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Archive for March 2018


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  • A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Protective Life Corporation and Its Key Subsidiaries

    {March 31st, 2018} by A.M. Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa-” of the primary life insurance subsidiaries of Protective Life Corporation (Protective Life) (headquartered in Birmingham, AL). Additionally, A.M. Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “a-” and the existing Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings (Long-Term […]

    Saving for Retirement Lower Priority for Women Than Men: Willis Towers Watson

    {March 31st, 2018} by Ginger Szala

    Women rank saving for retirement as a lower priority than men, more workers overall expect to work into their 70s, and a majority of younger workers think Social Security and government health care benefits will be worse for them than retirees today. These were the findings of the 2017 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey released by […]

    Retirement-savings bill draws broad support, optimism for passage this year

    {March 31st, 2018} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Supporters of legislation designed to increase retirement savings are hopeful the measure will be approved by Congress later this year, despite being left out of a recent spending bill. The Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of 2018 was introduced in the Senate in early March with the goal of attaching it to the omnibus fiscal 2018 appropriations […]

    The retirement dilemma and how annuities may help

    {March 31st, 2018} by Calvin Goetz

    As people plan for retirement they’re encountering many challenges, including: longer life expectancies, a shift in personal responsibility for retirement income, investment fears, and missed opportunities.  Here’s a breakdown of each: Longer life expectancies: Today’s longer life expectancies mean you will likely spend more years in retirement, potentially 25 to 30 years. Planning how you will fund […]

    Stingl: Woman nearing age 98 is outliving the life insurance she bought to cover her burial

    {March 30th, 2018} by Jim Stingl

    Lorraine Guenther and Thrivent Financial insurance company had a deal, or so she thought. She would pay them a premium of $500 a year for the rest of her life. And they would someday provide a death benefit of $25,000 to cover her funeral and burial. The universal life policy took effect in 1988 when Lorraine was 67, […]

    CFP Board Expands Fiduciary Duty for Planners

    {March 30th, 2018} by Melanie Waddell

    The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards’ board has approved the second installment of revisions to its Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, expanding a fiduciary duty to CFPs rendering all types of financial advice. Richard Salmen, the board chairman, said on a Wednesday morning call with reporters that the board “unanimously” approved the […]

    It’s Hot Around the ‘Collar’

    {March 30th, 2018} by Kerry Pechter

    With the equities boom showing signs of fatigue, and with so many investors near retirement, it’s no wonder that collar-type products, which insulate investors from various levels of downside risk, have become a fertile area of innovation for both life insurer actuaries and the financial engineers on Wall Street. A number of insurance-based and investment-based […]

    DOL Weighs Political Pressure to Drop Defense of Fiduciary Rule

    {March 30th, 2018} by Nick Thornton

    Ever since the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other trade groups began filing lawsuits to overturn the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule in 2016, legal experts have speculated the issue would ultimately find its way to the Supreme Court. But an agreement between Labor and the National Association for Fixed Annuities last week in the District of Columbia […]

    Des Moines market research CEO accepted into Forbes Finance Council

    {March 30th, 2018} by Business Record

    Sheryl Moore, president and CEO of annuity market research firm Wink Inc. in Des Moines, has been accepted into the Forbes Finance Council. The invitation-only council provides select executives in accounting, financial planning, wealth and asset management, and investment firms with resources to grow their businesses, including the opportunity to submit thought leadership articles and short tips on […]

    Genworth Extends Merger Deadline Again

    {March 29th, 2018} by Richmond Times- Dispatch (VA)

    A long-delayed merger between Henrico County-based insurer Genworth Financial Inc. and China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd. is being extended yet again as the proposed deal remains under review by some government regulatory agencies. Genworth said Tuesday the two companies had agreed to extend the merger deadline for the fourth time, this time from April […]

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

    {March 29th, 2018} by A.M. Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICRs) of “aa-” of The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company (Penn Mutual Life) (Horsham, PA) and its wholly owned subsidiary, The Penn Insurance and Annuity Company (Wilmington, DE) (collectively referred to as Penn Mutual). The outlook of Penn Mutual’s […]

    The Rolling Stones Exhibit Has an Official Annuity Issuer Sponsor

    {March 29th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    Jackson National Life Insurance Company is reaching out to potential annuity buyers by connecting itself with something they know well: the Rolling Stones. The Lansing, Michigan-based annuity issuer is sponsoring a major Rolling Stones exhibit at the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, from now through June 30. Click HERE to read […]


    {March 29th, 2018} by Jamie Johnson

    We have tracked indexed annuity sales by insurance carrier each year since 1998 in our quarterly Wink’s Sales & Market Report.  All-Time sales for indexed annuities through 2017 are over $560.7 billion according to Wink’s Sales & Market Report! Wow! It has become an ongoing tradition to update our analysis each year, compiling the year-end sales to see which […]

    Cathy Weatherford to Retire From Top IRI Post

    {March 29th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    The Insured Retirement Institute said Wednesday that Cathy Weatherford, the group’s president and chief executive officer, will retire in December. IRI, a Washington-based group for the retirement income industry, said Weatherford’s upcoming retirement is part of a two-year succession plan. The IRI board is working with Wilbanks Partners, a search firm, to find a replacement. The board […]

    Weatherford announces retirement, IRI looks for new CEO

    {March 29th, 2018} by Editorial Staff

    The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) is looking for a new president and CEO. IRI formally announced this week that its president and CEO, Cathy Weatherford, would retire effective December 31, 2018 after serving for 10 years. IRI members, including most variable annuity manufacturers and distributors, have been aware of the planned retirement for some time. […]

    Broker/Dealer Admits It Failed To File SARs

    {March 29th, 2018} by Securities and Exchange Commission Documents & Publications

    Aegis Capital Corporation, a New York-based brokerage firm, has admitted that it failed to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) on numerous suspicious transactions. Broker-dealers are required to file SARs for certain transactions suspected to involve fraudulent activity or have no business or apparent lawful purpose. The SEC’s order found that Aegis failed to file SARs […]

