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Archive for May 2014


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  • The insurance language problem needs a fix – Blog

    {May 30th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    The “problem” of insurance terminology keeps coming up in the insurance industry. It seems that each generation of employees gets tangled up in jargon, so jargon is what goes out to the public. But that confuses customers, so they promptly deep-six the messages. For years, the industry has tried to fix this problem. One early […]

    Fidelity & Guaranty Life CFO: Company Committed to Staying ‘Largely an Outsourced Shop’

    {May 30th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Fidelity & Guaranty Life is “largely an outsourced shop and we’ll stay that way,” according to its chief financial officer. The company has about 180 active employees, and “is building a local team here in Des Moines,” said Dennis Vigneau, the company’s senior vice president and CFO, who spoke at […]

    Advisor Gets Lifetime Ban, Nearly $1M Fine Over Ad Footnotes

    {May 30th, 2014} by Ann Marsh

    A ruling in anSEC case has fined a longtime investment advisor nearly$1 million and barred him from the industry for life for what his lawyer says was a technical mistake in the way he footnoted magazine advertisements and provided information to Morningstar. “It’s like rolling through a stop sign and you get the death penalty,” […]

    Symetra Financial CIO To Leave Next Month

    {May 30th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    George N. McKinnon, senior vice president and chief information officer of Symetra Financial, will leave the company June 30, the company has announced in a government filing. Margaret A. Meister, Symetra executive vice president and chief financial officer, will take over McKinnon’s responsibilities until he can be replaced, the company also said. In another executive […]

    What’s high-income earners’ secret? Advisors

    {May 29th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    Americans rank their personal finances as the second highest priority, just behind their health, according to a new survey. Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company discloses this finding in its “2014 Planning and Progress Study: Priorities Among Americans.” The survey polled 2,092 U.S. Americans via Web panel to examine their personal goals and objectives, including progress […]

    ING 2 billion-Euro IPO to test buyer appetite as prices fall

    {May 29th, 2014} by Maud van Gaal and Ruth David

    (Bloomberg) — ING Groep NV will try to execute Europe’s biggest initial public offering this year even as investor demand declines and competing share sales increase. The largest Dutch financial-services company is seeking to value its European insurance unit NN Group NV at as much as 8 billion euros ($11 billion) in a transaction that […]

    Life Insurance Words Mystify Consumers

    {May 29th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Imagine you are a consumer who knows nothing about the life insurance industry. You are talking with an agent who is describing a life policy. The agent mentions the policy’s death benefit. What might you think the term “death benefit” means? Researchers put that question to a test. They presented “death benefit” and several other […]

    4 Ways Financial Services Firms Can Amplify Traditional Marketing With Social Media

    {May 29th, 2014} by Amy McIlwain

    Marketing is constantly evolving. Think about what your marketing challenges were just five years ago. I would bet that you didn’t even have a “digital strategy.” Now, everyone is focusing efforts on digital marketing – so much so that there has become a pendulum swing of some sort. Have you noticed how light your mail […]

    2 Life Insurance Companies Settle With Minnesota

    {May 28th, 2014} by Associated Press

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Two life insurance companies have agreed to settle allegations that they failed to pay beneficiaries inMinnesota when policy holders died. State commerce CommissionerMike Rothman says thousands of Minnesotans could have payments coming. Rothman saysMetLife will pay the state at least$1.5 million andTransamerica will pay at least$2.5 million. State officials say […]

    Fixed Indexed Annuities: Recap…and What’s Next?

    {May 28th, 2014} by Oliver Wyman

    Growing sales and a flurry of M&A deals have put a brightening spotlight on fixed indexed annuities (FIA). From 2007 to 2013, despite near-record low interest rates, FIA annual sales growth averaged nearly 8% and their share of the overall annuity market grew from 9.7% to 17.1% (source: LIMRA). Also drawing attention were the numerous […]

    Leading Online Publication, AgenteNews, Shines the Spotlight on Successful Insurance Agents Around the Nation

    {May 28th, 2014} by Jamie Johnson

    Clearwater, FL (PRWEB) May 28, 2014 In tandem with the launch of a new website, AgenteNews now features biweekly Q & A interviews with successful insurance agents from around the country. The Agent Spotlight feature is an ideal way for engaged readers to learn from the genuine thoughts and opinions that agents in the field […]

    Safe Money Places™ Announces New “National Agency Division”

    {May 28th, 2014} by N/A

      May 28, 2014 Carmel, IN – It’s kind of another version of “Back to the Future” as Raymond J. Ohlson, CLU, CRC, President and CEO of the Ohlson Group and Safe Money Places™ International, announces the formation of his Safe Money Places™ National Agency Division. Ohlson, a seasoned veteran of nearly forty years in […]

    Income for life: Are you delivering the right message?

    {May 28th, 2014} by Van Mueller

    Last month’s column on retirement concentrated on the substantial challenge of providing for retirees’ health care costs. This month is focused on other challenge facing retirees: providing income that lasts as long as they live. Our industry is uniquely positioned to address the American people’s need for lifetime income. Click here to read…

    Lincoln Financial CFO: Company Shrinking Percentage of Sales of Products With Longer-Duration Guarantees

    {May 28th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

    NEW YORK – Lincoln Financial Group is focused on trying to bring down the percentage of its sales that come from products with longer-duration guarantees and changing its mix of earnings as the company prepares to launch a new variable annuity product without a guarantee later this year, according to its chief financial officer. Five […]

    List Names Top 100 On Social Media

    {May 28th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    The most influential financial advisor using social media is a New York-based advisor by the name of Joshua Brown, creator of the website The Reformed Broker. Brown was named in a first-of-its kind listing by a consulting company. In case you have not heard of Joshua Brown, he’s an investment advisor for high-net-worth individuals at […]

    Deferred income annuities gain momentum- Opinion

    {May 28th, 2014} by Ed McCarthy

    Deferred income annuities (DIAs) are hot. According to Windsor, Conn.-based LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute, total annuity sales in 2013 reached $230.1 billion, an increase of 5 percent of 2012. Drill down in the data and you’ll find a surprising stat: the DIA category showed the strongest year-over-year percentage growth, up 113 percent. That result is […]

    Advisors Shift Focus To Next-Gen Clients

    {May 28th, 2014} by Andrew Coen

    When new prospects comes intoChicago planning firmRMB Capital Management, a team is assigned right away to review family issues such as estate planning and life insurance. That’s because generational wealth transfer issues are so critical for both clients and advisors, says CEORichard Burridge, that advisors should begin such discussions early. “I start the process before […]

    Safe Money Resource Launches ‘Safe Money Approval’ Process for Ensuring Investors Benefit from ‘Clients First’ Minded Financial Planning Experts

    {May 28th, 2014} by Globe Newswire

    Safe Money Resource May 28, 2014 3:07 AM  CHERRY HILL, N.J., May 28, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via PRWEB – When mapping out their financial futures, people ought to have guidance from financial advisors who put their clients’ interests first, according to experienced wealth planner Brent Meyer. That is the philosophy that defines Safe Money […]

    Wink, Inc. Releases First Quarter, 2014 Indexed Sales Results

    {May 27th, 2014} by Wink

    — FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION — NEWS RELEASE INDEXED LIFE AND ANNUITY SALES OFF TO STRONG START IN 2014 Wink, Inc. Releases First Quarter, 2014 Indexed Sales Results Pleasant Hill, Iowa. May 23, 2014- Forty-three indexed annuity carriers participated in the 67th edition of Wink’s Sales & Market Report, representing 99.8% of indexed annuity production. Total first […]

