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Archive for March 2016


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  • Indexed Annuity Magic: How Do They Do It?

    {March 31st, 2016} by Sheryl J. Moore

    One of the greatest mysteries in the indexed annuity market is how insurance companies are able to offer market-linked gains on an annuity with a principal protection feature. Many are familiar with the strong guarantees that fixed annuities offer, but it comes at the cost of low potential for gains. On the other hand, variable […]

    New York Life to hire 3,750 agents in 2016, increase minority staffing

    {March 31st, 2016} by IFAwebnews Staff

    New York Life has announced that it intends to hire 3,750 insurance and financial professionals throughout 2016, with more than half expected to be women or individuals who represent cultural communities. The company said that ongoing low interest rates and shareholder pressures challenge the ability of other insurers to invest in their agents, but that […]

    What advisors can learn from millennials’ dislike of banks

    {March 31st, 2016} by Janet Levaux

    When it comes to courting millennials, some financial services firms have big hurdles to overcome. “Seventy-one percent of them would rather go to a dentist than listen to what a bank has to say,” explained Menaka Thillaiampalam, head of North America financial services marketing at LinkedIn, during a social media seminar put on by the […]

    Workers with an advisor are more financially fit than the DIY crowd

    {March 31st, 2016} by Warren Hersch

    Working Americans’ financial wellness remained virtually unchanged in 2015 compared to the year-earlier period. So reports Financial Finesse, a provider of financial wellness programs, in an analysis of employee financial trends. The research, summarized in Financial Finesse’s “Year in Review 2015 report,” is based on anonymous answers to 31 financial wellness questions. The report shows that overall […]

    FIA Industry Experience Studies

    {March 31st, 2016} by Ruark

    Please click HERE to view Spring 2016 news release.   Summary:  In contrast to variable annuities, the FIA experience does not show clear sensitivity to the relative value or “moneyness” of GLWB riders, Ruark found after studying eight years of indexed annuity owner behavior.

    Court Chooses ‘Could’ Over ‘Would’ In Insurance Benefits Case

    {March 30th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

    A circuit court has upheld an insurance company’s suspension of long-term disability benefits after the court found the insurer hadn’t met the “abuse of discretion” standard in denying disability benefits to a Minnesota doctor who suffered from the effects of a car accident and a subsequent unrelated knee injury. When the case involves a conflict […]

    LIMRA Announces Top 25 Rising Stars of Distribution Under 40

    {March 30th, 2016} by LIMRA

    Industry’s youth movement poised to advance the business of planning WINDSOR, Conn., March 30, 2016 – LIMRA today announced the winners of its contest to recognize the top 25 Rising Stars of Distribution under 40 in the financial services industry. “As we celebrate our 100th anniversary we are not only looking at our past accomplishments […]

    Trump most favorable to insurance industry, according to A.M. Best survey

    {March 30th, 2016} by SHAWN SELBY, PROPERTYCASUALTY360.COM

    Insurance professionals fear Bernie Sanders far and away, with Hillary Clinton coming in second Republican Donald Trump is the presidential candidate who would be most agreeable for the insurance industry, according to a survey of insurance professionals conducted by A.M. Best. “On the political front, insurers appear very aware of the ramifications of the 2016 […]

    Donegan to Step Down as Vermont Commissioner

    {March 30th, 2016} by N/A

    Susan L. Donegan, who has been serving as commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) for past three years, will step down from her position. Donegan’s last day in office will be June 30, according to a department spokesperson. Donegan has met with Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin and then informed the DFR staff […]

    How to successfully transition to a fee-based practice

    {March 30th, 2016} by Ed McCarthy

    Earlier this year Omaha, Nebraska-based CLS Investments published a white paper on the benefits of switching to a fee-based model.The stats reported in the paper show that as of year-end 2014 and for the first time, fees exceeded commissions (46 percent versus 45 percent, respectively) as components of advisors’ revenues. Only 11 percent of the […]

    Key Trends in Life Insurance and Annuity Markets

    {March 30th, 2016} by Registered Rep

    Analysts and rating agencies generally view the life insurance industry outlook for 2016 as relatively stable, characterized by strong balance sheet fundamentals, stable operating performance and modest growth. Within this framework, significant developments are occurring that will impact the pricing and performance of life insurance and annuity products. Professional advisors, and especially fiduciaries, have a […]

    At a tipping point: COI increases for seniors owning UL policies

    {March 30th, 2016} by Samantha Butcher

    As Newton’s law of motion reminds us, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Viewing Newton’s theory from inside the life settlement industry, the image that readily comes to mind is that of furious UL policy owners railing against the recent COI increases by major carriers. There’s little doubt that many seniors who […]

    Update: Raymond James SVP Calls MetLife SIFI Rescinding Slap in Face to FSOC

    {March 30th, 2016} by Frank Klimko, Washington correspondent

    WASHINGTON – (Adds new comment from the American Council of Life Insurers and the Treasury Department.) A federal judge rescinded the systemically important financial institution designation for MetLife Inc., agreeing with the company’s arguments the Financial Stability Oversight Council arbitrarily singled out MetLife for enhanced prudential supervision. The decision likely will have broad implications for […]

    Life Insurance & Financial Services Veteran Launches National Niche Business

    {March 30th, 2016} by Aspen Strategies

    North Augusta, SC – March 25, 2016 – Melinda Meyer is a nationally recognized authority on organizational and operational excellence and infrastructure development within life insurance agency and broker dealer arenas. She brings over 30 years of senior management experience in both multi-carrier insurance environments and broker dealer operations. Melinda’s vast experience focuses concentration on […]

    SEC Compliance Chief Is Getting More Muscle This Year

    {March 30th, 2016} by Brian O'Connell

    Financial advisors who sleep well at night figuring Uncle Sam won’t come knocking on the door looking for a good look at their books, may want to think again. That after Marc Wyatt, director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, and chief examiner at the agency, said in a speech to an […]

    Total Overall Indexed Annuity Sales (2015)

    {March 29th, 2016} by Jamie Johnson

    At Wink, we have been tracking indexed annuity sales by insurance carrier each year since 1998 in our quarterly Wink’s Sales & Market Report. Did you know that All-Time sales for indexed annuities through 2015 are over $439.9 billion according to Wink’s Sales & Market Report?! Wow!! A couple of years ago we thought it would be […]

    Indexed Annuity GLWBs: a Decade of Change

    {March 29th, 2016} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Indexed annuity Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefits are nearly as old as my business! Happy birthday, IA GLWBs!   It has now been more than a decade since I developed the concept of offering Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefits on fixed and indexed annuities. What was the motivation behind this? One question- “If guaranteed lifetime income is […]

    March 31: Deadline for Early Registration for Global Insurance Symposium

    {March 29th, 2016} by Global Insurance Symposium

    The early bird registration deadline for the third annual Global Insurance Symposium is Thursday, March 31. The Global Insurance Symposium will be held on April 26-28, 2016 in Downtown Des Moines, Iowa. It is hosted by the Iowa Insurance Institute, the Federation of Iowa Insurers, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Greater Des Moines Partnership […]

    12 little-known annuity tax facts

    {March 29th, 2016} by ROBERT BLOINK, WILLIAM H. BYRNES

    The tax landscape for annuity products is a challenge to navigate, even for experts. What penalties apply to premature distributions? What are the tax consequences if a client wishes to annuitize only a portion of an annuity contract? How is an annuity owned by a grantor trust taxed? And what about QLACs? Prepare for your […]

    Fines Triple As FINRA Focuses On Suitability

    {March 29th, 2016} by Juliette Fairley

    Fines imposed on the financial services industry more than tripled last year to $18.3 million from $5.6 million in 2015, according to FINRA Suitability Sanctions Statistics. The increase in penalty fees has some advisors blaming the Department of Labor’s looming fiduciary standard, although two cases were responsible for a large percentage of the total. “Suitability […]

    Are FIAs Filling the Variable Annuity Void?