    More Fiduciary Coverage » Here’s how the top indexed, variable annuity sellers did last year

    {March 28th, 2018} by Greg Iacurci

    Indexed annuities’ decade-long joy ride came to an end last year. The products saw their first year-over-year sales decline since 2007, dipping 5.4% to $57.6 billion, according to the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute. Eleven of the top 15 insurance companies offering indexed annuities lost ground compared with 2016 sales. Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North […]

    Wall Street-linked insurers face scrutiny over client complaints

    {March 28th, 2018} by Katherine Chiglinsky

    (Bloomberg) – Insurers linked to some of Wall Street’s biggest firms have run into trouble over unhappy customers. Athene Holding Ltd. and Global Atlantic Financial Group Ltd. have come under scrutiny by regulators in New York and Texas. The companies are part of a recent rush of financial firms getting into the market for life insurance and annuities that’s seen […]

    DALBAR Report Finds Merrill Lynch, BlackRock and AIG Provide Superior Investor Statements

    {March 28th, 2018} by DALBAR

    Boston, March 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — DALBAR’s recently released 20th Annual Trends and Best Practices in Investor Statements Report revealed that Merrill Lynch achieved the #1 position for its brokerage and retirement plan statements.  BlackRock earned the top spot in the mutual fund category and AIG topped the charts with the #1 variable annuity statement.    Top 5 Investor Statements by Type Rank […]

    China Says Anbang’s Founder Defrauded Investors of $10 Billion

    {March 28th, 2018} by Sui-Lee Wee

    BEIJING — China accused the deal maker who bought the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York of bilking investors of more than $10 billion. The vast amount of money that officials said the deal maker, Wu Xiaohui, had obtained illegally raised the stakes in a prosecution meant to show Beijing’s resolve to crack down on […]

    Fixed-Annuities Group Drops Lawsuit Against DOL Rule

    {March 28th, 2018} by Tracey Longo

    The National Association for Fixed Annuities has withdrawn its lawsuit challenging the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. NAFA’s decision comes on the heels of a March 15 Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that vacated the fiduciary rule in its entirety. The NAFA lawsuit was one of two lawsuits challenging the authority of the DOL […]

    How Deal-Hungry Anbang Went From Waldorf to Woe

    {March 28th, 2018} by Grant Clark

    When New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel was sold for $1.95 billion in 2014, it shot the Chinese buyer — Anbang Insurance Group Co. — and its chairman Wu Xiaohui to international prominence. That was the first deal in a $13.4 billion acquisition spree that lifted Anbang’s profile while raising questions about its ownership and financing. […]

    Singer’s Elliott Makes Life Insurance Wager With Prosperity Deal

    {March 28th, 2018} by Katherine Chiglinsky

    Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. and Wand Partners Inc. are among investors buying Prosperity Life Insurance Group as investment firms push into the U.S. insurance market. Elliott and Wand agreed to purchase the privately-held company from Reservoir Capital Group and Black Diamond Capital Partners, according to a statement Wednesday. The deal for the insurer, which offers life […]

    MYGA Sales Fall 10 percent in 2017

    {March 28th, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    Multi-year guaranteed annuity (MYGA) sales fell 9.5 percent to $30.3 billion in 2017 compared to 2016 after insurers cut back on attractive rates due to the low interest rate levels, a market expert said. Fourth-quarter 2017 MYGA sales rose 1.3 percent to $6.7 billion compared to the fourth-quarter 2016. Quarterly sales rose 1.2 percent compared […]

    IMO Numbers Could Shrink by Up to 50 Percent

    {March 28th, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    Despite an appeals court ruling tossing out the Department of Labor fiduciary rule, the number of independent marketing organizations (IMO) can expect to eventually shrink by an estimated 30 to 50 percent, an expert said. IMOs help agents sell life insurance and annuities and there are an estimated 350 IMOs in the U.S. serving agents […]

    3 New Battles Over STATES’ Sales Standards

    {March 27th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    A group of state insurance regulators is giving itself more time to think about a major regulatory hot potato: states’ efforts to set tougher sales standards for annuities. And, possibly, for other financial services products. The Annuity Suitability Working Group, part of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, talked about updating the NAIC’s sample annuity standard, the Suitability […]

    Nassau Re launches first re/insurance product under new brand

    {March 27th, 2018} by Matt Sheehan

    Nassau Re has announced the launch of a new single-premium multi-year guarantee annuity (MYGA), which will be the first new addition to its re/insurance offerings since its acquisition of Phoenix in 2016. The new product, called Nassau MYAnnuity (5X, 7X), will renew the company’s focus on consumer value and choice, and will be made available […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. and Its Subsidiary

    {March 27th, 2018} by A.M. Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a+” of Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. (Ameritas Corp.) (Lincoln, NE) and Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. of New York (Ameritas NY) (New York, NY). These insurance entities comprise the life/health operations of Ameritas Mutual Holding Company (Ameritas). Concurrently, A.M. Best […]

    Modern Woodmen of America shares 2017 results

    {March 27th, 2018} by Modern Woodmen

    Throughout Modern Woodmen of America’s 135 years in business, members have always come first. The fraternal financial services organization recently shared its 2017 financial and fraternal numbers, which showcase that dedication to protecting futures and serving communities. Some highlights from 2017: • Life insurance in force grew by $1.1 billion. This marks the seventh straight […]

    Lincoln Financial Group Call Centers Take Top Honors for Annuity and Life Insurance Customer Service Excellence

    {March 27th, 2018} by Lincoln Financial Group

    RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC) announced today that its Annuity and Customer Solutions Contact Centers have been named 2018 Top Contact Centers in North America by BenchmarkPortal. This marks the first time the Annuity Customer Contact Center secured the No. 1 ranking. The Customer Solutions Contact Center, which supports several Lincoln business lines, is […]

    Does Life Insurance Cover Suicide?