    First Quarter 2014 Indexed Insurance Sales

    {May 27th, 2014} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Indexed Annuity Wink’s Sales & Market Report, 1st Quarter 2014 shows first quarter 2014 indexed annuity sales were $10,869 million, compared with sales of $7,863 million for the first quarter of 2013. First quarter indexed annuity sales were down nearly 6% when compared to the previous quarter, and up more than 39% when compared with […]

    Wink: First-Quarter US Sales of Indexed Annuities Up 38.6%; Average Commission to Agents Rises

    {May 27th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

    PLEASANT HILL, Iowa – Total sales of indexed annuities in the United States jumped 38.6% in the opening quarter of 2014 from the same period a year ago, as the average commission to sales agents rose 5.8%, up slightly from last quarter’s average, according to Wink Inc. This represented the first increase in the average […]

    The top 10 indexed annuity carriers Q1 2014

    {May 27th, 2014} by Daniel Williams

    According to a [Wink’s Sales & Market Report] market report, indexed annuity sales hit nearly $10.9 billion in the first quarter. That number was a huge jump over the $7.8 billion sold in the same time a year ago, but down 6 percent from Q4 2013. In a blog posted by Sheryl J. Moore, President […]


    {May 27th, 2014} by N/A

    Two-day options course for Annuity Marketing practitioners. Group Rates NOW AVAILABLE! Brought to you by Chicago Hedging Company and S&P Dow Jones Join S&P Dow Jones, CBOE, Wink, Inc., and Chicago Hedging Company for 2 days of learning about Options, Indexed Crediting Methods, and new indices that will help you excel in providing retirement solutions […]

    Indexed Annuity Seminar: Special event for Annuity professionals.

    {May 27th, 2014} by Jamie Johnson

    Indexed Annuity Seminar: Special event for Annuity professionals. Wednesday June 11, 2014 1pm to 4pm At the Hilton Garden Inn -West Des Moines   Alan Grissom, Global Head of Insurance, S&P Dow Jones Indices Sheryl Moore, CEO, Wink, Inc. Vinit Srivastava, Senior Director, S&P Dow Jones Indices Russell Rhoads, Senior Instructor, CBOE Options Institute Matthew […]

    MetLife struggles to get a read on Fed

    {May 27th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer and Craig Giammona

    (Bloomberg) — MetLife Inc., the largest U.S. life insurer, is struggling to understand what to expect from the Federal Reserve as regulators in Washington weigh how to increase oversight of the industry. “The hardest question to answer is, ‘What will the capital rules be?’” MetLife Chief Financial Officer John Hele said today in a conference […]

    Speakers debate value of global regulatory standard

    {May 27th, 2014} by Matthew Patane

    An international move to put a global regulatory standard over U.S.-based insurance companies could increase costs to consumers, but it could also help prevent a future financial crisis, speakers at this week’s Global Insurance Symposium said. The suggested global standard would create one system for determining how much capital insurance companies would need to have, […]

    Individual Life Sees 5th Straight Year Of Double-Digit Growth

    {May 27th, 2014} by N/A

    WINDSOR, Conn., May 27, 2014 — Individual life combination premium grew 12 percent in 2013 — the fifth consecutive year of double-digit growth — according to LIMRA’s 2014 Individual Life Combination Products Annual Review. Total new premium for life combination products reached $2.6 billion in 2013, representing 13 percent of total individual life insurance new […]

    Five Myths About Retirement

    {May 24th, 2014} by Tom Lauricella

    It’s not all golf and grandchildren. Many people spend years planning for retirement and think they have it all figured out, until they actually retire. Here are a few areas where retirees don’t know as much as they think they do. Phil Foster   1. You’ll probably retire earlier than expected. Sounds like a good […]

    National Annuity Awareness Month To Be Observed In June

    {May 23rd, 2014} by N/A

    Fairfax, VA – The National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA) has joined the Coalition for Annuity Awareness in declaring June as National Annuity Awareness Month. National Annuity Awareness Month is designed to provide awareness and understanding of annuities and their benefits in financial and retirement planning. Activities in support of the inaugural National […]

    Bill Seeks To Prevent Ex-Stock Brokers From Selling Insurance

    {May 23rd, 2014} by Tim Loh, The Stamford Advocate, Conn.

    May 23–State lawmakers passed a bill designed to prevent former stock brokers who have been stripped of their licenses from continuing to sell financial products with insurance licenses. The bill, passed earlier this month, would require the state banking commissioner to provide monthly reports to the state insurance commissioner listing the names of securities brokers […]

    Growth Rate Of Roth IRA Balances Double That Of Traditional IRAs

    {May 23rd, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    For financial advisors obsessed with individual retirement account (IRA) investing, here’s a new tidbit to think about this Memorial Day weekend: Growth rates of Roth IRA balances grew at more than double the rate of traditional IRAs from 2010 to 2012. The median increase in the account balance for the group of Roth IRA owners […]

    DIY Approach May Lead To Inaction In Retirement Investing

    {May 23rd, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Do it yourselfers – DIYers – really don’t do much when it comes to managing their retirement investments. The most recent finding issued by Fidelity Investments begs the question: Is the DIY movement an excuse for inaction? Fidelity analyzed 13 million 401(k) investors living in major metropolitan areas and found that 63 percent of them […]

    Industry Looks At ‘Feminine Famine’

    {May 23rd, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    An advisory panel to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has recommended a series of steps aimed at encouraging more women to join the financial planning profession in a fight to stave off what the board calls the “feminine famine.” The study calls for making women more visible through the industry and within their […]

    Why insurance companies like Iowa

    {May 23rd, 2014} by Matthew Patane

    Four insurance company executives discuss what they like about working in Iowa during the Global Insurance Symposium in Des Moines on Thursday, May 22. Click here to view

    New Tech Millionaires Trust Technology Over Traditional Financial Advisers

    {May 23rd, 2014} by David Randall

    When the nine-person start-up he co-founded was bought by Facebook for a reported $15 million in January, Cemre Gungor, 27, was inundated with phone calls and emails from wealth advisers. Yet he spurned them all, opting instead to open an account with Betterment, an online financial adviser launched in 2010 that automatically invests in a […]

    Do women need guaranteed retirement income products?

    {May 23rd, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    The idea that workplace retirement accounts should offer annuity-like guaranteed income streams to help women compensate for lower earnings and a great life expectancies relative to men is a good one. Judging from recent surveys on employee workplace benefits, the recommendation should be well received — and not just by women. According to a July […]

    The 10 most memorable insurance ads ever

    {May 23rd, 2014} by Lynette Gil

    How many insurance company slogans can you recall right now? “Nationwide is on your side,” “Are you in good hands?” or “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there” — you know them by heart from their many TV ads. That is the raw power of advertisers and marketing: Add a great can’t-get-out-of-my-head jingle, a […]

    Accenture launches enhanced life insurance platform

    {May 23rd, 2014} by Noah Guillaume

    ALSO: Riskalyze, OptifiNow, Neace Lukins, AXA, Allianz and Digital Insurance Accenture (NYSE: ACN) released a new version of the Accenture Life Insurance Platform (ALIP), a configurable and scalable software suite that offers life insurance and annuity carriers solutions for product development, new business, underwriting, policy administration and payout. Click here to read.