    {March 29th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

    Although variable annuities still outsell their fixed annuity cousins by the tens of billions of dollars, the shift away from variable annuities is noticeable. That shift is expected to continue with the release of new rules by the Department of Labor, according to two annuity industry experts. One of the biggest beneficiaries of the DOL’s […]

    Nationwide, AIG see huge gains in fixed indexed annuity sales; Allianz and Security Benefit flounder

    {March 29th, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

    Nationwide and American International Group saw sizable gains in fixed indexed annuity sales last year, jumping into the Top 10 sales leaderboard and reaping the benefits of a market appetite for indexed annuities that only seems to be growing. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required           […]

    Regulator offers some simple advice to fight fraud

    {March 28th, 2016} by Matthew Patane

    Iowans hoping to avoid being the victim of an investment scam can do one thing: ask questions. “Just know that if you’re being pitched something you don’t understand, it’s OK to ask questions, it’s OK to ask for a second opinion,” Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart said. Gerhart’s agency, the Iowa Insurance Division, will host an “Iowa […]

    AG: Insurance salesman stole 90-year-old’s life savings

    {March 28th, 2016} by Michael L. Diamond

    Manalapan man was charged with stealing more than $300,000 in life savings from a 90-year-old family friend, leaving the woman on public assistance, the New Jersey Attorney General’s office said Monday. Robert Berlin, 46, liquidated the Toms River woman’s $195,000 in annuity funds and sold nearly $111,000 worth of stocks, pocking the money for himself, according to an […]

    Advisory firms face headwinds from DOL fiduciary rule

    {March 25th, 2016} by Nick Thornton

    A stock analyst from UBS says the wealth management unit of Wells Fargo faces headwinds from the impending finalization of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed fiduciary rule.  Brennan Hawken, senior analyst at UBS Investment Bank, told CNBC that DOL’s fiduciary rule will impact Wells Fargo’s wealth management unit more than other wire houses. Wells’ wealth management unit is […]

    15 women in insurance you need to know


    The world is becoming riskier, technology is becoming savvier and consumers are becoming smarter and more demanding. In the midst of these changes, the insurance industry is facing both enormous challenge and enormous opportunity. The right leadership is critical. And, in every corner of the industry, women are stepping up to lead.  Click HERE to […]

    Yes, insurance agents should have Facebook

    {March 24th, 2016} by Caroline Nicholas

    ​If you’ve been paying attention, you have probably heard it’s important for your business to utilize social media especially Facebook, right? Well if you’re like most agents, you have most likely brushed this idea off and looked to more traditional marketing strategies such as direct mail or phone calls. The ROI from Facebook can be difficult to […]

    Crashing The FIA Party: Not Just The Top Companies Driving Growth

    {March 24th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

        To get a sense of just how robust sales of fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) have become, it’s worth taking a closer look at the league tables: Most life and annuity carriers in the market posted higher FIA sales last year than they did in 2014. Some increases were truly eye-popping. Integrity Life, a […]

    Life insurers use technology, data to streamline underwriting

    {March 24th, 2016} by LifeHealthPro Staff

    Two in three life insurers in the U.S. and Canada have implemented automated underwriting for at least part of their business. And another 32 percent are in the planning stages of implementing automated underwriting, according to a new LIMRA study. “While fully automated underwriting (no human interaction) is typically available for only a few products, […]

    AG 49: Have we gone too far in limiting illustrative rates on IULs?

    {March 24th, 2016} by Tom Martin

    Recent regulations have addressed “overly optimistic” assumed rates in indexed universal life (IUL) contracts in order to curb “abusive” illustrations. Prior to NAIC AG 49, the maximum illustrative rate was set by the insurance carrier and was normally based on an average look-back of 20 to 30 years. AG 49limits the maximum illustrative rate to […]

    Two Minnesota Advisors Charged In Annuity Scams

    {March 24th, 2016} by N/A

    Two financial professionals charged with multiple felonies for stealing over $490,000 in separate fraud schemes against senior clients  Commerce Department proposes new law to help spot and stop senior financial fraud   SAINT PAUL – Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman announced today that a former insurance agent from Minnetrista and a former financial adviser from […]

    SEC gave DOL help in crafting fiduciary proposal: White

    {March 24th, 2016} by Nick Thornton

    Testifying before a House subcommittee, SEC head says it provided assistance with DOL proposed fiduciary rule Career staff at the Securities and Exchange Commission provided the Department of Labor “substantial technical assistance” as DOL crafted itsproposed fiduciary rule, according to testimony SEC Chair Mary Jo White gave lawmakers on a House of Representatives subcommittee. Her […]

    Attorney: Only A Matter Of Months Before All Life Carriers Are Sued

    {March 24th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

    The financial services industry has emerged as an unexpected source of increased class action activity in the past year, a new survey has found. Further, an attorney with the law firm that conducted the survey said he believes it’s only a matter of months before all life insurance carriers are sued. At issue are cost-of-insurance […]

    Flipping The Switch On An Annuity Income Stream

    {March 24th, 2016} by Rich Lane

    When it comes time to discuss retirement planning with your clients, focus on the core thinking behind their goals: building financial security for the latter part of life. Given recent market uncertainty, your clients may be more inclined to take a conservative approach to their investing. Recommending financial vehicles that maintain a balanced portfolio can […]

    Security Benefit Introduces First Floating Rate Annuity

    {March 24th, 2016} by Security Benefit

    TOPEKA, Kan., March 23, 2016 — Security Benefit Life Insurance Company today announced the launch of its new RateTrack Annuity designed specifically to allow clients the opportunity to participate automatically in a rising interest rate environment versus being locked into a long-term, uncompetitive rate. RateTrack is the industry’s first floating rate annuity, a new category […]

    Rising interest rates pushing annuity product development

    {March 24th, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

    Insurers are trying to capitalize on an environment of rising interest rates by developing annuities that would benefit investors as rates increase. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required “With this product development, these companies are finding a way to try and take advantage of a rising-rate environment,” said Sheryl Moore, […]

    Amid VA Anxieties, A Historic Year For Annuities

    {March 23rd, 2016} by Steve Morelli

    This will be a historic year for annuities — that much was clear at the opening of the Insured Retirement Institute’s Marketing Summit 2016 on Sunday. The sentiment about the future tends to be dread. Certainly, quite a bit of anxiety is building around variable annuities. Sales have been slowing and two of the biggest […]

    Advisors Under Attack, Yet Needed More Than Ever

    {March 23rd, 2016} by John Hilton

    Despite unprecedented threats from historic regulation and record-low interest rates, insurance executives sounded a positive note during this morning’s kickoff session of the Insured Retirement Institute’s Marketing Summit 2016. “We’ve never seen an environment where (financial advisors) were under attack the way they are today,” said Robert DeChellis, president of Allianz Life Financial Services. Meanwhile, […]

