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Archive for May 2017


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  • Advisers question Chamber report about harm from DOL rule

    {May 31st, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Some financial advisers are questioning the accuracy of a U.S. Chamber of Commerce report that asserts that the Labor Department fiduciary rule will harm small investors and businesses. On Tuesday, the Chamber released a report that compiles statistics from surveys and other data submitted during a recent comment period on the rule. The Chamber highlighted […]

    The Future Of Annuities

    {May 31st, 2017} by Ben Mattlin

    In the annuities business, the last few years have left some people scratching their heads. Consider this: In 2016, sales of new variable annuities (VAs) fell more than 20% from the preceding year, according to Morningstar, to represent less than half of the overall market for the first time. Over the same period, sales of […]

    Fitch Downgrades Brighthouse Financial, Inc.; Outlook Stable

    {May 31st, 2017} by Fitch Ratings

    Fitch Ratings-Chicago-31 May 2017: Fitch Ratings has downgraded the Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) Ratings of Brighthouse Life Insurance Company (BLIC) and New England Life Insurance Company (NELIC) to ‘A’ from ‘A+’. Fitch has also downgraded the expected Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) of Brighthouse Financial, Inc. (Brighthouse) and Brighthouse Holdings, LLC (Brighthouse Holdings) to ‘BBB+(EXP)’ from […]

    Fiduciary Hit To Indexed Annuities?

    {May 31st, 2017} by John Sullivan

    The spectacular run for indexed annuities is on the wane. Is the fiduciary rule to blame? Yes, but not in the way one would think. After roughly a decade of increases, total first quarter indexed annuity sales were just over $12.9 billion, down almost 3 percent when compared to the previous quarter, and down over […]

    13 Best & Worst Broker-Dealers: Q1 Earnings, 2017

    {May 31st, 2017} by Janet Levaux

    The first quarter of 2017 was a strong one for corporate profits. According to FactSet, companies in the S&P 500 reported an average increase of close to 14% in Q1’17 vs. Q1’16. That’s the biggest gain since Q3 of 2011. Plus, equity analysts forecast a full-year boost of S&P 500 earnings of 10%. Bank of […]

    FINRA Clarifies What Advisors Can (and Can’t) Do on Social Media

    {May 31st, 2017} by Brian O'Connell

    FINRA recently unveiled tough new directives for broker-dealers on their social media practices, with special attention on text messages and use of company materials on private advisor accounts. The entire notice is well worth reading, especially if you’re a financial services professional who uses social media, texts with clients, and shares Internet links with clients. […]

    The Top-10 Shuffle In The Fixed Annuity Market

    {May 31st, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Fixed annuity sales dipped 6 percent to $1.1 billion in the first quarter over the year-ago period, market researcher Wink’s Sales & Market Report announced this week. Fixed annuity sales rose 6 percent over the fourth quarter, Wink’s said. Here is a rundown of the the top 10 fixed annuity sellers and where they finished […]

    FIA Market In 1Q: The Top 10 Shuffle

    {May 31st, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Despite first quarter 2017 sales of fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) dropping 14 percent to $12.9 billion compared with the year-ago period, there was still plenty of jockeying for position among product sellers for top 10 recognition. Here is how companies, products and distributors finished the quarter compared with the first quarter in 2016, according to […]

    Former Advisor Charged with Taking $4.5M From Ex-NFL Player

    {May 31st, 2017} by Janet Levaux

    A federal court judge in Indiana has indicted an advisor for wire fraud and other charges involved with taking $4.5 million from Cory Redding, who played with the Indianapolis Colts and other professional football teams from 2003 to 2015. (The court did not identify the NFL defensive player in its documents, but the Indianapolis Star did.) On […]

    Attorney Gets Prison for Insurance Fraud

    {May 31st, 2017} by Robert Storace

    A former Fairfield, Connecticut, attorney was sentenced in federal court Thursday to three years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his part in a life insurance scheme that netted him $272,000. U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson handed down the sentence to 62-year-old David Quatrella, who pleaded guilty in January to […]

    Winners and Losers in a Post-Fiduciary World

    {May 31st, 2017} by Daisy Maxey

    By Daisy Maxey May 24, 2017 11:11 a.m. ET The Labor Department’s decision to let the fiduciary rule take effect in 2½ weeks will be a bane or a boon to a host of players from robo advisers and providers of index funds to brokerages and annuity providers. Registered investment advisers and providers of index […]

    Retirement fees could rise 200% post-DOL, Chamber of Commerce warns

    {May 31st, 2017} by InvestmentNews

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which lobbied against adoption of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule for retirement accounts, has published a report highlighting the negative effects the new rule will have on retirement savers. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required.

    Next Step: Expansion

    {May 31st, 2017} by BISA Portfolio

    Athene USA is one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of fixed indexed annuities (FIAs), but the West Des Moines, Iowa-based company has not distributed its product through banks—until now. The company, a subsidiary of Athene Holding Ltd. ($87 billion in total assets), will shortly be selling its products through small and regional banks, and larger […]

    Fee-based Annuities: Ready for Prime Time?

    {May 31st, 2017} by BISA Portfolio

    Where do fee-based annuities stand in regard to the DOL rule? Fee-based annuities have been slow to catch on. Sales have hovered at around 4 percent of variable annuity (VA) sales for the last couple of years, according to Morningstar. But with the Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiduciary duty rule issued in April 2016, fee-based […]

    DOL May Push Back Full Compliance for Fiduciary Rule

    {May 31st, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    Full implementation of the Department of Labor’s Conflict of Interest Rule could be delayed beyond the Jan. 1, 2018 applicability date, according to an FAQ issued this month by the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration. The document states that the DOL intends to issue a Request for Information (RFI) “in the near future” seeking public […]

    Women & Life Insurance

    {May 30th, 2017} by Caroline McKay, JD

    Women today are more highly educated and financially empowered than ever before, but evidence suggests that their financial planning needs are not being met. In fact, multiple studies indicate that women, more so than their male counterparts, are unhappy with the current level of service and engagement being provided to them by their advisors. For […]

    Wink supports National Annuity Awareness Month

    {May 30th, 2017} by Wink's RockStars

    We will be supporting the annual National Annuity Awareness Month in June. National Annuity Awareness Month is designed to provide awareness and understanding of annuities and their benefits in financial and retirement planning. Be sure to look for our social media communications with a focus on educating the public on the important role annuities play […]

    Fee-Based VA Filings Shatter Records

    {May 30th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    With the Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule set to go into effect early next month, insurers and annuity companies have reported a record 26 filings for fee-based variable annuities in the six-month period that began Dec. 1. That was the word from Morningstar. New filings for fee– and commission-based variable annuities typically number about […]

    U.S. Firm Agrees to Acquire Fidelity & Guaranty Life

    {May 30th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    CF Corp., an investment firm based in the Cayman Islands, has agreed to acquire Fidelity & Guaranty Life, a midsize issuer of life insurance and indexed annuity products, for $31.10 per share in cash. The total value of the deal could be about $1.8 billion, and CF Corp. will also assume $405 million in Fidelity & Guaranty Life […]

