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Archive for August 2015


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  • Dave Ramsey’s unjust war on whole life insurance

    {August 31st, 2015} by Michael Markey

    My senior year at Eastern Michigan University, I met with a counselor to make sure everything was in order for me to graduate. Apparently, it was not. I had never taken Math 118: Linear Equations. Click HERE to read article…

    A.M. Best Upgrades Ratings of CNO Financial Group, Inc. and Its Life/Health Subsidiaries

    {August 31st, 2015} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has upgraded the financial strength rating (FSR) to A- (Excellent) from B++ (Good) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) to “a-” from “bbb+” for the life/health subsidiaries of CNO Financial Group, Inc. (CNO Financial) (Carmel, IN) [NYSE: CNO]. Concurrently, A.M. Best also has upgraded the ICR and existing senior issue ratings […]

    BestWeek: MetLife Says SIFI Designation a Product of FSOC ‘Imagination’

    {August 29th, 2015} by Rick Cornejo, managing editor, BestWeek: rick.cornejo@ambest.com

    OLDWICK, N.J. – The Financial Stability Oversight Council’s designation of MetLife Inc. as a systemically important financial institution is not based on facts, but on the council’s imaginative concepts of how the company could lead the country into another financial meltdown, a MetLife legal filing said, according to the latest edition of BestWeek. The FSOC […]

    AIG accuses Coventry First of illegal markups on death bets

    {August 28th, 2015} by ERIK LARSON AND PATRICIA HURTADO

    (Bloomberg) — Coventry First LLC illegally marked up prices on hundreds of investments that bet on when people would die, an American International Group Inc. unit said at the start of a fraud trial in New York. Lavastone Capital LLC, the AIG subsidiary, claims Coventry ripped it off of more than $150 million by systematically jacking […]

    Would Advisors Abandon The Market Over Fiduciary Rules?

    {August 28th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy

    Investors should expect to see financial advisors stampede out of the market if fiduciary rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) are adopted. That’s the view from industry lobbyists and executives representing insurance companies, broker/dealers, mutual funds and financial advisors. Not so, insist consumer groups, labor unions, who are among the proponents of […]

    How to enhance life insurance portfolio returns

    {August 27th, 2015} by Mike Siegel

    In today’s low yield environment, an efficient way for life insurers to enhance portfolio returns may be through investing in less liquid assets. Life insurers may be cautious of increasing credit risk as credit assets are expensive and credit underwriting standards are deteriorating. Increasing duration can be challenging when the path of interest rates remains uncertain […]

    Annuity Educator Partners with American Equity

    {August 27th, 2015} by Admin

    Clients will have access to an expanded suite of investment products and services Annuity Educator is pleased to announce that they have recently added American Equity to their long list of preferred partners. As a leading investment life insurance holding company, American Equity specializes in fixed index and fixed-rate annuity products. With this new partnership, Annuity […]

    3 ways social media can help the industry’s talent gap

    {August 26th, 2015} by Paul Wilson

    San Francisco – It’s no secret that the insurance industry is facing an enormous talent gap in the coming years. As more boomers retire every day, the industry will need to fill 70,000 positions per year, yet only 14,000 students each year are currently pursuing risk and insurance degrees. But as Jessica Gaudio of MyPath told attendees Thursday […]

    Allianz, Securian Among Insurers Focusing on Income Annuities

    {August 26th, 2015} by Linda Koco

    There might annuity product designs be heading in the second half of 2015? Based on the August product launches, the focus is on retirement income — and retirement security. Attention to accumulation does show up, but that too is couched in terms of income. Following are a few examples of the different ways this is […]

    What Your Financial Adviser Should be Doing for You

    {August 26th, 2015} by Chuck Epstein

    The age of consumerism has passed over the financial services industry. This means average investors who buy mutual funds, insurance policies, annuities and other types of investments work under the assumption that their financial adviser is working in their best interests. This is a false assumption. As numerous lawsuits and ongoing battles over the role […]

    Life Insurance Marketing Tool Launched

    {August 26th, 2015} by Christopher Robbins

    Life Happens, a non-profit group, is offering advisors a tool that aids in the marketing of life insurance products. The organization, dedicated to educating the public about health and life insurance, has made its Life Happens Pro platform available to advisors. “We’ve built this platform so that they can take advantage of social media,” Matt […]

    Study: Life insurance coverage gap hurts women more

    {August 26th, 2015} by Warren S. Hersch

    Expanding on a growing body of research focusing on women, a new report identifies a gender gap in financial preparedness. The study, unveiled by NerdWallet, reveals that more than 4 in 10 women who own life insurance (43 percent) would be financially impacted by the death of a spouse. The fallout from a spouse’s loss […]

    Women may be less prepared for the death of their spouse

    {August 26th, 2015} by Quentin Fottrell

    When the wage gap collides with the longevity gap Nearly half of women (49%) say their ability to make mortgage payments, save for college tuition and pay bills would be adversely affected by the death of their spouse, compared to just 37% of men, according to a new survey by personal finance site NerdWallet. Women […]

    Making Life Insurance Relevant for Today’s Consumers

    {August 26th, 2015} by Brooks Tingle

    We’ve come a long way from our old vanilla & chocolate world (Whole Life & Term that is) by Brooks Tingle Mr. Tingle is Senior Vice President, Marketing and Strategy for John Hancock Insurance. In addition to leading all of John Hancock’s insurance marketing activities, Mt. Tingle is charged with developing and implementing John Hancock’s […]

    Coming Soon!

    {August 25th, 2015} by Wink RockStars

    Serving as the industry’s #1 resource of indexed insurance product sales; Wink’s Sales & Market Report is unique in that it provides sales by product, company, crediting method, index, distribution channel, surrender charge period and more. The newest version of Wink’s Sales & Market Report will be released with the upcoming 2nd Quarter, 2015 results!   […]

    Life insurance for business owners: a multipurpose tool

    {August 25th, 2015} by David Port

    Any advisor who counts a business owner among their clients knows that telltale look, the one that says, “I already have too much on my plate running a company to worry about long-term planning stuff.” All too frequently, the day-to-day concerns of running a company push vital business planning and big-picture strategic decisions to the […]

    Brokers International to host annual WOMAN Fall Forum

    {August 25th, 2015} by Brokers International

    PRESS RELEASE For immediate release Contact: Karen Bump WOMAN phone: 866.250.9160 Email: kbump@biltd.com   Brokers International to host annual WOMAN Fall Forum Female financial professionals nationwide are invited to participate in Brokers International’s 2015 Women’s Mentoring Agent Network (WOMAN) Fall Forum. The two-day event to be held September 16 to 18 in Panora, Iowa will […]

    The arts mean business in Iowa

    {August 24th, 2015} by John Pappajohn

    9:29 p.m. CDT August 11, 2015 Ask an outsider what they know about Iowa, and they may say one of three things, CORN … HOGS … and FARMLAND. Yes, Iowa is known for its agricultural bounty. But visit the world-famous Art Institute of Chicago, and you’ll undoubtedly run into “American Gothic,” a painting universally recognized […]

    A.M. Best Special Report: Low Interest Rates Continue to Restrain U.S. Life/Annuity Results

    {August 24th, 2015} by Business Wire

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The U.S. life/health (L/H) industry performed favorably in the first quarter of 2015, with a 54% increase in net income and a 5.8% increase in direct premiums written (DPW), compared with the prior-year period, according to a new A.M. Best special report. However, despite the positive earnings in the first quarter and in recent […]