    16 tips for newcomers to the insurance business

    {March 23rd, 2016} by Cormac Reynolds

    The insurance business can seem like a pretty big place when you first enter it as a newcomer. There’s a lot to learn about how to espouse the benefits of insurance and it can often be hard to understand where to start. We compiled a list of tips for newcomers entering the business for the first […]

    When trusts and annuities collide, big tax damage can follow: BLOG

    {March 23rd, 2016} by William H. Byrnes

    Both trust entities and annuity products can play powerful planning roles for clients in a variety of situations — but unfortunately, when the two strategies collide, the tax consequences can be disastrous. This is especially true in the case of deferred annuity products, which are typically purchased with a view toward both future income security […]

    How Debt, Deleveraging and Demographics Could Fuel Very Low Interest Rates for a Long Time

    {March 23rd, 2016} by Tom Hegna

    As many of your customers head into retirement, they do not realize that low interest rates and deflation may be just as big a risk as inflation. Deflation means the decline in the overall price of goods and services. Many of you may wonder why low interest rates and declining prices would be a problem. […]


    {March 23rd, 2016} by NCOIL

    Contact: Paul Penna (732) 201-4133   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                 March 23, 2016 NCOIL RELEASES NEW ORGANIZATION LOGO   Reflects Desire to Grow and Increase Participation   Manasquan, NJ – Commissioner Tom Considine, NCOIL CEO issued the following statement regarding the new NCOIL logo that will be used on all NCOIL materials going forward:   “This […]

    SEC fines AIG units $9.5 million for steering clients to higher-cost products

    {March 23rd, 2016} by IFAwebnews Staff

    Three units of American International Group (AIG) will pay more than $9.5 million in fines to settle allegations the global insurer steered clients toward more expensive mutual fund share classes in order to collect more fees, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The units — Royal Alliance Associates Inc., Sagepoint Financial and FSC […]

    Credit Suisse CEO, blindsided by risk buildup, cuts jobs


    (Bloomberg) — Credit Suisse Group AG Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam, who said he was blindsided by a buildup of illiquid trading positions that will probably spark a first- quarter loss, pledged to make deeper cost cuts. The global markets unit, which houses securities trading, will lose money in the quarter as revenue drops as […]

    Flipping The Switch On An Annuity Income Stream

    {March 23rd, 2016} by Rich Lane

    When it comes time to discuss retirement planning with your clients, focus on the core thinking behind their goals: building financial security for the latter part of life. Given recent market uncertainty, your clients may be more inclined to take a conservative approach to their investing. Recommending financial vehicles that maintain a balanced portfolio can […]

    DOL, SEC Rules May Not Be Perfectly Aligned

    {March 23rd, 2016} by Julie Anderson

    Contrary to some reports, the Department of Labor and the Securities and Exchange Commission have been working together as they each develop their respective fiduciary rules.  But this cooperation doesn’t mean the final rules will be perfectly aligned. DOL will issue the new fiduciary rule this spring.  The department is expected to scale back the […]

    TV’s ‘Modern Family’ Can Be Conversation Starter For Advisors

    {March 23rd, 2016} by KAREN DEMASTERS

    Such complicated family relationships as those depicted on the television show Modern Family might be considered a financial advisor’s nightmare. A gay couple with a child. An older man, who has grown children, married to a much younger woman with a young son from Colombia. A traditional couple with children. And they are all related. […]

    Protective to Hold Update Meeting

    {March 22nd, 2016} by Protective

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Protective Life Corporation (“Protective” or the “Company”), a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited (TSE:8750, “Dai-ichi Life”), will host a Company Update Meeting on April 11, 2016 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time in New York City. Members of Protective’s senior management team will provide an […]

    Mutual of Omaha Introduces Income Advantage Indexed Universal Life

    {March 22nd, 2016} by Mutual Of Omaha

    OMAHA, Neb.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mutual of Omaha recently introduced Income Advantage Indexed Universal Life (IUL), its first product in the IUL market. This life insurance product provides an opportunity to accumulate cash value – based on market performance – for the policyholder’s future use. Income Advantage includes three indexed interest crediting strategies, all of which are based […]

    Demand For FIAs Continues To Accelerate

    {March 22nd, 2016} by John Hilton

    Market conditions, combined with the looming threat of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, are driving up demand for fixed indexed annuities, a panel of insurance executives said Monday. FIAs registered a record $14.4 billion in sales in the third quarter of 2015. Sales are expected to remain hot as investors look away from variable […]

    Report: Big Changes Due to Insurance Sales Model

    {March 22nd, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

    Life insurers, facing low interest rates and anemic premium volume growth, need to change the way they do business in order to maintain profitability, according to a new report. A more intimate customer relationship is one way for agents to boost their value as insurance products morph into commodities and persistent change turns the traditional […]

    Houston elected chairman of Principal

    {March 22nd, 2016} by Business Record

    Principal Financial Group Inc.’s board of directors has elected Dan Houston, president and CEO, as chairman of the board effective May 17, immediately following its annual meeting of shareholders, the company announced Monday. Larry Zimpleman will continue as non-executive chairman through the annual meeting. He will then leave the board having completed his current term […]

    Kuvare CEO: Company Will Make Guaranty Life Platform for Future Acquisitions

    {March 22nd, 2016} by Dennis Gorski, managing editor-online, BestWeek: Dennis.Gorski@ambest.com

    CHICAGO – The founder of a U.S.-based company with plans to build a portfolio of midsize life insurers says its first acquisition will become the platform that leads to buying additional carriers. Dhiren Jhaveri, president and chief executive officer of Kuvare Holdings, said he plans to close on Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Guaranty Income Life Insurance […]

    Wink: Indexed Annuity Sales Hit All-Time Highs for Quarter and Full

    {March 22nd, 2016} by By Dennis Gorski, managing editor-online, BestWeek: Dennis.Gorski@ambest.com

     PLEASANT HILL, Iowa – Indexed annuity sales reached record highs for the fourth-quarter and full-year 2015, according  to a new report by insurance and annuity markets consultancy Wink Inc.   Sales in the quarter were $15.5 billion, a more than 30% gain over a year ago, and rose 13% to $53 billion for the  full year, according […]

    Perez: DOL took fiduciary rule comments seriously, made changes

    {March 22nd, 2016} by Melanie Waddell

    The Department of Labor’s ruleto change the definition of fiduciary on retirement advice should emerge from the Office of Management and Budget “sometime in the near future,” and the final rule will include changes, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez told members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee Wednesday. During a hearing held by the […]

    Insurers sensing an opportunity: the promise of sensor data

    {March 22nd, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

    Internet-connected sensors are increasingly making their presence felt in the business world. Because of their ability to continuously transmit data about users — in the home, at the workplace and on the go — the technology can potentially transform whole sectors of the economy. Sensor data is thus of keen interest to companies, not least […]

    Insurance Marketing Organizations Thrive with Business Growth Services

    {March 22nd, 2016} by Press Releases

    Riverside, CA March 22, 2016 – As a result of the continued success of services offered to agencies and marketing organizations, Partners Advantage Insurance Services announced the addition of its enhanced “Business Growth Services” which will be made available throughout its Platinum and Premier divisions. Partners Advantage has assembled a vast array of shared services […]

    Indexed Annuities, Indexed Life Sales Hit Record Highs

    {March 22nd, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

    Fourth quarter sales 2015 of fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) soared to a record $15.5 billion. This marks a 30 percent increase compared with the year-ago period, according to Wink’s Sales & Market Report. The hot-selling annuity category also finished 2015 at a record $53 billion in sales, an increase of 13 percent over 2014. “We […]