    How mid-career women could reshape the advisory industry

    {May 30th, 2017} by Tobias Salinger

    Five top firms will launch tailored internships this fall under a CFP Board pilot program aimed at hiring former professionals from the financial services and other fields. It’s the latest effort to improve what can only be called dismal statistics. The proportion of women CFPs has remained stagnant at 23% for a decade and only […]

    10 fiduciary facts advisers need to know now

    {May 30th, 2017} by Todd Cipperman

    Advisers snapped to attention when Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta said in a surprise commentary in The Wall Street Journal that the Department of Labor would not further delay the first stage of the fiduciary rule’s implementation. The Labor Department did back off some of the compliance requirements for the rest of this year, however, […]

    Jessica Altman May Lead Pennsylvania Insurance Department

    {May 30th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Pennsylvania could soon have a new insurance commissioner. Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, says he wants to nominate Teresa Miller, the current commissioner, to be the first secretary of a new state Department of Health and Human Services. Jessica Altman, Miller’s chief of staff, would become the new insurance commissioner. Click HERE to view the […]

    Kitces: Fees outpace commissions — over time

    {May 27th, 2017} by Michael Kitces

    Since the late 1990s, the broker-dealer community has been transitioning away from traditional commission-based accounts and toward fee-based alternatives. Facilitated first by a proposed 1999 exemption under Rule 202 that would allow broker-dealers to offer fee-based accounts without being registered as investment advisers — and then transitioning fully to dual-registered or hybrid RIA arrangements after […]

    DOL Fiduciary Rule: Acosta makes it clear that revisions are coming : OPINION

    {May 27th, 2017} by Editorial

    We​ were​ pleased to read Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s emphasis on sticking to the rule of law when it comes to deregulation in his Wall Street Journal op-ed last Monday. Though his decision not to further delay the June 9 initial implementation date of his agency’s fiduciary rule might have seemed like a blow to […]

    The Fixed-Index Annuity Industry Won Battles Only To Lose the War

    {May 26th, 2017} by Ryan Brown

    After losing the U.S. Senate in the 2014 mid-term elections, the Obama administration faced a political pickle. How could it advance its agenda without the support of a Republican-controlled House of Representatives or a newly controlled Republican Senate? With some clever political maneuvering, the administration went to its federal executive departments, including the U.S. Department […]

    Why Do the Pundits Hate Fixed Annuities? OPINION

    {May 26th, 2017} by Chuck Ritzke

    This is the third installment of the educational video series on why the pundits hate annuities. Of course, if you sell annuities, or have even thought of selling annuities, you know that the value of a variable annuity can go up or down with their underlying investment funds. Indexed annuities introduce some guarantees, but still participate […]

    DOL Fiduciary Deadline Is Coming. Here’s a Compliance Checklist

    {May 26th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    Now that the Department of Labor has confirmed that its fiduciary rule’s compliance date will kick in on June 9, compliance firms and attorneys are busy providing checklists to broker-dealers, advisors and plan sponsors on how to prepare. “We actually think the current state of affairs makes the most sense” in that the FAQs guidance […]

    Voya re-entering buffer annuity market as product popularity grows

    {May 26th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    Voya Financial is hoping to capitalize on the recent popularity of buffer annuities by launching a product around the end of this year or early next, after having exited the market less than two years ago, and joining a small group of insurers currently offering such products. Click HERE to read the full article via […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Thrivent Life Insurance Company

    {May 25th, 2017} by Thrivent Financial

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A++ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “aa+” of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans (Appleton, WI) and its subsidiary, Thrivent Life Insurance Company(Minneapolis, MN) (together known as Thrivent Financial). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. Thrivent Financial’s ratings reflect its […]

    Majority Of Indexed Annuity Carriers Struggle With 1Q Sales

    {May 25th, 2017} by Press Release

    Pleasant Hill, Iowa. May 24, 2017– Wink’s Sales & Market Report expanded in 2015 for all non-variable deferred annuities which include indexed annuity, traditional fixed annuity, and multi-year guaranteed annuity (MYGA) product lines. Fifty-five indexed annuity providers, 51 fixed annuity providers, and 56 MYGA companies participated in the 79th edition of Wink’s Sales & Market […]

    Craig Bromley Leaves Top John Hancock Post

    {May 25th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Manulife Financial Corp. has announced a change at the top at John Hancock Financial Services, the company’s Boston-based U.S. division. Craig Bromley, a senior executive vice president and general manager of the U.S. division, has left the company, Manulife said today. The Toronto-based parent company did not immediately give an explanation for Bromley’s departure. Bromley could not […]

    Report: FIA Sales Tumble 14% In 1Q

    {May 25th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    First quarter 2017 sales of fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) dropped 14 percent to $12.9 billion compared with the year-ago period, a widely-followed industry data tracker reported Wednesday. FIA sales dipped 3 percent compared with the fourth quarter 2016, according to Wink’s Market & Sales Report. New Department of Labor fiduciary rules have weighed on sales […]

    DOL fiduciary rule pushes indexed annuity carriers to develop new products

    {May 25th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    Insurance companies, especially those that are indexed-annuity-centric, have been launching annuity products within the past several months in anticipation of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which is expected to cause a big disruption to distribution of their traditional products. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required.   “Independent agents are […]

    Why Dr. Phil Can Sell More Insurance Than Warren Buffett

    {May 25th, 2017} by Charlie Gipple

    If Dr. Phil and Warren Buffett were trying to sell you a financial product, which one of those two people would you be most likely to buy from?  This is actually rhetorical for you, the financial professional, because I already know the answer to that question. Most of us would choose Warren Buffett because of […]

    Allianz Life introduces new index variable annuity products

    {May 24th, 2017} by IBR Staff Writer

    Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America has introduced two new index variable annuity (IVA) products, which will offer several ways to benefit from the balance of performance potential and level of protection. The new products, Allianz Index Advantage ADVSM Variable Annuity and Allianz Index Advantage NFSM Variable Annuity, have been modeled on the lines of […]

    FIA Riders Reach Inflection Point

    {May 24th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    With annuity sales forecast to drop across the board by up to 10 percent this year, pickings for advisors may be rather slim indeed. But an important shift away from annuities with guaranteed living benefits (GLBs) signals that advisors are focused on accumulation and away from income, a least for the time being, a market […]

    Fiduciary rule’s best interest stays, but plaintiffs’ bar checkmated until first of next year

    {May 24th, 2017} by Nick Thornton

    In opting to not attempt another delay of the fiduciary rule’s impartial conduct standards, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta showed deference to the rule of law. That has frustrated the many opponents of the rule who had called on Acosta to delay the June 9 implementation date of the impartial conduct standards until Labor can complete […]

    Wink, Inc. Releases 1st Quarter, 2017 Non-Variable Deferred Annuity Sales Results

    {May 24th, 2017} by Press Release

      — FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION — NEWS RELEASE   MAJORITY OF INDEXED ANNUITY COMPANIES STRUGGLE WITH FIRST QUARTER SALES Wink, Inc. Releases 1st Quarter, 2017 Non-Variable Deferred Annuity Sales Results Pleasant Hill, Iowa. May 24, 2017– Wink’s Sales & Market Report, the insurance industry’s #1 resource for indexed annuity sales data since 1997, expanded in 2015 […]