    2015 Advisor of the Year: Eric Scott

    {August 24th, 2015} by Daniel Williams

    Eric Scott, for lack of a better word, is a storyteller. He weaves pages from history, insights from his 30 years as a retirement expert, even touchstones from his personal life, to better connect with his clients, providing guideposts for their retirement. When Scott’s Dad died earlier this year he spoke about it on his […]

    Life/Annuities Losing Wallet Share With 21st-Century Consumers

    {August 24th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy

    Sluggish sales trends in the life insurance and annuities sector beg the question: Will life insurance and annuities as we know them be relegated to niche products one day? Are they not already there, so far as consumers are concerned? Nasty, ugly thoughts unwelcome at the tail end of the splendid summer months. Click HERE […]

    Iowa Insurance Commissioner: US System Deserves Mutual Recognition From European Regulators

    {August 24th, 2015} by Thomas Harman, Washington Bureau manager, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

    CHICAGO – Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart said the U.S. state-based insurance system deserves mutual recognition from European regulators attempting to create new international regulations. Gerhart spoke with Best’s News Service at the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s Summer National Meeting. The following is an edited transcript of the interview. Q: You’re a member of […]

    MetLife: SIFI Designation a Product of FSOC ‘Imagination’

    {August 24th, 2015} by Frank Klimko, Washington correspondent, BestWeek: frank.klimko@ambest.com

    WASHINGTON – The Financial Stability Oversight Council’s designation of MetLife Inc. as a systemically important financial institution is not based on facts, but on the council’s imaginative concepts of how the company could lead the country into another financial meltdown, MetLife said. The FSOC critique was contained in a MetLife legal brief filed Aug. 21 […]

    MetLife fights risk label by saying it’s not a U.S. finance firm

    {August 24th, 2015} by Ian Katz and Andrew harris

    (Bloomberg) — MetLife Inc.’s fight to free itself from a costly government label is increasingly focusing on a bold argument: The giant insurer isn’t actually a U.S. financial company.   In court papers filed in Washington on Friday, MetLife said it doesn’t meet the legal definition of a U.S. non-bank financial firm, in part because […]

    American Equity Marks Major Milestone in Client Appreciation

    {August 24th, 2015} by NAFA Staff

    American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company, a leading issuer of fixed indexed annuities, celebrated its 100th Client Appreciation Event recently in Louisville, Kentucky. American Equity representatives hosted more than 300 policyholders and guests for an informal luncheon. The attendees enjoyed an opportunity to learn more about the industry, their individual annuities and ask Company leaders […]

    LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute Reports Total Annuity Sales Reach $60.2 Billion in Second Quarter 2015

    {August 24th, 2015} by LIMRA

    Annuity Sales Rebound from First Quarter But Fall Below Prior Year Results U.S. annuity sales totaled $60.2 billion in the second quarter 2015, 3 percent lower than sales recorded prior year, according to LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute’s second quarter U.S. Individual Annuities Sales Survey. “Second quarter annuity sales results were 10 percent higher than in […]

    IUL: A Nontraditional Way to Allocate Retirement Assets

    {August 24th, 2015} by N/A

    Asset allocation in retirement income planning is perhaps one of the most fundamental concepts to ensuring sufficient retirement income while maximizing the growth potential of a client’s assets. While equities, bonds and cash equivalents are some of the traditional asset classes, or buckets, that advisors seek out in designing any given client’s allocation strategy, a […]

    100 facts people need to know about annuities

    {August 24th, 2015} by Sheryl J. Moore

    June marked the second annual commencement of National Annuity Awareness Month-a month dedicated to educating consumers about annuities, their benefits and features. Since I was out on maternity leave last June, this was my first opportunity to be involved in the festivities. In fact, I was able to obtain the Iowa governor’s Proclamation, identifying the […]

    Principal Financial names new CEO

    {August 21st, 2015} by Kevin Hardy and Matthew Patane

    Larry Zimpleman, who as CEO steered Principal Financial Group through the Great Recession, has stepped aside, passing control to Chief Operations Officer Dan Houston. Zimpleman, Principal’s CEO since 2008, will stay active within the company as the executive chairman of the board of directors, a board-approved move that became effective Tuesday. Zimpleman was responsible for […]

    Principal Financial names new president and CEO

    {August 21st, 2015} by The Associated Press

       DES MOINES, Iowa —Principal Financial Group announced that Daniel Houston has been named president and chief executive officer. The new position will be effective Aug. 18. “Careful and thoughtful succession planning is an integral part of our business success,” said Larry Zimpleman, chairman of Principal’s Board of Directors. “Dan brings 31 years of experience […]

    Marketers Have Lost Control of Insurance Buying Process

    {August 21st, 2015} by Andrew G. Simpson

    After careers spent crafting and controlling their companies’ messaging to customers, insurance marketing and advertising professionals have lost control. Customers and prospects have taken over. Increasingly, today’s insureds and prospects care more about what other parties have to say than they do about what an insurer or agency has to say about its products and […]

    Yet another gender gap: key facts about women in 3 infographics

    {August 21st, 2015} by Warren S. Hersch

    If you’re a loyal reader of LifeHealthPro, then you’re likely aware of a gender gap — actually, multiple ones — in the market for insurance and financial services. Lest your memory is in need of refreshing, here are some examples from industry surveys we’ve reported on in this space: Click HERE to read

    What’s Behind Japanese Life Insurers Acquiring U.S. Companies?

    {August 20th, 2015} by InsuranceNewsNet

    Recent billion-dollar acquisitions of U.S. life carriers by large Japanese life insurers don’t necessarily mark the beginning of a trend, as very few Japanese insurers are large enough to execute such transactions, an analyst said. With three of the four largest Japanese insurers having announced U.S. acquisitions in the past year, the Japanese giants are […]

    Financial Marketers, Millennials And The Opportunities Therein

    {August 20th, 2015} by Steve Olenski

    Everybody should have health insurance. Life insurance. Auto insurance. Homeowner’s insurance or rental insurance. Bad hair day insurance. A pension plan. Savings bonds. Gold buried in the backyard. Yada, yada and yada. There’s just too many financial products to buy, so why bother with any of them? Eat, drink, and be merry — for tomorrow […]

    D.M.-based Symetra Life has new owner

    {August 19th, 2015} by Matthew Patane

    A Des Moines-area life insurance company that came to Iowa last year has a new owner from Japan. Symetra Financial, a Washington-based company, announced Tuesday that it is now owned by Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. Sumitomo is a life insurance company with headquarters in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. The acquisition of Symetra Financial includes Symetra […]

    Four More Carriers Sign With DTCC Producer Management Portal

    {August 19th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy

    Transamerica, New York Life, Great American and Prudential have signed on to a producer management portal offered by the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. (DTCC). The automated platform offers insurers a centralized database for the annuities industry to track, share and verify producer training completions. Because annuity agents can be licensed and appointed in many […]

    Brokers Call for Implementation of National Licensing Reform Law

    {August 19th, 2015} by Andrew G. Simpson

    Insurance producers are calling upon the Obama Administration to begin implementation of a licensing reform measure signed into law eight months ago. When President Obama signed the renewal of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) in January, he also signed into law an attached measure to streamline insurance producer licensing known as the National Association […]

    Manulife reports 2Q15 core earnings of $902 million, strong top line growth and $883 billion in assets under management and administration

    {August 19th, 2015} by PRNewswire

    C$ unless otherwise stated TSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC SEHK:945 Performance and strategic highlights: Asia Division – Delivered strong double digit growth, versus prior year, in insurance sales and new business value driven by sales in Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore; doubled wealth and asset management gross flows compared with prior year levels, reflecting the success of new […]

    What Do People Need to Know About Annuities?