    The secrets to your success(ion)

    {May 22nd, 2014} by David Port

    It easily could have been dismissed as just one more study from yet another consultant trying to build a buzz around a seemingly inconsequential subject. But when the global analytics firm Cerulli Associates projected in a February 2014 report that 1 in 3 financial advisors (32 percent) in the United States plans to exit the […]

    The 2014 NUL top 100

    {May 22nd, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch, Emily Holbrook

    Statistics can tell a lot, not only about the financial health of companies, but also how they stack up against one another. In this annual feature, we take the pulse of 100 top-ranking life and health insurers when measured against four key metrics: net investment income, total enrollment (health lines only), policyholder surplus and net […]

    Philanthropy Planning: Tips For Advisors

    {May 22nd, 2014} by Miriam Rozen

    What financial advisor wouldn’t seize an opportunity to discover a client’s “passion” — or to help clients “create a peace” for themselves? Encouraging planned philanthropy offers both of those possibilities for financial advisors, saysPaula Feinberg, a financial advisor and senior vice president for investments atRaymond James & Associates inDallas. It also can help advisors establish […]

    The Changing Social Media Landscape for Financial Professionals

    {May 22nd, 2014} by Amy McIlwain

    The social media landscape is constantly changing, and things have been shifting incredibly fast within the financial services industry. With the increased guidance from regulatory bodies and the large amount of older demographics on social media, social media is no longer just a should-do, but a must-do, when marketing yourself as a professional and your […]

    Advisors find a safe way to use social media

    {May 22nd, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Social media — love it or hate it? It turns out that financial advisors, brokers and registered investment advisors are loving social media more in 2014 than they did five years ago. According to American Century Investments, 66 percent ranked social media’s overall value to their business as “high” or “medium” this year, up 36 […]

    ‘Silver Tsunami,’ and other terms that can irk the over-65 set

    {May 22nd, 2014} by Nichole Morford

    The senior market is growing rapidly, and it represents a huge opportunity for advisors. This is a diverse market comprised not just of retirees but also of those still in the prime of their careers and others who have recently made a career change. Perhaps more than any previous 65+ group, these prospects have strong […]

    Lincoln online advisor tool wins innovation award

    {May 22nd, 2014} by IFAwebnews Staff

    PRESS RELEASE: The following content has been reprinted in whole or part from a company-supplied press release. The Lincoln Annuity Visualizer was recognized with an Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) Marketing Innovation Award in the distributor category.Lincoln Financial Distributors, the wholesale distribution business of Radnor, Pa.based Lincoln Financial Group, was given the award for developing the […]

    Use Annuities To Protect Yourself From Yourself

    {May 22nd, 2014} by Jeffrey Brown

    Everyone ages. And whether or not we care to admit it, each of us faces the risk of suffering from severely diminished cognitive ability as we grow older. In a recent article, Howard Gold referred to this as “the biggest retirement risk no one talks about.” The statistics are staggering: his article quotes a prior […]

    Symposium markets Des Moines as insurance hub

    {May 22nd, 2014} by Matthew Patane, mpatane@dmreg.com

    At least one attendee of the first Global Insurance Symposium is looking at Des Moines for a business expansion. Raveendran Narasimhan, the managing director of ALEgION Insurance Broking Limited in India, told the Register his company is in the preliminary stages of opening an office in the Des Moines area. He said he plans to […]

    100 Best Sales & Marketing Ideas

    {May 22nd, 2014} by Nichole Morford

    100 best sales & marketing ideas: 91-100 81-90 71-80 61-70 51-60 41-50 31-40 21-30 11-20 1-10      

    Top 10 dumbest states for financial literacy

    {May 22nd, 2014} by Dan Berman

    Some people have a knack for financial planning and some don’t. It seems to be the same with states, a fact of life that will likely leave financial advisors in some areas of the nation with a lot more hand-holding to do with potential clients. People in these states are more likely to have revolving […]

    AIG seen as trying to hobble probe with Lawsky lawsuit

    {May 21st, 2014} by Patricia Hurtado and Bob Van Voris

    (Bloomberg) — New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman asked a judge to dismiss American International Group Inc.’s lawsuit against the state’s top financial regulator, saying the insurer is trying to interfere with a probe of unlicensed overseas insurance sales. “The investigation of AIG is not complete, and it remains to be seen what statutory violations, […]

    Life insurance decree terminable upon ex’s remarriage

    {May 21st, 2014} by Steven A. Meyerowit

    An appellate court in Georgia, reversing a trial court’s decision, has ruled that an ex-husband’s obligation pursuant to a divorce decree to maintain life insurance on his life for a dozen years for the benefit of his ex-wife was terminable upon his ex-wife’s remarriage because it was “periodic alimony” and not a division of property. […]

    3 key points from Global Insurance Symposium

    {May 21st, 2014} by Matthew Patane

    1. Financial education is key Larry Zimpleman, CEO, chairman and president of Principal Financial Group, said the U.S. needs to do a better job of teaching people financial literacy. Speaking during a panel with fellow insurance executives, Zimpleman said the nation’s education system should teach students how to create a financial plan. “The reality is […]

    Total annuity sales up in first quarter

    {May 21st, 2014} by Daniel Williams

    Total annuity sales improved 11 percent in the first quarter of 2014, compared to the first quarter of 2013, totaling $57.7 billion according to the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute (LIMRA SRI). Annuity sales were driven largely by fixed annuity sales, which experienced a 43 percent increase in the first quarter, compared to prior year, reaching […]

    Online carrier Elephant Insurance expands into life insurance

    {May 21st, 2014} by IFAwebnews Staff

    Elephant Insurance, a direct-to-consumer automobile insurance company based in Richmond, Va., partnered with AccuQuote to expand Elephant’s policy offerings to include life insurance. Elephant sells policies exclusively online. “At Elephant, we are constantly seeking out new ways to make insurance solutions more accessible for our auto insurance policyholders,” said Colleen Benzin, Head of Insurance Products […]

    Commissions vs. fees: What’s best for clients?

    {May 21st, 2014} by Ed McCarthy

    If you want to start a heated debate among financial advisors, ask which compensation model best serves clients: transaction-based commissions or asset-based fees? Each camp can offer arguments that support its approach: lower costs, fewer conflicts of interest, and so on. But if you ask investors for their preferences, the response is more nuanced. Click […]

    FIO Director McRaith to Appear at Global Insurance Symposium in Iowa

    {May 21st, 2014} by Jeff Jeffrey

    WASHINGTON – Federal Insurance Office Director Michael McRaith was scheduled to make a rare appearance at the Global Insurance Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa, on May 21. He was scheduled to speak on insurance supervision efforts in the United States and abroad, according to a schedule released by the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Iowa Economic […]

    LIMRA SRI: Total 1Q Annuity Sales Up 11%

    {May 21st, 2014} by N/A

    WINDSOR, Conn., May 21, 2014 — Total annuity sales improved 11 percent in the first quarter of 2014, compared to the first quarter of 2013, totaling $57.7 billion according to the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute (LIMRA SRI). Annuity sales were driven largely by fixed annuity sales, which experienced a 43 percent increase in the first […]