    Prudential Aims to Improve Retirement Saving Hygiene

    {May 24th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Prudential Financial Inc. is continuing to rev up its financial wellness outreach campaign this week. The Newark, New Jersey-based company is trying to persuade the media, policymakers in Washington, employers and consumers to see saving a significant amount for retirement to be something as automatic as getting a checkup every year, or brushing teeth in […]

    Simple disclosure of conflicts touted by opponents of DOL fiduciary rule not effective

    {May 24th, 2017} by Fred Barstein

    Now that the industry knows the DOL fiduciary rule will go into effect on June 9, it’s important to step back and understand what’s at stake and who stands to benefit from — or be hurt by — potential revisions to the rule, which may happen before the end of the year. Some groups like […]

    DOL fiduciary rule provides retirement savers with needed protections: OPINION

    {May 24th, 2017} by Barry Rithotz

    I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which states that any broker or manager offering advice on retirement-savings accounts must put the clients’ interests first, looks like it will survive. It goes into effect officially on June 9. Click HERE to view […]

    Gary Bhojwani Elected to Succeed Edward Bonach at CNO Financial

    {May 24th, 2017} by PRNewswire

    CARMEL, Ind., May 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — CNO Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: CNO) today announced its Chief Executive Officer Edward J. Bonach, 63, will retire from that position and from the Board of Directors effective December 31, 2017. CNO’s Board of Directors has unanimously elected current President Gary Bhojwani, 49, to succeed Bonach as Chief […]

    Deregulators Must Follow the Law, So Regulators Will Too

    {May 23rd, 2017} by Alexander Acosta

    As the Labor Department acts to revise the Fiduciary Rule and others, the process requires patience. President Trump has committed—and rightly so—to roll back unnecessary regulations that eliminate jobs, inhibit job creation, or impose costs that exceed their benefits. American workers and families deserve good, safe jobs, and unnecessary impediments to job creation are a […]

    Transamerica Parent Makes U.S. Deal

    {May 23rd, 2017} by Allison Bell

    A company owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has agreed to reinsure large blocks of Transamerica life insurance and annuity business The reinsurer, part of Norwalk, Connecticut-based Wilton Re Ltd., could take responsibility for paying and administering a total of about $14 billion in Transamerica obligations through an administrative reinsurance agreement. Aegon N.V., Transamerica’s Dutch […]

    NAFA Statement on DOL Fiduciary Rule

    {May 23rd, 2017} by Chip Anderson

    Disappointed in Decision not to Delay Rule Implementation Date   Washington, D.C., May 23, 2017 – NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, is very disappointed that Secretary Acosta did not delay the June 9th implementation deadline of the DOL “Fiduciary Rule.”  NAFA has remained strongly opposed to the June 9th implementation date of the Fiduciary […]

    Labor secretary Alexander Acosta gives DOL fiduciary rule supporters something to cheer about — at least for now

    {May 23rd, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Major parts of the Labor Department fiduciary rule will kick in June 9, but how much of the rest of it will survive remains uncertain. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required.


    {May 23rd, 2017} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Indexed Annuity Wink’s Sales & Market Report’s indexed annuity sales for the first quarter of 2017 were $12,925 million, compared with sales of $15,089 million for the first quarter of 2016. First quarter indexed annuity sales were down nearly 3% when compared to the previous quarter, and down more than 14% when compared with the […]

    DoL won’t delay fiduciary rule, will go into effect June 9

    {May 23rd, 2017} by Andrew Welsch

    In a surprise move that caught the financial services industry off guard, the fiduciary rule will go into effect on June 9 without further delay, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta says. The Trump administration official ended weeks of speculation as to whether the Department of Labor would again delay implementation, disclosing the agency’s intentions in […]

    Racial and sexual discrimination alleged at a Denver life insurance company

    {May 23rd, 2017} by Kirk Mitchell

    A federal lawsuit accuses a Denver life insurance company of racial and sexual discrimination against seven top-performing Denver annuity wholesalers and supervisors who were all black. The employees recount blatant racial and sexual abuse incidents, including one in which La’Tonya Ford, the top saleswoman of Jackson National Life Insurance Company, was ordered to get on […]

    Indexed Annuity Sales Could See First Decline In A Decade, LIMRA Predicts

    {May 23rd, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Sales of fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) are expected to be hit the hardest as new regulations and uncertainty among distributors will dampen new sales of individual annuities in 2017. LIMRA’s forecast is for sales of all U.S. individual annuities to drop between 5 percent and 10 percent in 2017. In particular, indexed annuity sales are […]

    Acosta declines to extend delay of DOL fiduciary rule

    {May 23rd, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta confirmed Monday night that the agency’s fiduciary rule will become applicable on June 9. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required.

    Pru hires SVP for annuities unit

    {May 22nd, 2017} by Eric Strauss

    Prudential Financial Inc. said recently it has hired a senior executive for its Prudential Annuities management team. Dianne Bogoian joins the Newark-based company from Voya Financial, where she capped her 20-year financial services career as senior vice president of retirement product. With Prudential, she will serve as senior vice president and head of product, overseeing […]

    People Roundup: Prudential Annuities Snags Voya Vet for Top Product Rule

    {May 22nd, 2017} by Greg Shulas, Alex Padalka

    Prudential Annuities has hired Voya veteran Dianne Bogoian to be its new head of product and a member of the business group’s senior leadership team. Based in Shelton, Conn., Bogoian reports to Fouché, president of Prudential Annuities. In her senior VP-level role, Bogoian will be charged with managing the unit’s “current block and sales of […]

    Fiduciary rule will prevail even if repeal is attempted: Borzi

    {May 22nd, 2017} by Charles Paikert

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Even if the Trump administration seeks to repeal the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, U.S. courts will still uphold it, says an architect of the controversial regulation. If the rule is repealed, consumer groups will challenge the action in court, Phyllis Borzi, the former assistant Secretary of Labor of the Employee Benefits […]

    Ohio National Executive to Lead MIB

    {May 19th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Members of MIB Group Inc., a major insurance industry information-sharing organization, have elected Arthur J. Roberts to be MIB’s 2017-2018 chairman. Roberts is the chief financial officer of Ohio National Life Insurance Co. Roberts is on track to succeed David Wheeler, who’s an executive vice president for U.S. mortality markets at Reinsurance Group of America […]

    NAFA Presses DOL to Use Procedures Law to Delay Fiduciary Rule

    {May 19th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    With only three weeks until the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule is set to kick in, the National Association for Fixed Annuities continues its full-court press in urging Labor to further delay the rule. Eric Marhoun, chairman of NAFA’s DOL steering and litigation committee, who’s also executive vice president and general counsel for Fidelity & Guaranty […]

    Former Life Group Head Could Be Next FBI Director

    {May 19th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    A key figure in the history of U.S. financial services regulation could be the next head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. President Donald Trump interviewed Frank Keating for the FBI director post Wednesday, according to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Trump fired the previous FBI director, James Comey, May 9. Click HERE to view the […]