    {August 18th, 2015} by Sheryl J. Moore

    June marked the second annual commencement of National Annuity Awareness Month- a month dedicated to educating consumers about annuities, their benefits, and features.  Since I was out on maternity leave last June, this was my first opportunity to be involved in the festivities. In fact, I was able to obtain the Iowa governor’s Proclamation, identifying the indexed annuity capital of […]


    {August 18th, 2015} by Jamie Johnson

    Wink loves the latest viral Twitter campaign #ILookLikeAnEngineer!  Facing our own industry stereotypes, we can relate with fellow insurance agents who “do not fit the cookie-cutter mold”.  Calling all Agents! Stand up and join our campaign! Tweet us a photo to redefine who an insurance agent is #ILookLikeAnAgent  Click HERE for further #ILookLikeAnEngineer inspiration  

    How 10 life insurers got their start

    {August 18th, 2015} by Nichole Morford

    Before the tax advantages, before the investment elements, before a single fancy rider had been dreamed up, the need for life insurance was recognized and honored. This is a product that can be traced all the way back to ancient Rome, where military leaders established guilds called “benevolent societies” to cover funeral expenses and living […]

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

    {August 18th, 2015} by Best's News Service

    CONTACTS:   Michael Adams Senior Financial Analyst (908) 439-2200, ext. 5133 michael.adams@ambest.comStephen Irwin Vice President (908) 439-2200, ext. 5454 stephen.irwin@ambest.com Christopher Sharkey Manager, Public Relations (908) 439-2200, ext. 5159 christopher.sharkey@ambest.comJim Peavy Assistant Vice President, Public Relations (908) 439-2200, ext. 5644 james.peavy@ambest.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OLDWICK – AUGUST 18, 2015 A.M. Best has affirmed the financial […]

    FSI: DOL Fiduciary Rule To Cost IBDs $3.9 Billion

    {August 18th, 2015} by Megan Leonhardt

    The Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciary rule will cost independent broker/dealers nearly $3.9 billion in start-up costs, according to a new study commissioned by the Financial Services Institute. The industry lobby group released the report, conducted by Oxford Economics, on Tuesday. The report found that startup costs per firm range from $1.1 million to $16.3 million, […]

    CORRECTING and REPLACING New Study Reveals What Women Breadwinners Want and Need and How They Are “Leaning In” on Financial Decisions

    {August 18th, 2015} by Business Wire

    Family, friends pressure women to downplay breadwinner status; 28% say parents disapprove Many lack confidence in wealth management skills, give advisors low grades Almost half want more flexibility from employer to juggle personal, work commitments CORRECTION…by Family Wealth Advisors Council August 18, 2015 04:41 PM Eastern Daylight Time SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In the paragraph above the […]

    Providing much needed life coverage to women

    {August 18th, 2015} by Paul Mallett

    Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand for past 20 years or so, you are aware women are assuming greater financial control within the family. In fact, it’s quite common now for the woman to be the primary breadwinner.Women today are every bit as financially savvy as men, and are often more concerned […]

    What We Heard at the DOL Fiduciary Hearing

    {August 18th, 2015} by John Hilton

    After four days, 75 speakers, and 27 hours of testimony featuring thousands upon thousands of words devoted to the vagaries of financial planning, the Department of Labor closed its public hearing today. The next steps are likely to provide some interesting political theater — more on that in a moment. Officially, the DOL will publish […]

    Olympian Embracing New Challenge In Virtual Financial Planning

    {August 18th, 2015} by Beaver County Times

    Aug. 15– Lauryn Williams is always looking for her next adventure. First, it was track, a first love that took her all the way from high school state championships to the Olympics. When that ended, there was bobsled, an unexpected second love that made her one of six athletes to win a medal in both […]

    DBHC Advisory Network Launches Innovative Website for Registered Representatives

    {August 18th, 2015} by DressanderBHC

    Naperville, IL (DATE) Dressander|BHC, a leading independent financial marketing organization (FMO) based in Naperville, IL, recently launched a new website (www.dbhcadvisory.com) tailored for registered representatives affiliated with its Broker-Dealer Division, DBHC Advisory Network. DBHC Advisory Network brings marketing programs and a powerful array of conservative accumulation and guaranteed income solutions, such as fixed indexed annuities, […]

    CFA criticizes 3 industry arguments against proposed DOL fiduciary rule

    {August 18th, 2015} by Marlene Y. Satter

    The Consumer Federation of America has come out swinging in favor of the Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciary rule. In its latest foray, CFA has targeted three separate arguments made by the financial industry against the proposed rules, saying that rule makers can “safely ignore” them “as the last gasp efforts of industry to maintain a […]

    Transamerica parent misses profit estimates for Q2 earnings

    {August 18th, 2015} by David De Jong, Bloomberg

    (Bloomberg) – Shares of Aegon NV, the Dutch owner of U.S. insurer Transamerica Corp., fell the most in almost two years after the company reported second-quarter profit below estimates and lowered its target for a key financial ratio. The company on Thursday said net income stood at 350 million euros ($389 million) in the three months […]

    Annuity Sales Rebound In 2Q To Reach $60.2B

    {August 18th, 2015} by LIMRA

    WINDSOR, Conn. Aug. 18, 2015—U.S. annuity sales totaled $60.2 billion in the second quarter 2015, 3 percent lower than sales recorded prior year, according to LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute’s second quarter U.S. Individual Annuities Sales Survey. “Second quarter annuity sales results were 10 percent higher than in the first quarter. Annuity sales were strong–since 2010, […]

    A Mixed Bag Revealed In 2Q Earnings Reports

    {August 18th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy

    Genworth reported a second-quarter loss of $193 million, or 39 cents per diluted share, compared with net income of $176 million, or 35 cents per share in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time costs, earnings came to 24 cents a share, missing Zacks Investment Research analysts’ expectations by 2 cents a share. After-tax losses were […]

    U.S. fixed indexed annuity sales on growth course

    {August 17th, 2015} by Peggy Bresnick

    While overall annuity sales are stalling, fixed indexed annuities continue to gain momentum. For instance, industry-wide annuity sales in the U.S. during the first quarter of this year reached $52.7 billion, which represented a 6.9 percent decrease from $56.6 billion in the previous quarter. This is according to sales results for the U.S. annuity industry […]

    Permanent life insurance coverage hits record high in military

    {August 17th, 2015} by Warren S. Hersch

    The men and women of the U.S. armed forces who put themselves daily in harm’s way hold among the nation’s most dangerous occupations. So it should come as little surprise that demand for life insurance is particular high in the military. You may be interested to learn, however, that policy purchases are not all for […]

    IRA assets expected to hit $12 trillion by end of decade

    {August 17th, 2015} by Marlene Y. Satter

    Total IRA assets will likely reach $11.7 trillion by the year 2020, according to new research from Cerulli Associates. The report, “Evolution of the Retirement Investor 2015,” looked at the following: CLICK HERE to read 

    Helping clients understand fixed index annuities: Opinion

    {August 17th, 2015} by Ed McCarthy, CFP, RICP

    I recently completed a continuing education course on fixed index annuities (FIAs). It was a useful review of the products, but what struck me was the difference between FIAs’ internal structures and the outcomes that the client sees. FIAs have lots of moving parts that advisors consider to best meet clients’ needs: index selection and […]

    Don’t leave working Americans in the dark on retirement savings

    {August 17th, 2015} by Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-Ga.)