    {March 27th, 2018} by Barbara Marquand

    Along with the profound and painful questions that follow the loss of a loved one from suicide, there are practical and financial issues to address, too. If the loved one had life insurance, a common question is whether the policy will still cover the death. In general, there is coverage if your loved one: Had free […]

    Agent FIA Distribution Falls Below 60 Percent Mark

    {March 27th, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    Independent agents’ market share of fixed indexed annuity (FIA) sales fell below 60 percent in each of the four quarters in 2017. This marks the first time independent agents’ share of the FIA market fell below the 60 percent level for a calendar year since FIAs were created more than 20 years ago, new data […]

    Sheryl J. Moore Accepted into Forbes Finance Council

    {March 27th, 2018} by Press Release

    Sheryl J. Moore Accepted into Forbes Finance Council Forbes Finance Council is an Invitation-Only Community for Executives in Accounting, Financial Planning, Wealth and Asset Management and Investment Firms Des Moines, Iowa. March 27, 2018 — Sheryl J. Moore, President and CEO of Wink, Inc., the life insurance industry’s most dynamic market research firm, has been […]

    Industry advised to continue to comply with fiduciary rule amid uncertainty after 5th Circuit ruling

    {March 27th, 2018} by Nick Thornton

    The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decision vacating the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule has spawned competing views among legal experts over whether the regulation is still in effect in some areas of the country. Attorneys for Gibson Dunn, the law firm that argued before the 5th Circuit on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and industry trade groups, […]

    What If Annuity Holders’ Life Expectancy Spikes?

    {March 27th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    For an annuity issuer, the equivalent of a catastrophic death-rate improvement hurricane might be a 6% drop in the death rate for its annuitants in a single year. A long-term longevity risk nightmare could be seeing the annuitants’ death rate improve by an annualized level of about 1.6% per year over a 20-year period. The […]

    Jackson National Adds Annuities With Lifetime Benefits Option

    {March 27th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    Jackson National Life Insurance Company is rolling out two new indexed annuity products that offer a lifetime income benefits option. One version, the MarketProtector contract, pays commissions.The other version, the MarketProtector Advisory contract, is aimed at fee-based advisors. Click HERE to read the original story via ThinkAdvisor. The Issuer Jackson National is a unit of […]

    A.M. Best Places Credit Ratings of Jackson National Life Insurance Co. and Affiliates Under Review with Developing Implications

    {March 27th, 2018} by Best's News Service

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OLDWICK – MARCH 15, 2018 A.M. Best has placed under review with developing implications the Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa-” of Jackson National Life Insurance Company (JNL), its wholly owned subsidiary, Jackson National Life Insurance Company of New York, and its […]

    Insurers Linked to Wall Street Face Scrutiny Over Irate Clients

    {March 27th, 2018} by Katherine Chiglinsky

    Insurers linked to some of Wall Street’s biggest firms have run into trouble over unhappy customers. Athene Holding Ltd. and Global Atlantic Financial Group Ltd. have come under scrutiny by regulators in New York and Texas. The companies are part of a recent rush of financial firms getting into the market for life insurance and annuities […]

    Accommodating Life Annuities in a Defined Contribution World

    {March 27th, 2018} by Larry Sher

    Given the trend away from defined benefit plans in corporate America, many observers are concerned that defined contribution plan distributions continue to be primarily lump sums. The concern is that some retirees will withdraw too much in the early years and need to slash withdrawals later to avoid running out of money. Others might overreact […]

    More Fiduciary Coverage » DOL fiduciary rule lawsuit withdrawn by fixed annuities group in DC federal court

    {March 27th, 2018} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    The National Association of Fixed Annuities withdrew its lawsuit late last Friday against the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule that was pending in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. NAFA said the recent decision by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals striking down the fiduciary rule in a lawsuit brought by several financial industry trade associations obviated the […]

    John Hancock’s Protection Universal Life Product Now Features Extended Guarantees to Help Consumers Secure Greater and Longer Financial Protection

    {March 27th, 2018} by John Hancock

    BOSTON, March 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — John Hancock Insurance introduced an improved Protection Universal Life insurance product with extended guarantees and new optional benefits, providing consumers with coverage that offers lifetime protection tailored to meet their individual needs. Protection UL’s guarantees, often to life expectancy and beyond, along with affordable premiums and cash value growth potential can […]

    NAIC Punts Fiduciary Standard, Invites More Comments

    {March 27th, 2018} by John Hilton

    A National Association of Insurance Commissioners working group voted Saturday to open up another 30-day comment period on its controversial annuity sales standard. The new comment period will end Friday, April 27. Comments can be sent by email only to Jolie H. Matthews, senior health and life policy counsel, at jmatthews@naic.org. The NAIC is attempting to […]

    NAFA Drops Appeal Against DOL Fiduciary Rule

    {March 27th, 2018} by Melanie Waddell

    The National Association for Fixed Annuities’ board said Friday that it withdrew its appeal against the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, saying the March 15 decision by the U.S Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to vacate Labor’s rule “vindicates” NAFA’s concerns. NAFA and the Justice Department agreed to a voluntary dismissal of the appeal. […]

    Greenberg’s Starr Rejected by U.S. High Court on AIG Bailout

    {March 27th, 2018} by Greg Stohr

    The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Maurice “Hank” Greenberg’s Starr International Co., refusing to revive its bid to sue the federal government over the $85 billion bailout of American International Group Inc. a decade ago. The justices, without comment, left intact a federal appeals court ruling that said Starr, one of AIG’s largest […]

    Prudential Sues Philadelphia Bank Over Name Trademark

    {March 27th, 2018} by Max Mitchell

    A financial services company in Pennsylvania is facing a battle over intellectual property with Prudential Insurance Company of America, a unit of Prudential Financial Inc. Prudential Insurance, a Newark, New Jersey-based financial services giant, has sued Philadelphia-based Prudential Bank for trademark infringement and unfair competition, claiming that the Philadelphia bank’s recent name change is causing customer […]