    3 strategies for annuity carriers bracing for DOL fiduciary rule impact

    {March 22nd, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

    Annuity providers should begin preparing now for potential impacts of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary responsibility guidelines that are expected to be implemented in the next several months, according to a report by Novarica. The impact of the ruling for this year remains unclear, although sales may drop as advisors look for ways to avoid […]

    Genworth rallies after bondholder vote avoids ‘devastating risk’

    {March 21st, 2016} by KATHERINE CHIGLINSKY

    (Bloomberg) — Genworth Financial Inc. shares gained after bondholders agreed to changes sought by Chief Executive Officer Tom McInerney as he reshapes the insurer and seeks to rebound from losses on long-term care coverage. Genworth Financial climbed 8.3 percent to $3.28 a share at 11:31 a.m. in New York. The Richmond, Virginia-based insurer announced the […]

    Indexed annuity sales set records in 4th quarter and year

    {March 21st, 2016} by LifeHealthPro Editors

    Indexed annuity sales totaled $15.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to a new report. This finding is disclosed in the 74thedition of “Wink’s Sales & Market Report.” The study represents 55 indexed annuity carriers that participated in 99.9 percent of indexed annuity production in the fourth quarter of 2015. The study shows […]

    Axa CEO to Retire Sept. 1 as Group Readies Next Strategic Plan

    {March 21st, 2016} by David Pilla, news editor, BestWeek: David.Pilla@ambest.com)

    PARIS – Henri de Castries is retiring as chairman and chief executive officer of Axa SA after 27 years with the group and nearly 17 years as CEO. De Castries will step down as chairman and a member of the board of directors on Sept. 1, the group said in a statement. Axa said in […]

    Mutual of Omaha jumps into hot indexed universal life insurance market

    {March 21st, 2016} by Jamie Johnson

    Mutual of Omaha is expanding its reach in the universal life insurance market with the debut of its first indexed product, coming at a time when such policies are surging in popularity and more insurers are pushing to get in on the action. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required     […]

    Principal unveils new corporate logo

    {March 21st, 2016} by Business Record

    Principal Financial Group Inc. today introduced a new corporate logo that the Des Moines-based financial services company said will provide greater unity and consistency in how it presents itself globally. “Our business has evolved a lot since we created our last logo in 1985,” CEO Dan Houston wrote in a blog post. “So we wanted […]

    The real reason Dave Ramsey should be regulated: Opinion

    {March 20th, 2016} by Michael Markey

    Dave Ramsey has lied to you. It’s probably unintentional, and could be rooted in either his lack of fundamental training and licensing or his lack of personal financial diversity. I’m not sure which of these is true, and while it’s fun to speculate, I will not. The fact remains: Dave has lied to you. He […]

    DOL fiduciary rule will change financial advice, according to a fiduciary

    {March 18th, 2016} by Emily Zulz

    How does a national fiduciary firm view the impending Department of Labor fiduciary rule? LifeHealthPro’s sister site, ThinkAdvisor, talked with Billy Lanter, a fiduciary investment advisor at Unified Trust Co., to find out what being a fiduciary means and how he sees the DOL rule impacting the industry. Unified Trust, a Lexington, Kentucky-based company with $4 […]

    20 top companies for women in the finance and insurance industries

    {March 18th, 2016} by Lynette Gil

    In honor of Women’s History Month, we bring you the top 20 companies in the finance and insurance industries that are perfect for women who value workplace culture, and learning how to develop and grow their careers. Working Mother magazine and the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), one of the largest associations for women professionals […]

    Limra: Whole Life, Indexed UL Policies Boost Premium Sales by 6% in 2015

    {March 18th, 2016} by Dennis Gorski, managing editor-online, BestWeek: Dennis.Gorski@ambest.com

    WINDSOR, Conn. – Individual life insurance premium sales grew 6% last year, carried by whole life and indexed universal life products, according to market research by Limra. That’s despite growth slowing in the fourth quarter, said Ashley Durham, assistant research director. Nonetheless, new annualized premium for individual life insurance rose 1% overall in the fourth […]

    Limra: Jackson National Leads Individual and Variable Annuities Sales for 2015

    {March 18th, 2016} by Dennis Gorski, managing editor-online, BestWeek: Dennis.Gorski@ambest.com

    WINDSOR, Conn. – Jackson National Life’s sale of individual annuities in 2015 led the industry, according to year-end figures compiled by Limra’s Secure Retirement Institute. The company’s total sales exceeded $24.49 billion, about 10% of the industrywide sales total of $236.67 billion for 2015. Runner-up was American International Group, notching $19.99 billion in sales for […]

    The coming IoT revolution: a 6-point plan for life insurers

    {March 18th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

    In the not-distant future, many of the regular things you use every day — your car, interior lighting, the clothes you wear — will link seamlessly to the Internet. This near-omniscient data connectivity has huge implications, and not just for how consumers live their lives. The advent of “smart” devices will also avail insurers of […]

    Individual life insurance premiums increase 6% in 2015

    {March 18th, 2016} by IFAwebnews Staff

    While growth slowed in the fourth quarter, individual life insurance premium sales in the U.S. increased 6% in 2015, according to LIMRA’s Fourth Quarter 2015 U.S. Retail Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey. Individual life insurance new annualized premium increased 1% in the fourth quarter 2015—the sixth consecutive quarter of positive growth, LIMRA reported. “Whole life […]

    2016 Is a Challenging Year to Buy an Annuity…

    {March 17th, 2016} by Andrew Murdoch

    …But it doesn’t really have to be Annuity payouts are being trimmed roughly 10 percent, a trend that will continue this year as insurance companies adopt new mortality tables showing people are living longer. Because insurers have to offer guaranteed lifetime payments for additional years, they feel forced to cut payouts to remain profitable. The key […]

    Lincoln Financial Group Uncovers Sharp Rise in Instinctive Decision-Making Among Today’s Retirement Plan Participants

    {March 17th, 2016} by Business Wire

    RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–According to Lincoln Financial Group’s 2015 Retirement Power® Participant Engagement Study, there has been a dramatic uptick in the number of participants who follow their instincts when it comes to saving within their employer-sponsored retirement plans — accounting for nearly half of all plan participants. While these savers admit that their retirement savings […]

    The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company Expands, Announces New Kansas City Agency

    {March 17th, 2016} by Penn Mutual

    Industry Veteran Scott Stone Set to Lead the Charge as Managing Partner Horsham, PA – March 1, 2016 – Bolstering growth efforts over recent years, The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company (Penn Mutual) has announced an office opening in Kansas City, MO. Slated to open March 1, the agency will be overseen by Scott Stone, […]

    Penn Mutual Growing Its Agent Force

    {March 17th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

    While competitors are completing block purchases of captive agents, Penn Mutual Insurance is expanding via its traditional hub-and-spoke model – recently adding three new offices. The new managing partners are: Dewane Lewis Jr., in Nashville, Tenn., Scott Stone in Kansas City, Mo., and Danny J. Noles in Birmingham, Ala., announced Penn Mutual, a Horsham, Pa.-based […]

    Update: Phoenix Cos. Posts Fourth-Quarter Loss on Unfavorable Mortality in Universal Life

    {March 17th, 2016} by Dennis Gorski, managing editor-online, BestWeek: Dennis.Gorski@ambest.com

