squeeze on life insurers for millions of dollars in death benefits

    {July 23rd, 2013} by Jay Weaver, Miami Herald

    The state of Florida has put the squeeze on some of the nation’s biggest life insurance companies to hand over benefits from almost 96,000 unclaimed policies worth more than $75 million — money that might be yours. But be warned: the vast majority of those unclaimed death benefits are worth less than $1,000 each, according […]

    Same-sex couples to get estate taxes back

    {July 23rd, 2013} by Darla Mercado

    In New York, Gov. Cuomo announces opportunity to file for refunds Same-sex couples in New York who paid estate taxes can expect to get their money back. The Empire State will be issuing estate tax refunds to qualified spouses, according to an announcement today by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He cited last month’s Supreme Court decision […]

    North American Intros Flexible Annuity With Enhanced Death Benefit

    {July 23rd, 2013} by Press Release

      WEST DES MOINES, IA – July 23, 2013 – North American Company for Life and Health Insurance® has introduced a flexible annuity solution featuring an enhanced death benefit. The NAC SecureChoiceSM is the first fixed index annuity from North American that offers a built-in enhanced death benefit equipped with a stacking roll-up feature to […]

    Dodd-Frank regulations would fill 28 copies of ‘War and Peace’

    {July 23rd, 2013} by STAFF WRITER

    The epic 15-million-word law has been frustrating regulators, politicians and anyone in the compliance world since it came down the pike. According to a recent examination by The Wall Street Journal, it could fill the novel 28 times. Could it be even more daunting than Napoleon’s invasion of Russia itself? Read the story.

    Court: Lapsed life insurance is no life insurance

    {July 23rd, 2013} by Steven A. Meyerowitz

    A federal district court in South Carolina has ruled that an insured’s failure to make payments on his life insurance policy led it to lapse before his death. The court rejected the insured’s widow’s contentions that the insurer had not properly notified the insured of the lapse and had not acted in good faith. The […]

    Moody's downgrades Lincoln Benefit

    {July 23rd, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

    Moody’s Investor Service (Moody’s) has downgraded the insurance financial strength of Lincoln Benefit Life Company (Lincoln) to Baa1 from A1. The downgrade is a result of last week’s announcement that Lincoln, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Allstate Life Insurance Company (Allstate Life), its self a subsidiary Allstate Insurance Company (Allstate), will be sold to Resolution Life […]

    NAFA Responds To INN Article On Fiduciary Standard Debate

    {July 22nd, 2013} by Jeff Mose

    NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, has responded to a recent InsuranceNewsNet article, “War of the Advisor Groups Heats Up,” written by Cyril Tuohy and published July 12. Read Cyril’s article here. Cyril, You’ve articulated the fiduciary agenda very well. And you presented an interesting editorial comment in your column when you write “…or […]

    NAIC Weighs In On FSB Systemic Designations

    {July 22nd, 2013} by Targeted News Service

    WASHINGTON, July 18 — The National Association of Insurance Commissioners issued the following news release: The following is a statement from Thomas B. Leonardi, Connecticut Insurance Commissioner, on the list of Global Systemically Important Insurers released by the Financial Stability Board (FSB). Leonardi represents state insurance regulators at the Financial Stability Committee at the International […]

    Four Steps To Selecting The Right Annuity

    {July 22nd, 2013} by Bill Martina, a divisional Vice President, American General Life Companies. Bill.Martina@innfeedback.com.

    If you’re fairly new to the world of helping people prepare for retirement, here is something that may not be readily apparent. Financial professionals who offer a suite of diverse, well-structured annuity products that can be paired with optional lifetime income riders may be a boon to certain clients. In particular, the ideal clients for […]

    Allianz Joins AIG On FSBs List Of Too-Big-To-Fail Insurers

    {July 22nd, 2013} by Carolyn Bandel and Zachary Tracer

    CFO says even though the insurance business in general and Allianz in particular does not represent a systemic risk, Allianz acknowledges the decision of the FSB and will continue to support its efforts for more stable financial markets. (Bloomberg) –American International Group Inc. and Allianz SE are among insurers deemed systemically important by global financial […]

    Allianz Joins AIG On FSBs List Of Too-Big-To-Fail Insurers

    {July 22nd, 2013} by Carolyn Bandel and Zachary Tracer

    CFO says even though the insurance business in general and Allianz in particular does not represent a systemic risk, Allianz acknowledges the decision of the FSB and will continue to support its efforts for more stable financial markets. (Bloomberg) –American International Group Inc. and Allianz SE are among insurers deemed systemically important by global financial […]

    Cowdery’s Resolution Buys Allstate Life Business in U.S.