    State Insurance Regulators Eye Their Rivals in Basel

    {March 25th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    U.S. state insurance regulators need to work with colleagues overseas to monitor insurer solvency, but they need to fight off international standards that could cause problems for U.S. insurers. Julie Mix McPeak, the president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, delivered that message today during the official opening session at the NAIC’s spring national […]

    State Insurance Regulators Eye Their Rivals in Basel

    {March 25th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    U.S. state insurance regulators need to work with colleagues overseas to monitor insurer solvency, but they need to fight off international standards that could cause problems for U.S. insurers. Julie Mix McPeak, the president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, delivered that message today during the official opening session at the NAIC’s spring national […]

    Scalia: DOL Fiduciary Rule Will Be Obliterated

    {March 24th, 2018} by Melanie Waddell

    Editor’s note: This article was adapted from Human Capital, Melanie Waddell’s newsletter on the people shaping the financial regulatory landscape.) The uncertainty surrounding the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule reached full throttle late last week when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit stunned industry watchers by vacating the rule in its entirety. What now? I chatted […]

    Permanent Life Loans Have an Awareness Problem: Allianz

    {March 24th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    Even in high-income U.S. households, many consumers suffer from a lack of knowledge about permanent life insurance Analysts at Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America have reported that finding in a summary of results from a recent online survey of 803 U.S. adults ages 35 to 60. All of the participants included in the sample had […]

    Top 14 Finance & Insurance Companies With Happiest Workers

    {March 24th, 2018} by Ronald Pechtimaldjian

    With a tightened labor market, job seekers can finally afford to be picky about where they want to work. Naturally, no one wants to end up in a dour Dickensian environment chained to their computer eight hours a day cursing about their boss. So ThinkAdvisor curated PayScale’s Hero Award list that encompasses 267,067 salary profiles from more […]

    Insurance agent, already in federal prison, gets license stripped

    {March 24th, 2018} by Ryan Smith

    A Tennessee insurance agent has been hit with a $187,000 penalty and had his license revoked for fraud – even though he’s already in federal prison. John Oscar Wilson III, an insurance agent from Brentwood, Tenn., scammed clients and, in many cases, forged their signatures on insurance-related documents, according to the Tennessee Department of Commerce […]

    Great-American Adds Variable Indexed Annuity

    {March 23rd, 2018} by Allison Bell

    Great-American Life Insurance Company has introduced a variable indexed annuity that could appeal to clients who like hard assets. The Cincinnati-based company’s new Index Frontier 7 annuity offers an index menu that include the S&P 500 Index, the iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF, and the SPDR Gold Shares ETF. Because Great-American Life designed the product […]

    The Single Parent’s Guide to Life Insurance

    {March 23rd, 2018} by Barbara Marquand

    This article was first published on NerdWallet.com. Even though it might be hard sometimes to picture your young children as independent adults, you hope to live long enough to see that day. Life insurance provides a financial safety net in case you don’t. It’s an important financial tool for virtually all parents, both married and single, […]

    Great American Increases Consumers’ Earning Potential with Launch of Variable-Indexed Annuity

    {March 23rd, 2018} by Great American Life

    CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Great American Life® is expanding its product offerings to include a variable-indexed annuity. The Index FrontierSM 7 is designed for investors who are unsatisfied with low fixed income yields and seeking more protection than offered by equities. The Index Frontier 7 gives consumers the opportunity to grow their money in rising markets, while providing a level […]

    Study: Consumers Want To Hear About Annuities

    {March 22nd, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    Consumers are rapidly warming up to annuities and want agents and advisors to talk to them about the products, according to a life lifetime income survey released Wednesday Over just one year, 20 percent more consumers consider lifetime income a very valuable addition to Social Security, a 12-percentage point increase to 73 percent of respondents this year […]

    Financial Advisors React to the Endangered Fiduciary Rule

    {March 22nd, 2018} by Katelyn Peters

    The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit voted on March 15, 2018 to overturn the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new fiduciary rule, requiring financial professionals who handle individual retirement and 401(k) accounts to act in the best interests of their clients. The federal court’s 2 -1 decision vacates the rule nationwide. The regulation, […]

    DOL fiduciary rule: 5th Circuit decision could be big win for indexed annuities

    {March 22nd, 2018} by Greg Iacurci

    Indexed annuities — and the intermediaries that sell them — appear to be the biggest benefactors of an appellate court’s decision last week to vacate the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. While observers are divided on the ruling’s implications, a consensus seems to be growing that the fiduciary rule would be erased nationwide if the DOL doesn’t […]

    How to get women to feel comfortable about building wealth

    {March 22nd, 2018} by Ryan W. Neal

    While last year’s Women to Watch think tank focused on how firms could attract more female advisers, this year’s session featured a discussion on how to improve financial literacy among women, starting at an early age. The goal was to identify small changes that, if embraced by many, could make a big difference in the opportunity for […]

    Fiduciary-Rule Fight Drags on for Financial Firms

    {March 22nd, 2018} by Lisa Beilfuss

    The fight over a fiduciary rule for the financial-services industry is far from over. Late Thursday, the Fifth Circuit Court ruled in a two-to-one decision that the Labor Department overreached by requiring brokers and others handling investors’ retirement savings to act in their clients’ best interest. The court, which covers Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, found fault with […]

    Hold the Parade

    {March 22nd, 2018} by Kerry Pechter

    The indexed and variable annuity industries celebrated this week when a federal appeals panel in the Fifth District ruled that the Obama administration’s Department of Labor overstepped its authority by applying the standard of conduct for retirement plan fiduciaries to people who sell annuities to IRA owners (especially rollover IRA owners). The annuity industry certainly needed some […]

    Will SCOTUS Decide the Fate of the DOL Fiduciary Rule?

