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Archive for March 2014


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  • N.Y. regulators say MetLife to pay $60 million for violations

    {March 31st, 2014} by Karen Freifeld

      NEW YORK (Reuters) – Insurer MetLife will pay $60 million because two subsidiaries solicited insurance business in New York without a license, New York authorities said on Monday. Investigations by the state’s Department of Financial Services and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office found that MetLife subsidiaries ALICO and DelAm, bought from AIG in 2010, […]

    MetLife to Pay NY Authorities $60 Million for Insurance Law Violations

    {March 31st, 2014} by Michael Buck

    EW YORK – MetLife Inc. will pay a $60 million fine after New York authorities found that two of its subsidiaries solicited insurance business in the state without a license and that those companies allegedly “made intentional misrepresentations” to insurance regulators, according to a statement from the New York Department of Financial Services. The MetLife […]

    Commissioners Mixed on NAIC Panel Draft Accreditation Plan to Treat Captives as Multistate Insurers

    {March 31st, 2014} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

    ORLANDO, Fla. – A draft proposal offered by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that would treat captive insurance in the same manner as a multistate insurer has been greeted with mixed feelings by some commissioners, some of whom said it would send captives offshore. The NAIC’s financial regulation standards and accreditation committee moved to […]

    Wall Street watchdog alleges annuity scheme by two ex-MetLife brokers

    {March 31st, 2014} by Suzanne Barlyn

    Richard Ketchum, chairman and CEO of FINRA, speaks during the Investment Company Institute’s (ICI) Capital Markets Conference in New York, October 10, 2013.Credit: Reuters/Carlo Allegri     (Reuters) – Two former brokers for MetLife Securities Inc, a unit of MetLife Inc, allegedly engaged in a seven-year scheme to inflate commissions by having customers switch $21 […]

    Customer Satisfaction Study Ranks Top Insurance Companies

    {March 31st, 2014} by PR Web

    Foster City, Calif. (PRWEB) March 31, 2014 Insure.com has released results of its annual insurance customer satisfaction study, which includes scores and rankings across four categories: auto, home, health and life insurance. USAA, State Farm and Farmers earned the highest scores from both auto and home insurance customers. It is USAA’s third year as the […]

    Advisors Beware: Single Data Breach ‘Can Bring Down’ A Practice

    {March 31st, 2014} by Kenneth Corbin

    WASHINGTON — In the face of a range of cyber threats that are increasing both in volume and sophistication, investment advisors need to shore up their digital defenses, taking steps to elevate security as a business priority and share more information about attacks with relevant authorities. That was the message of industry leaders, compliance experts […]

    Allstate to Discuss First Quarter 2014 Earnings With Investors

    {March 31st, 2014} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    NORTHBROOK, Ill., March 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) will conduct a conference call and webcast at 9 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Wednesday, May 7 to discuss first quarter 2014 earnings. The company will issue a news release announcing quarterly results at or after 4:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 6. […]

    State Roundup

    {March 29th, 2014} by Pam Heinrich

    State Legislative Trends Related to Elder Financial Abuse/Exploitation Laws Most everyone in our industry is aware of the trials—both literally and figuratively—of California insurance agent Glenn Neasham, who was convicted in October 2011 of theft with respect to the property of an elder. In 2008, he sold a fixed indexed annuity policy to a senior […]

    $201 Million Policy Could Be Good Omen

    {March 28th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    The eye-popping $201 million life insurance policy — now dubbed the “most valuable life insurance policy” by the Guinness Book of World Records — may be a sign that the big case market is reviving. Reinsurers are seeing an increase in jumbo cases as the economy improves. That’s significant, because reinsurers are the companies to […]

    The Best Times To Post on Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter for Financial Advisors

    {March 28th, 2014} by Amy McIlwain

    Now that you’ve optimized your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook pages, it’s time to look at how we can get the most “bang” for our social buck by identifying the best times to post and engage online. While experimenting with your posting times can’t hurt, it is always good to have some basic knowledge to start […]

    Annuity sales continued upward momentum in 2013

    {March 28th, 2014} by Noah Guillaume

    The U.S. annuity industry ended 2013 on an upward trend, according to data reported by Morningstar Inc. and Beacon Research.  Increased fixed and variable annuity total sales during the fourth quarter pushed industry-wide sales to $59.3 billion, up 3.1 percent from the previous quarter sales of $57.5 billion and up 17.2 percent from 2012 fourth-quarter […]

    Many RIAs Merely ‘Accommodating’ Retirement Plans Business

    {March 28th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    It may be an overstatement to call the retirement business an afterthought, but for some registered investment advisors (RIAs), the 401(k) and 403(b) business appears to be exactly that, according to a new survey by Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services. The survey of 1,700 Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services clients found that 91 percent of advisors offering […]

    NAFA Plugs into National Retirement Planning Week® Events

    {March 28th, 2014} by NAFA

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NAFA Plugs into National Retirement Planning Week® Events Milwaukee, WI (March 26, 2014) The National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) announced today that the association will be participating in several National Retirement Planning Week® events during April 7-11. The week is coordinated by the National Retirement Planning Coalition (NRPC) to help consumers […]

    Evans sees Fed raising interest rates in second half of 2015

    {March 28th, 2014} by Rachel Evans and Aki Ito

    Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said the central bank will probably raise interest rates in the second half of next year and the timing will depend on the pace of inflation. “I do tend to think inflation’s going to pick up and that will be the reason why we ultimately […]

    Insurers face tougher EU scrutiny on pay

    {March 28th, 2014} by Jim Brunsden

    Bloomberg) — Insurers from Prudential Plc to Axa SA face tougher European Union oversight of compensation as the bloc seeks to crackdown on awards that could spur irresponsible risk taking. Draft European Commission plans would require insurers to defer handing over a “substantial portion” of bonuses for at least three years in a bid to […]

    Factoring Social Security Into Your Client’s Retirement Strategy

    {March 28th, 2014} by Deb Repya

    Social Security is a key source of retirement income. Almost 58 million Americans received benefits from Social Security in 2013 with 70 percent of those benefits going to retired workers and their dependents. Eighty-six percent of seniors (age 65 and older) depend on Social Security as one of their most important retirement income sources. Considering […]

    U.S. Ranks 19th On Retirement System

    {March 27th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Nations best equipped to meet the needs of future retirees emphasize simplicity of retirement plan design, according to a global retirement index issued by Natixis Global Asset Management. The Global Retirement Index survey provides some idea of where the United States ranks relative to other nations with regard to meeting retirement needs through its retirement […]

    Standard Life’s shares advance on Ignis purchase

    {March 27th, 2014} by Sarah Jones

    (Bloomberg) — Standard Life Plc climbed the most in 11 months after its investment arm agreed to buy Ignis Asset Management for 390 million pounds ($645 million), gaining 59 billion pounds of funds. The acquisition from Phoenix Group Holdings will increase third-party assets under management by 64 percent, and add to earnings per share in […]

    Retirement Wave Could Mean Golden Years For Workers

    {March 27th, 2014} by Erik Hare

    Baby boomers are hitting their so-called “golden years,” starting a retirement wave across the U.S. workforce that neither individuals nor the government are prepared for. Janice Durflinger, 76, poses for a photo at her workplace in Lincoln, Neb., Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. (AP/Nati Harnik)   While the idea of retirement may be appealing, especially with […]