    {July 22nd, 2013} by Noah Buhayar

    Clive Cowdery, who earned a fortune cutting deals that consolidated the U.K. life-insurance industry, is making a foray into the U.S. by buying a business from Allstate Corp. for $600 million (394 million pounds). Resolution Life Holdings Inc., a company founded by Cowdery’s London-based Resolution Group, agreed to buy Lincoln Benefit Life Co. from Allstate, […]

    UNITE HERE Urges Iowa Insurance Commissioner to further investigate Apollo's proposed acquisition of AVIVA Life & Annuity

    {July 22nd, 2013} by BusinessWire

    DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)– UNITE HERE on Wednesday, July 17 urged Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick  Gerhart to ask some tough questions about the proposed acquisition of  AVIVA Life & Annuity by affiliates of the private equity firm Apollo  Global Management (APO), and to consider placing restrictions and  conditions on the transaction. A copy of the […]

    UPDATE 2-NY regulator targets buyout firms' focus on annuities -sources

    {July 22nd, 2013} by Karen Freifeld

    * Lawsky focusing on Sun Life, Aviva transactions -sources * Concern over private equity firms’ oversight By Karen Freifeld July 16 (Reuters) – New York’s top financial regulator is examining whether to let two insurers with links to investment firms buy annuity businesses, perhaps imposing requirements to cut potential risks to policyholders, people familiar with […]

    G-SIIs named; list includes big U.S. insurers

    {July 19th, 2013} by Elizabeth Festa

    The G-20’s Financial Stability Board designated an initial group of Global Systemically Important Insurers (G-SIIs) today. The U.S. insurers are: Prudential Insurance, MetLife, AIG, Allianz SE, Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A., Aviva plc, AXA S.A., Inc., Ping An Insurance Group Company of China, Ltd. and Prudential Financial, Inc. The nine insurers designated by the FSB will be […]

    S&P Raises Rating of Fidelity & Guaranty Life to Investment Grade Level

    {July 19th, 2013} by BUSINESS WIRE

    Also Increases from Stable to Positive Outlook BALTIMORE, Jul 18, 2013 (BUSINESS WIRE) — On July 17, 2013, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services raised its financial strength rating of Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Co. and Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Co. of New York, collectively referred to as FGL, to BBB- from BB+. The […]

    A.M. Best Places Ratings of Lincoln Benefit Life Company Under Review With Negative Implications

    {July 19th, 2013} by N/A

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / OLDWICK, N.J., JULY 19, 2013 A.M. Best Co. has placed under review with negative implications the financial strength rating of A+ (Superior) and issuer credit rating of “aa-” of Lincoln Benefit Life Company (LBL) (headquartered in Northbrook, IL) following The Allstate Corporation’s (Allstate) (Northbrook, IL) [NYSE: ALL] announcement of a definitive […]

    NAIC seeks to create captive transactions review board

    {July 19th, 2013} by Elizabeth D. Festa

    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is going further to address solvency concerns regarding the use of captives by life insurers. The regulatory group is contemplating a system where regulators review certain captive transactions, collect data and express any concerns or recommendations to the state regulatory and a key reserving NAIC task force. The goal, […]

    It’s Time to Remove the Gag Order on Guaranty Fund Disclosure

    {July 19th, 2013} by Kim O'Brien

    Section 19 of the NAIC LIFE AND HEALTH INSURANCE GUARANTY ASSOCIATION MODEL ACT 520 prohibits the “advertisement of the Insurance Guaranty Association in insurance sales.”  The Act specifically states that: “No person, including an insurer, agent or affiliate of an insurer shall make, publish, disseminate, circulate or place before the public, or cause directly or […]

    Long-suffering Detroit finally turns to bankruptcy

    {July 19th, 2013} by Corey Williams, Ed White

    DETROIT (AP) — At the height of its industrial power, Detroit was an irrepressible engine of the American economy, offering well-paying jobs, a gateway to the middle class for generations of autoworkers and affordable vehicles that put the world on wheels. But by Thursday, the once-mighty symbol of the nation’s manufacturing strength had fallen into […]

    Standard & Poor’s affirms A (Strong) rating for the insurance companies of National Life Group

    {July 19th, 2013} by N/A

    Montpelier, Vermont – Standard & Poor’s has affirmed its A (Strong) financial strength ratings for National Life Insurance Company and Life Insurance Company of the Southwest, the two insurance companies of National Life Group.   According to Standard & Poor’s, the ratings “reflect our view of National Life Group’s strong business and very strong financial […]

    Alarm sounds on bid for Aviva

    {July 18th, 2013} by Victor Epstein

    Apollo accused of shifting assets in ways that put policyholders in jeopardy Union representative Jim Baker was outnumbered at Wednesday’s state hearing on Apollo Global Management’s $1.8 billion bid for West Des Moines-based Aviva USA, but that didn’t stop him from sounding the alarm on the managed equity fund. The proposed deal could boost Apollo’s […]