    HARTFORD, Conn. – (Clarifies terms in sixth paragraph) Unfavorable fourth-quarter mortality, impairment losses and external financial reporting expenses resulted in Phoenix Cos. Inc. posting a loss and contributed to a full-year deficit as well, the company said in its earnings report. For the full year, Phoenix narrowed its loss to $133.7 million from a loss […]

    Allianz Life Names Risk and Security Veteran as New Chief Information Officer

    {March 17th, 2016} by Dennis Gorski, managing editor-online, BestWeek: Dennis.Gorski@ambest.com

    MINNEAPOLIS – Allianz’s North American life subsidiary has named a veteran risk and security management executive as the new chief information officer for its IT division. In his new position, Douglas DeGrote will oversee the design of IT controls, risk and the overall security management strategy for Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, according […]

    4 areas for insurance to modernize in 2016

    {March 17th, 2016} by Sean Allen

    Fair or not, many look at insurance as an outdated industry, lagging behind others of similar stature and scale when it comes to innovation. While sectors such as financial services and healthcare have embraced digitization and automation with open arms — whether by choice or mandate — insurance has largely played catch-up.   Whether that’s an accurate picture […]

    National Underwriter Life & Health 2016 Industry Elite Awards

    {March 16th, 2016} by Emily Holbrook

    The National Underwriter Life & Health Industry Elite Awards salute the best of the best within the life and health insurance industry, calling out those whose contribution to their business, their trade and their community set them apart from their peers. View the 2015 Industry Elite Award Winners. WHAT THE 2016 WINNERS GET 2016’s National […]

    Social Media Use in Financial Services Jumps by More Than One Third in 2015

    {March 16th, 2016} by LIMRA

    An international consensus for brand-awareness A new LIMRA survey of financial services companies in 26 countries shows their use of social media jumped to 88 percent in 2015, compared with 61 percent the prior year. Forty-three LIMRA member companies, representing the Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) region, Latin American/Caribbean region, and Asia participated in the […]

    DOL Rule Will Mean Cheaper Annuities, More Robo-Advice: Cerulli

    {March 16th, 2016} by ThinkAdvisor

    Robo-advisors may provide a scalable solution for BDs to work with small retirement accounts, Cerulli says The U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed conflict-of-interest rule will likely result in unexpected changes to the retirement and wealth management industries, according to a new report from Cerulli Associates. Big broker-dealers will seek to serve small balances in individual […]

    LIMRA Lists Top 20 Annuity Sales Leaders For 2015

    {March 16th, 2016} by Annuity News

    WINDSOR, Conn., March 16, 2016—LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute announces today the top 20 sales leaders for total, variable and fixed, as well as the top manufacturers of indexed annuities in 2015. “Indexed annuities have broken sales records for the past seven years and now represent nearly a quarter of the total annuity market,” said Todd […]

    Wink, Inc. Releases Fourth Quarter, 2015 Indexed Sales Results

    {March 15th, 2016} by Press Release

     — FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION — NEWS RELEASE   RECORD-SETTING YEAR FOR INDEXED INSURANCE SALES! Wink, Inc. Releases Fourth Quarter, 2015 Indexed Sales Results Pleasant Hill, Iowa. March 15, 2016– Fifty-five indexed annuity carriers participated in the 74th edition of Wink’s Sales & Market Report, representing 99.9% of indexed annuity production. Total fourth quarter sales were $15.5 […]

    Wink, Inc. Releases Fourth Quarter, 2015 Fixed Deferred Annuity Sales Results

    {March 15th, 2016} by Press Release

      — FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION — NEWS RELEASE   TRADITIONAL FIXED ANNUITY SALES SOAR IN FOURTH QUARTER!  Wink, Inc. Releases Fourth Quarter, 2015 Fixed Deferred Annuity Sales Results Pleasant Hill, Iowa. March 15th, 2016– Wink’s Sales & Market Report, the insurance industry’s #1 resource for indexed annuity and indexed life sales data since 1997, expanded in 2015 […]

    Fourth Quarter 2015 Indexed Insurance Sales

    {March 15th, 2016} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Indexed Annuity Wink’s Sales & Market Report, 4th Quarter 2015 shows sales for the fourth quarter of 2015 were $15,573 million, compared with sales of $11,954 million for the fourth quarter of 2014. Fourth quarter indexed annuity sales were up more than 12.00% when compared to the previous quarter, and up over 30.00% when compared […]

    4 facts about the insurance labor market


    A recent labor study conducted in the first quarter of 2016 showed that 66 percent of insurance companies surveyed plan to increase staff this year, the highest anticipated rate in its seven-year history.  The twice-yearly “U.S. Insurance Labor Market Study” conducted by the Chicago-based insurance staffing and recruiting company Jacobson Group and Cincinnati, Ohio-based insurance industry consultant Ward […]

    Courts Divided Over Rising Insurance Rates

    {March 15th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

    Another year means another class-action lawsuit filed in response to the rising cost of insurance levied by an insurance carrier — this time involving AXA Equitable Life Ins. Barring a settlement, the outcome of the case will only add to the pile of litigation that has courts split on the legality of raising the cost […]

    New FIA Index Designed for Rising Rate Environment

    {March 15th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

    The introduction of a new balanced index option for investors in the Allianz 360 and Allianz 222 fixed indexed annuity (FIA) product line will offer financial advisors options better suited to a rising interest rate environment. The new index option, the PIMCO Tactical Balanced Index, is open to new Allianz 222 and 360 FIA contract […]

    World-Class Investors Back Kuvare to Bring Life Insurance & Annuities to the Middle Market

    {March 15th, 2016} by Business Wire

    CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kuvare Holdings, a growth-oriented insurance platform, is proud to announce the backing of investors Altamont Capital Partners, Makena Capital Management and Access Holdings, a group that collectively manages more than $20 billion of capital on behalf of stable, long-term oriented investors. Kuvare will deliver diversified annuities, life insurance, and supplemental products to the middle-income […]

    Thrivent Launches UL Aimed At Young Families

    {March 15th, 2016} by Nebraska City News-Press

    Being young and starting a family is one of the most exciting times in many people’s lives-lots of opportunities ahead and so many memories to make together. Unfortunately, young families are often the most vulnerable to life’s uncertainties. They’re the ones with many peak earning years ahead of them and lots of potential unknowns to […]

    Helping Your Alma Mater: 3 Life Insurance Moves

    {March 14th, 2016} by Allen Wastler

    So how is your old college faring in fundraising lately? Odds are, not well. Less than 1 percent of the nation’s colleges accounted for nearly 30 percent of the roughly $40 billion contributed to schools this past year, according to the latest survey from the Council for Aid to Education. So how can you help […]

    Genworth Settles Class-Action Lawsuit for $219 Million, Calls Allegations ‘Without Merit’

    {March 14th, 2016} by Dennis Gorski, managing editor-online, BestWeek: Dennis.Gorski@ambest.com

    RICHMOND, Va. – Genworth Financial has agreed to settle claims of alleged securities law violations for $219 million ahead of a scheduled May 9 trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The insurer said although the claims “are without merit,” it is “settling the lawsuit to avoid the burden, risk […]

    Heritage Maximizer Enhanced Death Benefit Rider Option Boosts LibertyMark Value by 30%

    {March 14th, 2016} by Legacy Marketing Group

    Legacy Marketing Group® is excited to announce the availability of the new Heritage Maximizer enhanced death benefit rider. The consumer-friendly rider boosts the annuity death benefit by 30% after contract Year 3, allowing consumers to leave their loved ones a substantial financial legacy. Available as an option with LibertyMark non-bonus fixed indexed annuities issued by […]