    Having owned and operated community pharmacies for nearly thirty years, I take pride in having provided my employees with the tools they needed to achieve financial independence. One of the most important tools in this effort were retirement investment plans so they could save to retire comfortably. Unfortunately the Obama administration is now taking steps […]

    Life Insurance Activity Up 4% In July

    {August 17th, 2015} by MIB

    Braintree, MA. (August 14, 2015) — U.S. application activity for individually underwritten life insurance was up +4.0% in July, year-over-year, all ages combined according to the MIB Life Index. July’s strength comes on the heels of progressive quarterly growth in 2015 with Q1 up +1.5% and Q2 up +2.6% 2015/2014. Year-to-date (YTD) July, the MIB […]

    A.M. Best Briefing: A Reach for Yield: Fixed Indexed Annuity Writers Turn to Less Liquid Bonds

    {August 17th, 2015} by Business Wire

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With the continuation of low interest rates and narrowing credit spreads, A.M. Best is seeing evidence that some life insurers are reaching for yield via the assumption of liquidity risk in their fixed income portfolios. According to a new Best’s Briefing, titled, “A Reach for Yield: Fixed Indexed Annuity Writers Turn to Less […]

    Annuity Expert To DOL: What Is ‘Reasonable’ Compensation?

    {August 17th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy

    Department of Labor (DOL) officials need to refine their fiduciary rule proposal by detailing what they mean by insurance commission, an insurance and annuity expert said. He added that the department should retain sales incentives and marketing payments paid to agents. Jim Poolman, executive director of the Indexed Annuity Leadership Council, also urged the Labor […]

    Sammons Financial Group Donates $50,000 to Children and Family Urban Movement

    {August 17th, 2015} by Marketwired

    DES MOINES, IA–(Marketwired – August 14, 2015) – Sammons Financial Group has donated $50,000 to the Children and Family Urban Movement (CFUM), a non-profit organization that supports children and families through academic programs in the Des Moines community. The donated funds will allow CFUM to upgrade its technology infrastructure for both staff and participating youth […]

    Jackson Introduces LifePaySM Benefit for Fixed Index Annuity

    {August 17th, 2015} by Business Wire

    August 17, 2015 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time LANSING, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jackson National Life Insurance Company® (Jackson®) today announced the launch of LifePay, the company’s first lifetime income benefit option within the Jackson AscenderPlus Select fixed index annuity (FIA). The new feature, available for an additional charge, offers contract-holders the flexibility to start or stop income […]

    Jackson Generates Record Income In First Half

    {August 17th, 2015} by Manufacturing Close Up

    Jackson National Life Insurance Company generated a record $1.3 billion in IFRS pretax operating income during the first half of 2015, an increase of 14 percent over the first half of 2014. In a release on August 11, the Company noted that this overall increase was primarily driven by increased fee income on higher separate […]

    Virginia Financial Advisor Under Investigation For Fraud

    {August 16th, 2015} by Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA)

    Aug. 16–On the surface, Daryl Bank looks like a local businessman who has made it big. His face is on the cover of books offering financial advice. His voice was broadcast on radio stations here and in more than two dozen other markets around the country. Click HERE to read article       Wink’s […]

    FIA FAQ: 7 key facts about fixed index annuities

    {August 14th, 2015} by Peggy Bresnick

    With a wide range of benefits that include tax deferred accumulation, potential to earn interest linked to an index and protection against loss of principal, fixed index annuities (FIAs) can be a great component in an individual’s overall retirement plan. However, even though FIAs can be a great way for individuals to protect their assets […]

    DOL Fiduciary Hearings II: BIC on the Hot Seat

    {August 14th, 2015} by John Hilton

    Department of Labor officials found some areas of agreement with financial execs this afternoon on its controversial “best interest contract exemption,” known as BIC. In place of the BIC, Charles Nelson, CEO of retirement for Voya Financial, proposed a one-page “Customer’s Bill of Rights.” It would include any disclosures, compensation terms, and encourage investors to […]

    How to compare life insurance policies

    {August 14th, 2015} by STEPHAN R. LEIMBERG, ROBERT J. DOYLE, JR., KEITH A. BUCK

    Editor’s Note: This article is excerpted from Tools & Techniques of Life Insurance Planning, 6th edition, which delivers detailed information about the entire range of life insurance products that can be used by estate and financial planners in a wide variety of circumstances. It includes planning techniques for retirement income needs, estate and gift tax avoidance, estate liquidity […]

    Pros and Cons of Indexed Universal Life Insurance

    {August 14th, 2015} by Casey Dowd

    According to LIMRA, indexed universal life insurance policy premiums increased 23% in 2014. But financial experts warn this product, which was first introduced in 1997, is not for everyone. Robert Quinlan, the managing member of Quinlan Care LLC, an insurance agency/brokerage firm based in New York, discussed with me the pros and cons of this […]

    DOL’s Perez Defends Fiduciary Rule, Setting Up Legislative Challenge

    {August 14th, 2015} by John Hilton

    Faced with legislative pressure to slow momentum toward an expanded fiduciary rule, a defiant Labor Secretary Thomas Perez brushed aside criticism in a new letter. Tensions over the conflict of interest rule – heightened this week by a four-day public hearing – played out in an exchange of letters. In recent days, 12 Democratic senators […]

    NAFA Fights to Protect Your Business

    {August 14th, 2015} by Chip Anderson

    Message from NAFA First and foremost, I’d like to thank the industry for the warm welcome I received as I assumed the post of Executive Director at NAFA on May 1. Working with NAFA over the past 15+ years, I know all too well how critical it is to have a clear voice protecting and […]

    11 do’s and don’ts on how to handle your competition

    {August 14th, 2015} by Bryce Sanders

    Who doesn’t love regulation? At one time, the financial services industry and the airlines were regulated. Everyone charged about the same amount for the services they provided. Competitors differentiated themselves through their extras. Brokerage firms talked about the depth of their research. Click HERE to read article 

    Five tips for when you want to exchange your annuity

    {August 13th, 2015} by Andrew Murdoch

    It happens all the time. At some point, an annuity owner hears about a 1035 Exchange — a tax-free exchange from one annuity to another — and wonders whether he or she should swap their annuity for another, especially if they no longer face surrender charges.. If you can get better benefits or a higher […]

    11 do’s and don’ts on how to handle your competition

    {August 13th, 2015} by Bryce Sanders

    Who doesn’t love regulation? At one time, the financial services industry and the airlines were regulated. Everyone charged about the same amount for the services they provided. Click HERE to read article 

    The top 5 fixed annuity benefits to discuss with clients

    {August 13th, 2015} by Rich Lane

    When it comes to making financial preparations for the future, there is nothing clients love more than a sure thing. The opportunity to make investments with a guaranteed minimum rate of return is just one of the reasons why fixed annuities are gaining in popularity, especially among post-recession investors. In a recent post, I outlined […]

    A.M. Best Comments on Ratings of Symetra Financial Corporation and Its Subsidiaries Following Acquisition Announcement

    {August 13th, 2015} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has commented that the issuer credit rating (ICR) of “bbb+” of Symetra Financial Corporation(Symetra) (headquartered in Bellevue, WA) [NYSE: SYA], as well as the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and the ICRs of “a+” of the two domestic life/health insurance subsidiaries of Symetra: Symetra Life Insurance Company (headquartered in Bellevue, […]

    Sumitomo Life to Acquire Symetra for $3.76 Billion

    {August 13th, 2015} by Renée Kiriluk-Hill, associate editor, BestWeek: renee.kiriluk-hill@ambest.com