    New York Life Extends Benefits Of Universal Life Product

    {March 27th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Asset Preserver, a single-premium universal life insurance product and a mainstay of New York Life’s insurance portfolio, has been broadened to help pay for expenses associated with long-term care, the company has announced. The policy, sold through agents and advisors, also boosts the value of the benefits available to pay for long-term care, the company […]

    Reaching the middle market on their (digital) terms

    {March 26th, 2014} by Stephen M. Gallagher and Eric E. Olson

    Middle income Americans know they need life insurance. And they’d probably prefer to buy it online. Exhaustive research of the middle market and its insurance buying habits identify clear trends. Click here to read…

    Fed bank fearful of insurance risks

    {March 26th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

    The growing use of captives is among “the rising and poorly-understood risks to the financial system” posed by the U.S. life industry, according to a new study commissioned by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. The report also singled out deep concern for the trend toward guaranty riders in variable annuities because of the shift […]

    18 Astonishing Social Media Stats for Financial Advisors

    {March 26th, 2014} by Amy McIlwain

    Have you been wondering if your target demographic is using social media? Can you reach them? Do they want to interact with a financial professional on social sites? The answer is YES! Not only are more boomers, seniors, and affluent consumers using social media, they’re engaged and sharing information. If you’re not on the social […]

    Schafer: Two similar firms differ wildly on CEO pay

    {March 26th, 2014} by LEE SCHAFER , Star Tribune

    Thrivent Financial and Ameriprise Financial are far more alike than they are different, both big financial services firms with headquarters just a block from each other in downtown Minneapolis. Both manage money and sell financial products like annuities through a network of representatives. There are big differences, of course. Thrivent is organized for the benefit […]

    Iowa Court: Breastfeeding Employee Can’t Sue Nationwide Mutual Insurance

    {March 26th, 2014} by Ryan J. Foley

    Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. did not discriminate against an employee who claims she was denied a room to pump breast milk and pressured to resign on her first day back from maternity leave, a federal appeals court in Iowa has ruled. Angela Ames, a former loss-mitigation specialist in Nationwide’s Des Moines office, did not meet […]

    Principal faces lawsuit over retirement service fees

    {March 26th, 2014} by IFAwebnews Staff

    Principal Life Insurance Co., a division of Des Moines, Iowa-based Principal Financial Group, was recently hit with a lawsuit claiming it is overcharging for its retirement services. McCaffree Financial Corp., based in Overland Park, Kan., alleges in the suit that Principal is charging “grossly excessive” fees on a retirement plan Principal operates for McCaffre. McCaffree […]

    Gender gaps exist in concern for retirement, immediate financial needs

    {March 26th, 2014} by IFAwebnews Staff

    Women around the world today are more concerned than men are about immediate financial needs and concerns — and are more likely than men to overlook longer-term financial priorities such as planning effectively for their retirement, according to the first-ever Global Investor Pulse Survey recently conducted by BlackRock. The survey, which polled more than 17,500 […]

    M&A activity light in 2013, Conning says

    {March 26th, 2014} by IFAwebnews Staff

    Last year proved to be a weak one for deal flow in the insurance industry—particularly in risk-bearing sectors, according to a new study by Conning. “Mergers and acquisitions activity lagged in 2013 in all insurance sectors except distribution,” said Jerry Theodorou, analyst at Conning. “Property-casualty transactions—driven by the mildly improving economy—still declined to the lowest […]

    Springtime is a special time for Sheryl J. Moore and family!

    {March 25th, 2014} by Jamie Johnson

    We are very excited to welcome the newest member of our extended Wink family: Jackson Alexander Moore! Jackson is the son of Sheryl J. Moore (CEO of Wink and Moore Market Intelligence) and her husband Jeremiah. He is baby brother to sisters: Lexi and Aaliyah Betts. Jackson was born on the night of March 23rd […]

    Wink CEO: Indexed Annuities Made Up Nearly 46% of All US Fixed Annuity Sales in 2013

    {March 25th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

    PLEASANT HILL, Iowa – As sales rose for the fifth consecutive year in 2013, indexed annuities also made up nearly 46% of all fixed annuity sales, while two of the top five companies are now owned by private-equity firms, according to the chief executive officer of Wink Inc. Total sales of indexed annuities in the […]

    Experts Square Off On Capital Standards For Insurers

    {March 25th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Bank-centric capital standards would be unsuitable for the nation’s insurers and create an unnecessary regulatory universe for insurers that operate on a very different business model than banks, experts told Congress last week. At issue is whether Section 171 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act gives federal regulators enough latitude to […]

    US companies rate highly against international peers in the competitive Asia region, new Telstra Global survey finds

    {March 25th, 2014} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    NEW YORK,March 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — US companies operating in the high growth Asian region are boldly achieving success, according to a new Telstra Global survey released today. An impressive 68 percent of US-headquartered businesses in the region have met their financial and strategic objectives over the last three years. The report identified the top […]

    Managing Gen Y: What Advisors Must Know

    {March 25th, 2014} by Kenneth Corbin

    For all the angst in the advisory industry about succession planning and how Generation Y will fit into the practice, advisor John Augenblick suggests that maybe younger workers aren’t so different after all… WASHINGTON — For all the angst in the advisory industry about succession planning and how Generation Y will fit into the practice, […]

    Exclusive Index Allocation Now Offered on Allianz Life Pro+ Fixed Index Universal Life Insurance Policy

    {March 25th, 2014} by N/A

    Popular Barclays US Dynamic Balance Index now available on innovative FIUL product MINNEAPOLIS — Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) today announced the launch of a new index allocation on the Allianz Life Pro+® Fixed Index Universal Life (FIUL) Insurance Policy. Allianz Life Pro+ provides death benefit protection for beneficiaries, as well […]

    ING U.S. Announces Completion of Sale of ING U.S. Common Stock by ING Group

    {March 25th, 2014} by PRNewswire

    NEW YORK, March 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — ING U.S., Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), which will rebrand as Voya Financial, Inc. in 2014, announced today that ING Groep N.V. (“ING Group”) has completed its sale of approximately 37.7 million shares of ING U.S. common stock, including 7,255,853 shares that were repurchased by ING U.S. As a result, […]

    New IRI Research Provides Insight On Client-Advisor Discussions

    {March 25th, 2014} by N/A

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today released new research findings that show investors are turning to financial advisors for retirement planning help. The survey provides a snapshot of these retirement planning conversations, with many discussions focusing on determining and meeting retirement savings goals. The survey also found that a majority of investors […]

    More Women Than Men Outliving Their Resources, Surviving In Poverty

    {March 25th, 2014} by Rachel Raskin-Zrihen, Times-Herald, Vallejo, Calif., McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

    More women are living longer and this could be bad news for too many of them, experts say. “Women have a range of lifelong challenges that conspire against them remaining fiscally comfortable in their old age,” said Robert MacLaughlin of California’s Assembly Committee on Aging and Long-term Care. “They risk spending their last years in […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Securian Financial Group, Inc.’s Subsidiaries