    Roundup: Principal Goes Internal for New Life Insurance Chief

    {May 19th, 2017} by Greg Shulas, Alex Padalka, Michael Shagrin

    Principal Goes Internal for New Life Insurance Chief Principal Financial Group has named a new president of its U.S. Insurance Solutions unit, the company says in a press release. Amy Friedrich succeeds Deanna Strable-Soethout, who was appointed chief financial officer in February, according to Des Moines, Iowa-based Principal. Friedrich had joined the firm in 2000 […]

    “Hello Alice” …

    {May 19th, 2017} by Circular Board

    LAS VEGAS, May 19, 2017 — 
At the recent Dell EMC World, Circular Board unveiled Alice, the first-ever artificial intelligence platform for women entrepreneurs. Developed in partnership with Dell and Pivotal, Alice is on a mission to make it possible for significantly more female founders to succeed at unprecedented levels. Women-owned businesses currently employ 7.8 […]

    Annuity Sales Ravaged by DOL Uncertainty; VA Troubles Persist

    {May 19th, 2017} by Greg Shulas

    Limra forecasts that U.S. annuity sales will fall below $200 billion in 2017 for the first time in 16 years, as all major product lines feel the impact from DOL Fiduciary Rule uncertainty. That’s according to the research firm’s first quarter performance review. Variable annuity (VA) sales will decrease by 10% to 15% by year-end, […]

    Democratic senators criticize Acosta for rushing to conclusion on DOL fiduciary rule

    {May 19th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Democratic senators who sit on the committee with jurisdiction over the Labor Department criticized Secretary Alexander Acosta on Friday for appearing to jump to a conclusion about the agency’s fiduciary rule. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required.

    ‘AI’ Disruption Could Run Far Deeper than Underwriting

    {May 19th, 2017} by Jay Cooper

    Insurers know artificial intelligence and big data could disrupt industry practices such as underwriting. But disruption could be far more profound: Less risky consumers could ultimately use machine learning to determine whether they even need insurance. The implication is one of the several large-scale impacts AI could have on the insurance industry, the Financial Times reports. […]

    MassMutual Revamps Brand with New Website, Ad Campaign

    {May 18th, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    MassMutual is sporting a new look. Celebrating its 166th anniversary, the Springfield, Mass.-based mutual insurer has unveiled a new brand that aims to highlight a core mission of the company. To wit: Helping people to realize their financial goals and aspirations through mutual assistance and the family, business and community ties on which they depend. […]

    For DOL, killing fiduciary rule easier said than done

    {May 18th, 2017} by Nick Thornton

    Any effort to delay the June 9 implementation date of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule will face significant procedural obstacles, and potential legal challenges, according to one administrative law expert. “It’s not impossible to propose a new delay before the June 9 deadline, but there are substantial hurdles to doing so,” said Bethany Davis Noll, […]

    Life Group Aims to Reboot

    {May 18th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    A group that helped push the United States to shift toward adopting principles-based reserving for life insurance and annuity products wants to declare victory and move on to other projects. Scott Harrison, the executive director of the Affordable Life Insurance Alliance, says the alliance aims to use its success in the area of principles-based reserving to […]

    Principal Names Friedrich President of United States Insurance Solutions

    {May 18th, 2017} by Principal Financial Group

    DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Principal Financial Group® today announced the Board of Directors, as part of a planned succession, has elected Amy C. Friedrich president of United States Insurance Solutions effective immediately. She succeeds Deanna Strable-Soethout who became chief financial officer in February of this year. Amy Friedrich, president of United States Insurance Solutions at […]

    Iowa Insurance Companies to Host Des Moines Insurance Conference June 22

    {May 18th, 2017} by Business Wire

    May 15, 2017 04:15 PM Eastern Daylight Time DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Six Iowa insurance companies are collaborating to host the fourth annual Des Moines Insurance Conference on June 22, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa. Participating companies along with executive management speakers include: Aegon (NYSE: AEG) Louise Costikyan – Head of Competitive Analysis – Transamerica American […]

    Even if Trump repeals the fiduciary rule, DoL has reshaped the industry

    {May 18th, 2017} by Kenneth Corbin

    WASHINGTON — Whether or not the Department of Labor’s long-delayed and controversial fiduciary rule ultimately becomes the law of the land is almost beside the point, according to Jack Brennan, the former Vanguard CEO who now chairs FINRA’s board of directors. The highly publicized debate has already reshaped business practices and investor expectations, so that […]

    DOL Rule Confusion Leads to Wait-and-See Approach

    {May 18th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Confusion surrounding the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has caused insurance distributors to hold back on specific sales strategies and that could affect annuity sales this year, insurance company executives said. The rule, which raises investment advice standards into retirement accounts, also appears to be having an impact on the amount of money going into […]

    Ex-Allianz Life Chief to Lead CNO Financial

    {May 18th, 2017} by Greg Shulas

    CNO Financial Group CEO Edward Bonach will retire next year after a six-year stint in the executive role, as the insurer’s board has tapped the former head of Allianz Life’s North American business, Gary Bhojwani, to be its next leader. The Carmel, Ind.-based insurer revealed the succession plan Tuesday, stating in a release that Bhojwani […]

    Former Vanguard CEO Brennan ‘Bullish’ on DOL Fiduciary Rule

    {May 17th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    Former Vanguard Chairman and CEO Jack Brennan said Tuesday that he’s “very bullish” on the Department of Labor fiduciary rule’s outcome. “Whatever happens with DOL, it served its purpose by getting best interest into the public, the press,” Brennan, chairman of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authortiy Board of Governors, said during a question-and-answer session with […]

    Annuity Sales Help Allianz Profit Rise 9 Percent in 1Q

    {May 16th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Hybrid variable annuities and fixed indexed annuities (FIA) sold in North America helped boost Allianz SE’s operating profit 9.4 percent to 2.9 billion euros in the first quarter compared with the year-ago period, the company reported. Revenues rose 2.5 percent to 36.2 billion euros in the period compared with the first quarter 2016. “The Life […]

    Finra chairman John Brennan says DOL rule has raised standard for financial advice

    {May 16th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Finra chairman John J. Brennan said on Tuesday that even if the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule is repealed, it has elevated and put into plain language the idea of providing investment advice that’s better for clients’ returns than for financial advisers’ revenue. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required.

    5 Ways an AXA U.S. Spinoff Could Affect You

    {May 16th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Securities analysts and credit rating analysts have been looking at plans by AXA S.A. to sell a stake in its U.S. life insurance and asset-management operations through an initial public stock offering with wary, Great Recession-scarred eyes. Executives at many financial services companies now seem to be so alarmed by low interest rates, populism and U.S. […]

    Duperreault: AIG Will Seek Growth, Diversification as It Champions Data Analytics

    {May 16th, 2017} by David Pilla

    NEW YORK – (Adds A.M. Best rating commentary on Hamilton companies.) Both organic and inorganic growth, along with diversification and technology-enabled solutions, are key to American International Group Inc.’s strategy, according to its new chief executive officer. In his first public appearance since taking over as president, CEO and board member, Brian Duperreault said AIG […]

    Former Midland National CEO William Rigsbee Passes Away

    {May 16th, 2017} by Midland National

    Former Midland National Life Insurance Company President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) William A. Rigsbee passed away on May 1, 2017. Rigsbee joined Midland National in 1961, retiring in 1992 after serving 31 years at the company. “Bill left an indelible mark on our organization by leading us on a course of unparalleled growth, stability […]

    NAFA: Act Now – Tell President Trump to Stop the DOL Rule!