    TOKYO – Sumitomo Life Insurance Company of Japan said it plans to acquire Symetra Financial Corp. for $3.76 billion. Symetra, a major U.S. stop-loss insurer, is to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo and continue to operate from Bellevue, Washington. Sumitomo said it believes the acquisition would enhance its “financial and earnings foundation as […]

    Crashing the boys’ club: How female millennials can break into the advisory industry

    {August 13th, 2015} by Emily Zulz

    While the financial services industry has historically been known as a male-dominated field, that’s slowly starting to change. ThinkAdvisor, a sister site of LifeHealthPro, sat down with two women at the helm of a new women’s initiative at Lincoln Financial Network to hear how they are working hard to tackle the boys’ club image attached to […]

    S&P Upgrades American Equity Investent Life Holding & Ins. Cos

    {August 13th, 2015} by Bloomberg

    The following is a press release from Standard & Poor’s: — American Equity improved its capital above our ‘A’ target level through deleveraging and retaining earnings. — We are revising our financial risk profile on the company to strong from moderately strong and raising our ratings on the company to ‘A-‘ from ‘BBB+’. — The […]

    Insurance Industry Reps Question Costs of DOL’s Proposed Fiduciary Rule

    {August 13th, 2015} by Frank Klimko, Washington correspondent, BestWeek: frank.klimko@ambest.com

    WASHINGTON – A proposed U.S. Department of Labor regulation overstates the benefits of tightening conflict of interest standards for retirement advisers while not recognizing that the new rules could cost investors up to $19 billion a year, insurance industry representatives said. “You are the agent of Leviathan,” Ron Bird, senior regulatory economist at the U.S. […]

    Halting the brain drain: Can insurance protect its intellectual legacy

    {August 12th, 2015} by John Mountford

    The insurance industry is built on the skill of its underwriters’ in assessing and pricing risk, but there are some indicators that suggest an aging workforce combined with a continuing lack of contract certainty could be creating future challenges. Steps should be taken now to record the knowledge, experience and even the mistakes of industry […]

    Weak annuity sales show no signs of recovery: AnnuityFYI

    {August 12th, 2015} by IFAwebnews Staff

    Despite the retirement and pending retirement of Baby Boomers – the most affluent and second-biggest generation in American history – annuity sales are faltering and may not rebound, according to AnnuityFYI, an online informational resource for annuity shoppers. According to AnnuityFYI, data from the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), Morningstar Inc., Beacon Research and LIMRA Secure […]

    Pa. insurance department recovers $70 million from life insurers in first half of 2015

    {August 12th, 2015} by IFAwebnews Staff

    Insurance Department Recovers More Than $70 Million for Pennsylvania Life Insurance Beneficiaries in First Half of 2015 as Part of Ongoing Multi-State Probe Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller announced her department has recovered $70,449,334 for 4,293 beneficiaries through the first six months of 2015, as Pennsylvania continues to serve as a lead state in several multi-state […]

    Annuities critical in retirement planning

    {August 12th, 2015} by Peggy Bresnick

    Retirement income estimates vary considerably, but one thing is clear across the board:  it’s essential for every individual to have a solid retirement strategy that includes enough savings and/or a steady stream of cash to guard against outliving assets. One rule of thumb is that an individual will need 70 percent of pre-retirement yearly salary […]

    Phoenix Cos. CEO: Sales, Cost-Cutting Leading to ‘Sustainable Growth’

    {August 12th, 2015} by Dennis Gorski, managing editor-online, BestWeek: Dennis.Gorski@ambest.com

    HARTFORD, Conn. – Phoenix Cos. Chief Executive Officer James Wehr said life and annuity sales increased as it narrowed its second-quarter net loss. Net loss narrowed to $22.4 million from a loss of $73 million. Total revenue rose to $422 million, from $413.1 million. “The quarter was marked by mixed financial results,” James Wehr, president […]

    10 scary retirement statistics

    {August 12th, 2015} by Marlene Y. Satter

    While some (very few) industry experts say there’s little or nothing to fear on the retirement front, deep down inside we all know it’s not true. How else to explain how worried everyone is about retirement? Insecurity on the job (or a complete absence of employment), low and frozen salaries, high expenses and unpredictable markets […]

    8 reasons why FIA sales are soaring

    {August 11th, 2015} by Peggy Bresnick

    Fixed index annuities combine the reliability and predictability of a fixed annuity with the ability to benefit from stock market trends inherent in index annuities, which rely on a stock market index like the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the Standard & Poor’s 500. Individuals that opt for fixed index annuities have the security of […]

    Sumitomo Life To Acquire Symetra Financial

    {August 11th, 2015} by Business Wire

    Symetra to Operate as a Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Sumitomo Life and Maintain Current Businesses, Employees, Management Team, Strategy, Operations, Community Support and Headquarters All-cash Transaction Offers a Meaningful Premium and Compelling Value to Symetra Shareholders BELLEVUE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Symetra Financial Corporation (NYSE: SYA) (“Symetra”) today announced that it has entered into a definitive merger […]

    Sumitomo Life to buy Buffett-backed Symetra for $3.8 billion

    {August 11th, 2015} by Bloomberg

    (Aug 11): Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. agreed to buy Symetra Financial Corp. for about $3.8 billion as the Japanese company seeks to expand in the U.S. Symetra investors will receive $32 a share in cash plus a special dividend of 50 cents a share, Bellevue, Washington-based Symetra said Tuesday in a statement. Symetra closed at […]

    Fidelity & Guaranty Life Reports Quarterly Results

    {August 11th, 2015} by PRNewswire

    DES MOINES, Iowa, Aug. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Fidelity & Guaranty Life (NYSE: FGL), a leading provider of annuities and life insurance, today reported net income of $86 million or $1.48 per diluted common share for the fiscal third quarter of 2015 ended on June 30, 2015(1). The Company reported adjusted operating income of $25 million, or $0.43 […]

    Voya Financial Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results

    {August 11th, 2015} by Voya

    WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5, 2015 NEW YORK, Aug. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today the following financial results for the second quarter of 2015: After-tax operating earnings1,2 of $179 million, or $0.78 per diluted share, compared with $213 million, or $0.83 per diluted share in the second quarter of 20143. The following […]

    AIG Reports 2Q Net Income Of $1.8B

    {August 11th, 2015} by Business Wire

    Second quarter 2015 after-tax operating income of $1.9 billion or $1.39 per diluted share Book value per share excluding AOCI and DTA of $62.22 increased 10 percent from the prior-year quarter Approximately $2.3 billion in share repurchases during the second quarter of 2015; additional repurchases of approximately $965 million through the end of July 2015 […]

    A.M. Best Removes from Under Review and Affirms Ratings of Genworth Financial Inc. and Its Subsidiaries; Assigns Negative Outlook

    {August 11th, 2015} by Business Wire

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best has removed from under review with developing implications and affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a-” of the key life/health subsidiaries of Genworth Financial, Inc.(Genworth) (Richmond, VA) [NYSE:GNW]. Additionally, the ICR of “bbb-” of Genworth and its existing issue ratings have been […]

    Genworth reduced 220 positions, won’t sell its life and annuity businesses

    {August 11th, 2015} by JOHN REID BLACKWELL Richmond Times-Dispatch

    Genworth Financial Inc. confirmed Wednesday that it reduced about 220 positions in the first six months of this year as the Henrico County-based insurer looks to cut costs. And Genworth executives told analysts that the company is no longer looking at selling its life and annuity insurance businesses. Thomas J. McInerney, the company’s president and […]