    {March 22nd, 2018} by John Manganaro

    Late last week, news emerged that the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit had ruled, by a two-to-one majority, to vacate the Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary rule, based on arguments put forward by the U.S Chamber of Commerce and the Securities Industries and Financial Markets Association. Judging by the wide range of […]

    Insurers Report Mixed Q4 Annuity Sales Results: Wink

    {March 22nd, 2018} by Allison Bell

    U.S. sales of individual indexed deferred annuities and other non-variable deferred annuities were a little higher in the fourth quarter of 2017 than they were in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to Wink. Insurers generated about $21 billion in non-variable annuity sales in the fourth quarter, up 0.6% from the total for the year-earlier […]

    Protective Life offering paid parental leave to mothers, fathers

    {March 22nd, 2018} by William Thornton

    Birmingham’s Protective Life Corp. is offering a new paid parental leave benefit for employees. The new benefit means both mothers and fathers of newborns and newly adopted children will be eligible for up to six weeks of paid parental leave at 100 percent of their pay. The company said in a news release that the […]

    Here’s how the top indexed, variable annuity sellers did last year

    {March 22nd, 2018} by Greg Iacurci

    Indexed annuities’ decade-long joy ride came to an end last year. The products saw their first year-over-year sales decline since 2007, dipping 5.4% to $57.6 billion, according to the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute. Eleven of the top 15 insurance companies offering indexed annuities lost ground compared with 2016 sales. Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North […]

    Wink, Inc. Releases 4th Quarter, 2017 Non-Variable Deferred Annuity Sales Results

    {March 22nd, 2018} by Press Release

    — FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION — NEWS RELEASE   FIRST YEAR-OVER-YEAR DECLINE IN INDEXED ANNUITIES IN A DECADE Wink, Inc. Releases 4th Quarter, 2017 Non-Variable Deferred Annuity Sales Results Des Moines, Iowa. March 21, 2018– Wink’s Sales & Market Report, the insurance industry’s #1 resource for indexed annuity sales data since 1997, is in its third […]

    Industry Advised to Continue to Comply With DOL Rule Amid Uncertainty After Ruling

    {March 22nd, 2018} by Nick Thornton

    The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decision vacating the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule has spawned competing views among legal experts over whether the regulation is still in effect in some areas of the country. Attorneys for Gibson Dunn, the law firm that argued before the 5th Circuit on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce […]

    Cetera Financial Group and Cetera Financial Institutions Welcome Marquette Bank’s Wealth Management Program to Cetera Platform

    {March 22nd, 2018} by Cetera Financial Group

    LOS ANGELES, March 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Cetera Financial Group® (“Cetera” or “the Company”), a leading network of independent broker-dealer firms supporting the delivery of professional financial advice, and Cetera Financial Institutions today announced that Marquette Bank will move its retail wealth management program to the Cetera Financial Institutions platform.  Marquette Bank, a subsidiary of Marquette National Corporation, is […]

    Phoenix Issues First New Annuity Since Nassau Re Deal

    {March 22nd, 2018} by Allison Bell

    Nassau Re, the private equity-backed reinsurer that acquired the Phoenix Companies Inc. in 2015, is introducing its first new annuity since it completed the Phoenix deal. Nassau Re is using PHL Variable Insurance Company, a Phoenix unit, to write the Nassau MYAnnuity (5X, 7X). Click HERE to read the original story via ThinkAdvisor. The product […]


    {March 21st, 2018} by Sheryl J. Moore

      Indexed Annuity Sales for the fourth quarter of 2017 were $13,621 million, compared with sales of $13,306 million for the fourth quarter of 2016. Fourth quarter indexed annuity sales were up more than 6% when compared to the previous quarter, and up more than 2% when compared with the same period last year. Total […]

    IUL to the Rescue of Low UL Sales

    {March 21st, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    Indexed universal life (IUL) sales kept overall life insurance sales in the black last year, and also appear to be subsidizing insurers with low fixed UL sales. Nine of the top 10 IUL sellers had sales increases in the fourth quarter last year compared with the third quarter, according to Wink’s Sales & Market Report. Click HERE […]

    Gibson Dunn: No ‘Circuit Split’ on DOL Rule; Decision Applies Nationwide

    {March 20th, 2018} by Nick Thornton

    Gibson Dunn, the law firm that successfully argued to vacate the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, says the 2-to-1 decision in favor of industry opponents of the rule applies “nationwide.” Citing the Administrative Procedure Act, the law that governs federal agency rule making, and Black’s Law Dictionary, […]

    American Equity Announces New Product Series

    {March 20th, 2018} by American Equity

    IncomeShield Series Brings New Income Flexibility and Lifetime Income Options March 19, 2018 04:48 PM Eastern Daylight Time WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company, a leading underwriter of index and fixed rate annuities, announced the addition of a new fixed index annuity series to its competitive portfolio. The IncomeShield series offers […]

    Best’s Special Report: Preliminary 2017 Results Show Investment Gains Helped to Narrow U.S. Life/Health Industry Income Losses

    {March 20th, 2018} by A.M. Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The U.S. life/health industry’s total income for year-end 2017 dropped just 2.8% from the prior year, as a $7.9 billion improvement in net investment income helped offset declines in premiums and annuity considerations and commissions and expense allowances on reinsurance ceded, as well as other income. These preliminary financial results are detailed in […]

    Supreme Court Eyes State Moves to Cut Life Beneficiary Knots

    {March 20th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a life insurance beneficiary designation case that could affect how much ability states have to change the effects of insurance policies — and, possibly, many other types of contracts — retroactively. The court today heard oral arguments in connection with Ashley Sveen et al. v. Kaye Melin and Metropolitan Life Insurance […]

    SEC forging ahead on fiduciary rule despite DOL rule decision in 5th Circuit

    {March 20th, 2018} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton said Monday that the agency is moving forward on a fiduciary rule and its work would not be affected by a court decision last week that struck down a similar Labor Department regulation. On Thursday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the DOL fiduciary rule, which requires brokers […]