    AIG units fined by SEC for steering clients to high-fee products

    {March 14th, 2016} by MATT ROBINSON, SONALI BASAK

    (Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc. affiliates were fined by a U.S. regulator for charging customers higher fees in mutual fund sales, two months after AIG Chief Executive Officer Peter Hancock said he would divest the insurance company’s brokerage amid stricter rules. Royal Alliance Associates, SagePoint Financial and FSC Securities steered clients into more expensive classes […]

    Volatility driving retirees to think longevity annuity

    {March 14th, 2016} by Anna Robaton, special to CNBC.com

    Retirees, and those nearing retirement, just can’t seem to catch a break these days. For years now, they’ve been saddled with paltry interest rates on high-quality bonds and savings products, and today’s uncertain economic outlook has the Federal Reserve rethinking the timing of further rate hikes. What’s more, the stock market has been a hot […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Manulife Financial Corporation and Its Subsidiaries and Assigns Issue Ratings

    {March 12th, 2016} 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 life/health subsidiaries of Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC) (Toronto, Canada) [NYSE: MFC]. Additionally, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of “a-”, assigned issue ratings and affirmed the existing issue ratings of MFC. […]

    MIB: Individual Life Insurance Applications Grew 4.6% in February

    {March 11th, 2016} by Dennis Gorski, managing editor-online, BestWeek: Dennis.Gorski@ambest.com

    BRAINTREE, Mass. – February 2016 was the 19th month out of the past 20 that individual life insurance application activity rose from the prior year, according to the newest research from MIB Group. Last month’s rise was 4.6% over February 2015, which “outpaced that of the prior January by 4.1%, all ages combined, consistent with […]

    Kansas City Life Posts Small Net Drop for 2015; Company Re-Emerges as Privately Held Firm

    {March 11th, 2016} by Dennis Gorski, managing editor-online, BestWeek: Dennis.Gorski@ambest.com

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City Life Insurance Co., which has transitioned into a private company that delisted from the NASDAQ stock exchange at the end of last year, reported lower fourth-quarter net income as well as revenue. Profit for the quarter dropped to $6.1 million, from $7.7 million, primarily due to lower investment revenues, […]

    Jackson Announces Record 2015 Financial Results

    {March 11th, 2016} by Jackson National life Insurance Company

      LANSING, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jackson National Life Insurance Company® (Jackson®) generated $2.6 billion in IFRS pre-tax operating income during 2015, an increase of 10 percent over 2014 and the highest in company history. Jackson, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of the United Kingdom’s Prudential plc (NYSE: PUK), recorded sales and deposits of $27.9 billion in 20153. […]

    Jackson National 2015 Net Income Soars to $1.4 Billion

    {March 11th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

    Net income at Jackson National Life Insurance, the top seller of variable annuities in the U.S., rose to $1.4 billion in 2015 from $379 million in the year-ago period, the company reported. Jackson National raked in more fee income from higher separate account assets under management. As a result, 2015 pretax operating income rose 10 […]

    American Equity CEO: Strong 2015 Performance Makes Company Second-Biggest Seller of Fixed Annuities

    {March 11th, 2016} by Dennis Gorski, managing editor-online, BestWeek: Dennis.Gorski@ambest.com

    ORLANDO, Fla. – Coming off a strong year for sales of its fixed annuity products, executives of American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. told investors its performance was good enough to claim second place in industrywide sales of the product in 2015, behind only Allianz. Annuities analyst Sheryl Moore, president of Moore Market Intelligence, confirmed […]

    Old Mutual’s breakup includes a gift to private equity

    {March 11th, 2016} by Chris Hughes

    (Bloomberg) — Private equity firms suddenly have the chance to buy an asset that hasn’t already had all the value sucked out of it by…private equity firms. Old Mutual’s decision to break itself up means the South African financial services group’s wealth management unit is up for grabs. It’s the sort of thing private equity firms have […]

    Meet the 16 women who run state insurance departments

    {March 11th, 2016} by Rosalie L. Donlon

      Women’s History Month began as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress asked the president to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982, as “Women’s History Week.” Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987, after being petitioned by the National […]

    NAIC ranks top life insurers for 2015

    {March 11th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

    Metropolitan Group continues to hold the top spot in a National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) ranking of life insurers, which lists the top 25 carriers by market share based on direct premiums written in 2015. The top 10 insurers listed in the ranking held a cumulative market share of 44.69 percent. Metropolitan Group, parent company of […]

    MassMutual Executive: Buying MetLife’s Agent Channel Is ‘Growth at the Right Price For Us’

    {March 11th, 2016} by Dennis Gorski, managing editor-online, BestWeek: Dennis.Gorski@ambest.com

    SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – MassMutual’s recently announced deal to purchase MetLife’s Premier Client Group is about expanding its “feet on the street” by 70%, according to Mike Fanning, executive vice president of MassMutual’s U.S. Insurance Group. “It’s not about growing bigger just for the sake of expanding,” Fanning told Best’s News Service. “We’re aspiring to be […]

    Hartford CEO Swift Named Chairman of AIA

    {March 11th, 2016} by David Pilla, news editor, BestWeek: David.Pilla@ambest.com

    WASHINGTON – The American Insurance Association said Christopher J. Swift, chairman and chief executive officer of Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., will become chairman of the trade group’s board of directors at its March meeting. He will serve a one-year term. Swift succeeds Michael S. McGavick, CEO of XL Group plc, who served as chairman […]

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

    {March 11th, 2016} by Best's News Service

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

    Pacific Life Names Five Executives to Vice President Positions

    {March 11th, 2016} by Dennis Gorski, managing editor-online, BestWeek: Dennis.Gorski@ambest.com

    NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – The appointment of five new vice presidents has been announced by Pacific Life Insurance Co. Frank Boynton is now vice president of operations in the retirement solutions division. His responsibilities include oversight of the division’s customer service call center, operations account management, operations project management and operations audit support services, a […]

    Fiduciary Rule: What Advisors Want to Know

    {March 10th, 2016} by John D. Anderson

    There’s an insatiable appetite among advisors for concrete information on Labor Department’s proposed fiduciary rule. Many are asking: How will it impact me? We knew this going into a recent webinar we hosted on the potential impacts of the rule. Yet while we anticipated that advisors around the country wanted more information, we received way […]

    Advisors Yet to Realize the Power of Technology

    {March 9th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

    Eighty percent of insurance and financial advisors have a website, but fewer than half of advisors surveyed said they use additional data storage and analytics technologies, a recent survey found. The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) survey reveals opportunities for advisors to expand technology adoptions to make their business more efficient. Technology […]

    Genworth LTC Annuity Targets Elderly And Sick

    {March 9th, 2016} by Juliette Fairley

    Sales of hybrid annuities and life insurance policies with long-term care benefit riders and early death benefits have increased by more than 24% since 2014, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI).  And now traditional long-term care insurers are getting in on the game. “Insurers are developing all types of different options […]

    Cost of Insuring the World’s Population: $190 Trillion

    {March 8th, 2016} by Willis Towers Watson

    ARLINGTON, Va., March 07, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The cost of insuring the world’s population has been calculated at approximately $190 trillion, or roughly 2.5 times world GDP,1 according to leading global advisory, broking and solutions company Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW). The calculation, run on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, involved an analysis of the […]