    {May 16th, 2017} by NAFA

    URGENT – TIME IS RUNNING OUT! Act Now – Tell President Trump to Stop the DOL Rule!   The DOL fiduciary rule will take effect in just three weeks – on June 9, 2017 – unless President Trump acts to stop this ill-conceived rule that will hurt our industry and our clients.  Many of you have […]

    ‘I Am Here to Grow A.I.G.,’ Its New C.E.O., Brian Duperreault, Pledges

    {May 16th, 2017} by Chad Bray

    Since being pulled back from the brink in the 2008 financial crisis, American International Group has shrunk significantly. And activist investors have further pushed to split the insurer. The company’s new chief executive, however, pledged on Monday to focus on growth. “Let me be clear, I am here to grow A.I.G.,” the executive, Brian Duperreault, […]

    Income Illiteracy May Favor Simple Annuities

    {May 16th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    High rates of retirement income illiteracy among people 60 or older could favor simple annuities in the future, a retirement income expert said. After all, the golden rule of investing is to avoid investing into what you do not understand. Simple income annuities are among the most straightforward income products in the retirement income marketplace. […]

    Brighthouse Financial Builds on the Success of its Shield Level Selector Annuities with Expanded Product Line

    {May 16th, 2017} by Brighthouse

    May 15, 2017 04:15 PM Eastern Daylight Time CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Brighthouse Financial, an operating segment of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE:MET) and one of the leading providers of annuity and life insurance solutions in the United States, announced today an expansion of its suite of Shield Level Selector annuities with the availability1 of the Shield Level 10 […]

    Total Overall IUL Sales! (2016)

    {May 16th, 2017} by Jamie Johnson

    In 1998, Wink began tracking indexed universal life (IUL) sales by insurance carrier each year in our quarterly Wink’s Sales & Market Report. We recently compiled all of the data from 1998 – 2016 to  establish the top 10 indexed universal life carriers for the  “Total Overall Indexed Universal Life Sales.”  Global Atlantic Financial Group (Accordia […]

    Fidelity’s approach to DOL fiduciary rule rankles some 401(k) advisers

    {May 16th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    Fidelity Investments is aggravating some retirement plan advisers. Their ire stems from changes that Fidelity, the largest record keeper of defined-contribution plans, is making to its business in relation to compliance with the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, set to take effect in about a month. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration […]

    AIG Names Hamilton’s Brian Duperreault Seventh CEO Since 2005

    {May 15th, 2017} by Sonali Basak

    (Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc. named Brian Duperreault, one of the most experienced managers in the property-casualty insurance industry, to be the company’s seventh chief executive officer since 2005 and improve results at the operation selling coverage to commercial clients. Duperreault, who spent time at AIG earlier in his career, will begin his role […]

    A.M. Best Special Report: Insurers Continued to Pull Away From Hedge Funds in 2016

    {May 15th, 2017} by A.M. Best

    Oldwick – Due mainly to rising investor concerns surrounding the performance of hedge funds, the insurance industry has ramped up its pullback of investment allocations to this asset class. According to a new A.M. Best special report, this retreat by the insurance industry was widespread, with 65% of U.S. life/annuity (L/A) insurers and 60% of […]

    Former Insurance Agent Charged With Running Ponzi Scheme in California

    {May 15th, 2017} by Marie Suszynski

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A former licensed insurance agent in California has been arrested and charged with 19 counts of securities fraud and one count of first degree burglary in an alleged Ponzi scheme. Pradeep Singh of Riverside, California, had his association with an insurance company terminated after regulators received complaints from seniors. He allegedly admitted […]

    MetLife Wins Short Hiatus in Litigation Over SIFI Designation

    {May 15th, 2017} by Frank Klimko

    WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court has ordered a brief delay in MetLife Inc.’s legal challenge to its systemically important financial institution designation while the U.S. Treasury Department reviews the SIFI selection process. The postponement, until July 11, is short of the full delay sought by the company in its litigation before a three-judge panel […]

    A.M. Best Special Report: U.S. Life/Annuity Industry Posts 22% Gain in Pre-Tax Net Operating Earnings in 2016

    {May 15th, 2017} by AM Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Full-year statutory pre-tax net operating gains for the U.S. life/annuity (L/A) insurance industry increased by 22% to $67.6 billion in 2016 from $55.2 billion in the previous year, bolstered by one-time company-specific events and favorable equity market performance, according to a new A.M. Best special report. The Best’s Special Report, “U.S. Life/Annuity Industry […]

    Distributions Out of a Cash Value Life Insurance Policy

    {May 15th, 2017} by Timothy W. Kenney

    It’s no secret the life insurance industry rides the waves of the latest hot product. In today’s market, that hot product is indexed universal life insurance. And with that comes a plethora of sales ideas from the life insurance companies offering IUL to help position their product in a crowded IUL market. So, we’re all familiar […]

    Voya Financial’s IUL Gambit Pays Off

    {May 15th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    At Voya Financial, the move to exit capital-intensive term life at the end of last year and concentrate on indexed universal life (IUL) has paid off – so far. First-quarter IUL sales rose 24 percent to $21 million over the year-ago period, the company reported last week. Leaving the term life segment to concentrate on […]

    All Eyes on Acosta as DOL Rule Clock Winds Down

    {May 15th, 2017} by John Hilton

    If changes to the Department of Labor fiduciary rule are not made soon, the chances of any concessions go down sharply, industry officials say. The main thrust of the rule – that anyone working with retirement dollars adhere to a fiduciary standard – is scheduled to take effect June 9. Industry representatives are furiously lobbying […]

    Lincoln Financial Group Names Tim Seifert Head of Annuity Sales

    {May 15th, 2017} by Business Wire

    RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) announced that Tim Seifert has been named head of Annuity Sales, effective immediately. He reports to John Kennedy, senior vice president and head of Retirement Solutions Distribution. In this newly created position, Seifert will lead sales for Lincoln Financial’s annuity distribution business, and focus on fostering consultative partnerships […]

    Voya Financial Announces Fourth Annual National Day of Service

    {May 15th, 2017} by Voya

    Thousands of employees will volunteer with nonprofit organizations across the country NEW YORK, May 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), will today hold its fourth annual National Day of Service, a companywide effort during which thousands of its employees will give back to their local communities. Employees across Voya’s nine major sites and […]

    NAIC Elects Raymond Farmer Secretary-Treasurer

    {May 15th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    A group near the center of the health insurance and annuity regulatory firestorms has picked a new officer. Members of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, a Kansas City, Missouri-based group for U.S. insurance regulators, have elected Raymond Farmer to be the NAIC’s new secretary-treasurer. Farmer, the South Carolina insurance commissioner, succeeds Texas Insurance Commissioner David Mattax. Mattax died April […]