    Genworth CEO Halts Sale Of Life Insurance Unit

    {August 11th, 2015} by LifeHealthPro

    (Bloomberg) — Genworth Financial Inc., the insurer that has been selling units to rebuild capital, said it will probably not get rid of its entire life and annuity operation. The insurer may instead seek buyers for blocks of life contracts, Chief Executive Officer Tom McInerney said Wednesday in a conference call discussing results at the […]

    Genworth Financial Announces 2Q Results

    {August 11th, 2015} by PRNewswire

        RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Strategic Actions Taken Expected To Generate In Excess Of $600 Million Of Proceeds In 2015 Reduced Stake In Genworth Australia Mortgage Insurance By 14 Percent; Retained Majority Share In Exclusive Negotiations For Sale of Lifestyle Protection Insurance Business Transactions Executed To Generate Approximately $500 Million of […]

    National Western Life Announces 2015 Second Quarter Earnings

    {August 11th, 2015} by PRNewswire

    AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Ross R. Moody, President and Interim Chief Executive Officer of National Western Life Insurance Company (Nasdaq: NWLI), announced today second quarter 2015 consolidated net earnings of $28.9 million, or $8.16 per diluted Class A common share, compared with consolidated net earnings of $29.2 million, or $8.25 per diluted Class […]

    Prudential adds $3 billion of assets in Deutsche Bank India deal

    {August 11th, 2015} by KATHERINE CHIGLINSKY

    (Bloomberg) — Prudential Financial Inc., the second- largest U.S. life insurer, agreed to buy Deutsche Bank AG’s India asset-management business. The unit had average assets under management of more than $3 billion in the second quarter, Newark, New Jersey-based Prudential said Friday in a statement that didn’t disclose terms. Prudential has been seeking to bolster […]

    Prudential Reports Strong Performance In 2Q

    {August 11th, 2015} by Business Wire

    NEWARK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU): After-tax adjusted operating income of $1.350 billion, or $2.91 per Common share, compared to $2.49 per Common share for the year-ago quarter.1 Significant items included in current quarter adjusted operating income: – Pre-tax net benefit of $117 million from reserve refinements and adjustments of amortization of deferred policy […]

    EMC Insurance Net Rises as Second-Quarter Rate Hikes Exceed Industry Average

    {August 11th, 2015} by Renée Kiriluk-Hill, associate editor, BestWeek

    DES MOINES, Iowa – EMC Insurance Group’s second-quarter net income increased nearly eight-fold as its property/casualty insurance segment continues to achieve targeted rate level increases that exceed the industry average, said Bruce Kelley, president and chief executive officer. These increases helped to “improve overall premium rate adequacy and drive organic premium growth,” Kelley said in […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Allianz SE and Most of Its Subsidiaries

    {August 11th, 2015} by AM Best

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE LONDON – AUGUST 06, 2015 A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength ratings (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of Allianz SE (Allianz) (Germany) and most of its A.M. Best rated subsidiaries. In addition, A.M. Best has upgraded the FSR to A+ (Superior) from A (Excellent) […]

    Allianz refreshes fixed-index universal life insurance lineup

    {August 11th, 2015} by Trevor Hunnicutt

    A subsidiary of the insurance giant Allianz SE on Tuesday announced changes to its fixed-index universal life insurance lineup, offering a new underlying index and benefits to the product’s fast-growing market. Two of the firms’ products now will be available with a new benchmark, the Barclays U.S. Dynamic Balance Index II, that’s used to calculate […]

    Allianz names DuMond CEO of U.S. broker-dealer Questar

    {August 11th, 2015} by KATHERINE CHIGLINSKY

    (Bloomberg) — Questar Capital, the broker-dealer owned by a North American life insurance unit ofAllianz SE, named Sherri DuMond chief executive officer, replacing Kevin Bachmann. Questar Capital also named Scott Carlson as president and national sales director, the Minneapolis-based unit said Tuesday in a statement. DuMond was most recently senior vice president and head of distribution training […]

    Allianz CFO Looks to Strategic Changes in Life/Health; P/C Performance Shines

    {August 11th, 2015} by AM Best

    MUNICH – Allianz Group had a strong second quarter on lower catastrophe losses and premium growth in property/casualty lines, while the group’s chief financial officer said he looks to strategic changes in product offerings for the life/health segment and ongoing recovery in its asset management segment to overcome lower results. CFO Dieter Wemmer said in […]

    What Practitioners Should Know about IRA Distribution Rules

    {August 11th, 2015} by Jamie Johnson

    If the beneficiary of a deceased owner of an individual retirement account fails to comply with the post-death required minimum distribution rules and the other post-death IRA distribution rules, then the beneficiary can be subject to penalties from the Internal Revenue Service. Practitioners should know the rules and work with the custodian of a deceased […]

    MetLife hits LPL with major raiding suit

    {August 10th, 2015} by Mason Braswell

      Two large financial services firms, MetLife Inc. and LPL Financial, are locked in a heated dispute as MetLife looks to stem a tide of recent broker defections. In a still-unresolved arbitration claim filed in May with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc., MetLife, an insurance firm with about 5,000 brokers, accused LPL, which has […]

    D.C. unexpectedly gets new acting insurance commissioner

    {August 10th, 2015} by IFAwebnews Staff

    A former senior official with the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities & Banking (DISB) has rejoined as acting commissioner, following the abrupt departure of its previous acting commissioner. The new leader is the third to manage the District’s regulatory agency in less than two years. Stephen Taylor succeeds Chester A. McPherson, who has […]

    Allianz Life Adds Accumulation Bonus, New Index Option to Fixed Index Universal Life Insurance Policies

    {August 10th, 2015} by Business Wire

    MINNEAPOLIS, Aug 04, 2015 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) today announced enhancements to both the Allianz Life Pro+® Fixed Index Universal Life Insurance (FIUL) Policy and Allianz Life Pro+ SurvivorSM Fixed Index Universal Life Insurance (FIUL) Policy. In addition to helping agents provide income-tax-free death benefit protection for […]

    Smartphone security should be the No. 1 priority for advisers accessing client data on the go

    {August 10th, 2015} by Alessandra Malito

    As the shift to mobile transforms the financial services industry, advisers need to be aware of best-practice methods to ensure smartphone security. Although data breaches and hacking into enterprise networks and desktop computers have been more publicized lately, advisers who use their smartphones to access client data are also highly at risk — and they […]

    How the DOL proposal could impact you

    {August 10th, 2015} by Emily Holbrook

    The proposed DOL fiduciary rule has been weighing heavy on the industry’s mind since it was introduced back in April. Some sides say it will have a significant negative impact on advisors and insurers that sell annuities while others feel the claims are overblown. Here at the 2015 Advisor Network Summit, the feeling was a bit […]

    DOL fiduciary rule puts broker-dealers in Catch 22

    {August 10th, 2015} by Nick Thornton

    For all of the arguments raised by the Department of Labor’s proposed conflict-of-interest rule — 938 formal comments have been posted online, the preponderance in opposition to the rule — the most obvious, and perhaps most damaging to opponents of the rule, has yet to be fleshed out, according to one RIA. Not even the DOL has pointed out […]

    Prudential CEO: Labor’s ‘Fiduciary Rule’ May Have Unintended Consequences

    {August 10th, 2015} by Dennis Gorski, managing editor-online, BestWeek

    NEWARK, N.J. – Saying he wants to “ensure that consumer access to important retirement products is not impeded,” Prudential Financial’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Strangfeld used part of the company’s Aug. 6 conference call to detail its concerns over the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule proposal. Prudential filed a letter with the department […]