    Former Minnesota Allstate Agent Files Suit Against Company

    {July 18th, 2013} by Best's News Service

    ST. PAUL, Minn. – A former Allstate Corp. agent in Minnesota who was fired for not meeting life insurance sales quotas has filed a lawsuit against his former employer, according to a statement from the National Association of Professional Allstate Agents. Jerry Deleski, who had worked for Allstate for 39 years, alleges the insurer violated […]

    MetLife Reaches Stage Three in FSOC Process to Determine Whether it Will be Named a Non-Bank SIFI

    {July 18th, 2013} by Best's News Service

    NEW YORK – MetLife Inc., the largest life insurance company in the United States, said the Financial Stability Oversight Council has notified it that it had reached stage three in the process to determine whether it would be named a non-bank Systemically Important Financial Institution, or SIFI. “Not only does exposure to MetLife not threaten […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Pacific LifeCorp and Its Subsidiaries

    {July 18th, 2013} by Best's News Service

    OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A+ (Superior) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of Pacific Life Insurance Company (PLIC) (Omaha, NE) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Pacific Life & Annuity Company (PLAC) (Phoenix, AZ) (together referred to as Pacific Life). Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the […]

    Succession Planning Still Major Issue For Advisors

    {July 18th, 2013} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    BOSTON, July 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –Despite succession planning being a major topic facing the graying financial advisor market, a new survey conducted by Mathew Greenwald and Associates for Signator Investors, Inc. shows few financial professionals are fully prepared for succession. A strong majority also say the industry does not do a good job helping with […]

    Fixed annuities no longer in Allstate’s hands

    {July 18th, 2013} by Maria Wood

    Allstate Corp. has agreed to sell its Lincoln Benefit Life Co. to Resolution Life Holdings Inc., for $600 million, yet another in a string of recent deals that have seen large insurers sell off their annuity businesses. Once the deal is finalized, which should happen by the end of the year, Allstate will essentially abandon […]

    Allstate Announces Sale Of Lincoln Benefit

    {July 18th, 2013} by Linda Koco

    Allstate is bowing out of writing life insurance and annuities and selling the products through the independent agency distribution channel business. Late yesterday, the big U.S. carrier issued a statement saying it plans to sell its Lincoln Benefit Life Co. to Resolution Life Holdings for $600 million. Resolution Life is a Delaware corporation established by […]

    Rising interest rates positive for U.S. life insurers

    {July 18th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    The recent rise in interest rates is credit-positive for U.S. insurers, Moody’s Investors Service concludes in a new report. In a July 15 “Special Comment,” the New York-based credit rating agency cites an 85 basis-point rise in the yield of 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds—to about 2.6 percent on July 11 from less than two percent […]

    A Q&A with Athene CEO Jim Belardi

    {July 18th, 2013} by Victor Epstein

    Jim Belardi is in a difficult position, but one that’s the envy of many of his peers. The insurance industry veteran is head of a fast-growing company named Athene Holding Ltd. that’s backed by Apollo Global Management, a Wall Street investment firm with deep pockets. Athene won the bidding war for Aviva USA, a West […]

    Allstate Announces the Sale of Lincoln Benefit Life Company

    {July 18th, 2013} by PR Newswire

    – Sharpens focus on Allstate’s segmented customer strategy – Increases deployable capital by $1 billion NORTHBROOK, Ill., July 17, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ —  The Allstate Corporation today announced a definitive agreement to sell its Lincoln Benefit Life Company (“LBL”) to Resolution Life Holdings, Inc. (“Resolution Life”) for $600 million, thereby exiting the consumer segment […]

    Why Even Single People Need Life Insurance

    {July 17th, 2013} by Kimberly Palmer

    People without dependents can plan ahead to protect their future families   If you’re married with children, then you probably know you should  have life insurance to protect your dependents in the event of your  death. But do single people without those same dependents also need to  insure themselves? According to a 2011 survey from […]

    The word is annuity. Try using it.

    {July 17th, 2013} by Stan Haithcock

    I’m one of those people that must have the radio, TV and multiple computer screens running at the same time to have my brain work properly. I guess this comes from my previous life in the stock business where data is king, and I have carried that information overload habit with me to this day. […]

    Why the insurance technology vendor relationship is important

    {July 17th, 2013} by Justin Brown

    If you ever feel like the insurance technology vendor relationship isn’t worth your time, then consider for a moment what your day would be like without the use of your computer, network or the Internet. It’s essential to have open communication and a positive relationship with the team who keeps the technological end of the […]