    Killing Fiduciary Rule Seen as New DOL Chief’s Top Priority

    {May 12th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta has made halting the fiduciary rule’s June 9 compliance date as a top priority, with published reports saying he’s looking for a way to freeze the rule that will “stick.” “Our sense is that he [Acosta] is still looking for a ‘solution’ that could be implemented in final form before […]

    Distributors Show Interest in Passive Variable Annuity

    {May 12th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    A variable annuity using exchange traded funds (ETFs) and designed for fee-based advisors has found some success with distributors. That was the word from Lincoln Financial’s president and CEO Dennis R. Glass in a conversation with analysts last week. The variable annuity, branded as “Lincoln Core Income built with iShares,” offers only passive, low-cost ETFs […]

    FINRA to ‘terribly harmed’ investors: No recovery pool

    {May 12th, 2017} by Ann Marsh

    FINRA did not create a recovery pool for “terribly harmed” investors with unpaid arbitration awards at its board meeting this week, despite raising expectations last year that it might do so. Instead the self-regulator granted investors, in limited cases, the option of taking their dispute to a court even if they signed mandatory arbitration clauses […]

    Wells Fargo: Whispers of Possible Insurance Brokerage Sale

    {May 11th, 2017} by Matthew Monks

    Wells Fargo & Co. is weighing a sale of its insurance brokerage business, which could fetch about $2 billion, people familiar with the matter said. The San Francisco-based lender has begun reaching out to private equity firms to gauge interest in Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA Inc., said the people, who asked not to be […]

    How to handle clients who share Johnny Depp’s alleged compulsive buying habits

    {May 11th, 2017} by Liz Skinner

    Financial advisers who have dealt with clients like Johnny Depp, an alleged compulsive spender with $2 million in monthly bills, have found methods of reforming their clients’ errant shopping. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required.

    The Modern Family Office Must Be A Multifamily Affair

    {May 11th, 2017} by Christopher Robbins

    Thanks to changes in the economy and the face of wealth management, family office will never look the same. For one thing, the era of single family offices is essentially over, with a few exceptions, said Lisette Cooper, chief investment officer at Athena Capital Advisors, during the 2017 Invest in Women conference in Dallas on […]

    AIG Plans to Name Brian Duperreault as Next CEO

    {May 11th, 2017} by Joann S. Lublin and Biography @JoannLublin Joann.Lublin@wsj.com Leslie Scism

    American International Group Inc. plans to name Brian Duperreault —a onetime lieutenant to former CEO Maurice R. “Hank” Greenberg—as the firm’s chief executive officer, with an announcement expected as soon as Thursday, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Duperreault, 70 years old, is the founder and CEO of Bermuda-based Hamilton Insurance Group Ltd. Mr. […]

    Insurance Groups Launch Anti-Fiduciary Ads

    {May 11th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    Opponents of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule are launching grassroots campaigns and taking to print and digital ads to voice their opinions that the rule should be stopped in its tracks — and should not kick in on June 9. Americans to Protect Family Security has launched a print and digital ad campaign that the […]

    Merrill Lynch’s revised fiduciary plan relaxes ban on commissions

    {May 11th, 2017} by Andrew Welsch

    Merrill Lynch is relaxing restrictions on offering clients commission-based accounts, the company said in an internal memo. The decision is a reversal from its earlier strategy which had excluded such accounts as part of the firm’s plans to comply with the fiduciary rule. “We have analyzed the limited situations where recommending a fee-based arrangement might […]

    A.M. Best Upgrades Issuer Credit Rating of Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company

    {May 11th, 2017} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has upgraded the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) to “a+” from “a” and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) of Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company (FBL). The outlook of the Long-Term ICR has been revised to stable from positive, while the FSR outlook remains stable. Concurrently, A.M. […]

    Axa to Spin Off US Life, Asset Management Operations as First-Quarter Revenue Shows Slight Rise

    {May 11th, 2017} by David Pilla

    PARIS – Axa SA said it plans to float its U.S. life savings and asset management operations in an initial public offering as the group reported a slight rise in worldwide total revenue. The Paris-based multiline insurer said the proposed IPO will include a minority interest in its U.S. life and savings operations and its […]

    How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?: BLOG

    {May 11th, 2017} by Barbara Marquand

    You can’t pinpoint the ideal amount of life insurance you should buy down to the penny. But you can make a sound estimate if you consider your current financial situation and imagine what your loved ones will need in the coming years. How much life insurance do I need? In general, you should find your […]

    Talking ‘Deep State’ and fiduciary enforcement with Financial Engines CIO Chris Jones

    {May 11th, 2017} by Nick Thornton

    In less than a month, advisors on retirement assets will be required to act as fiduciaries. Is the “Deep State” to blame for that? Chris Jones, the Chief Investment Officer at Financial Engines, chuckles at the proposition. Much of industry was taken by surprise when the fiduciary rule’s impartial conduct standards were kept in place […]

    DOL Chief Looks to Deep Freeze Fiduciary Rule

    {May 11th, 2017} by Steve Morelli

    Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta wants to freeze the fiduciary rule in a way that will “stick,” according to an email a Senate aide sent to rule opponents on Tuesday. Acosta told Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., that the rule is his No. 1 priority and that he recognized the urgency of the situation, according to an […]

    AIG bailout was lawful, appeals court rules

    {May 10th, 2017} by Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court has upheld as lawful the government’s bailout of American International Group in the heat of the financial crisis. It overturned a lower-court decision favoring the insurance giant’s former CEO. The ruling Tuesday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said a company controlled by ex-AIG head […]

    Phil Waldeck Named President and CEO of Prudential Retirement

    {May 10th, 2017} by Prudential Retirement

      May 08, 2017– NEWARK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), announced that Phil Waldeck has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Retirement, a division of Prudential Financial, Inc., effective June 5. He succeeds Christine Marcks, who has informed the company of her decision to retire after more than 13 years of distinguished […]

    LPL grabs Merrill Lynch breakaways in sign of fiduciary ‘disruption’

    {May 10th, 2017} by Tobias Salinger

    Four Merrill Lynch advisers managing $420 million have bolted to launch a boutique practice under LPL Financial after its CEO predicted the movement of advisers and assets under the fiduciary rule. LPL CEO Dan Arnold told analysts in late April that the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer expects the Department of Labor rule to “create disruption” […]

    Bill to Replace Dodd-Frank, Kill DOL Fiduciary Rule Passes House Panel

    {May 10th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    After three days of raucous debate, the Financial Choice of 2017, the Republican bill to replace Dodd-Frank, passed the House Financial Services Committee by a 34-26 vote Thursday. Heated debate ensued over the three-day markup, with Democrats vehemently opposing provisions of the bill that gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, kill the Volcker rule, and […]

    U.S. Life Insurance Activity Leveled In April

    {May 10th, 2017} by MIB Life Index

    Braintree, MA. (May 10, 2017) — U.S. individually underwritten life insurance activity showed positive trends this April after three consecutive months of earlier decline. April’s composite MIB Life Index was off slightly, down -0.3% from the same month last year. With a third of the calendar year completed, the MIB Life Index is off -3.4% […]