    Annuities With LTC Can Be The Right Fit

    {May 21st, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Annuities that offer long-term care riders don’t get a lot of attention in industry news. But brokerage general agent Michael Smith said clients definitely are interested, and the product does sell when the fit is right. For example, one client had more than $200,000 sitting in a money market account “doing nothing.” This was not […]

    8 differences between boomers and millennials

    {May 21st, 2014} by Nichole Morford

    The generation gap is nothing new — but is it widening? Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center recently asked this question as he was examining the differences between baby boomers and their children, the millennials. His findings support many common assumptions about this young market, but challenge others. Click here to read…

    Regulation Focus of Iowa Global Insurance Meeting

    {May 21st, 2014} by DAVID PITT Associated Press

    Insurance companies, trade groups and regulators are gathering in Iowa to discuss the industry’s major issues. As the three-day Global Insurance Symposium is set to get underway Wednesday in Des Moines, plans to regulate firms like banks and impose national or even international oversight are at the fore. The gathering includes top insurance officials from […]

    Federal Insurance Office director’s speech at Global Insurance Symposium closed to public

    {May 21st, 2014} by Matthew Patane, mpatane@dmreg.com

    A speech by a publicly-appointed federal official will be closed to the press later today during the first Global Insurance Symposium. Michael McRaith, the director of the Federal Insurance Office, is scheduled to speak before symposium attendees later today, but McRaith’s office has made it a requirement that the session be closed, the Register has […]

    NAIFA Gears Up For Tax Tussle

    {May 21st, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    With insurance agents and financial advisors descending en masse on Washington, D.C., for the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) Congressional Conference, skirmishes opposing new taxes and fees begin in earnest. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., has proposed levying as much as $583 billion in taxes and fees […]

    NAIFA concerned about tax reform draft, will bring issue to Capitol Hill May 20-21

    {May 21st, 2014} by IFAwebnews Staff

    NAIFA: Federal tax reform discussion draft proposed by Rep. Dave Camp underscores urgent need to educate Congress The tax regime outlined in a House draft extracts more than $500 billion from proposals that would impact the life insurance industry and threaten the financial and retirement security of millions of Americans, according to the National Association […]

    The Producers Group Holds Leadership Conference For The Women’s Professional Group

    {May 21st, 2014} by N/A

    Event included presentations from major carrier representatives, unique sales ideas and introductions to new products San Diego, CA – The Producers Group (TPG) held a Leadership Conference for its Women’s Professional Group (WPG) on March 26 to March 28 at its corporate office in San Diego, California. “The WPG Leadership Conference was an incredible success” […]

    It’s Not All About the GLWBs

    {May 20th, 2014} by Victoria Peterson and Jamie Johnson

    …It’s the guarantees in indexed annuities that really steal the show! By Victoria Peterson and Jamie Johnson We recently read a survey of annuity professionals that was conducted during the NAFA IMO Summit in October 2013, revealing the “must have” feature of annuities. Results show nearly 70% of those surveyed agreed that guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits […]

    Iowa View: It’s Iowa’s time to shine for insurance

    {May 20th, 2014} by Nick Gerhart, Jay Byers and Debi Durham

    Central Iowa will play a key role in shaping the dialogue on global insurance issues when it hosts the inaugural Global Insurance Symposium in Des Moines on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. As home to more than 200 insurance companies employing 40,000 professionals, Iowa is well suited to host the Global Insurance Symposium and assemble global […]

    Insurance symposium draws global visitors to Des Moines

    {May 20th, 2014} by Matthew Patane, mpatane@dmreg.com

    In two days, Iowa’s capital city will see more than 300 insurance professionals flood its downtown for a first-of-its-kind industry conference. They’ll come from across the U.S., India, Japan and Germany to discuss regulatory issues and the sector’s best practices. Organizers hope the Global Insurance Symposium will give the Des Moines area a new notch […]

    Coming up: A Global Insurance Symposium in DM

    {May 20th, 2014} by Joe Gardyasz

    Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart sees the upcoming Global Insurance Symposium as a big opportunity to showcase not just Iowa, but also the state-based system of insurance regulation. A mix of influential state, national and international regulators will join more than 250 insurance professionals and regulators who have registered to attend the inaugural day-and-a-half symposium that […]

    Global Insurance Symposium to Feature Powerhouse Industry Leaders

    {May 20th, 2014} by Market Wired

    DES MOINES, IA–(Marketwired – May 06, 2014) – The inaugural Global Insurance Symposium, being held in Des Moines on May 20-22, 2014, will feature global insurance leader keynoters addressing trends impacting the industry globally, including changing regulations in the international insurance marketplace that are impacting U.S. companies. Keynote presenters are: Michael McRaith, Director, Federal Insurance […]

    Global Insurance Symposium starts Tuesday in Des Moines

    {May 20th, 2014} by O. Kay Henderson

    Experts from around the globe will gather in Des Moines this week to talk about the world-wide insurance industry. Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart will kick things off on Tuesday, May 20. “We’ve assembled some thought-leaders from the insurance industry and also the regulatory community both at the state level, the federal level and international, […]

    New York Proposes New Rules on Private Equity Buys of Insurance Companies

    {May 20th, 2014} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

    ALBANY, N.Y. – New York’s Department of Financial Services is proposing new regulations it said would increase policyholder protections as they apply to private equity purchases of insurers, especially life insurance annuity companies. The reforms include more transparency and a higher financial standard and are based on conditions the department required during several individual transactions […]

    N.Y. Tightens Rules On Private Equity In Insurance Deals

    {May 20th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    New York regulators are aiming to strengthen policyholder protection governance of private equity and other acquisitions of insurance companies, especially annuity companies. The deals have been a source of much controversy in the annuity business in the past few years, due to concerns that the short-term business model of private equity might clash with the […]

    One In Four Americans’ Nest Egg Balance: $0

    {May 20th, 2014} by PRNewswire

    BLOOMINGTON, Ill., May 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The sluggish economic recovery may have put many Americans on a back foot when it comes to saving enough to retire when they would like to, but a recent COUNTRY Financial Security Index® survey sheds light on a more concerning factor. One in four (25 percent) Americans, across […]

    Yellen about fees on indexed annuities

    {May 20th, 2014} by Kevin Startt

    A recent Forbes article, Why 401(k)s have failed, once again put the onus on fees being the culprit for participant under-performance in these plans. You would think we have a retirement crisis because of payola in these plans. It is also strange that this popular publication, one that even I admire, publishes the Forbes Honor […]

    How to sell insurance as an independent agent [infographic]

    {May 20th, 2014} by Nichole Morford

    The path to success in this industry looks different for every advisor, but there are a few important milestones along the way. At the end of last year, we asked respondents to our 2013 Independent Producer Study about the products they sold and the markets they sold them to, as well as about their most […]

    Credit Suisse Pleads Guilty, Pays $2.6B In Tax Probe

    {May 20th, 2014} by David Voreacos and Tom Schoenberg

    (Bloomberg) –Credit Suisseagreed to pay$2.6 billion in penalties and pleaded guilty to helping Americans cheat on their taxes, making it the first global bank in a decade to admit to a crime in a U.S. courtroom. The plea also signals a tougher posture by theJustice Department, which has faced criticism that it avoided pursuing large […]