    Life Insurance as Executive Compensation

    {March 8th, 2016} by William P. Stark

    Advisors who serve the business market know that one of the most stressful events a business owner can experience is the departure of a key employee.  Advisors serving business owners can help their clients potentially avoid this stress — and at the same time enhance their position as a trusted consultant — by encouraging business […]

    MetLife Disappointed With SIFI Re-Designation by FSOC

    {March 8th, 2016} by Frank Klimko, Washington correspondent, BestWeek: frank.klimko@ambest.com

    WASHINGTON – The Financial Stability Oversight Council voted to retain the systemically important financial institution designation for MetLife Inc., saying new information from the company did not change its appraisal that the company’s theoretical demise could spark wider economic problems. The council, charged with safeguarding the U.S. economy, met behind closed doors to consider the […]

    Volatility Is Not A Four-Letter Word

    {March 8th, 2016} by Mike Janky

    At 20 years old, Indexed Annuities make just as much financial sense now   The stock market in 2016 has started the year with the dubious honor of being one of the worst and most volatile calendar year beginnings in the history of the market. We are seeing swings as much as 3% each day […]

    Knighthead Annuity Launches First Fixed Index Annuity for Global Clients

    {March 8th, 2016} by Business Wire

    GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Knighthead Annuity & Life Assurance Company™ today announced the introduction of the first Fixed Index Annuity (FIA) available to global clients. The Knighthead Annuity Safe Harbour™ FIA is designed to provide global clients with the opportunity to benefit from growth in the S&P 500®, while protecting their investment from market downturns. […]

    10 of the happiest states in America

    {March 8th, 2016} by Lynette Gil

    How do you define happiness? Is it having enough money? (And what is “enough money?”) Is it holding your baby or grandchild for the first time? Is it contributing meaningful work? Is it all of these things? In an attempt to answer this question, Wallethub recently set out to discover which states are home to the happiest […]

    What’s next for variable annuities after DOL fiduciary rule?

    {March 7th, 2016} by ROBERT BLOINK, WILLIAM H. BYRNES

    The variable annuity has taken its share of hits in recent years, and as the rule currently stands, the product will likely have to evolve once again in order to remain viable if the pending Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule is finalized in its current form. Traditionally, variable annuities have been sold as a commission-based […]

    Why fixed indexed annuities are strong sellers

    {March 7th, 2016} by Andrew Murdoch

    At first glance, a fixed indexed annuity (FIA) might seem almost too good to be true. Among its biggest attractions — and one you can be sure a broker will tout — is that you can invest in the stock market with impunity because you can’t lose money. Should you hear this, immediately temper your […]

    M&A Among RIAs Soars in 2015

    {March 7th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

    Mergers and acquisitions involving registered investment advisors (RIAs) in 2015 soared to a record 123 transactions, a 37 percent increase over 2014, according to new research. The number of “megadeals” involving RIAs with $5 billion or more outpaced overall RIA transaction growth, according to DeVoe & Co in San Francisco. The 123 transactions among RIAs […]

    Allianz Life Repeats as Training Top 125 Company

    {March 7th, 2016} by Business Wire

    MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–For the third consecutive year, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) made Training Magazine’s 2016 Training Top 125 list for its excellence in employer-sponsored training and development programs. Earning its highest ranking to date, Allianz Life moved up 35 spots from 2015, ranking 57th on the 2016 list. Allianz Life was […]

    Allianz Life Earns Top Minnesota Ranking on the 2016 FORTUNE List of 100 Best Companies to Work For

    {March 7th, 2016} by Business Wire

    Twin Cities-based financial services company focuses on employee recognition and career development March 03, 2016 10:26 AM Eastern Standard Time MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) today announced that it has been named to FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the fifth straight year, earning recognition as […]

    BestWeek: MassMutual CEO Says Deal to Buy MetLife Retail Force Creates Powerhouse

    {March 7th, 2016} by Caroline Saucer, editor, BestWeek: Caroline.Saucer@ambest.com

    OLDWICK, N.J. – Days after MetLife Inc. said it was in talks to sell its U.S.-based retail adviser force to Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., the two companies have announced a deal worth about $300 million, according to the latest issue of BestWeek. MassMutual will acquire MetLife Premier Client Group and its affiliated broker-dealer, MetLife […]

    BLS: Insurance Industry Jobs Growth Jumps by 7,900 in February

    {March 7th, 2016} by Thomas Harman, Washington Bureau manager, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. insurance industry added 7,900 jobs in February, according to figures released March 4 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The seasonally adjusted 0.30% increase for February 2016 over January 2016 illustrates continued insurance industry growth. The adjusted growth rate for February was greater than the 0.19% adjusted growth rate reported […]

    How much life insurance is the right amount?

    {March 7th, 2016} by Christopher P. Hill

    For centuries there has been a great debate over the right amount of life insurance. In fact, if you do a little bit of research on this topic, what you will find a wide variety of professional opinions, books, studies, classes, and theories — all of which claim they have the answer to the million […]

    Sun Life Financial Acquires Assurant’s U.S. Employee Benefits Business

    {March 7th, 2016} by PR Newswire

    Combined capabilities and scale strengthen Sun Life’s leadership position in U.S. group benefits – one of company’s four strategic pillars of growth TORONTO, ON and WELLESLEY, MA, March 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ – Sun Life Financial Inc. (TSX: SLF) (NYSE: SLF) today announced the completion of the purchase of the U.S. Employee Benefits business of Assurant, […]

    A.M. Best Revises Outlook to Stable for Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. and Subsidiary

    {March 7th, 2016} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has revised the outlook to stable from positive and affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a+” of Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. (Ameritas Life) (Lincoln, NE) and Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. of New York (Ameritas NY) (New York, NY). These insurance entities […]

    FIA sales skyrocket as VA sales wane

    {March 7th, 2016} by Peggy Bresnick

    The numbers don’t lie: Fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) are hot. According to LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute’s U.S. Individual Annuities SalesSurvey for the fourth quarter, FIA sales enjoyed their best quarter — and year — ever. Whole-year 2015 FIA sales rose to an all-time high of $54.5 billion, representing a 13 percent increase over 2014 levels. […]

    Positioning FIAs: Ask the Right Questions

    {March 7th, 2016} by Peggy Bresnick

    When it comes to positioning fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) in a client’s portfolio, sometimes the best approach is not to educate clients about the product, but ask questions. In a 2015 webinar from insurance marketing organization, Jon Summers, Marketing Coordinator, Annuities at Senior Market Sales, says that it’s essential to ask clients the right questions […]

    Voya Financial Honored as a 2016 World’s Most Ethical Company® by Ethisphere Institu

    {March 7th, 2016} by Voya Financial

    NEW YORK, March 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today that it has been recognized as one of the 2016 World’s Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute, the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust and business success.  This is […]

    Genworth asks to change terms of notes

    {March 5th, 2016} by Allison Bell

    Genworth Financial Inc. (NYSE:GNW) is trying to make its long-term care insurance (LTCI) operations easier to sell, according to a new securities filing. The company also wants to keep any bankruptcy events or insolvency events at its LTCI business from triggering the “event of default” provisions in the indentures, or contracts, for $3.8 billion in […]

    Debunk your biases on annuities: Opinion

    {March 4th, 2016} by Mike McGlothlin CFP®, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF

    Early in January, an article from Forbes presented some potential concerns about annuities. Titled, “4 Red Flags to Watch Out for Before Buying an Annuity,” it seemed focused on products that have long and higher surrender charges. Since these products represent a very small percentage of the market, I wanted to spend some time focusing […]