    {March 24th, 2014} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of Minnesota Life Insurance Company (Minnesota Life) and its subsidiary, Securian Life Insurance Company (Securian Life). In addition, A.M. Best has affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and ICR of “a” of Securian Casualty […]

    SEC Promises To Speed Decision On Uniform Fiduciary Standards

    {March 24th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Rule-making options surrounding uniform fiduciary standards for broker-dealers and investment advisors are “an immediate and high priority,” Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairwoman Mary Jo White said. White, speaking at a meeting of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), also said she had directed her staff to “evaluate all of the potential options available to […]

    Canada Pension Plan to acquire Wilton Re for $1.8B

    {March 24th, 2014} by Katia Dmitrieva and Zachary Tracer

    Bloomberg) — Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the nation’s largest pension fund manager, agreed to buy Wilton Re Holdings Ltd. for $1.8 billion to expand into the life insurance business. The reinsurer is being acquired from investors including Stone Point Capital, Kelso & Co. and Vestar Capital Partners Inc., the Toronto-based fund manager said today […]

    Finance, insurance docs take top spots as most complex

    {March 24th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    Lengthy policy application forms and underwriting times have long been complaints that consumers have leveled against life insurers. And the complaints don’t stop at the point of purchase. A new survey by Siegelvision indicates that insurance and annuity statements are among the top five most confusing vendor communications. More than half of consumers polled in […]

    Texas Insurance Agent Gets 4 Years For Theft

    {March 24th, 2014} by The Associated Press

    GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — AHouston-area insurance agent whose company included the word “integrity” in its name has been sentenced to four years in prison for stealing from about 40 clients. A judge inGalveston on Monday sentencedChristopher Vernon Murphy in a plea agreement and ordered him to repay about$75,000. Investigators say Murphy pleaded guilty to theft […]

    Social Media For Advisors: How To Get Started

    {March 24th, 2014} by Kenneth Corbin

    WASHINGTON — Advisors can cite any number of reasons to steer clear of social media in their practice, but firms that resist new online channels altogether do so at their own peril. That’s the message delivered byMarie Swift — president and CEO of a public relations and marketing firm catering to independent advisors — during […]

    Prudential Financial’s Retirement Unit Names New Head of Investments for Full-Service Business

    {March 21st, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

    NEWARK, N.J. – Prudential Financial Inc.’s retirement business named Srinivas Reddy to a newly created position overseeing investments for its full-service business. He will be responsible for all aspects of the investment and retirement-income businesses within Prudential Retirement. This business consists of $170 billion in assets under administration and relationships with more than 60 affiliate […]

    NAILBA Switches E&O Carrier After 10 Years

    {March 21st, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    After a decade with American International Group (AIG), the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA) has switched professional liability carriers to Everest Indemnity Insurance, for errors and omissions (E&O) coverage. The move represents an adjustment to AIG’s business model, said Robert G. Erzen, area vice president with Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., NAILBA’s […]

    Lifetime Income Estimates Helpful, But Not Habit-Changing

    {March 21st, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    An analysis of the 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) found that employees are unlikely to make big changes to their retirement savings habits even when they know how much retirement income they are likely to receive based on current account retirement balances. If the income projections aren’t likely to […]

    8 tips for working with high-net-worth clients

    {March 21st, 2014} by Paul Wilson

    Andrea Blackwelder, CFP, ChFC, co-founder of Wisdom Wealth Strategies in Denver, Colo., has worked with all types of clients over the years. But at this point in her career, she says “working with affluent people and the complex situations they bring is where it gets really fun.” Here are seven tips she shared about working […]

    Pacific Life Promotes Officers

    {March 21st, 2014} by Jennifer Morrell

    Pacific Life Insurance Co., a provider of life insurance products, annuities and mutual funds, announced eight officer promotions. Howard Hirakawa, CFA, has been promoted to senior VP, investment advisor operations, corporate division. Hirakawa joined Pacific Life in 1990 and will oversee portfolio management, product development, operations and compliance, fund board relationships, and reporting functions relating […]

    Financial Firms, Optimize that Facebook Fan Page!

    {March 21st, 2014} by Amy McIlwain

    Because more and more people and businesses join social media networks everyday, it is increasingly important to optimize your social profiles. In the past you have heard us talking about how to optimize your LinkedIn profile and best practices for updating your Twitter profile, so now it is Facebook’s turn!  And what better time than […]

    ING Group Raises Nearly $1.2 Billion With

    {March 21st, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

    AMSTERDAM – ING Group raised nearly US$1.2 billion with the sale of shares of common stock in its ING U.S. Inc. unit. With the sale, the Netherlands-based parent company no longer has a majority stake in the U.S. subsidiary. Earlier this week, ING Group said it planned to sell about 33.5 million shares of common […]

    Largest life insurance policy bought at $201M

    {March 21st, 2014} by Emily Holbrook

    Many tech executives in the Silicon Valley are worth millions and some have purchased life insurance policies to protect those millions once they are no longer there to do so. But one individual went above and beyond the normal scope of life insurance policies. An unnamed Silicon Valley billionaire recently took out the largest life […]

    John Hancock Insurance Enhances Protection UL

    {March 21st, 2014} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    BOSTON,March 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —  John Hancock Insurance today announced enhancements to its flagship current assumption universal life product, Protection UL. The company said more competitive premiums are now available on all lump sum and single-pay scenarios, resulting in a more attractive product. These enhancements apply to all new business and inforce Protection UL ’13 […]

    6 tragic celebrity estate plans

    {March 20th, 2014} by Vanessa De La Rosa

    Many celebrities accumulate large, diversified fortunes, have complicated family lives, and are greeted at every corner by family, friends and acquaintances looking for some extra dough. While less-than-perfect estate planning is certainly rampant among all socio-economic classes, an affluent celebrity’s failure to create a properly drafted will and an explicitly clear estate plan can result […]

    Advisors Must Slow Down To Tell Consumers About IRA Importance

    {March 20th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Advisor Dan Keady’s favorite four-letter word is “slow,” as in “slow down.” Financial advisors, he said, need to downshift when talking about individual retirement accounts (IRAs), tax-advantaged accounts like Roth IRAs, and annuity investments for retirement. “We as advisors have been in the business for so many years,” he said. “We hear the word IRA […]

    ING Group to Sell 33.5 Million Shares of ING US; First-Quarter Loss of About $2.8 Billion May Be Result

    {March 20th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

    AMSTERDAM – ING Group said it plans to sell about 33.5 million shares of common stock of ING U.S. Inc., representing about a 12% stake in its U.S.-based insurance, retirement and investment subsidiary. ING Group would use the money to reduce its core debt. Assuming deconsolidation of ING U.S., the sale of these shares would […]

    Can an adviser thrive in a virtual office?