    Study says it’s sometimes best to fight regulators’ claims

    {May 19th, 2014} by Nick Thornton

    A study by law firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan suggests advisors may not want to immediately settle when regulators bring charges. The study looked at cases brought before internal review bodies of the SEC and FINRA in 2013, as well as cases that were litigated in district courts. When claims were heard by the internal […]

    Get more out of your press release (yes, press release) with video

    {May 19th, 2014} by Kristen Luke

    Press releases may seem boring and old-fashioned — and really should have no place being discussed in a technology blog. But press releases play an important role in today’s digital marketing strategy. In years past, press releases could be sent to local media contacts and perhaps your story would be picked up in a newspaper, […]

    Longevity Riders Can Turn GUL Into A Retirement Income Source

    {May 16th, 2014} by Charles “Chuck” Van Devander

    Americans are facing a burgeoning retirement readiness need, as InsuranceNewsNet reported in its “Outlook 2014” article in December. Insufficient personal savings, potential shortfalls in anticipated Social Security income and changing demographics are among the factors that seem to point to challenges ahead for many consumers. While annuities have long been among the go-to financial vehicles […]

    MIB Life Index Reports U.S. Life Insurance Activity Up 1.8% In April

    {May 16th, 2014} by N/A

    Braintree, MA. (May 16, 2014) – U.S. application activity for individually underwritten life insurance increased +1.8% in April year-over-year, all ages combined, according to the MIB Life Index. April’s gain was attained with one less business day in April 2014 than the comparative April 2013 period, somewhat tempering this month’s increase. The 2014 Index, while […]

    Lincoln Tweaks Indexed Universal Life Offerings

    {May 16th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Lincoln Financial Group announced it has tweaked to its advisor-sold LifeReserve Accumulator indexed universal life policy to allow for more diversification, better crediting methodologies and lower volatility as a way to boost the policy’s income and growth potential. The changes include two new indexed accounts, the company said. In one account a higher percentage of […]

    Asset managers turn to social media to reach advisors

    {May 16th, 2014} by http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2014/05/16/asset-managers-turn-to-social-media-to-reach-advis?eNL=537668ec160ba0da257f7b7e&utm_source=LifeHealthProDaily&utm_medium=eNL&utm_campaign=LifeHealthPro_eNLs&_LID=97618565

    Asset managers unanimously agree that social media is an ideally suited tool for communicating with financial advisors or other intermediaries, according to new research. Cerulli Associates discloses this finding in “U.S. Product Marketing and Sales Organizations 2013: Supporting Distribution with a Multi-Faceted Marketing Plan.” The report examines marketing and sales organizations, and explores structured, staffing […]

    Advisors ‘struggling’ to get most out of social media

    {May 16th, 2014} by Melanie Waddell

    Advisors’ attitudes toward social media are changing for the better, but few are maximizing its business-growing potential. Two-thirds of advisors today rank social media’s overall value to their business as “high” or “medium,” a 36 percent increase from 2010, according to American Century’s fifth annual Financial Professionals Social Media Adoption Study released Thursday. However, while […]

    New York state regulator offers new rules on private equity insurer buys

    {May 16th, 2014} by Luciana Lopez

    (Reuters) – New York’s top financial regulator on Friday proposed tougher rules for private equity firms and others buying insurance companies, increasing scrutiny in a bid to protect retirees and others who typically buy annuities. The proposed changes, including more transparency and disclosure, are modeled on changes the state’s Department of Financial Services has required […]

    It pays to fight back against SEC, FINRA

    {May 16th, 2014} by Melanie Waddell

    Despite advisors’ and broker-dealers’ fears that litigating against the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is futile, new findings show that it does pay for advisors and BDs to fight charges brought against them. In its annual survey of litigated enforcement actions levied against members of the securities industry, Sutherland Asbill […]

    Income Annuity Searches Double Since Last Year

    {May 16th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Annuity advisors, distributors and sales desks have stepped up their use of income annuity searches. According to Cannex USA, these professionals made twice as many hits to the Cannex Financial Exchanges database in first quarter 2014 as they did in first quarter 2013. The database tracks the number and types of “surveys” (or hits) that […]

    Jim Boldischar, CLU, ChFC Joins Highland Capital Brokerage as Sales Vice President

    {May 16th, 2014} by Wilma Turner

    Birmingham, AL, May 16, 2014 – Highland Capital Brokerage, Inc. (HCB) announced today that Jim Boldischar has joined the company as Sales Vice President at its Chicago location. In this position, Mr. Boldischar will be focused on partnering with qualified institutional and independent advisors to customize solutions for their clients. “We are very pleased that […]

    Survey Finds New Mothers Under 30 Least Likely To Own Life Insurance

    {May 16th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Among members of Generation Y, women and mothers between the ages of 18 and 30 are most likely to be uninsured or underinsured for life insurance, a recent survey finds. Traditionally, would-be families consulted with a financial advisor before starting a family. Today, young families consider advisors less valuable than previous generations did when they […]

    Getting Beyond Negativity: Shining a Light on the Facts

    {May 16th, 2014} by NAFA

    NAFA has declared June as National Annuity Awareness Month. NAFA believes that we need to join forces in a national, public, and very loud way to shout about the benefits of annuities and their role in financial planning and retirement. Since our mission is to promote the awareness and understanding of fixed annuities, we decided […]

    Zenith Marketing Group Hires Sam Macke as Vice President of National Accounts

    {May 16th, 2014} by Paul Seidel

    Zenith Marketing Group, with offices in Freehold, NJ; Charlotte, NC; York, PA; and Wayne, PA announces the addition of Sam Macke as Vice President of National Accounts. Sam will be based out of Des Moines, IA, working closely with accounts nationally. Sam began his career in the financial services industry with IDS Financial Services in […]

    Trends in Regulatory Oversight – Part 2

    {May 15th, 2014} by Kim OBrien

    I have a passion for musical theater and have directed and/or choreographed over 56 productions for community theater groups. To this day, musical lyrics inspire me, teach me, and often offer up cautionary tales. And, too, many of the shows’ messages remind me that life can and often does imitate art. And just as in […]

    Protective Life Hires Chief Product Officer

    {May 15th, 2014} by Jennefer Meyer, Vice President, External Communications

    Thursday, May 15, 2014 1:12 pm EDT BIRMINGHAM, Ala. “Our products are becoming more sophisticated and the regulatory requirements more complex. Wade’s depth of knowledge and industry experience is a great asset as Protective strives to meet the needs of both consumer and distribution clients. We’re pleased to have him on board.” Protective Life Insurance […]

    Joseph R. Ohlson, LUTCF, Elected to NAIFA Board

    {May 15th, 2014} by Raymond J. Ohlson, CLU, CRC

     May 15, 2014 – Carmel, IN – Raymond J. Ohlson, CLU, CRC, President/CEO of The Ohlson Group and Safe Money Places™ International, announces that his younger son, Joseph R. Ohlson, LUTCF, Managing Director of the company’s Carmel office, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Indianapolis Chapter of The National Association of […]

    10 most influential financial advisors on social media

    {May 15th, 2014} by Melanie Waddell

    Hoping to create a standard around what determines social “success,” BrightScope released Tuesday its Social Influence Rank for financial advisors, recognizing the 100 advisors who the San Diego-based research firm believes are industry leaders that are influencing the online realm. “We believe that more and more advisors are going to win more business online, so […]