    Athene Holding Ltd. Reports First Quarter 2017 Results

    {May 10th, 2017} by Athene

    PEMBROKE, Bermuda–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Athene Holding Ltd. (“Athene”) (NYSE: ATH), a leading provider of retirement savings products, today announced financial results for the first quarter 2017. Net income for the first quarter 2017 was $373 million, or $1.87 per diluted Class A share (“diluted share”), compared to net income in the first quarter 2016 of $87 million, […]

    Axa to Float U.S. Business

    {May 10th, 2017} by Joe Morris

      Axa plans to list a minority stake in its U.S. operations, which include its Axa Equitable business and a majority stake in AB. The French insurer announced the plans this morning, saying the offering would likely consist of a slice of its U.S. life and savings business and of its 64% interest in AB, […]

    Emily Prendiville: Insurance with clarity and purpose

    {May 10th, 2017} by Emily Holbrook

    When Emily Prendiville responded to a newspaper ad for an insurance sales position back in 1985, she never thought it would take her on the career path she has traveled. From working for big-name insurance companies to owning her own firm, she has proved herself to be a success within a male-dominated field. She is […]

    May Market Commentaries: BLOG

    {May 10th, 2017} by Bob Drury

    Good Afternoon, The bull market is now officially over eight years old. The last time the S&P 500 went down by 20% or more was March 9, 2009 (more than 2,970 days long). This is the second longest running bull market in history (longest was over the early to mid-1950’s). Leading indicators point towards potential […]

    NAFA: Act Now – Tell President Trump to Stop the DOL Rule!

    {May 9th, 2017} by Chip Anderson

      URGENT – WE NEED YOUR HELP! Act Now – Tell President Trump to Stop the DOL Rule!   The DOL fiduciary rule will take effect in just five weeks – on June 9, 2017 – unless President Trump acts to stop this ill-conceived rule that will hurt our industry and our clients.  Over 1000 […]


    {May 9th, 2017} by NAFA

    NAFA Again Calls on White House and DOL Secretary Acosta to Stop the Rule WASHINGTON D.C. (May 8, 2017) — NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, released the following statement today from its Executive Director Chip Anderson: “NAFA expresses its gratitude to those members of Congress who have signed letters calling for delay of […]

    The Future of Insurance

    {May 9th, 2017} by PRNewswire

    ARMONK, N.Y., May 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Insurance C-suite executives believe regulation, market factors and technology will have the largest impact on the insurance industry in the future, according to the findings of a new IBM (NYSE: IBM) study. When it comes to technology, specifically, 71 percent of insurers indicate they have begun using cognitive […]

    National Western Life Group, Inc. Announces 2017 First Quarter Earnings

    {May 9th, 2017} by National Western Life Group, Inc

    AUSTIN, Texas, May 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Ross R. Moody, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of National Western Life Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NWLI), announced today first quarter 2017 consolidated net earnings of $23.5 million, or $6.65 per diluted Class A common share, compared with consolidated net earnings of $17.3 million, or […]

    As The 4% Rule Wobbles, Are Annuities More Attractive Strategy?

    {May 9th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    What is a “safe” withdrawal rate in retirement? Ask any reputable financial planner and they will respond that it depends – on a client’s time horizon, spending habits, risk tolerance, retirement age and how much comes from other sources such as Social Security and even a defined benefit plan for retirees lucky enough to have […]

    NAFA Launches Campaign to Stop DOL Fiduciary Rule

    {May 9th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    The National Association for Fixed Annuities has launched a grassroots campaign to appeal directly to the Trump administration as well as to Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta to stop the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule from taking effect on June 9. “We want the administration to understand the disappointment and anxiety being felt by our […]

    Annuity Issuers Size Up Benefits M&A Market

    {May 9th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Executives at three big U.S. annuity issuers are open to acquiring group benefits businesses but believe recent deal prices have been high. The executives — at Lincoln Financial, MetLife Inc. and Prudential Financial Inc. — talked about the idea of making a deal last week, during conference calls with securities analysts.  The companies held the calls to […]

    American Equity Reports First Quarter 2017 Results

    {May 9th, 2017} by American Equity

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)– American Equity Investment Life Holding Company (AEL), a leading issuer of fixed index annuities, today reported first quarter 2017 net income of $53.9 million, or $0.60 per diluted common share, compared to net loss of $44.8 million, or $0.55 per diluted common share, for first quarter 2016. Non-GAAP operating income1 […]

    Opponents of DOL fiduciary rule want SEC to modify suitability standard

    {May 9th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Some suspense surrounds the fate of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required.

    Fake Financial News is a Real Threat to Majority of Americans

    {May 9th, 2017} by AICPA

    NEW YORK, May 5, 2017 – Fake news, deliberately false and misleading articles, has been all over the news lately. A new survey reveals that fake financial news has the potential to be a real serious problem, and it’s impacting Americans’ ability to make retirement, investment and healthcare decisions. These often completely made up stories […]

    BLS: Insurance Industry Posts 14,000-Job Increase in April Over March

    {May 8th, 2017} by Thomas Harman

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. insurance industry added 14,000 jobs in April, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures released on May 5. The seasonally adjusted 0.38% increase for April over March represents one of the largest growth figures in the industry’s trend of strong job growth that stretches into 2016. Should the 14,000-job […]

    A.M. Best Revises Outlooks to Negative for Aegon N.V.’s U.S. Subsidiaries

    {May 8th, 2017} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has revised the outlooks to negative from stable and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa-” of the U.S. life/health subsidiaries of Aegon N.V. (Aegon) (Netherlands) [NYSE: AEG]. Aegon’s U.S. life/health companies are collectively referred to as Aegon USA Group […]

    Low Yields Squeeze Annuity Renewal Rates

    {May 8th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Low bond yields may cut the crediting rates some annuity and life insurance policyholders get at renewal time. U.S. life insurers talked about use of crediting rate cuts to cope with low investment returns last week in first-quarter earnings reports and conference calls. Executives from American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. said Thursday, during a conference call […]

    U.S. Life Insurers May Not Want 50-Year Treasury Bonds

    {May 8th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    U.S. life insurers and pension funds may like long bonds, but 100 years is probably too long even for most of them. The Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, an arm of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, gave Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that assessment in a report last week. The committee looked at the idea of […]

    Report Card: Annuity Literacy Less Than Sterling

    {May 8th, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    New research from The American College reveals low to moderate levels of financial literacy among Americans, particularly in their knowledge of core protection products. The 2017 RICP Retirement Income Literacy Survey Report, released by The American College’s New York Life Center for Retirement Income, reveals a markedly low financial proficiency in respect to annuities. Fewer […]

    Brighthouse Financial Separation Date Moved

    {May 5th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    The spinoff of Brighthouse Financial, MetLife’s retail distribution arm, will take place sometime after the first half of the year, MetLife executives said. MetLife had originally planned to complete the separation by June 30. “Given the complexity of the transaction, we do not believe we have the necessary approvals to complete the separation in that […]