    {March 20th, 2014} by Joyce Hanson

    A young planner is shutting down his offices, saying his clients prefer working in a virtual world Alan Moore is a young adviser with an unusual plan for the future — it involves shutting down his year-old office in Bozeman, Mont., this week. Come May, a month after he turns 27, he will then take […]

    ING Groep raises $1.18B selling US insurer stock

    {March 20th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer

    (Bloomberg) — ING Groep NV, the biggest Dutch financial-services company, raised $1.18 billion with a sale of shares in its U.S. insurance unit as the parent company ended its majority stake. The Dutch company sold 26.5 million shares in a public offering at $35.23 apiece, yesterday’s closing price in New York, ING U.S. said in […]

    Federal Roundup

    {March 19th, 2014} by Capcity Associates

    Tax Reform As expected, Congress recently raised the debt ceiling with little contentious debate. This move comes after a bipartisan omnibus spending measure passed in January. With these policy debates being settled, Congress is now in a position to refocus attention on tax reform. However, the recent bipartisanship is expected to fade fast as strong […]

    Apollo Insurer Boosts Capital-Raise Plan to $1 Billion

    {March 19th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer

    Athene Holding Ltd., the insurer controlled by Leon Black’s Apollo Global Management LLC (APO), doubled its capital-raising goal to $1 billion to add funds for acquisitions. The insurer plans to finalize an offering for the new target within 30 days, the Bermuda-based company said today in a slide presentation. The shares will be sold at […]

    ING: Ignore erroneous filing on $1.2B US share sale

    {March 19th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer

    (Bloomberg) — ING Groep NV, the biggest Dutch financial-services company, told investors to disregard a regulatory filing that outlined plans to sell more shares in its U.S. life insurance unit. “It was an error,” Raymond Vermeulen, an ING spokesman, said by phone. “Anything in the filing which says something about what we might be doing […]

    Donating Life Insurance Nets Your Client A Tax Deduction

    {March 19th, 2014} by Alan Lavine

    It’s possible for philanthropic-minded clients to donate their life insurance to charity and get an attractive tax deduction. And not just for high-net-worth clients. Say your client paid in$50,000 in premiums for a$300,000 death benefit over the years. When the client dies, the charity may get that death benefit or more, depending upon the nature […]

    Advisors, Beware: Computers Might Steal Your Jobs

    {March 19th, 2014} by Paula Vasan

    As a financial advisor, your job may be at risk in the next decade or two. It’s not the economy that’s the culprit here. Or the studies that have shown younger generations are more apt to bypass the advisor, putting traditional advisory jobs in jeopardy. Rather, the threat stems from mobile robots and ‘smart’ computers, […]

    NAIFA Looks At The Future Of The Advisor

    {March 19th, 2014} by N/A

    NASHVILLE, March 16 – Rapid marketplace and demographic shifts are having profound effects on insurance and financial advisors and will significantly reshape the industry by 2020, according to a new book, Advisor 2020: The Forces and Opportunities Shaping the Financial Services Advisor of the Future. The book, published by the GAMA Foundation and sponsored by […]

    A Registered Index Annuity Takes Off

    {March 19th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    An insurance company that primarily serves credit union members did the unexpected: It sold nearly $90 million in a new type of annuity during the closing months of last year. The policy is a registered index annuity, and it is offered by MEMBERS Life, a subsidiary of CMFG Life and a member of the CUNA […]

    Carriers Showcase Women’s Initiatives

    {March 19th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    In honor of Women’s History Month in March, insurance carriers are showcasing their efforts to promote women and offer networking platforms for them in an industry that remains male dominated, even among the advisor ranks. Penn Mutual announced its “Women Leaders on the Power of Relationships.” The Web-based series features first-person inspirational accounts of people […]

    Court: Nationwide Insurance Did Not Discriminate Against Breastfeeding Employee

    {March 19th, 2014} by N/A

    An Iowa appeals court says Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. didn’t discriminate against a breastfeeding mother who resigned under pressure on her first day back from maternity leave. Angela Ames, an employee in its Des Moines office, claims that she resigned in 2010 after a female superior told her that it would be “best that you […]

    Fourth Quarter 2013 Indexed Insurance Sales

    {March 18th, 2014} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Indexed Annuity Wink’s Sales & Market Report, 4th Quarter 2013 shows fourth quarter 2013 indexed annuity sales were $11,544 million, compared with sales of $8,547 million for the fourth quarter of 2012. Fourth quarter indexed annuity sales were up nearly 15% when compared to the previous quarter, and up more than 35% when compared with […]

    Wink, Inc. Releases Fourth Quarter, 2013 Indexed Sales Results

    {March 18th, 2014} by Wink, Inc.

        News Release INDEXED LIFE AND ANNUITY SALES CONTINUE THEIR RECORD BREAKING SALES STREAK! Wink, Inc. Releases Fourth Quarter, 2013 Indexed Sales Results Pleasant Hill, Iowa. March 13, 2014- Forty-four indexed annuity carriers participated in the 66th edition of Wink’s Sales & Market Report, representing 99.8% of indexed annuity production. Total fourth quarter sales […]

    Fidelity & Guaranty Life Launches Uncapped FIA Index Option

    {March 18th, 2014} by PRNewswire

    FGL’s Performance Pro Offers Potential for Higher Income DES MOINES, Iowa, March 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Fidelity & Guaranty Life /quotes/zigman/25172716/delayed/quotes/nls/fglFGL-1.83% and leading provider of fixed indexed annuity (FIA) and fixed indexed universal life products, today announced the launch of Performance Pro, an innovative FIA offering. […]

    Legacy Launches Legendmark Series Of Annuities

    {March 18th, 2014} by Legacy Marketing Group

    Choice of crediting options, unique GMWB rider, and up to 10% bonus offer exceptional growth and income opportunities PETALUMA, CA, March 17, 2014—Legacy Marketing Group® is excited to announce the launch of LegendMark Series flexible premium deferred fixed indexed annuities issued by Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company. Designed for consumers seeking exceptional growth and […]

    ING Files With SEC to Accommodate Reduction in Interest in ING US

    {March 18th, 2014} by Marie Suszynski

    AMSTERDAM – ING Group said its U.S.-based retirement, investment and insurance businesses subsidiary, ING U.S. Inc., has filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to accommodate any future transactions to reduce ING Group’s current 57% interest in ING U.S. However, the “final structure, timing, size and offer price for the possible […]

    Indexed annuities had record sales in 2013

    {March 18th, 2014} by Victor Epstein

    The indexed annuities industry benefited from surging stock markets in 2013, which helped boost its annual sales to a new record for the fifth consecutive year. The industry, which has a heavy presence in the Des Moines area, reported that its annual sales rose 13.4 percent from the prior year to $38.7 billion, according to […]

    Individual Life Sales Flat In 2013

    {March 17th, 2014} by N/A

    WINDSOR, Conn., March 13, 2014 — After three consecutive years of positive growth, individual life insurance new annualized premium growth was flat in 2013. Individual life insurance new annualized premium fell 8 percent in the fourth quarter, erasing the first half of the year’s growth. “The drop in individual life insurance premium was primarily driven […]

    Top 20 annuity sales leaders for 2013

    {March 17th, 2014} by LIMRA

    According to our sales survey, Jackson National Life Insurance Company sold $23.2 billion in annuity sales, representing the top seller of total annuities in 2013. Most of the Jackson National Life’s annuity sales were variable annuities ($20.9 billion), making it also the top seller of variable annuities in 2013. New York Life Insurance Company held […]

    Annuity update: Annuity sales reach $61.9B in Q4 2013

    {March 17th, 2014} by LIMRA

    Total annuity sales hit $61.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013 representing an increase of 17 percent — the largest quarterly percentage increase in 11 years, according to LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute (SRI). For full year 2013, annuity sales were $230.1 billion, a 5 percent increase over 2012. Fourth quarter sales of indexed annuities […]