    A.M. BestTV Transcript: Women Slowly Making Strides to Insurance C-Suites

    {July 17th, 2013} by Best's News Service

    OLDWICK, N.J. – Recently released research found that there is a lack of gender diversity at the executive and board of director levels of the insurance industry. The following A.M. BestTV episode, hosted by Senior Associate Editor John Weber, looks at a continuing under-representation of females in positions of leadership. Go to http://www.ambest.com/v.asp?v=genderdiversity713 to view […]

    Tarullo: Insurers really are different from banks

    {July 17th, 2013} by Elizabeth D. Festa

    In U.S. Senate Banking Committee testimony today, Federal Reserve Board Gov. Daniel K. Tarullo offered a few insights into thinking at the Federal Reserve as it develops capital rules for insurers that are under its oversight. Tarullo reminded the committee, however, that banking regulators are constrained by the strictures of the law — the Wall Street […]

    New York regulator seeks strict rules on Athene/Aviva deal

    {July 16th, 2013} by Business Record

    New York’s top financial  regulator is threatening to scuttle a proposed purchase of Aviva USA by Athene  Holding Ltd. unless Athene agrees to follow new rules that don’t apply to  traditional insurers, The Wall Street Journal  reported.   Athene, an insurer funded  by an affiliate of Apollo Global Management LLC, in December announced its  intent to […]

    Moody's: Hatch's SAFE bill would benefit U.S. life insurers

    {July 16th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

    Senator Orrin Hatch’s Secure Annuities for Employee (SAFE) Retirement Act would benefit the life insurance industry, Moody’s Investors Service found in their most recent credit outlook released one week after the bill was introduced in the Senate. The bill, introduced on July 9, would allow the private market to assist state and local governments with their […]

    A Source of Headaches: “Source of Funds”

    {July 16th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

    One of today’s most widely-miscommunicated issues is the fixed annuity market’s “Source of Funds” matter. The issue? It’s figuring out where the prospective purchaser of a fixed or indexed annuity is getting his or her money from, so they can use it to purchase the annuity? Some believe ‘Source of Funds’ means that if you’re […]

    Public hearing Wednesday on Aviva USA acquisition

    {July 16th, 2013} by Victor Epstein

    The 1,400 families in the Des Moines-area that depend on an Aviva USA paycheck will have a chance to speak up Wednesday as Apollo Global Management’s insurance arm prepares to consummate its $1.8 billion proposed acquisition of the local employer. Apollo, a New York-based financial firm with both hedge fund and private equity fund operations, will […]

    Are you ready for Life Insurance Awareness Month?

    {July 16th, 2013} by Brian Anderson

    It starts in 55 days. No, not the NFL regular season. I’m talking about Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM), which spans all of September. Click here to read…

    MIB Life Index edges down 3.7% in June

    {July 16th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    U.S. application activity for individually underwritten life insurance dipped 3.7% in June, a new study reveals. MIB Group Inc. unveiled this statistic in the latest monthly release of the MIB Life Index, a measure of the U.S. life insurance industry’s application activity. The index is based on the number of searches MIB life member company underwriters […]

    NY regulator targets buyout firms' focus on annuities: sources

    {July 16th, 2013} by Karen Freifeld

    (Reuters) – New York’s top financial regulator is examining whether to let two insurers with links to investment firms buy annuity businesses, perhaps imposing requirements to cut potential risks to policyholders, people familiar with the matter said. The requirements could reduce the attractiveness of such deals for buyout firms. One review by the New York […]

    What Makes Smaller Carriers Successful?

    {July 16th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    Traits that make small and midsize individual life and annuity insurers successful range from geographic concentration, to product mix, to low exposure to low-grade bonds and higher productivity among distributors, according to a new study by Conning. Despite recent consolidation among individual life and annuity insurers in the wake of the recession, the financial crisis […]

    How a Teenager and Skype

    {July 16th, 2013} by Dan Richards

    Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views  presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives. Successful advisors are always on the lookout for cost-effective ways to  deepen relationships with top clients. Last week, an advisor (let’s call him  Peter) told me how he hired his son for the summer, and the two created […]

    That Bland Annuity Notice May Be Anything but Routine

    {July 15th, 2013} by Paul Sullivan

    For owners of variable annuities, reading letters that may look like routine notices from an insurance company might be the difference between receiving the payment they expect and one that is significantly lower. That’s because several insurance companies that sold variable annuities with generous income or death benefits before the financial crisis are having sellers’ […]

    Life Policy App Decline—A Telltale Sign Or Not?