    On the rise: US life insurers’ issuance of FANIPs

    {May 15th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    U.S. life insurers have issued significantly more Funding Agreement Note Issuance Program Debt (FANIPs) year-to-date than in the prior year, according to new research. Moody’s Investor Service discloses this finding in a May 2014 “Special Comment” report. The research indicates that, as of May 8, issuance of FANIPs is up by about 56 percent to […]

    AIG defrauded US in bailout, former exec says

    {May 15th, 2014} by Bob Van Voris

    (Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc. defrauded the U.S. by failing to disclose it was selling insurance without a license during negotiations with the government over a bailout in the financial crisis, a former executive claimed in a lawsuit. Alex Grabcheski, a former human resources executive at an AIG unit, filed the suit in Manhattan […]

    AIG’s 5-year ILFC exit: timeline

    {May 15th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer and Hugh Son

    Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc.’s sale of International Lease Finance Corp., completed yesterday, ends a quest by the insurer of more than five years to get rid of the unit. Below is a timeline of the struggles and eventual divestiture of the plane-leasing business, which was acquired in 1990 from founder Steven Udvar-Hazy for […]

    Insider information on the many benefits of using Google+ for business

    {May 15th, 2014} by Chris Marentis

    The entire search engine optimization industry largely runs around a single company: Google. Google products and ever-changing algorithms largely dictate best practices for search engine optimization, and the Google handbook is almost constantly changing, as well. It is currently imperative to have a notable presence on Google+ if you want to have a meaningful presence […]

    Allianz Pressures Pimco to Reverse Withdrawals

    {May 15th, 2014} by Jonathan Gould

    German insurer Allianz has called on its California-based asset manager, Pimco, to prove itself after investors withdrew a further 22 billion euros ($30 billion) in the first quarter, denting group earnings. Performance at Pimco, which has been an Allianz cash cow for years and runs the world’s biggest bond fund, has become a growing problem […]

    Genworth Financial Raises A$583 Million in IPO of Australian Insurance Unit

    {May 15th, 2014} by Ernesto Calucag, Hong Kong news editor: Ernesto.Calucag@ambest.com

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Genworth Financial Inc. has raised A$583 million (US$547.1 million) in an initial public offering of its Australian insurance business, the biggest in the country so far this year. The insurance group sold 220 million shares of Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia Ltd. at A$2.65 each, above the midpoint of a marketed range of […]

    Zurich’s Net Income Rises 20%, But CFO Says There’s Still ‘Much to Do’

    {May 15th, 2014} by Marie Suszynski, Best's News Service correspondent

    ZURICH – Zurich Insurance Group’s net income got a 20% bump during the first quarter as its chief financial officer said the company’s restructuring is on track. Net income after tax attributable to shareholders rose to US$1.27 billion, compared with $1.06 billion during the first quarter of 2013. Business operating profit increased 2% to $1.38 […]

    Axa Group Is One of the First to Get a Top-Level Branded Domain Name

    {May 15th, 2014} by Marie Suszynski, Best's News Service correspondent

    PARIS – French insurer Axa Group said it is one of the first companies to launch a website with a top-level domain that includes its brand, “.axa,” rather than the generic “.com.” Axa used its new domain with the release of its 2013 Activity and Corporate Responsibility Report under the address http://annualreport.axa and has had […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of OneAmerica Financial Partners Inc. and Its Subsidiaries

    {May 15th, 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 American United Life Insurance Company (AUL) and its affiliates, The State Life Insurance Company and Pioneer Mutual Life Insurance Company (Fargo, ND), all of which comprise the OneAmerica Group (OneAmerica). Concurrently, A.M. Best […]

    Life insurers treat e-cigs just like other cigarettes

    {May 15th, 2014} by John Tozzi

    Does puffing on an e-cigarette count as smoking? As far as life insurance companies are concerned, it does. A lot of smoke is blown in the running battle over electronic cigarettes. Click here to read…

    Ex-Executive’s Lawsuit Alleges AIG Defrauded U.S. in Bailout

    {May 14th, 2014} by Bob Van Voris

    American International Group Inc. defrauded the U.S. by failing to disclose it was selling insurance without a license during negotiations with the government over a bailout in the financial crisis, a former executive claimed in a lawsuit. Alex Grabcheski, a former human resources executive at an AIG unit, filed the suit in Manhattan federal court […]

    Agents And Brokers See Solid Growth In First Quarter

    {May 14th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Insurance agents and brokers delivered a median organic profit growth rate increase of 6.2 percent in the first quarter, up a fraction compared to the year-ago period, and flat with the fourth quarter 2013, a new profitability survey has found. The quarterly survey conducted by Reagan Consulting also found that commercial lines and benefits profitability […]

    Survey Reveals Younger Investors Less Satisfied With Their Advisors

    {May 14th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Call it the satisfaction inequality gap: The older the investors, the more likely they will be satisfied with their full-service investment company. For younger investors, the opposite is likely to be true, according to a new survey by J.D. Power and Associates. Among investors under the age of 35, less than half (44 percent) said […]

    MetLife, Prinicipal Speed Up Term Life Approval Process

    {May 14th, 2014} by Ben Mattlin

    The days of the long, grueling approval process for term life insurance may be over. New York-based MetLife and Des Moines, Iowa-based Principal Financial Group recently announced a speeded up approval process. “[We] often jokingly warn clients that getting approval for term life is like getting a root canal—a long, painful process,” said Nora Yousif, […]

    Merrill Lynch Rethinks How to Engage With Baby Boomer Clients

    {May 14th, 2014} by Andrew Welsch

    The battle to win more retirement clients is heating up, asMerrill Lynch rolls out Merrill Lynch Clear, a new approach that integrates sleek technology with a big picture focus on clients’ lives. The Merrill Lynch Clear program begins with an iPad app that advisors use with clients to start conversations about what’s important to them, […]

    Annuity Agents Try Out Psychographic Marketing

    {May 14th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    How can agents and financial advisors get in touch with ideal fixed annuity prospect? Many rely on marketing systems built around demographics assumed to belong to such individuals —marketing to ZIP codes with a sizable proportion of individuals in a certain categories such as age, household income, home ownership, marital status, etc. But Jeremy Rettich […]

    The Top 10 Sources of Retirement Income

    {May 14th, 2014} by Emily Brandon

    Most people expect to have several sources of retirement income including Social Security, a retirement or savings account and increasingly a part-time job. Less common ways to pay for retirement include tapping your home equity or purchasing an annuity or rental property, according to a recent Gallup poll. Here are 10 ways to pay for […]

    Women show low confidence in retirement financial security: IRI

    {May 14th, 2014} by IFAwebnews Staff

    New research suggests that that few women across the Baby Boomer and Generation X (Gen X) cohorts are confident in achieving a financially secure retirement. According to a report from the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), many women are still facing financial challenges, which are impairing their retirement readiness and outlook. Overall, only 30% of Boomer […]

    Allianz Posts 2.6% Dip in Operating Profit

    {May 14th, 2014} by Robert O'Connor, London editor: Robert.OConnor@ambest.com

    MUNICH – In what it described as a “strong first quarter,” Allianz Group said operating profit fell 2.6% to €2.72 billion (US$3.74 billion) from €2.79 billion for the same period in 2013. Pretax income was down 2.7% to €2.6 billion from €2.67 billion. Net income fell 3.4% to €1.7 billion from €1.8 billion. Revenues increased […]