    Silicon Valley Billionaire Sets Record With $201M Life Policy

    {March 17th, 2014} by Peter Delevett, San Jose Mercury News

    March 15– Is it Larry Ellison? Elon Musk? Zuck? Somewhere in Silicon Valley, a “mystery billionaire” has bought what the Guinness Book of World Records says is the most valuable life insurance policy in history: A pact that will pay his survivors a cool $201 million. Guinness officials said the figure more than doubles the […]

    SEC Won’t Rewrite Advisor Compliance Rules For Social Media

    {March 17th, 2014} by Kenneth Corbin

    As the Securities and Exchange Commission contemplates a framework for how advisors can incorporate online social tools into their practice, many of the established principles concerning compliance, record-keeping and anti-fraud will hold steady in the era of new media… ARLINGTON, VA. — As the SEC contemplates a framework for how advisors can incorporate online social […]

    Richer in retirement: Get hitched or stay hitched

    {March 17th, 2014} by Deborah L. Jacobs

    For all the buzz right now about gray divorce, it turns out that getting married ─ or staying married ─ is good for your bottom line during retirement. The flipside is that baby boomers who never married stand a greater chance of being broke during what ought to be their golden years. That’s the upshot […]

    Identifying and attracting the next generation of advisers

    {March 17th, 2014} by Devin DeStefano

    In my last article, I suggested that as an industry, one of the key opportunities (and one of our existing challenges) is to identify and attract talent people to become financial advisers. Let me be clear, I am not saying that collectively we blindly hire untalented people as a normal course of business, but in […]

    Variable annuities still weigh on 3 U.S. life insurers

    {March 16th, 2014} by Staff Writer

    According to a report by Moody’s Investor Service, variable annuities continue to “negatively impact the balance sheets of the three largest variable annuity writers.” Those three being: Prudential, Jackson National and MetLife. “Balance sheet headaches are lingering long after the end of the financial crisis,” says Scott Robinson, a Moody’s senior vice president. “The steep […]

    U.S. indexed annuity sales reach record $36.8 billion in 2013

    {March 16th, 2014} by N/A

    Indexed annuity sales in the United States reached another record in the fourth quarter, with sales of $11.5 billion, a more than 35 percent increase from the year-earlier period, according to the newest edition of Wink’s Sales & Market Report, which tracks the industry. Annual indexed annuity sales also reached a record $36.8 billion, a […]

    The Top Seven Challenges Facing Insurance Agents

    {March 16th, 2014} by Liz Elfman

    The beginning of a new year is always a good time for reflection; both about lessons learned from the past, and about what the future will bring. In that spirit, Insurance Forums has collected some thoughts from around our community about the challenges currently facing producers, given the insurance industry climate at present. While everyone […]

    What insurance agents can learn from great leaders in history

    {March 14th, 2014} by Justin Brown

    When you hear the names Steve Jobs and Martin Luther King, Jr. (or Sara Blakely, whose name you may not recognize), the words “persistent, passionate and visionary” should spring to mind. The words “insurance agent,” however, probably seems a little out of place when talking about these great leaders in business and history. But there […]

    MassMutual Brings Three Experts in Diversity Onboard to Better Serve Multicultural Marketplace

    {March 14th, 2014} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    Prior to coming to MassMutual, Karasmeighan held positions with the Gay& Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute and led the National Gay& Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s interactions between the national, Washington DC- based organization and more than 45 state and local GLBT chambers of commerce. Karasmeighan reports to Megan Nolan, Assistant Vice President of… SPRINGFIELD, Mass.,March […]

    The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company Celebrates Women Associates with its “Power of Relationships” Campaign

    {March 14th, 2014} by PR Web

    The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, a more than 167- year-old company, announced the launch of“ Women Leaders on the Power of Relationships,” a web-based series of inspirational stories where Penn Mutual’ s women leaders discuss their own personal histories. “As these stories reveal, the lives and careers of Penn Mutual’ s female associates have […]

    Advisors Prepare Soldiers For Cuts From Service

    {March 14th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    With the Pentagon wielding the budget ax, thousands of men and women won’t be wearing fatigues much longer. As they shed their government-issued overalls, they’ll be walking away from generous government insurance programs as well… With the Pentagon wielding the budget ax, thousands of men and women won’t be wearing fatigues much longer. As they […]

    Must-Have Apps for Financial Advisors

    {March 14th, 2014} by Amy McIlwain

    Just like a lot of business owners, financial advisors need to find ways to streamline their digital business management. Luckily, developers understand and therefore continue to roll out apps designed to make all of our lives easier. Here is our list of must-have apps to simplify your day-to-day transactions:   Evernote lets you take notes […]

    Wink, Inc. Releases Fourth Quarter, 2013 Indexed Sales Results

    {March 14th, 2014} by Press Release

    Indexed Life and Annuity Sales Continue Their Record Breaking Sales Streak Wink, Inc. Releases Fourth Quarter, 2013 Indexed Sales Results Pleasant Hill, Iowa. March 13, 2014- Forty-four indexed annuity carriers participated in the 66th edition of Wink’s Sales & Market Report, representing 99.8% of indexed annuity production. Total fourth quarter sales were $11.5 billion. In […]

    Indexed annuity sales hit $11.5 billion in Q4 2013

    {March 14th, 2014} by Daniel Williams

    Total fourth quarter sales hit $11.5 billion for indexed annuities, according to the latest Wink’s Sales & Market Report. The numbers trended up as indexed annuity sales rose 15 percent from the previous quarter and grew 35 percent compared to the same period a year ago. According to Wink’s, data from forty-four indexed annuity carriers […]

    Some Advisors Have Trouble Going With The Flow

    {March 14th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Advisors looking to spruce up their businesses with an eye toward selling the business in the next few years may want to examine their workflow procedures and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, according to a report. Smoother workflows and efficient CRM processes enhance their firm’s value in the eyes of potential buyers. But many advisors […]

    Public Is Unrealistic On Annuity Income

    {March 14th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Advisors have some work to do when it comes to explaining how much retirement income an annuity can provide as the vast majority of households have unrealistic expectations about how much in lump-sum premium is required to generate $500 a month. Perhaps this discrepancy explains why so many American households are unprepared or underprepared for […]

    FINRA sends broker bonus plan to SEC for approval

    {March 14th, 2014} by Melanie Waddell

    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority took another step forward in mid-March to require brokers to disclose recruitment compensation paid to them as an incentive to move to a new firm by sending the plan to the Securities and Exchange Commission for approval. The regulator raised the threshold of payments that would need to be reported. […]

    IA Sales Continue Breaking Records

    {March 13th, 2014} by Wink

    Pleasant Hill, Iowa. March 13, 2014- Forty-four indexed annuity carriers participated in the 66th edition of Wink’s Sales & Market Report, representing 99.8% of indexed annuity production. Total fourth quarter sales were $11.5 billion. In reviewing fourth quarter indexed annuity sales, production was up nearly 15.0% when compared to the previous quarter, and up more […]