    Jackson Introduces MarketProtectorSM and MarketProtector AdvisorySM

    {March 20th, 2018} by Jackson National Life

    DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jackson National Life Insurance Company® (Jackson®) today announced the launch of MarketProtector and MarketProtector Advisory, two new fixed annuities with index-linked interest. These products provide consumers with the sought-after combination of tax-deferred investment growth, protection from market risk and the flexibility to adapt to changing needs in retirement. Most notably, both products offer IncomeAcceleratorSM, an […]

    Ash Brokerage to Make Acquisition

    {March 20th, 2018} by Alex Brown, Multimedia Journalist

    FORT WAYNE – Fort Wayne-based Ash Brokerage Corp. has announced plans to acquire Zenith Marketing Group in New Jersey. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, however the insurance brokerage firm says Zenith will continue operating under the same name and keep its 55 employees. Both firms say the acquisition is the result of […]

    5 Things 5th Circuit Judges Said About Annuity Sellers

    {March 20th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    U.S. Circuit Judge Edith Jones has given some thought to the compliance headaches facing insurance agents who sell annuities. Jones was part of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel that ruled 2-1 last week in favor of financial services industry groups, and against the U. S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule implementation guidelines, in U.S. […]

    Q4 Indexed Life Sales Rise 7.6%: Wink

    {March 20th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    U.S. indexed life insurance sales increased to $575 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, up 7.6% from the total for the fourth quarter of 2016, according to analysts at Wink Inc. Indexed life sales for all of 2017 rose 6.1%, to $1.9 billion. Click HERE to read the original story via ThinkAdvisor.  Wink has published […]

    Jackson Releases First Fee-Based FIA With No Surrender Charge

    {March 20th, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    Jackson National released the first fee-based fixed indexed annuity (FIA) that does not carry a surrender charge, the company announced Monday. Surrender charges penalize contract holders for turning their contracts in early, a feature some analysts say is a stumbling block to penetrating the fee-based registered investment advisor market and boosting sales through broker-dealers. Click […]

    Opinion Weekly Wrapup: Insurance CEOs prepare for disruption

    {March 20th, 2018} by Nathan Golia

    The Weekly Wrapup is an analysis of the week’s insurance news from the editors of Digital Insurance. Insurance CEOs see their industry as one of the most subject to disruption, but are optimistic for its future as they emerge from the onslaught of an initial wave of challengers. That’s according to PwC’s CEO survey, which interviewed […]

    Jackson National’s U.K Parent Wants to Keep It

    {March 20th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    Prudential PLC, the London-based parent of Jackson National Life Insurance Company, plans to keep its life and annuity operations in the United States and Asia but separate from its life and asset management operations in the United Kingdom and Europe. Executives from the U.K. Prudential — which has no connection with the Newark, New Jersey-based […]

    Jackson Reports Record 2017 Financial Results1

    {March 20th, 2018} by Jackson National Life

    LANSING, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jackson National Life Insurance Company® (Jackson®) generated $2.9 billion in IFRS pre-tax operating income during 2017, an increase of 3 percent over 2016 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 $21.4 billion in 2017. The […]

    Do Most People Need Life Insurance?

    {March 20th, 2018} by Ted Jenkin and Samuel Rad

    The rationale for life insurance is simple: It’s a way to protect family members financially in case a provider dies unexpectedly. Yet fewer and fewer people are opting to invest in a policy, across a wide spectrum of the population. According to a 2017 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 60% of households had life […]

    Retiring Commissioner Sevigny Talks State Regulation, Being a Good Leader

    {March 20th, 2018} by Elizabeth Blosfield

    New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny is planning to retire this summer after 16 years with the New Hampshire Insurance Department. His current term ends on June 11. Prior to his 16 years working as a regulator in the state of New Hampshire, Sevigny spent 30 years in the military both in active duty and […]

    Ibbotson: Why Advisors Should Consider FIAs

    {March 19th, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    Advisors should give fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) a serious look because FIAs offer a compelling story in an era of low bond yields, according to Roger G. Ibbotson, one of the most recognizable names in finance. Ibbotson, emeritus professor of finance at the Yale School of Management, knows a thing or two about historical stock […]

    Financial Advisors Want No-Frills, Low-Fee Annuities

    {March 19th, 2018} by Alex Padalka

    RIAs have long avoided annuities, but regulatory and technology trends have attracted many of them to the product in recent years, Insurance News Net writes. Even so, most RIAs still favor simple low-fee versions, according to the web publication. Click HERE to read the original story via Financial Advisor IQ. “We don’t need sexy, that’s […]

    Kitces: The way out of this fiduciary mess

    {March 19th, 2018} by Michael Kitces

    Although the potential for a uniform fiduciary duty on all financial advisors has been a major industry discussion over the past decade, defining fiduciary status — when it should apply, and what it means — long predates the recent Department of Labor’s fiduciary rulemaking process. In fact, the basis of a fiduciary duty, and the […]

    Clayton: SEC Fiduciary Rule on Track Despite DOL Court Defeat

    {March 19th, 2018} by Melanie Waddell

    The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling issued Thursday torpedoing the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule isn’t impeding the Securities and Exchange Commission’s efforts to write its own fiduciary rule, the agency’s chairman, Jay Clayton, said Monday. “Seventy-two hours later” after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Labor’s fiduciary rule, “it hasn’t affected the way I’m […]

    5th Circuit Short Circuits Fiduciary Rule

    {March 17th, 2018} by Nevin E. Adams, JD

    The Labor Department finally came up short in federal court – but trade industry headlines notwithstanding, like Mark Twain, the rumors of the fiduciary rule’s “demise” might be a bit premature. It was the first loss in court (U.S. Chamber of Commerce v. DOL, 5th Cir., No. 17-10238, order reversing district court decision, vacating fiduciary […]

    DOL fiduciary rule: Industry reacts to Fifth Circuit ruling

    {March 17th, 2018} by Greg Iacurci

    Groups representing both sides of the fiduciary debate were quick to respond to news yesterday that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the entirety of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. Here’s what some of them had to say.   Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required.