    {July 15th, 2013} by Linda Koco

    Applications for individual life insurance have dropped 2.2 percent in the first six months compared to the first half last year, according to the MIB Life Index, which measures applications submitted to insurers on a national basis every month. In June alone, the decline was 3.7 percent compared to one year ago, setting a new […]

    Milevsky warns: Beware of annuity ignorance

    {July 15th, 2013} by Gil Weinreich, ThinkAdvisor

    Advisors, be very wary of what you read about annuities, for it may be devoid of any meaning. That warning comes from Moshe Milevsky, pictured, just back from a visit to England, where he poured through dusty documents in the British National Archives, examining the actuarial assumptions of the life annuities issued by the Chancellor […]

    Indexed annuity sales are down, not out

    {July 15th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

    After having released the first quarter sales numbers for indexed annuities, the press began acting like Chicken Little. “The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Indexed annuity sales are falling, too!” I tend to take the more cool, calm and collected approach to these matters due to my background in market research. The sky […]

    Funding universal life insurance at target? You’re missing the point

    {July 15th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Throughout the past 15 years of working with universal life (UL) products, one comment in particular has been overheard far too often: “…fund this UL at [X percent] over target.” This comment is especially popular in the indexed life market, where the product may be new to producers, and a lack of product knowledge may […]

    Why Your Age 60+ Clients Need Life Insurance

    {July 15th, 2013} by Adam Paoli

    Over the last few years, news headlines have reminded us about the uncertainty of our financial future. Volatile markets, the demise of defined benefit plans and devalued real estate have affected many sources of income that Americans once counted on as they neared retirement. As if these changes weren’t threatening enough, Social Security reform is […]

    A Historical Perspective On Indexed Life And Annuities Products

    {July 15th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    How is it that indexed products — universal life and indexed annuities — have muscled their way into the market and shot to the top of the sales charts? After all, these were offerings that barely existed little more than 15 years ago. In 1995, indexed annuity sales were $100 million, a mere blip on […]

    Spotlight on annuity suitability

    {July 15th, 2013} by Christopher Raham, Jacqueline Boersema

    Meeting suitability and other sales practices under FINRA 2111 Over the past few years, insurers have been provided with suitability standards and guidelines with respect to recommending and selling annuity products to clients. This past year, FINRA (under Rule 2111) provided an expanded list of the type of information an advisor must obtain and analyze […]

    Scrutiny Of Private Equity Could Expand

    {July 12th, 2013} by Linda Koco

    The comment period closed yesterday on an eyebrow-raising memo about private equity deals with annuity and life insurance companies—an issue of growing concern for producers who represent insurers with ties to private equity and/or who compete with such insurers. The 1,600-word document has been circulating for the past several weeks among state regulators who serve […]

    Royal baby prep: 6 financial planning tips for Prince William and Kate

    {July 11th, 2013} by Corey Dahl

    Prince William and Kate have just a few more days — maybe even hours — before they join the ranks of spit-up covered, zombie-eyed, sweatpants wearers. Or, as they’re more commonly known, new parents. Adding a baby to their family will mean lots of changes … and not just to their grooming habits. Click here […]

    What Retirees Say Retirement Is Really Like

    {July 11th, 2013} by Bob Lowry

    By Bob Lowry, Next Avenue Contributor Writing the blog Satisfying Retirement has provided me with a special insight into the expectations and fears of retirees and those about to begin life after full-time work. Recently, I decided to conduct a survey of my readers to find out what retirement is really like, or going to be like, […]

    Annuity puzzle solved: Don’t buy them

    {July 11th, 2013} by Gil Weinrich

    For nearly 50 years, financial economists have scratched their heads wondering why more people, at least those without significant bequest motives, didn’t buy annuities. They provide higher income than bonds and protect against the risk of outliving one’s wealth. Why people would refuse to feast on what may be the only free lunch economics offers […]

    Senator Hatch says insurance firms can ease U.S. pension crisis

    {July 10th, 2013} by Lisa Lambert

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top Republican senator unveiled legislation on Tuesday that would radically change public pensions by having life insurance companies pay benefits through annuity contracts, helping to alleviate the underfunding that has engulfed many plans. The bill introduced by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, the highest-ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, would have the […]

    AXA proposes another variable annuity buyout offer

    {July 10th, 2013} by Maria Wood

    Following the offer it made last year to buy out variable annuity (VA) owners of their death benefits, AXA Equitable has proposed a similar exchange, but this time it’s to convert Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefits (GMIBs) into extra cash for the policyholder’s account value. In an SEC filing dated July 1, the offer covers AXA’s […]

    Another VA buyback offer coming your way

    {July 9th, 2013} by Darla Mercado

    Axa latest to ask contract holders to terminate existing riders; request is voluntary, however   In this seemingly endless season of variable annuity take-backs and retrenchments, yet another insurer is looking to rein in liabilities stemming from existing VA products. This time, Axa Equitable Life Insurance Co. is launching a benefits buyback offer — marking […]

    Fiduciary duty boosts revenue, not compliance costs: FPC

    {July 9th, 2013} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Financial advisers who operate under a fiduciary duty achieve stronger asset and revenue growth without taking on additional compliance costs, according to a group of adviser advocates. In a comment letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, the Financial Planning Coalition argued that the agency should adopt a uniform fiduciary standard for retail […]

    Insurance Agent From Vietnam Understands Asians' 'Desire For A Better Future'

    {July 9th, 2013} by Dan Voorhis, The Wichita Eagle

    By Dan Voorhis, The Wichita Eagle July 04–When Tony Bui was 6 years old, he spent three days in prison for trying to escape Vietnam. He and his mother were discovered hiding as they waited for a boat to pick them up. His mother, Chan Bui, was sentenced to six months. Tony, the baby of […]

    Where are the missing 90-year-olds?