    John Hancock Shifts Focus

    {March 13th, 2014} by Deirdre Fernandes, Globe Staff

    John Hancock built its 152-year-old brand by selling life insurance, but theBoston company is shifting its emphasis — and its advertising — toward more-profitable financial services, such as wealth management and mutual funds. The change follows sales declines for some of Hancock’s core insurance products. Life insurance sales have dropped 12 percent since 2010, while […]

    Indexed annuity sales hit $11.5 billion in Q4 2013

    {March 13th, 2014} by Daniel Williams

    Total fourth quarter sales hit $11.5 billion for indexed annuities, according to the latest Wink’s Sales & Market Report. The numbers trended up as indexed annuity sales rose 15 percent from the previous quarter and grew 35 percent compared to the same period a year ago. According to Wink’s, data from forty-four indexed annuity carriers […]

    Comparing Bonds to Annuities

    {March 13th, 2014} by Bob Carlson

    Can you build a bond portfolio that provides better retirement income security than an immediate annuity? Economists and many financial advisors believe some portion of a retiree’s portfolio should be placed in immediate annuities. There are a lot of types of annuities out there, so let’s be clear. We’re talking here only about annuities that […]

    Investors prefer business pitches from handsome men, U.S. study finds

    {March 12th, 2014} by Richard Valdmanis

    (Reuters) – Investors are more likely to put money into a business idea pitched by a man than a woman, and even more so if the man is good looking, according to a new study. The research, published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and authored by researchers from MIT, […]

    Insurers Urge Lawmakers Not to Impose Bank Capital Requirements on Industry

    {March 12th, 2014} by Cheyenne Hopkins

    Insurance companies will urge U.S. lawmakers today to stop the Federal Reserve from imposing bank- like capital standards on their industry. A provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act that overhauled U.S. financial regulation requires the Fed to set minimum capital and leverage standards on non-bank firms, including insurance companies like Prudential Financial Inc. Insurance companies […]

    FINRA Disclosure Proposal Heads To SEC

    {March 12th, 2014} by Andrew Welsch

    FINRA has filed a proposal with the SEC requiring advisors to disclose recruitment bonuses to their clients when switching firms, according to documents posted on FINRA’s website. The proposed rule would require advisors changing firms to disclose the financial incentives they were given, if those incentives are $100,000 or more of either upfront recruitment bonuses […]

    Identity thieves are busy during tax season

    {March 12th, 2014} by Ed Richter, Journal-News, Hamilton, Ohio

    March 12– Identity theft is a growing crime across the nation. More than$20 billion was stolen from 13 million victims in 2012, according to a recent research report. In addition, theFederal Trade Commission said online scams doubled from just more than 20 percent of all frauds in 2007 to nearly 40 percent in 2011. As […]

    National Western Life Posts 2013 4th Quarter and Full Year Earnings

    {March 12th, 2014} by Proquest LLC

    Ross R. Moody, President of National Western Life Insurance Company, announced fourth quarter 2013 consolidated net earnings of $27.8 million, or $7.87 per diluted Class A common share, compared with consolidated net earnings of $25.2 million, or$7.14 per diluted Class A common share, for the fourth quarter of 2012. In a release onMarch 7, the […]

    Lincoln Financial Group Introduces Next Generation of Long Term Care Funding Solution, Lincoln MoneyGuard® II

    {March 12th, 2014} by BusinessWire

    Life–Long-Term Care Combination Product Offers Increased Benefit and Premium Flexibility Lincoln Financial Group March 11, 2014 8:00 AM    RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Lincoln Financial Group (LNC) today announced the launch of Lincoln MoneyGuard® II, the next-generation of its hybrid life-long term care (LTC) funding solution. As advisors work with clients to help protect savings from the […]

    Zurich to Cut 800 Jobs Worldwide, Aims to Save $250 Million by 2015

    {March 12th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

    ZURICH – Zurich Insurance Group will cut up to 800 jobs globally as part of the multiline insurer’s plan to streamline its structure to reduce costs in its effort to meet its “strategic priorities” through 2016. The proposed changes, in which Zurich must consult with employees and their representatives, would lead to about US$250 million […]

    Jackson Reports Record Income In 2013

    {March 12th, 2014} by Jackson National Life Insurace Company

    LANSING, Mich. March 12, 2014 Jackson National Life Insurance Company® (Jackson®) generated a record level of $2.0 billion in IFRS pretax operating income during 2013, an increase of 28.0 percent over 2012. IFRS net income for December 31, 2013 was $730 million. Jackson also reported record total sales and deposits of $27.3 billion, 7.3 percent […]

    CNO to sell Conseco stock, Bankers Life regains traditional life block

    {March 12th, 2014} by IFAwebnews Staff

    CNO Financial Group Inc. announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell 100% of the common stock of Conseco Life Insurance Co., a wholly owned life insurance subsidiary consisting primarily of closed block interest-sensitive and traditional life insurance and annuities, to Wilton Reassurance Co. The transaction, when completed, will reduce statutory run-off reserves […]

    Will the situation in Russia increase life and annuity sales?

    {March 12th, 2014} by Nicholas Paleveda

    Every time the USA faces a crisis, real or imagined, the stock market stumbles. We saw one take place in 2001 during the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. It happened again with the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. Click here to read…

    Investors who get MetLife may find it pays -Barron’s

    {March 12th, 2014} by N/A

    (Reuters) – MetLife Inc is by some measures one of the cheapest Standard & Poor’s 500 stocks, and its shares could rise because the largest publicly-traded U.S. life insurer has a attractive global franchise and astute management, and may hike its dividend significantly, Barron’s said in its March 10 edition. With a stock price of […]

    How to Ace All the Presentations of Life

    {March 11th, 2014} by Paul Feldman

    You are probably really good at making presentations. InsuranceNewsNet readers tend to be advanced sales professionals, and people do not achieve that level of performance without being excellent presenters. You probably also want to be great. People who read this monthly feature want to improve themselves in every way they can. This month, we’re featuring […]

    Time to take a cold, hard look at your website

    {March 11th, 2014} by Craig Faulkner

    The stock photography from 1985, that goofy animated banner, and those crooked pages that no one bothered to fix. Its time to give your website a makeover. When it comes to reshaping your practice, there are a lot of loose ends, but there’s one that most advisers put off year after year — their website. […]

    Penn Mutual Introduces a High Participation Account Option for Its Accumulation Builder Choice (SM) Indexed Universal Life Product

    {March 11th, 2014} by The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company

    The High Participation 1 Year S&P 500® Indexed Account option is one of four indexed accounts available with Penn Mutual’s Accumulation Builder Choice IUL product.   The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company Horsham, PA (PRWEB) March 05, 2014 The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, a more than 167-year-old company, is pleased to announce the addition […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company and Its Subsidiary

    {March 11th, 2014} by Adam Cufr

    A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A+ (Superior) and the issuer credit ratings of “aa-” of Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company (Penn Mutual Life) (Horsham, PA) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Penn Insurance and Annuity Company (PIA) (Wilmington, DE) (together referred to as Penn Mutual). A.M. Best also has affirmed the debt […]

    How ING Advisors Are Using Social Media To Connect With Clients

    {March 11th, 2014} by Penny Crosman

    Now that regulators have finalized their guidance for financial institutions on approved uses of social media, firms are just starting to let their financial advisors communicate with customers in social networks — but with great caution so as not to violate a new rule. ING U.S. is a case in point. It recently began letting […]