    Fiduciary rule’s next stop: Supreme Court?

    {March 17th, 2018} by Andrew Welsch

    The fiduciary rule, struck down in a strongly worded appeals court decision that encouraged opponents, may get a second chance at life because of the sweeping nature of the judges’ ruling. “My suspicion is that the DoL will in fact request a rehearing not so much because they are supporting the rule, though I suspect […]

    The Annuity Market Takes a Hit but Could Make a Big Return: BLOG

    {March 17th, 2018} by Lynn White

    (Newswire.net — March 17, 2018) —  Fee-based annuities are considered vital for attracting RIAs or registered investment advisors. During 2017, fee-based variable and indexed annuities experienced sales of $2.3 billion. That equates to roughly 3% of all variable and indexed annuity sales during that specific year. During the same year, fee-based variable annuity sales were $2.2 billion. […]

    Women Still Underserved in Finance: Edward Jones

    {March 17th, 2018} by Emily Zulz

    According to the female advisors at Edward Jones, female investors in the U.S. are still underserved, even though they hold more than half the wealth. Nearly three-quarters (70%) of female financial advisors polled at Edward Jones’ third annual Women’s Conference agreed that female investors in the U.S. are underserved. Click HERE to read the original […]

    The Fiduciary Standard Has Already Been Set

    {March 16th, 2018} by Diana Britton

    Late yesterday, a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit panel struck down the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. But industry executives and experts say the industry will continue down the road toward a fiduciary standard, regardless of the court’s decision. “A lot of firms have already made a huge financial commitment in terms […]

    DOL fiduciary rule likely to live on despite appeals court loss

    {March 16th, 2018} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Despite suffering a major blow when it was struck down Thursday by a federal appeals court, the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule could still live on. Uncertainty, though, will continue to surround the measure as it morphs its way into the future. Its fate depends on whether the agency will continue to defend the rule in […]

    Fiduciary Rule Dealt Blow by Circuit Court Ruling

    {March 16th, 2018} by Lisa Beilfuss

    A U.S. circuit court struck down the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, dealing a blow to the retirement-savings regulation that has been in partial effect since June. In a split decision, the Fifth Circuit Court—which covers Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi—ruled that the Labor Department overreached by requiring brokers and others handling investors’ retirement savings to act […]

    DOL Fiduciary Rule Struck Down by Appeals Court

    {March 16th, 2018} by Melanie Waddell

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit voted 2-1 Thursday to vacate the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule. The nine plaintiffs in the 5th Circuit case included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and the Financial Services Institute. The ruling comes one day after Labor won a case […]

    DOL Fiduciary Rule Appears Headed for the Supreme Court

    {March 16th, 2018} by Mason Braswell and Jed Horowitz

    The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday overturned the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule in a split decision that is reverberating throughout the securities industry. The decision, following a series of courtroom victories for fiduciary rule proponents, adds uncertainty about the controversial rule and opens the door to probable litigation at the highest level, […]

    We Shall Never Surrender!’

    {March 16th, 2018} by Kerry Pechter

    Winston Churchill’s famous speech about defending Britain on the beaches, landing grounds, fields, streets, and hills—“We shall never surrender,” the scowling cigar smoker snarled—was invoked at the Insured Retirement Institute’s marketing conference in Orlando this week. His words couldn’t have been more fitting. Like Britain in 1940, the IRI (and the annuity issuers and sellers […]

    What’s Next for the DOL Fiduciary Rule?

    {March 16th, 2018} by John Hilton

    The Department of Labor fiduciary rule does not exist anymore after a late-Thursday court ruling. That court decision opens the door for the Securities and Exchange Commission and state insurance departments to take over rulemaking. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2-1 decision stunned the industry and has many asking the same question this morning: […]

    Court ruling unlikely to derail SEC fiduciary rule

    {March 16th, 2018} by Kenneth Corbin

    WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court may have stuck down the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, but that isn’t likely to hinder efforts at the SEC to craft its own higher standard of client care. “Even if the DoL rule goes away altogether, they still need to worry about states stepping [forward] with their own fiduciary duty […]

    Best’s Special Report: Rising Equity Market Volatility Has Negative Implications for Insurers

    {March 16th, 2018} by A.M. Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best views prolonged rising stock market volatility as a credit negative for U.S. insurers with significant equity exposure; in particular, stock market leverage for the property/casualty (P/C) segment has crept up since the most-recent financial crisis and life insurers are still sensitive to equity markets though they have employed mechanisms to de-risk. The Best’s […]

    Your Clients’ Life Insurance Buyer’s Guide May Change Soon

    {March 16th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    Life insurers and consumer groups are skirmishing over what every individual life insurance shopper should know about permanent life insurance products. A team of state insurance regulators is looking at that issue, and others, as it continues to work on a revision of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Life Insurance Buyer’s Guide. Click HERE to […]

    Fate of DOL Fiduciary Rule in Question After Court Ruling

    {March 16th, 2018} by Melanie Waddell

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit’s Thursday ruling to strike down the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule has industry watchers divided on what it signals for the rule’s final implementation. Meanwhile, observers say, it will prompt the Securities and Exchange Commission to re-evaluate its fiduciary rulemaking. Neil Simon, vice president of government affairs […]

    Federal court tosses out Obama-era rule requiring financial advisers to act in customers’ best interests

    {March 16th, 2018} by Lydia Wheeler

    A divided federal appeals court on Thursday tossed out an Obama-era Labor Department rule that required financial investment advisers to act in the best interest of their clients.  In a 2-1 ruling, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals said the fiduciary rule bears the hallmarks of “unreasonableness” and constitutes an arbitrary and capricious exercise of administrative power.   The lawsuit stems from a […]