    {July 9th, 2013} by Ruth Alexander

    We’ve seen amazing improvements in life expectancy over the past few decades. Six years have been added to global average life expectancy at birth, over the past two decades. Much of this increase has been down to improvements in child mortality in low- and middle- income countries. Click here to read…

    Whole Life vs. Term: There's A Clear Winner Here

    {July 9th, 2013} by Magni, Peter R

    From 1940 to 1970, it was very common for people to purchase whole life insurance. A policy could secure income for their family in case of an untimely death and also help subsidize their retirement planning. Term insurance wasn’t very prevalent in those days. Then, in 1981, the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) […]

    How to end persistency problems despite rate hikes

    {July 9th, 2013} by Victoria Eden

    Do your commissions depend on clients staying in your agency? Probably yes. Most of us have one or more products that either pays ongoing commissions, a persistency bonus or both. For your income to grow exponentially, it is vitally important for you to retain more clients, have them buy more, stay longer and refer. Click […]

    Moody’s: Insurers’ credit losses declined in 2012

    {July 9th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    U.S. life insurance companies’ 2012 statutory credit losses declined in 2012, according to a new report. Moody’s Investors Service, New York, arrives at this conclusion in a June 2013 report that analyzes the realized investment losses of U.S. life insurers’ bond and commercial mortgage loan (CML) holdings in 2012. On a statutory basis, Moody’s-rated life […]

    How Successful Firms Reach Different Demographics

    {July 9th, 2013} by Bryce Sanders

    Use these strategies to attract a wide range of clients to your practice. Click here to read…

    15 power Tweeters every adviser should know

    {July 9th, 2013} by Michael Kitces

        While there are many social media lists out there of people and businesses to follow on Twitter, InvestmentNews’ own Power 20 “Power Tweeter” Michael Kitces, partner and director of research for Pinnacle Advisory Group and publisher of The Kitces Report and the blog Nerd’s Eye View maintains a list of people financial advisers […]

    What Top Producers Sell

    {July 9th, 2013} by Tina Orem

    Without the right products to back the roadmap you lay out for your clients, many of them may not be able to achieve their financial goals. Here are a few of the products successful agents are using to help their clients realize their hopes and dreams. Click here to read…

    Where to Rebalance

    {July 9th, 2013} by Eric Taylor

    Consider a fixed index annuity to help mitigate your client’s risk. Click here to read…

    Rethinking the Ideal Buyer of Annuities

    {July 9th, 2013} by Kenneth Brown

    Those entering their 50s traditionally haven’t been ripe for the income or annuity conversation, but this situation is changing for a number of reasons. Click here to read…

    Same-Sex Marriage Complicating Retirement

    {July 9th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    Corporate benefits managers and their advisors who thought they deserved a break this July 4 before ramping up for health care reform under the Affordable Care Act got no such respite, courtesy of the U.S. Supreme Court and its decision to strike down a key section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The […]

    How well do you manage your time?

    {July 9th, 2013} by Jim Brogan

    Do you own your calendar? Or does your calendar own you? I must admit that this is one area that I constantly have to work on. Click here to read…

    Oldest boomers are now fully retired

    {July 9th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    More than half of the oldest boomers and their spouses have fully retired and are not working, according to a new report. The MetLife Mature Market Institute, New York, discloses this finding in a new survey of the oldest boomers (born 1946) to learn about their work and retirement status, finances and housing, family and […]

    Opposites don’t attract: How to find your perfect prospect

    {July 9th, 2013} by Thomas K. Brueckner

    Any financial professional who’s been interacting with the public for a decade or more will tell you that opposites don’t attract in business, the way they sometimes do in dating. Your best client relationships tend to be those with whom you have the most in common — culturally, economically, politically and especially in the way […]

    ELNY earnings charges expected to hit Q2 statements

    {July 9th, 2013} by Elizabeth Festa

    Liquidation appears underway; American Equity reports first   Executive Life Insurance Company of New York (ELNY) earnings assessments are now beginning as the controversial court-approved liquidation plan for the insolvent New York State insurer kicks into gear after  two decades of decline in rehabilitation. Charges will be showing up in earnings reports for some public […]

    Why You Should Give Annuities a Serious Look

    {July 8th, 2013} by Philip Moeller

    Annuities are the only practical private financial product today that  provide guaranteed streams of retirement income for as long as you will  live. And survey after survey finds that retirement savers would be  willing to forgo a fair amount of upside on their investments in return  for the safety and predictability of a guaranteed monthly […]

    A Historical Perspective On Indexed Life And Annuities Products

    {July 8th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    How is it that indexed products — universal life and indexed annuities — have muscled their way into the market and shot to the top of the sales charts? After all, these were offerings that barely existed little more than 15 years ago. In 1995, indexed annuity sales were $100 million, a mere blip on […]

    Annuity Anomaly: EIA + GLB > SPIA?