    State Department of Insurance Warns About the Dangers of Stranger-Originated Life Insurance Arrangements or STOLIs

    {March 11th, 2014} by Targeted News Service

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill.,March 4 –The Illinois Department of Insurance issued the following news release: Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) DirectorAndrew Boron is warning consumers about stranger-originated life insurance arrangements. Unlike a traditional life insurance policy where a consumer initiates the application for insurance and the insured loved ones are beneficiaries of the death benefits, a stranger-originated […]

    AIG focusing on Benmosche successor

    {March 11th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

    American International Group is currently focusing on evaluating current personnel as the successor for Robert Benmosche as president and CEO, Benmosche said today. In comments on Fox Business Network today, Benmosche said he is suggesting that the company also take a look at external candidates to ensure the company has the right leadership to succeed […]

    The Tax Surprise

    {March 11th, 2014} by Steven A. Morelli

    Advisors have a good news/bad news proposition for wealthy clients this tax season. The bad news is mostly for the clients. The good news is that tax season brings planning opportunities for financial advisors and insurance agents. The bad news is that between new taxes, old taxes with new increases and existing taxes, the 2013 […]

    How to protect retirees’ nest eggs from the ravages of inflation

    {March 11th, 2014} by Van Mueller

    Our clients are facing a serious challenge: Inflation! People do not understand inflation. In fact, many actually interpret inflation as deflation. Click here to read…

    Women view threats to financial maintenance more seriously

    {March 11th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    Financial conservatism and wariness toward risk-taking is higher among women worldwide than it is among men. So reports Blackrock in a new Global Investor Pulse Survey. The research polled more than 17,500 respondents in 12 nations, including almost 9,000 women globally. Click here to read…

    MetLife on Sale for Peanuts

    {March 11th, 2014} by ANDREW BARY

    An underappreciated MetLife is one of the cheapest stocks in the S&P 500 based on earnings and book value. Shares of the largest publicly traded U.S. life insurer fetch around $53, just nine times projected 2014 profit of $5.69 a share and 1.1 times a conservative measure of book value that excludes unrealized investment gains […]

    Lawmakers To Push Fed To Loosen Insurer Rules

    {March 11th, 2014} by Donna Borak

    Lawmakers will hold their first hearing Tuesday on an issue that has largely mystified regulators: how to craft capital rules for insurance companies. It is one of the biggest unanswered questions of the post-financial regulatory system nearly four years after the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, and has been raised frequently at other hearings onCapitol […]

    Guaranteed Universal Life: The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

    {March 11th, 2014} by JOSH O'GARA

    One of the largest benefactors of the “flight to safety” after the crash of 2008 was the guaranteed universal life insurance policy. Although it was introduced in the 1990s as an alternative to expensive whole life and risky variable life, the product didn’t truly catch on until the 2000s, when interest rates began falling and […]

    SEC To Accelerate Uniform Fiduciary Push

    {March 10th, 2014} by Kenneth Corbin

    ARLINGTON, VA. – Even as the SEC has been focusing on implementation of the Volcker Rule and the JOBS Act, the head of the commission’s Division of Investment Management is reminding advisors that two items of keen interest to the segment remain very much on the agenda. The SEC is committed to moving forward on […]

    AIG Picks N.C. For Technology Center, 230 Jobs

    {March 10th, 2014} by 2014 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)

      By Andrew Dunn, The Charlotte Observer McClatchy-Tribune Information Services March 07–Insurance giant American International Group will put its new technology center uptown in the BB&T Center, the company announced Friday. AIG announced in December that it would bring 230 jobs to Charlotte in a unit that would develop software and technology to support the […]

    It’s Not All-About-Comp Anymore: LIMRA

    {March 10th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    A common thread in insurance circles is that compensation is what it takes to get on the shelf of independent agents, but LIMRA’s Patrick Leary has data that says otherwise. Conventional wisdom is that “it’s all about compensation or ‘who’s going to pay me more money,’” Leary said during LIMRA’s recent distribution conference in Wesley […]

    NAFA Announces Leadership For Key Positions

    {March 10th, 2014} by Targeted News Service

    MILWAUKEE, Wis.,March 7 –The National Association for Fixed Annuities issued the following news release: The National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) announced they are expanding their efforts to promote fixed annuities by welcoming Janet Terpening as its newest member of the NAFA team. Ms. Terpening joins current team membersScott Hinds who has been promoted to […]

    Why FINRA’s BrokerCheck Is Under Fire

    {March 10th, 2014} by Andrew Welsch

    FINRA’s BrokerCheck service for investors is facing criticism on multiple fronts. Several recent reports indicate that information may be missing in the reports provided to inquiring investors: While brokers themselves may fail to report their own financial issues or misconduct, FINRA may also fail to fully disclose a broker’s background. The Public Investors Arbitration Bar […]

    FINRA Foundation Study Finds Millennials Struggle Financially

    {March 10th, 2014} by George Smaragdis

    WASHINGTON—The FINRA Investor Education Foundation’s new study, The Financial Capability of Young Adults—A Generational View reveals that millennials display low levels of financial literacy, engage in problematic financial behaviors and express concerns about their debt. Low levels of financial literacy hamper most millennials, with only 24 percent of millennials able to answer four or five […]

    Aflac, Hartford, MetLife, Pru shares get ‘buy rating’

    {March 10th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    Just four out of 15 life insurers received a “buy” rating in a Sterne Agee industry report, released today. The report, authored by Sterne Agree Analyst John Nadel, gives “buy” ratings to Aflac, Hartford Financial Services Group, MetLife and Prudential Financial. Citing improving macroeconomic factors, among them today’s better-than-expected jobs report, as well as gains […]

    Women making progress, but gender gap remains

    {March 10th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    While the financial service industry has made much progress in its treatment of female employees and clients, a gender equality gap remains, according to a new BMO Wealth Management study. Released to mark International Women’s Day on March 8, the study finds that 83 percent of Canadians (including 79 percent of women) believe that the […]

    Annuity Complaints Drop But Annuity Grousing Has Not

    {March 10th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Reported complaint activity involving annuities is down, and not by just a hair. In 2013, it was down in the neighborhood of 20 percent compared to the year before and by even greater percentages when compared to the two years previous to that. The improving data contradicts reports about “all those annuity complaints” that some […]

    The Traits of the Ideal Indexed Annuity Buyer

    {March 9th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Advisors may not be doing enough to sell indexed annuities, but for those who are, there are some common best-practice traits these advisors share. Those who sell the most indexed annuities are more likely to target consumers between the ages of 40 and 49. These advisors are also more likely to present annuities to clients […]

    Debate Over Suitability Standards Rages On

    {March 7th, 2014} by Richard M. Weber

    “Snu?” The response to this old joke: “Not much. ‘Snu’ with you?” Well, for one thing, this column is “nu.” Having the privilege to be this column’s first writer, I’d like to tell you a little about the Society of Financial Service Professionals (FSP). Over the next few months, I’ll write about some of the […]