    Why buy and hold still works

    {May 14th, 2014} by Kevin Startt

    Even though I have many clients utilizing fixed indexed annuities (FIA) as a bond alternative, I am convinced that too many FIA pundits have cost clients a huge part of necessary growth and compounding under the auspices of “zero is your hero.” This year, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the emergence of the […]

    Michael White Associates: Bank Holding Company Insurance Brokerage Fee Income Up Just 0.3% in 2013

    {May 14th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak, senior associate editor, BestWeek: fran.lysiak@ambest.com

    RADNOR, Pa. – Bank holding companies recorded $6.22 billion in brokerage fee income from selling insurance in 2013, up just 0.3% from 2012, according to a report compiled by Michael White Associates, a bank insurance consulting firm. And despite posting a decline, Wells Fargo & Co. ranked No. 1 in the United States in insurance […]

    Genworth announces improved first-quarter results

    {May 14th, 2014} by IFAwebnews Staff

    PRESS RELEASE: The following content has been reprinted in whole or part from a company-supplied press release. Genworth Financial Inc. reported results for the first quarter of 2014. The company reported net income of $184 million, or $0.37 per diluted share, compared with net income of $103 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, in the […]

    Policy Buyer Says Brokers Dead Wrong On Mortality

    {May 14th, 2014} by ALFRED LEE Staff Reporter

      Dennis Gilbert has been one of the most powerful agents in baseball history, a top insurance salesman toHollywood stars and a bidder for theLos Angeles Dodgers andTexas Rangers. But now a much more arcane venture, selling current life insurance policies to third-party investors, has a former client saying he’s responsible for millions in losses. […]

    Athene USA Grabs A Foothold In FIAs

    {May 13th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    First quarter reports on annuity sales will start rolling out soon. As usual, annuity wonks will pore over every single figure. But probably no results will get more scrutiny than the ones from Athene USA, the big jewel in the crown of a holding company the industry had not even heard of five years ago. […]

    NAFA Responds to AARP Article on FIAs

    {May 13th, 2014} by NAFA President and CEO

    May 5, 2014 RE: AARP Article on Fixed Indexed Annuities Dear Editor: Sadly, NAFA has been forced to respond to Mr. Roth’s inaccurate and self-promoting attack articles against annuities numerous times. We are sorry that AARP got caught in this one. First, NAFA believes that everyone saving for retirement or planning for their financial future […]

    Wink participated in the Earth Day Trash Bash!

    {May 13th, 2014} by Jamie Johnson

        The Wink Team participated in the 2014 Earth Day Trash Bash on April 25, 2014. The annual Trash Bash one of the many things that make the city of Des Moines a great place to live, work, and play. There were over 1200 registered participants at more than 60 project locations throughout the greater […]

    501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status Granted to the Society for Annuity Facts and Education (SAFE), Inc.

    {May 13th, 2014} by AnnuityOutlook

    Washington, DC (April 9, 2014) – The Society for Annuity Facts and Education, Inc. (SAFE) is proud to announce it has been granted tax-exempt status as a charitable organization dedicated to educational purposes under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. SAFE serves as a resource for consumers to learn in a fact-based […]

    AIG earnings fall

    {May 13th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

    American International Group’s life and retirement businesses delivered the highest level of quarterly earnings in the company’s history, the company reported today. The results partially offset weakness in AIG’s dominant property and casualty operations, which resulted in a year-to-year decline in operating income for AIG. The insurer posted first-quarter earnings excluding extraordinary items of $1.21 […]

    Allianz: Preliminary Results Show Lower First-Quarter Net Income

    {May 13th, 2014} by Marie Suszynski

    MUNICH – Allianz Group’s preliminary results for the first quarter show a 4% decrease in net income, but the company said it achieved its highest quarterly revenues in its history. Net income attributable to shareholders fell to €1.64 billion (US$2.28 billion) from €1.71 billion during the first quarter of last year. Revenues, meanwhile, rose to […]

    National Western Life’s First-Quarter Profit Up 19.2%

    {May 13th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

    AUSTIN, Texas – National Western Life Insurance Co.’s first-quarter 2014 profit rose 19.2%. Consolidated net earnings increased to $19.8 million. Total revenues, however, declined 31.6% to $158 million. Operating revenues, excluding realized investment gains and realized and unrealized gains on index options, rose to $155.9 million from $154.3 million in last-year’s first quarter. National Western […]

    Prudential Financial Returns to Profit in First Quarter

    {May 13th, 2014} by Best's News Service

    NEWARK, N.J. – Prudential Financial Inc. swung to a first-quarter 2014 profit, after a net loss last year. Net income was $1.2 billion, compared with a net loss of $735 million the same period a year ago. “We believe we are off to a good start to achieve our goals for 2014,” said Prudential Financial […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Prudential Financial Inc. and Its Subsidiaries

    {May 13th, 2014} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of the domestic life/health insurance subsidiaries of Prudential Financial, Inc. (PFI) (Newark, NJ) [NYSE: PRU]. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of “a-” of PFI and all existing debt ratings of the […]

    Fidelity & Guaranty Life Reports Quarterly Results

    {May 13th, 2014} by Jamie Johnson

    DES MOINES, Iowa, May 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Fidelity & Guaranty Life (NYSE: FGL), a leading provider of indexed annuity and indexed universal life products, today reported net income of $24.8 million or $0.42 per diluted common share for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 ended on March 31, 2014(1). “The second quarter results were […]

    Standard & Poor’s Revises Outlook to Positive for The Insurance Companies of National Life Group

    {May 13th, 2014} by National Life Group

    Montpelier, Vermont – May 2014 – 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. At the same time the rating agency revised the outlook on the group’s insurance companies to positive from […]

    Oxford Life Insurance Company Upgraded by A.M. Best

    {May 13th, 2014} by Amerco

    RENO, Nev. – May 7, 2014 –AMERCO (Nasdaq: UHAL) announced today A.M. Best, the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source, has upgraded the financial strength rating to A- (Excellent) from B++ (Good) and issuer credit ratings to “a-“ from “bbb+” of its subsidiary Oxford Life Insurance Company (Oxford Life). This rating […]

    AIG’s Benmosche to Step Down in Early 2015

    {May 13th, 2014} by Michael Buck

    NEW YORK – The American International Group Inc. board of directors is evaluating candidates to succeed President and Chief Executive Officer Robert H. Benmosche, who plans to step down from his posts in early 2015. It will be the second time Benmosche, who has been with AIG since 2009, has retired as head of a […]

    America’s 50 Most Trustworthy Financial Companies

    {May 13th, 2014} by Kathryn Dill

    Earlier this month, Forbes released the 2014 list of the America’s 100 Most Trustworthy Companies, based on data from proprietary ratings provider and investment advisor GMI Ratings. The list included publicly-traded North American companies of all sizes and industries except one: financial companies, more specifically, banks and insurance companies. James Kaplan, director of GMI Ratings, […]

    American Financial Group named to Forbes list of Most Trustworthy Companies

    {May 13th, 2014} by Great American

    Forbes released a list of America’s 50 Most Trustworthy Financial Companies. We are pleased to report that Great American Life’s parent company, American Financial Group (AFG), ranked in the top seven within the large cap (over $5 billion) category.*   This recognition reflects AFG’s commitment to maintaining the highest level of integrity while conducting business […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Rating of Genworth Financial, Inc. and Its Key Life/Health Subsidiaries