    Panels Mix Pro/Anti DOL Fiduciary Rule Speakers

    {August 10th, 2015} by John Hilton

    Seventy-five groups are lined up to butt heads at the Department of Labor’s four-day public hearing on its proposed fiduciary rule. The hearing begins at 9 a.m. Monday and is scheduled to conclude Thursday afternoon. The DOL added a fourth day to its initial three-day plan. Click HERE to read more       Wink’s […]


    {August 10th, 2015} by Lincoln Financial Group

    RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) today announced its Group Protection business is expanding its presence in the Atlanta area to accommodate growth and enhance the service it provides to customers and brokers. Lincoln has selected RiverEdge Summit as the new facility, which will open in the spring of 2016. The new location will […]

    Twitter for insurance agents: 5 quick tips

    {August 10th, 2015} by Kerri Tanner

    The insurance industry has made huge strides in the last decade. Our underwriting decisions are now informed by complex computer models and mapping tools, and yet our networking has stayed more or less the same. Although lunches, sporting events, happy hours and phone calls have driven marketing in the insurance industry since the beginning, with […]

    Jobs Report: Insurance Industry Added 9,600 Jobs in July

    {August 7th, 2015} by Thomas Harman, Washington Bureau manager, BestWeek

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. insurance industry continues to add jobs, picking up 9,600 in July, according to figures released Aug. 7 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The seasonally adjusted 0.37% increase for July over June illustrates the continued insurance industry growth during the past year. The growth rate for July was higher than the […]

    Fiduciary Rule Fallout: Advisors Say They’ll Walk

    {August 7th, 2015} by John Hilton

    Richard Murphy played big-time college football for four years, served in the Marines during the Vietnam War, and has served financial advice to clients for more than 40 years. He knows how to stare down challenges and come out on top. But Murphy said he may forfeit the fight if the Department of Labor’s proposed […]

    SEC, FINRA Enforcement: 2 Busted for Selling Fake ‘Charitable Gift’ Annuities

    {August 7th, 2015} by N/A

    Among recent enforcement actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission were charges against perpetrators of fraud involving “charitable gift annuities,” against a Canadian citizen in a microcap fraud case; against a Houston-area businessman working a Ponzi scheme worth more than a million dollars; and against an energy company, its current chief operating officer and its […]

    The Never-Ending Lawsuit Against 2 Former A.I.G. Executives

    {August 7th, 2015} by Randall Smith

      Charles Dickens invented the interminable estate dispute Jarndyce v. Jarndyce for “Bleak House,” his 1853 novel. In real life, the Federal Trade Commission once took 16 years to force Carter’s Little Liver Pills to drop the word “Liver.” And antitrust regulators spent 13 years on a case against IBM before the Reagan administration dropped […]

    New Charges Against Businessman Implicated In Hartford Insurance Scandal

    {August 7th, 2015} by Edmund H. Mahony

    Federal prosecutors have expanded the charges pending against one-time rising Hartford insurance broker Earl O’Garro, who now is accused of stealing insurance premiums from the city, lying on a state loan application and defrauding other insurance companies. The superseding indictment against O’Garro, former owner and president of wholesale broker Hybrid Insurance, was made public by […]

    Why one young agent says she has the best job in the world

    {August 7th, 2015} by Lori Widmer

    There is nothing more exciting than being an insurance agent.” When Danielle Byrne thinks of the various careers of the people she knows, she feels incredibly lucky. Where some of her friends have to use great tact and care in dealing with people in their lines of work, Byrne, an independent life insurance agent in […]

    New Prudential study shows greater financial confidence of African Americans, but gaps in retirement planning still restrict wealth building

    {August 6th, 2015} by Business Wire

    NEWARK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU) today revealed the results of its 2015-2016 African American Financial Experience study, which found that African Americans demonstrate continued optimism and growing affluence. Yet, gaps in long-term retirement planning, including not taking advantage of financial and investment tools, may hinder the ability to build long-term wealth. Maintaining one’s lifestyle in […]

    Joe Jordan: Why you need to celebrate the positive impact you’ve had on your clients

    {August 6th, 2015} by Emily Holbrook

    You have to work for a cause, not for profits. You have to care more about helping others than the amount of assets under management you have. You have to not let fear rule your practice. Click HERE to read more…

    How Many High-End Life Insurance Agents Can Increase Their Revenues By 70% Or More

    {August 5th, 2015} by Russ Alan Prince

    The general perception of life insurance agents – based on surveys – is that the opportunities for life insurance agents are diminishing. In many respects, this is indeed accurate. However, for those experienced and technically proficient life insurance agents, there are significant new business opportunities that a large percentage of them are failing to capitalize […]

    Everest investment advice business sues Maryland attorney general’s securities division

    {August 5th, 2015} by Carrie Wells

    A Towson financial services firm that was accused by Maryland’s attorney general of misrepresenting the risks of its strategy fired back Tuesday with a lawsuit alleging that the attorney general is violating the owner’s constitutional rights. Philip Rousseaux, the owner of Everest Wealth Management and Everest Investment Advisors Inc., says he has been targeted by […]

    The Retirement Expert Who Got Death Threats for Her Ideas

    {August 5th, 2015} by Carla Fried

    Retirement policy wonks don’t usually get hate mail. But in 2008, Teresa Ghilarducci, an economics professor at the New School for Social Research, proposed replacing 401(k) plans and their income tax break with a mandated government savings plan for all workers. The blowback was so intense that the school’s chief of security gave her his cell […]

    More Nonretired U.S. Investors Have a Written Financial Plan

    {August 5th, 2015} by Jeffrey M. Jones

    PRINCETON, N.J. — Thirty-eight percent of U.S. investors have a written financial plan to help them achieve their investment and retirement goals. Retired investors (43%) are more likely than nonretired investors (36%) to have a written financial plan, as is typically the case. However, the percentage of nonretired investors with a written plan is up […]

    Your financial advisor wants to know if you’re gay

    {August 5th, 2015} by Ben Steverman

    (Bloomberg Business) — The insurance salesman must have noticed that Carl Streed Jr. was wearing his engagement ring, because he started referring to Streed’s wife. Streed didn’t say anything at first. But when the guy asked how to spell her name, Streed says, “I just took the pen and wrote: ‘CHAD.’” Click HERE to read article…  

    Former senator, cabinet secretary, Richard Schweiker, 89, dies

    {August 5th, 2015} by Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer

    Richard Schultz Schweiker, 89, a political novice who rose from the unlikely incubator of Norristown to become a U.S. congressman, senator, and secretary of health and human services, died Friday, July 31. Mr. Schweiker died of complications from an infection at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in South Jersey. He had lived in McLean, Va., since […]

    Women less willing to sacrifice ethical values for success at work

    {August 5th, 2015} by Brian Anderson

    When it comes to business ethics, it’s no big surprise that ascending to and being in positions of power has the potential to corrupt behavior. But does power tend to corrupt men more than women? A 2013 study done by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School suggests that women are less willing than […]

    5 ways wealthy investors use social media

    {August 5th, 2015} by Emily Zulz

    How do wealthy investors use social media and mobile technology in financial decisions? A new report from Spectrem Group takes a peek inside investors’ mobile and social lives to find out how investors are using social media and other emerging technologies in their financial dealings. The report, Using Social Media and Mobile Technology in Financial Decisions, […]

    Breaking Down the Basics of Annuities

    {August 5th, 2015} by Bill Schu

    There is often an inverse relationship between the perceived complexity of a retirement investment and its adoption in the marketplace. Lifecycle (target-date) funds, which we covered recently here—are at the more simple end of the complexity spectrum. For many, annuities are at the other end of the spectrum. For that reason, and several others, annuities […]