    {July 8th, 2013} by Moshe A. Milevsky

    Yes, I know that with an EIA you don’t have much choice in terms of the investment allocations, which are usually linked to an S&P 500 index ­minus any dividends, while the VA gives you a robust line-up of many different funds and subaccounts. And yes, the EIA ­imposes low caps and tight participation limits […]

    No More Guessing: Here’s the Aviva Deal

    {July 3rd, 2013} by Linda Koco

    Anyone who wants the skinny on the proposed private equity purchase of Aviva USA need wait no longer. The Iowa Insurance Division has posted Apollo Global Management LLC’s application to buy the big Iowa annuity carrier on the division’s website. The Application For Acquisition Of Control Of Aviva Life And Annuity Company runs 1,403 pages […]

    Allianz Life Promotes Mike Scriver to Senior Vice President, Global Head of Hedging for Allianz Investment Management

    {July 3rd, 2013} by Business Wire

    MINNEAPOLIS — Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) promoted Mike Scriver to senior vice president of Hedging for Allianz Investment Management LLC, a registered investment adviser with the SEC and wholly owned subsidiary of Allianz Life. Scriver, who acts as global head of hedging for Allianz SE and its operating entities around […]

    FINRA Increased Enforcement in 2012

    {July 3rd, 2013} by Mason Braswell

    FINRA stepped up its game last year, issuing more disciplinary actions and making a number of investments to increase the scope of its regulatory oversight. FINRA brought a total of 1,541 disciplinary actions, levied more than$69 million in fines and ordered restitution of$34 million to investors in 2012, according to its annual report. This compares […]

    5 arguments in favor of annuities

    {July 3rd, 2013} by John L. Olsen, Michael E. Kitces

    Annuities have, for many years, been the subject of considerable debate among financial planners, insurance agents, financial journalists and academics. While some of this discussion is dispassionate, a surprising amount of it is not. Much of what is written on the subject — especially by those opposed to annuities — is outright polemic. Click here […]

    Allstate To Lay Off 348 In Woodridge

    {July 3rd, 2013} by Becky Yerak, Chicago Tribune

    By Becky Yerak, Chicago Tribune McClatchy-Tribune Information Services July 02–Allstate Corp. will lay off 348 workers inWoodridge, one of several companies reporting planned layoffs last month totaling about 1,300. TheNorthbrook-based home and auto insurer has said reducing expenses this year is one of its top priorities. According to a report by theIllinois Department of Commerce […]

    Prudential balks at SIFI designation

    {July 3rd, 2013} by Arthur D. Postal and Elizabeth D. Festa

    Prudential Financial Inc. plans to challenge its designation as a systemically important financial institution. It declined to join American International Group and GE Capital as the first nonbank financial firms to be overseen by the Federal Reserve Board as systemically significant. Instead, it asked the FSOC to schedule a nonpublic evidentiary hearing on its appeal.  […]

    Glenn Neasham, dementia and a potential solution to protect agents who sell to seniors

    {July 3rd, 2013} by Nicholas Paleveda MBA J.D. LL.M

    I was speaking across the U.S. conducting Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars about estate planning. One of the cities I presented to was Gulfport, Mississippi. I often tell estate planning attorneys about the Glenn Neasham case, as it is an “outlier” or among the most appalling cases in America. When I told the attorneys in […]

    Tennessee Dives into Source-of-Funds Issue

    {July 3rd, 2013} by Linda Koco

    The source-of-funds issue has surfaced in Tennessee.  In a new bulletin, Tennessee regulators have spelled out guidelines on what insurance and securities sellers can say, and not say, about funds their customers can use to purchase their products. The bulletin is directed to two groups: “insurance-only persons” who only hold a producer license to sell […]

    Social Media And Compliance

    {July 2nd, 2013} by Penny Crosman

    WASHINGTON-Ever since the FFIEC released its social media guidance for financial institutions in January, executives have been concerned about several requirements, such as the difficulty of monitoring employees’ social media activities and the challenge of calculating an ROI for social media. Elizabeth Khalil, senior policy analyst -supervisory policy at the FDIC and one of the […]

    What Does Warren Buffett Know That You Should?