    Deloitte: Insurance M&A activity slows

    {March 7th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

    A new report by Deloitte indicates that merger-and-acquisition activity in the insurance industry was very slow, and reflects the huge overhang that low interest rates is having on life insurance industry growth. The Deloitte report said there was about a 40 percent decrease in the number of transactions in 2013 compared with 2012. Although the multiples […]

    Iowa Insurance Agent Pleads Guilty to Crafting Bogus Policies

    {March 7th, 2014} by N/A

    An insurance agent in northeast Iowa accused of creating fake life insurance policies to make more money has pleaded guilty to mail fraud. U.S. Attorney Kevin W. Techau says in a press release that 46-year-old Melissa Williams, of Dike, is scheduled to be arraigned soon in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids for one count […]

    A.M. Best Assigns Debt Rating to The Allstate Corporation’s Newly Issued Preferred Share Offering

    {March 7th, 2014} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has assigned a debt rating of “bbb” to the recently issued $747.5 million 6.625% non-cumulative perpetual preferred stock of The Allstate Corporation (Northbrook, IL) [NYSE: ALL]. The outlook assigned to the rating is stable. The proceeds from this offering are expected to be used for general corporate purposes. The methodology used […]

    RiverSource Boosts Universal Life With LTC Rider

    {March 7th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    RiverSource Life has introduced a universal life insurance policy with an accelerated benefit rider for long-term care to help pay for covered long-term care expenses, the company said in a government filing. It is the latest example of a life insurance company “bolting on” long-term care coverage onto a life insurance chassis. The base feature […]

    Sales of immediate annuities soar

    {March 7th, 2014} by Lisa Barron

    Despite low interest rates, sales of immediate annuities hit a record $8.3 billion last year,  compared to averaging less than a third of that in the late 1990s, according to new data released by the industry group Limra. Experts point to two main factors in the resurgence, the first being demographics. U.S. census projections show […]

    American Equity: Fixed Index Annuities Are Gaining Market Share

    {March 6th, 2014} by Best's News Service

    ORLANDO, Fla. – Iowa-based American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. is seeing more acceptance among brokers and banks for selling fixed index annuities, its primary product, as the products gain market share among annuities. Until now American Equity has sold its fixed index annuities through independent agents, but there’s potential to sell through brokers, dealers […]

    Advisor Survey 2014

    {March 5th, 2014} by LifeHealthPro and Retirement Advisor

    In the first annual Advisor Survey for Retirement Advisor and LifeHealthPro, personal producers weighed in on the topics that matter the most to the success of their practice, and on the trends they see for the year ahead. Survey Highlights Advisors were particularly bullish on the prospects of garnering a stronger clientele from the women […]

    John Hancock improves LTC rider on single life products

    {March 5th, 2014} by IFAwebnews Staff

    John Hancock Insurance announced that it has launched what it says is an improved long-term care (LTC) rider that is available on many of its life insurance products. The rider now provides greater design flexibility when insuring against rising costs of long-term care. “The need for long-term care represents one of the most significant financial […]

    How to get tax-free retirement income with life insurance

    {March 5th, 2014} by Danielle Andrus

    Life insurance can be a tough sell for advisors with clients who see it as an expense rather than an investment, and one that won’t even kick in until after they’re dead and gone anyway. What if they could use it in their tax planning, though? Kevin Kimbrough, principal of national sales at Saybrus Partners, […]

    Advisors May Help Cure Doctors’ Retirement Income Shortfall

    {March 5th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Financial advisors prospecting for new clients might want to check with their doctor. Even physicians, some of the highest paid salaried professionals in the U.S., could use help when it comes to retirement savings projections, a new Fidelity Investments study finds. Doctors, who earn an average of $299,000 annually, are on track through their employer-sponsored […]

    Analysis reveals states with best 401(k) plans

    {March 5th, 2014} by IFAwebnews Staff

    Research firm finds ‘strong’ plans nationwide, most along East Coast Judy Diamond Associates, a 401(k) plan intelligence provider for financial advisors, brokers and fund companies, released an analysis of the best states in which to have a 401(k) plan, revealing that Connecticut has the highest concentration of strong plans. In the Mid-Atlantic region, Delaware, Virginia, […]

    Commissioner Revokes Iowa Insurance Producer’s License

    {March 5th, 2014} by Targeted News Service

    DES MOINES, Iowa, March 4 –The Iowa Department of Commerce’s Insurance Division issued the following news release: Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart announced today that he has revoked the insurance producer license o fSarah Carry of Newton, Iowa. Carry consented to the revocation of her insurance producer license based on her misappropriation of a customer […]

    Legal & General Targets U.S. Acquisitions as Profit Gains

    {March 5th, 2014} by Sarah Jones

    Legal & General Group Plc (LGEN) said it’s targeting the U.S. for expansion after the U.K.’s biggest manager of pension assets posted higher earnings and an increased dividend. The London-based insurer increased its full-year operating profit 7 percent to 1.16 billion pounds ($1.9 billion) in 2013 and raised its final dividend 22 percent to 9.30 […]

    Annuity Deals Dominated M&As in 2013

    {March 5th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    The number of mergers and acquisitions in the life and health insurance sector dropped nearly 40 percent in 2013, according to Deloitte LLP. The slowdown may be a source of relief to insurance agents and advisors who have been concerned that too many deals in a year could harm industry stability or disrupt existing products […]

    FitchRatings: U.S. life insurers well positioned in 2014

    {March 5th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    U.S. life insurers are financially strong enough to navigate macroeconomic challenges in the year ahead, according to a new report. FitchRatings arrives at this conclusion in its “U.S. Insurance Guide 2014.” The special report provides ratings and fundamental forecasts for six insurance-related sectors, including life, property and casualty, global reinsurance, health and managed cared, plus […]

    3 celebrity estate lessons

    {March 5th, 2014} by Tom Nawrocki

    It’s easy to see the wealthy and famous celebrities as having it all — including a team of attorneys and estate planners to make sure their multimillion-dollar estates are well cared for. But lately there have been a series of stories of actors and athletes who cost their heirs millions of dollars through easily avoidable […]

    A.M. Best Places Ratings of Conseco Life Insurance Company Under Review With Positive Implications

    {March 5th, 2014} by A.M. Best

        OLDWICK, N.J., Mar 03, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) — A.M. Best has placed under review with positive implications the financial strength rating (FSR) of B- (Fair) and issuer credit rating (ICR) of “bb-” of Conseco Life Insurance Company (CLIC). CLIC is a life/health subsidiary of CNO Financial Group, Inc. (CNO Financial) [NYSE: CNO]. Both […]

    Allianz Life profits up 10 percent in 2013

    {March 4th, 2014} by Jennifer Bjorhus

    Rising interest rates are making annuities more attractive. Higher interest rates drove a turnaround for annuities in 2013, boosting profits at Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America. Operating profits at Allianz Life jumped 10 percent last year to $646 million, the Wayzata-based company said Thursday. Total premiums, or sales, climbed 4 percent from a […]

    Annuity Sales Jump Most Since 2002 on Interest Rates Gain

    {March 4th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer

    Sales of annuities jumped 17 percent in the fourth quarter, the biggest gain in 11 years, as higher bond yields buoyed insurers that offer the savings products. Insurers sold $61.9 billion of annuities, compared with $52.7 billion a year earlier, according to estimates today from industry group Limra. The increase was fueled by sales of […]