    Selfies: The latest big data source for life insurance

    {May 5th, 2017} by Danni Santana

    As the old adage says, a picture is worth a thousand words. But for life insurers, the value may go beyond that. That’s the objective of a new insurtech startup, Lapetus, which has developed facial analytics software that uses selfies to analyze body mass index, gender, and even physiological age to determine underwriting risk. The […]

    With Eye on DOL Rule, Voya to Debut Fee-based Indexed Annuity

    {May 5th, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    Latching onto a growing market, Voya Financial is planning to release a fee-based fixed indexed annuity, according to a top executive at the company. Carolyn Johnson, CEO of Annuities and Individual Life at Voya, says the New York-based insurer is developing a fee-based version of its commission-based product, Voya Journey Index Annuity. The single premium […]

    Agents, Distribution Power Voya 1Q Results

    {May 4th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Voya Financial’s first-quarter, after-tax operating earnings rose 37 percent to $157 million compared with the year-ago period on the strength of new products, expanded distribution and higher agent productivity, executives said Wednesday. “Our first-quarter 2017 results demonstrate a very good start to the year as we continue to execute on our plan to make progress […]

    AIG Cites Strategy Success as It Posts First-Quarter Profit

    {May 4th, 2017} by David Pilla

    NEW YORK – American International Group Inc. posted first-quarter net income of $1.19 billion, compared with a net loss of $183 million a year ago on what the group’s chief executive officer said is continued success in its strategic turnaround effort. “Our first-quarter results highlight the success of the actions we have taken to execute […]

    Best’s Review: How Chief Digital Officers Are Bringing the Amazon Experience to Buying Insurance

    {May 4th, 2017} by Lynna Goch

    OLDWICK, N.J. – With mobile devices now outnumbering people (8 billion to 7.5 billion) and consumers expecting instantaneous transactions on their phones (think Amazon and Airbnb) insurers are being pushed to transform their customer experience into the digital era. To bring about this change many insurers are hiring chief digital officers. In the May issue […]

    Fidelity & Guaranty Life Reports Fiscal Second Quarter 2017 Results

    {May 3rd, 2017} by Fidelity & Guaranty Life

    DES MOINES, Iowa, May 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Fidelity & Guaranty Life (FGL), a leading provider of annuities and life insurance, today announced financial results for the fiscal second quarter of 2017. Reported net income was $22 million or $0.38 per diluted share for the second quarter Adjusted operating income was $36 million or $0.62 per […]

    Lawmakers to DOL Secretary: Kill That Rule

    {May 3rd, 2017} by John Hilton

    Pressure continues to mount on the Department of Labor to weaken or dismantle the Obama administration-authored fiduciary rule. The confirmation of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta Friday led to a missive from GOP legislators urging him to make reforming the rule a priority. Delivered Tuesday, the letter was signed by 124 lawmakers. The letter repeated industry […]

    Prudential Annuities Offers New Benefit to Secure Financial Legacy

    {May 3rd, 2017} by Prudential Annuities

    May 01, 2017 — NEWARK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Prudential Annuities, the domestic annuity business for Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU) today launched Legacy Protection Plus, a new optional enhanced death benefit available on Prudential’s Premier Retirement variable annuities. Legacy Protection Plus is designed to help protect, grow and transfer wealth, creating a legacy for beneficiaries. “We carefully designed Legacy […]

    Voya Prunes Annuity Guarantee Risk

    {May 3rd, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Voya Financial has been offering some holders of its old variable annuities incentives to give up their contracts, and it may make similar offers in the future. Michael Smith, the New York-based company’s chief financial officer, talked about the offers Wednesday, during a conference call the company held with securities analysts. About 13,000 contract holders, […]

    Pacific Life Expands Its Suite of Fee-Based Annuity Products

    {May 2nd, 2017} by Pacific Life

    New fee-based fixed indexed annuity provides flexibility to financial advisors amid changes brought about by the new Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule NEWPORT BEACH, CA–(Marketwired – May 01, 2017) – Pacific Life announces a new fee-based fixed indexed annuity — Pacific Index Advisory℠ — which enhances its suite of products designed for lifetime retirement […]

    Income Riders Offer Post-Fiduciary Rule Save for Annuities

    {May 2nd, 2017} by Robert Bloink, and William H. Byrnes

    Because sales of popular fixed indexed annuities will now likely require advisors to comply with the burdensome new best interest contract exemption, many advisors may find themselves scrambling to find attractive annuity products for sale in a post-fiduciary rule world. Click HERE to view the full story via ThinkAdvsior. Unlike indexed and variable annuity products, […]

    Prudential Annuities offers new benefit to secure financial legacy

    {May 2nd, 2017} by Prudential

    NEWARK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Prudential Annuities, the domestic annuity business for Prudential Financial, Inc. (PRU) today launched Legacy Protection Plus, a new optional enhanced death benefit available on Prudential’s Premier Retirement variable annuities. Legacy Protection Plus is designed to help protect, grow and transfer wealth, creating a legacy for beneficiaries. “We carefully designed Legacy Protection Plus […]

    5 Ways Life and Annuity Issuers Could Break

    {May 2nd, 2017} by Allison Bell

    The insurers that write the life insurance and annuity products you sell may not really be world-class incubators of systemic risk, but they can be risky, too. Two economists take a close look at some of the risks that could leap out at life and annuity issuers from the economic closets in a new working […]

    Let’s Do More Teaching

    {May 2nd, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

    In the 37 years, I have spent in the financial services industry, the overwhelming majority of the time I have had some sort of educational role of one kind or another. That includes showing new reps the ropes on joint field work, teaching industry-related courses, doing seminars for the public and even running a training […]

    Genworth Seeks More Time for Approval of $2.7 Billion China Deal

    {May 2nd, 2017} by Bloomberg News

    (Bloomberg) — Genworth Financial Inc. is seeking more time to convince regulators they should approve the company’s plan to sell itself to China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Click HERE to view the original article via ThinkAdvisor The companies have refiled their notice to Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. to allow more time for […]


    {May 2nd, 2017} by Jamie Johnson

    Wink continues to receive many inquiries about which products are the best-selling indexed annuities of all time. We began tracking individual product sales of indexed annuities in 2006; in 2013 we compiled these individual product sales to see which products were the top selling indexed annuities ” of all time” from 2006-2013.  We decided to update […]

    The ‘Mambo No. 5’ Guy Is Back, and He’s Singing the Praises of Annuities

    {May 2nd, 2017} by Robert Klara

    Sometimes, you make a good investment without knowing it. For a struggling songwriter named Lou Bega, it happened in 1998 when he borrowed a few riffs from a long-forgotten tune by Cuban bandleader Dámaso Pérez Prado, reworked the beat, then added some catchy lyrics. The result, as anyone who was around back then will no […]

    ‘Mergers suck’ and more frank comments heard at Morningstar

    {May 2nd, 2017} by Andrew Welsch

    Mergers suck. The fintech revolution is overhyped. This is the worst time to be an investor. These were just some of the blunt comments and contrarian viewpoints shared at Morningstar’s Investment Conference from luminaries such as BlackRock CEO Larry Fink and Ritholtz Wealth Management CEO Josh Brown. More than 2,000 attendees heard industry giants inveigh […]