    {May 13th, 2014} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a” of Genworth Life Insurance Company (Wilmington, DE), Genworth Life Insurance Company of New York (New York, NY) and Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company (Richmond, VA), the key life/health subsidiaries of Genworth Financial, Inc. (Genworth) […]

    Voya Financial Announces First Quarter 2014 Results

    {May 13th, 2014} by PRNewswire

    NEW YORK, May 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), which has rebranded from ING U.S., today reported financial results for the first quarter 2014: After-tax operating earnings1,2 of $150 million, or $0.57 per diluted share, compared with $167 million, or $0.73 per share in the first quarter of 20133. Net income available to […]

    Allstate Insurance Assigned Patent for Annuity having Interest Rate Coupled to Referenced Interest Rate

    {May 13th, 2014} by Targeted News Service

    ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 7 — Allstate Insurance, Northbrook, Illinois, has been assigned a patent (8,719,133) developed by Donald Paul Abbs, La Grange, Illinois, and Graham Donald Ireland, Glencoe, Illinois, for an “annuity having interest rate coupled to a referenced interest rate.” The patent application was filed on Sept. 27, 2012 (13/629,555). The full-text of the […]

    Allianz CEO Defends Profitable Pimco Amid Shareholder Criticism

    {May 13th, 2014} by Mary Childs and Oliver Suess

    (Bloomberg) –Allianz SE, defending itsPacific Investment Management Co. unit against shareholder criticism over declining returns and management infighting, said the bond manager has been a very profitable investment since the German insurer took it over in 1999. “We have more than earned back all the expenses spent on the purchase ofPimco over the past few […]

    4Q FIA Sales Skyrocket As Investors Seek More Control Over Volatility

    {May 13th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Fixed index annuities (FIA) sold like hot cakes last year, racking up big numbers in all directions. To recap: $38.71 billion worth of FIAs were sold last year, up 13.2 percent from 2012, according to Beacon Research. The fourth quarter alone saw sales of $11.75 billion, up 39.1 percent from the year-ago period, Beacon also […]

    MetLife Broadens Middle Market Reach With Final Expense Whole Life

    {May 13th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    MetLife has announced the launch of a final expense whole life insurance policy designed to appeal to middle-market customers 45 years old or older. Many of these consumers are still underinsured. Rates vary from $10 a month for a 45-year-old woman seeking $2,500 in coverage to $326 a month for a 75-year-old man seeking $20,000 […]

    Making the annuity fit: IVAs vs. structured annuities

    {May 12th, 2014} by Robert Bloink, William H. Byrnes

    Indexed variable annuities (IVAs) and structured annuities are two relatively new types of hybrid annuity products that are causing rampant confusion in today’s annuity marketplace. Used properly, these products can perform a significant role in a client’s portfolio, making it more important than ever to understand the nuances of these two annuity types. The investment […]

    Insurance Agents Urged to Follow Overstock.com, Insuritas Online Sales Model

    {May 11th, 2014} by Amy O'Conner

    Customers of Overstock.com can now furnish their home or office and insure them through the same source. The online retailer this week began selling small business, auto and home insurance along with furniture, rugs, beauty products and electronics. The mega-“etailer” launched Overstock.com Insurance Agency through a partnership with Insuritas, a provider of private-label insurance agencies […]

    Investment News Editorial: Finra right to watch indexed annuities

    {May 11th, 2014} by InvestmentNews Editorial

    To its credit, the Financial Regulatory Authority Inc. is paying close attention to how and when investors are exchanging variable annuities for other products, such as indexed annuities. Click HERE to view the full story; registration required         The indexed annuity business has been booming, with sales last year climbing to $38.6 […]

    Millennials doing better than prior U.S. generation, paper shows

    {May 10th, 2014} by Victoria Stilwell

    (Bloomberg) — In spite of — or thanks to — the worst recession in the post-World War II era, the kids are alright, conclude economists at the Federal Reserve. Compared with young adults from the generation prior, so-called Millennials in 2010 were more likely to own homes and retirement accounts and have bank deposits, according […]

    Advisors Face Expiring Univeral Life Plans

    {May 9th, 2014} by Andrew Coen

    Universal life insurance policies written decades ago, when the average life expectancy was lower and interest rates were higher, are now causing headaches for financial advisors when planning for their clients’ trusts and estates. The affected policies written in the 1980s and 1990s were priced based on an assumed interest rate, with rates at the […]

    Disaster-avoiding strategies for retirement beneficiaries

    {May 9th, 2014} by Tom Nawrocki

    Most clients name the beneficiaries for their retirement savings plans with careful consideration and in good faith. And most of the time, that’s a safe and easy thing to do, with little opportunity for disaster. But there is one mistake that is easy to make and seems so harmless the client might not even mention […]

    ACLI Pushes Back Against Findings of FSOC Report

    {May 9th, 2014} by Jeff Jeffrey

    WASHINGTON – The American Council of Life Insurers is defending the life industry in the wake of a Financial Stability Oversight Council report that said captive reinsurance vehicles and nontraditional investment strategies could pose threats to insurers’ financial stability. The FSOC’s May 7 report concluded the rising popularity of captive reinsurance entities could create risks […]

    S.D. Named Best State For Retirement

    {May 9th, 2014} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    PR Newswire Association LLC NEW YORK, May 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Florida and Arizona may be home to some of the country’s most popular retirement spots, but South Dakota is actually the best state for retirees, according to new research from Bankrate.com (NYSE: RATE). http://Bankrate.com looked at several factors to determine which states offer the […]

    LifeMark Partners Elects New Chairman, Two New Board Members

    {May 9th, 2014} by LifeMark Partners

    BALTIMORE – May 7, 2014 – LifeMark Partners, one of the nation’s largest independent national insurance marketing organizations, today named Mark Rosen of Pittsburgh as new chairman of its board of directors. Rosen, a founding member of LifeMark, is president of Underwriters Brokerage Service in Pittsburgh. LifeMark President Bill Shelow said Rosen, who has served […]

    Could Female Advisors Fix Boomers’ Retirement Crisis?

    {May 9th, 2014} by Kenneth Corbin

    WASHINGTON – Many women say they don’t feel prepared for retirement. Could more female advisors solve the problem? As millions of baby boomers prepare to exit the workforce in the coming years, a large majority of women are feeling anxious about their retirement security, according to a new study. While highlighting the important role that […]

    Ameriprise: Advisor Quality Trumps Quantity Amid Solid Overall Growth

    {May 9th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Recent declines in the number of advisors representing Ameriprise Financial isn’t as important as the quality of the advisors who are choosing to stay or are coming aboard, company executives said. The number of financial advisors — employee advisors and franchisee advisors — representing Ameriprise stands at 9,704, down by 73 advisors compared to the […]

    FSOC: Reinsurance Captives, Low Interest Rates Could Undermine Stability of Life Insurers

    {May 9th, 2014} by Jeff Jeffrey

    WASHINGTON – State and federal regulators should continue to monitor life insurance companies’ use of captive reinsurance entities as well as their investment strategies amid the ongoing low-interest environment, according to findings included in the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s annual report. Both captives and investment strategies could pose threats to their financial stability, the report […]