    Thoma Bravo Acquires iPipeline

    {August 5th, 2015} by Thoma Bravo LLC

    San Francisco – August 5, 2015 – Thoma Bravo, LLC, a leading private equity investment firm, announced today the acquisition of iPipeline, a leading technology provider of cloud-based software solutions to the life insurance industry. Financial details were not disclosed. “iPipeline typifies what we look for in an investment opportunity,” said Holden Spaht, a managing […]

    IRA Owners Are Taking Their RMDs

    {August 5th, 2015} by Linda Koco

    Individual retirement account owners are supposed to withdraw money from their traditional IRA accounts during their retirement years. But are they doing that? Based on new figures out from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), they definitely are doing that, especially once they hit required minimum distribution (RMD) age. Click HERE to read more…   […]

    New Life Insurance Product Provides Incentive For Cigarette Smokers To Quit

    {August 5th, 2015} by N/A

    Stevens Point, WI – Sentry Life Insurance Company and the National Association of Insurance Marketers (NAIM) announced today a joint marketing agreement to offer Commit to Quit, a new term life insurance product designed specifically for cigarette smokers who want to live smoke-free. “Commit to Quit’s premiums are lower than those of most policies for […]

    SOA And LIMRA Announce Strategic Research Partnership

    {August 5th, 2015} by LIMRA

    WINDSOR, Conn., August 4, 2015 – LIMRA and the Society of Actuaries (SOA) today announced the formation of a research partnership, formalizing the ongoing relationship between the two organizations. “For more than 20 years, LIMRA and the SOA have been collaborating on policy holder behavior experience studies for the industry,” said Robert A. Kerzner, president […]

    The Top 10 Reasons Consumers Love Income Riders

    {August 5th, 2015} by Harry Stout

    David Letterman recently retired after over 30 years on television and over 6,000 shows. During his late-night comedy career, he brought entertainment innovation, creativity and much enjoyment to his audience. Perhaps, most notably, was how his nightly Top Ten Lists often brought lots of laughs. Fixed annuity income riders are making their own impact in […]

    Annuity Advertising

    {August 5th, 2015} by Glenda Bean and Maureen James

    We know the value a fixed annuity product can add to a well-rounded retirement portfolio. Annuities are gaining national attention and acceptance as a source of reliable, guaranteed income in a time of market uncertainty. More and more consumers are looking to fixed annuities for the level of protection they add to a retirement income […]

    ‘No Comment’ from NAFA about its Form 990s

    {August 5th, 2015} by Kerry Pechter

    The leading not-for-profit champion of fixed indexed annuities should explain the “diversion” of assets that was described in its IRS filing. The folks at the National Association for Fixed Annuities offered no comment yesterday when I called to ask about a cryptic paragraph that appeared on the next-to-last page of the organization’s draft 2014 Form […]

    Sincere condolences

    {August 4th, 2015} by Wink Rockstars

    We send our sincere condolences out to Wink’s CEO, Sheryl J. Moore. Her grandfather, Raymond Sundberg recently passed away. Raymond Verlin Sundberg served as an insurance agent with New York Life and Midland National Life for years. He never knew a stranger, and loved talking with just about anyone. He was so very proud of Sheryl as they […]

    The 20 most creative people in insurance

    {August 4th, 2015} by LifeHealthPro Staff

    “Creativity is just connecting things,” Steve Jobs famously said, making one of the most pursued attributes in the business world sound beautifully simple and obtainable. Insurance is a multi-trillion dollar industry, and so, of course, millions of connections happen every day. Most of them go unnoticed. Click here to read…

    Phoenix Completes De-Stacking Of Insurance Company Subsidiaries

    {August 4th, 2015} by Business Wire

    HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (NYSE: PNX) (“Phoenix”) today announced that it completed the previously disclosed de-stacking of its insurance company subsidiaries, which are now all direct subsidiaries of Phoenix. Prior to the de-stacking, Phoenix Life Insurance Company (“PLIC”), a direct subsidiary of Phoenix, was the indirect parent of PHL Variable Insurance Company […]

    Bank Annuity Fee Income Dips 5.5% In 1Q

    {August 4th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy

    Income earned from the sale of annuities by large banking companies fell 5.5 percent to $840.1 million in the first quarter of 2015 from the year-ago period as investors preferred to hold off on tying up their capital in hopes of a rise in interest rates. Among the top 10 bank holding companies, eight reported […]

    A.M. Best Upgrades Ratings of Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Company and Its Subsidiaries

    {August 4th, 2015} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has upgraded the financial strength rating (FSR) to B+ (Good) from B (Fair) and the issuer credit ratings to “bbb-” from “bb+” of Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Company (Oklahoma City, OK), and its wholly owned life insurance subsidiaries, The Capitol Life Insurance Company (Dallas, TX) and American Benefit Life Insurance Company […]

    Symetra Second Quarter 2015 Annuity Sales Top $1 Billion

    {August 4th, 2015} by Business Wire

    BELLEVUE, Wash., Aug 03, 2015 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Symetra Life Insurance Company posted record total annuity sales during the second quarter 2015 — exceeding $1 billion in quarterly annuity sales for the first time. Symetra’s fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) also posted record sales, with the highest quarterly production figures since the product launched in April […]

    North American Company Releases Enhanced Rapid Builder IUL Indexed Universal Life Insurance

    {August 4th, 2015} by North American Company

    CHICAGO, IL, Aug 03, 2015 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — North American Company for Life and Health Insurance® recently announced enhancements made to the Rapid Builder IUL, part of the company’s popular indexed universal life insurance (IUL) product line. Enhancements include the addition of index crediting options for potential cash value growth, as well as new […]

    Fiduciary Rule May ‘Bing’ Fixed Annuity Advisors

    {August 4th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy

    It’s a scene that takes place thousands of times each day across the nation. An employee gets fired or laid off, and isn’t sure about what to do with the $25,000 balance in the 401(k) account from their now-former employer. The solution: The ex-employee calls their insurance agent.  Click HERE to read more…

    Allianz Life Adds Bonus, Option To Fixed IUL Policies

    {August 4th, 2015} by Business Wire

    Guaranteed Bonus and Exclusive Barclays Index Offer More Opportunity and Flexibility MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) today announced enhancements to both the Allianz Life Pro+® Fixed Index Universal Life Insurance (FIUL) Policy and Allianz Life Pro+ SurvivorSM Fixed Index Universal Life Insurance (FIUL) Policy. In addition to helping agents provide […]

    Fiduciary Rule Divides Fixed And Variable Annuity Worlds

    {August 4th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy

    It seems as if the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposal to amend conflict of interest rules around individual retirement accounts (IRAs) has split the annuity world down the middle, with fixed annuities on one side and variable annuities on the other. For the fixed annuity world life — so far — has appeared relatively […]

    IUL product sales on the upswing

    {August 4th, 2015} by Dan Cook

    Life insurance buyers appear to be swinging heavily toward indexed universal life products,according to a Millman survey. The percent of universal life sales rose from 25 percent to 45 percent of all UL/IUL combined sales during the first three quarters of 2014, according to the survey. Click Here for a breakdown of the survey’s highlights:

    Millennials choose—annuities?

    {August 3rd, 2015} by Marlene Y. Satter

    Millennials are looking for certainty when it comes to retirement planning—those who are doing anything about it, that is. And what they’re doing, in increasing numbers, is opting for—wait for it—annuities. Yes, the younger generation is going for what is often regarded as the old stodgy standby. Click HERE to read more…