    New York Life shuffling, eliminating jobs as it plans tech hub in Jersey City

    {March 2nd, 2016} by Eric Strauss

    New York Life is in the process of establishing a technology hub in Jersey City, resulting in some jobs being transferred from its Clinton facility and the potential loss of other positions. The insurance company issued a WARN notice earlier this month indicating approximately 70 employees would lose their jobs as a result of the […]

    Foresters to purchase Aegon Capital Management and Aegon Fund Management

    {March 2nd, 2016} by Foresters

    TORONTO, March 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ – Foresters™, a Toronto-based international financial services provider, announced that it has entered into an agreement, dated February 29, 2016 with Proj Fox Acquisition Inc. to indirectly acquire 100 per cent of the shares of Aegon Capital Management (ACM) and Aegon Fund Management (AFM). The transaction, which is subject to Canadian […]

    Women 80% More Likely Than Men to be Impoverished in Retirement

    {March 2nd, 2016} by Jennifer Erin Brown, Nari Rhee, Joelle Saad-Lessler, Diane Oakley

    New NIRS Report Details Women’s Financial Security Challenges, Offers Policy Recommendations to Close Retirement Gender Gap WASHINGTON, D.C., March 1, 2016 – A new analysis finds that women are far more likely than men to face financial hardship in retirement. A report released today by the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) finds that across […]

    Independent Financial Partners Creates Women’s Advisory Council to Encourage Success of Female Advisors

    {March 2nd, 2016} by PR Newswire

    TAMPA, Fla., March 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Independent Financial Partners (IFP), a hybrid registered independent adviser in Tampa, Florida, with nearly $6 billion in assets under management, has launched a Women’s Advisory Council, called Amplify, to better support their existing network of women advisors and attract more prospective women advisors to the firm. Senior Vice […]

    The Insurance Iceberg: Transformation Going on Under the Surface

    {March 2nd, 2016} by Deb Smallwood

    Take a look at the financials of the insurance industry and industry projections, and it may seem like business as usual. But peek just under the surface at many insurers and you’ll find a great deal of activity aimed at transformation – positioning for success in the rapidly changing digital world. Typically, this activity takes […]

    A.M. Best Comments on Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company’s Intent to Acquire MetLife, Inc.’s Retail Advisor For

    {March 2nd, 2016} by Best's News Services

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has commented that the financial strength rating, issuer credit ratings, issue ratings and stable outlooks of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) (Springfield, MA) and its subsidiaries are unchanged. Additionally, the under review with developing implications status of all of MetLife, Inc. (MetLife) (New York, NY) [NYSE: MET] ratings and its […]

    DOL fiduciary rule will force brokers out, ex-SEC IM Director says

    {March 2nd, 2016} by Melanie Waddell

    Norm Champ, the former director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management, said Thursday that there were “significant issues” with the Department of Labor’s forthcoming rule to change the definition of fiduciary on retirement advice. “I’m afraid by imposing that DOL ERISA fiduciary duty [on brokers] that you will have people exit […]

    “Your annuity meets your trust … OOPS”

    {March 2nd, 2016} by John Olsen

    If you have clients who are like many Americans who’ve accumulated enough wealth to be concerned about how it will pass to their heirs, they have established one or more trusts. And if they’re like almost every American, they’re concerned about having enough income in retirement. Perhaps they’ve bought some type of commercial annuity contract […]

    Analysts: MetLife, MassMutual Both Winners in Major Deal

    {March 2nd, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

    The weekend sale of MetLife Inc.’s captive agency force and broker-dealer to MassMutual Financial Group for $300 million is a win for both companies, analysts said. MetLife lowers its cost structure and MassMutual nearly doubles its army of agents to 9,600 advisors. MetLife gains as it slashes headcount by about 4,000 agents and advisors to […]

    Yay for Technology! Changes to Wink’s Sales & Market Report

    {March 1st, 2016} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Hi there. A little over a year ago, I gave you a heads up on some changes that were occurring with Wink’s Sales & Market Report. I am writing this to communicate additional changes to our flagship report. Wink’s Sales & Market Report has served as the insurance industry’s #1 resource of indexed insurance product sales […]

    Webinar guest speaker: Sheryl J. Moore on DOL update

    {March 1st, 2016} by Wink RockStars

    DOL UPDATE: Get ready for no-load annuities Thu, Mar 17, 2016 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM CDT Learn from two industry titans how the proposed DOL ruling will impact your practice. Join guest speaker Sheryl J. Moore, an industry icon and educator, along with Alternative Brokerage CEO, Bob Phillips to learn about how the proposed […]

    Genworth says it fixed weakness in accounting tied to reserves

    {March 1st, 2016} by KATHERINE CHIGLINSKY

    (Bloomberg) — Genworth Financial Inc. (NYSE:GNW), an insurer that’s been hit with higher-than-expected losses on long-term care insurance (LTCI) policies, said it fixed a material weakness in its accounting. The issue was remediated as of year-end, the Richmond, Va.-based company said Friday in a regulatory filing. “Our chief executive officer and chief financial officer concluded […]

    Allianz Life Adds PIMCO Tactical Balanced Index Allocation to Select Fixed Index Annuities

    {March 1st, 2016} by Business Wire

    MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®), a leading provider of fixed index annuities (FIAs), today announced the launch of the PIMCO Tactical Balanced Index as an allocation option on Allianz 360SM Annuity and Allianz 222® Annuity. This new index dynamically allocates daily between the S&P 500® Index, a bond component comprised […]

    Women appreciate advisor value

    {March 1st, 2016} by PEGGY BRESNICK

    Women face additional changes when it come to preparing for a secure retirement. View consumer survey results: Click HERE 

    Do’s and Don’ts of Index Annuities: Opinion

    {March 1st, 2016} by Scott Stolz, Senior Vice President Raymond James

    There’s a proper way to discuss these popular products Beacon Research recently reported that fixed index annuity sales hit a record $14.4 billion in the third quarter of 2015, up 14.5% versus the previous quarter. While this is still well below the $32 billion in variable annuity sales that Morningstar reported for the same quarter, […]

    Florida Readies Legislation Requiring Life Insurers to Intensify Efforts to Find Beneficiaries

    {March 1st, 2016} by Dennis Gorski, managing editor-online, BestWeek: Dennis.Gorski@ambest.com

      TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Wide-ranging legislation aimed at speeding up death benefit payments to life insurance beneficiaries is making progress in both the Florida House and Senate. The Senate version, filed by state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto of Ft. Myers, has already cleared three committee hearings and is on the docket for a full hearing next […]

    AIG Says It Settled Legal Dispute Over ‘Life Settlements’

    {March 1st, 2016} by Leslie Scism

    End of Coventry First Dispute May Pave Way for Insurer to Sell $3.6 Billion Portfolio American International Group Inc. said it has resolved a legal dispute with a firm that helped it amass a large investment portfolio of “life settlements” in the 2000s. The agreement could pave the way for AIG to sell the portfolio, […]

    MassMutual, Liberty Mutual’s executives got hefty raises in 2015

    {March 1st, 2016} by Deirdre Fernandes

      The leaders of the two largest mutual insurance companies in Massachusetts received hefty pay increases in 2015, the companies disclosed Monday. Roger Crandall, chief executive of MassMutual Financial Group of Springfield, received a 21 percent raise in 2015, upping his salary to nearly $12 million, from $9.8 million the previous year. David Long, chief […]