    {July 2nd, 2013} by Brendan Lynch

    “What can we do to improve profitability and grow our business?” is a question that often comes up in conversations with life industry colleagues. Very often, I tell them, the potential answer is to intensify your focus on asset/liability management. In this task, structured settlements frequently play an important role. One person who has figured […]

    Pru Of Japan Shows How to Retain Agents

    {July 2nd, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    As the United States, the world’s biggest life insurance market, ages and faces an uncertain economic future, the insurance industry may see gloom on the horizon. But a company in the world’s second-largest life insurance market might offer a model for success in the new normal. Japan’s long-running woes include stagnant growth, falling prices, minuscule […]

    NAIFA: This is the Best Time

    {July 2nd, 2013} by Ayo Mseka and John Davidson

    Never before has there been a greater need for insurance advisors to serve the public and to help people understand that the insurance business is about more than selling financial products. Click here to read the full article

    Illustrated Promises: Unmet Expectations

    {July 2nd, 2013} by Richard M. Weber

    Reforms designed to provide consumers with an understanding of how products such as flexible premium universal life policies “work” have left buyers even more vulnerable to surprises. Here is a look at how reform led to less clarity and accuracy.  » Click here to read the full article

    A planning checklist for your single parent clients

    {July 2nd, 2013} by Jeffrey Berson

    Article added by Jeffrey Berson on July 1, 2013 I am a very lucky guy. I have a wonderful wife and two great kids. For a long time while I was working, my wife was a stay-at-home mom. She did a great job managing our household and raising our kids. Most of the time, she was […]

    The Best Places to Celebrate the 4th of July

    {July 2nd, 2013} by N/A

    For many Americans, July 4th is a family holiday — it involves backyard barbecues, maybe a parade through town, and a local fireworks show. Some people, however, have dreams of celebrating the nation’s birthday with more pizzazz. Thankfully, there are plenty of options around the U.S. that deliver Fourth of July festivities worth traveling for. […]

    July 4: The Deadliest Day On The Road

    {July 2nd, 2013} by PR Newswire Association

    NORTHBROOK, Ill., June 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –Independence Day is typically a time for barbecues, family gatherings, and celebrating the birth of our nation, however, for many travelers this holiday it may end in tragedy. According to research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS),July 4 is now the deadliest day on the road for […]

    Dressander & Associates and BHC Marketing

    {July 2nd, 2013} by Michael Dressander

    Naperville, IL – July 1, 2013: Dressander & Associates and BHC Marketing, two leading independent insurance and financial services marketing organizations (IMOs), have merged to form one unified company under the Futurity First Insurance Group, announced Mike Kalen, CEO of Futurity First, and Mike Dressander, president of the newly combined group, Dressander|BHC. “The new name, […]

    'Reputation Crisis' Hampering Financial Firms

    {July 2nd, 2013} by Paul McCaffrey

    Once lost, a reputation is hard to regain, and it’s costing financial services companies hundreds of millions in sales. Even with a rebounding economy and a surging stock market, 44% of marketing and communications managers at financial firms say that their companies have lost at least 5% of their business over the last year because […]

    Prudential CEO: Change is good

    {July 1st, 2013} by Bill Coffin

    For Kent Sluyter, the current state of the life insurance industry reminds him of a whitewater rafting experience he had six years ago, when he visited Alaska. “There was a time, if you go back far enough, when we were all sitting on some pretty calm water without a lot of life-saving equipment and very […]

    LIMRA and LOMA Appoint New Head of International Operations

    {July 1st, 2013} by Catherine Theroux, 860-285-7787, ctheroux@limra.com, Mark Morris, 860-285-7875, mmorris@limra.com

    WINDSOR, Conn., July 2, 2013 — LIMRA and LOMA today named Ian Watts to be senior vice president of International Operations, succeeding Gary Aluise, who is retiring in   September 2013. “Ian has a very impressive background, holding key senior management roles responsible for international businesses around the world,” said Robert Kerzner, president and        CEO of  LIMRA, […]

    The top 10 risks facing the insurance industry

    {July 1st, 2013} by Emily Holbrook

    So far, 2013 has not been a banner year for the insurance industry. In fact, some would argue that the couple of decades or so have not been easy on the sector. From grappling with intense competition, an uninterested Millenial geographic, extensive regulation and a continued decrease in revenues, the industry is struggling to ward […]

    Straight talk on the designation debate

    {July 1st, 2013} by Daniel Williams

    By Daniel Williams In a recent discussion with top advisors we asked them about designations and in candid conversations, they spoke their mind about the topic. While you may not agree with them, their comments are unfiltered and spoken with conviction. If you would like to join the designation debate, please leave a comment below. […]