    Keep life insurance affordable and accessible in NY: OPINION

    {March 16th, 2018} by Mary A. Griffin

    When it comes to your personal financial safety net, there’s nothing more important than life insurance. Yet millions of Americans continue to lack sufficient coverage even though it’s more affordable and easier than ever to buy. Right now, only 44% of U.S. households have individual life insurance, a nearly a 50-year low. Unless important changes […]

    ‘We Don’t Need Sexy,’ RIA Says of Annuities

    {March 15th, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    Fee-based annuity sales are rising, but they still make up a tiny sliver of overall annuity sales so what’s it going to take to crack the registered investment advisor (RIA) channel? Fee-only advisor to high-net-worth clients Karen E. Van Voorhis has some thoughts about that. “I am usually only interested in an annuity for its […]

    Northwestern Mutual Announces New Senior Leadership Appointments

    {March 15th, 2018} by Northwestern Mutual

    MILWAUKEE, March 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Northwestern Mutual, a leading financial security company, today announced several senior leadership appointments. “Our people matter more than ever as we pursue our bold strategy of transforming how our clients experience financial security,” said Northwestern Mutual Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John E. Schlifske. “We are making the necessary […]

    3 Takeaways from the 2018 BISA Annual Convention

    {March 15th, 2018} by Katie Condon

    Last week, BISA members traveled to sunny Hollywood, Florida, for the BISA Annual Convention to connect with fellow bank insurance and securities professionals, discuss best practices in an evolving industry and learn from industry experts from around the country. Author and speaker Connie Podesta kicked off the event with a presentation on leadership styles, followed […]

    Prudential Plc to Demerge Businesses in UK and Europe, Sell £12 Billion of Annuity Portfolio to Rothesay

    {March 15th, 2018} by Robert O'Connor

    LONDON – Prudential plc said it will demerge its businesses in the United Kingdom and Europe. The demerger of M&G Prudential, Prudential’s U.K. and European retirement and savings business, will “create compelling opportunities in each of our geographies,” it said in a statement. The new entity, to be known as M&G Prudential, will have 7.2 […]

    Wink, Inc. Releases Fourth Quarter, 2017 Life Sales Results

    {March 14th, 2018} by Press Release

      — FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION — NEWS RELEASE   REPEAT ON RECORD-SETTING INDEXED LIFE SALES Wink, Inc. Releases Fourth Quarter, 2017 Life Sales Results Des Moines, Iowa. March 14, 2018– Sixty-four life insurance companies participated in the 82nd edition of Wink’s Sales & Market Report. Wink’s Sales & Market Report, the insurance industry’s #1 resource for […]


    {March 14th, 2018} by Jamie Johnson

    In 1998, Wink began tracking indexed life sales by insurance carrier each year in our quarterly Wink’s Sales & Market Report. We compiled all of the data from 1998 – 2017 to  establish the top 10 indexed life carriers for the  “Total Overall Indexed Life Sales.”  Pacific Life Companies has emerged the leader for Total Overall […]


    {March 14th, 2018} by Sheryl J. Moore

      Indexed Life Sales for the fourth quarter of 2017 were $575 million, compared with sales of $534 million for the fourth quarter of 2016. Fourth quarter indexed life sales were up more than 20% when compared with the previous quarter, and up nearly 8% as compared to the same period last year. This was […]

    CNO to Give Up Indianapolis Arena Naming Rights

    {March 14th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    CNO Financial Group Inc. says it will be giving up the naming rights for Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The 20-year naming rights agreement is set to expire on June 30, 2019. CNO, the Carmel, Indianapolis-based parent of Bankers Life and Casualty Company, says it will let the contract expire. Click HERE to read the […]

    Sally Jewell Appointed to Symetra Financial Board of Directors

    {March 14th, 2018} by Symetra

    March 07, 2018 — BELLEVUE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Symetra Financial Corporation today announced the appointment of former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to its board of directors. “We are extremely pleased to welcome a leader of Sally’s caliber to our board of directors,” said Tom Marra, executive chairman, Symetra Financial. “Sally’s extensive business and financial background, and history […]

    BISA Announces 2018 Leadership

    {March 14th, 2018} by BISA

    Washington, DC The Bank Insurance & Securities Association (BISA) announces the appointment of five new members to serve on the association’s Board of Directors and one new board officer, in addition to the full slate of officers and board members for 2018. Joining the Board of Directors are Paul Haines, Senior VP, Director, BOK Financial Advisors, […]

    Why Variable Annuities Scare a Fed Economist

    {March 13th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    Lawmakers in Washington are working on bills that could reduce the role of federal financial systemic risk managers in overseeing life insurers. But at least some economists still believe that, whatever happens in Congress, some life insurers still engage in activities that, in theory, could rattle the U.S. financial system. Yaron Leitner, a senior economist […]

    Appeals court upholds DOL fiduciary rule in case involving fixed indexed annuities

    {March 13th, 2018} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    A federal appeals court upheld the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule in a decision issued on Tuesday. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a Kansas district court that granted summary judgment to the DOL in a lawsuit filed by Market Synergy Group Inc., a Topeka insurance agency that develops fixed indexed annuities […]

    NAFA Readies for Growth and New Leadership

    {March 13th, 2018} by NAFA

    The Board of Directors for the National Association for Fixed Annuities, NAFA, announced today that after careful consideration of the association’s long-term goals, which will focus on growth, expanded advocacy and engagement on behalf of fixed annuities and the annuity industry, it was determined that it was time to seek a new Executive Director. “We […]

    Legacy Marketing Group® Launches ClassicMark Series of Annuities— Strength and Simplicity Meet Modern Innovation

    {March 13th, 2018} by Legacy Marketing Group

    PETALUMA, CA, March 5, 2018—Legacy Marketing Group® is excited to announce the launch of ClassicMark℠ single premium fixed indexed annuities, its newest custom-designed exclusive FIA series. Underwritten by “A” rated* Americo Financial Life and Annuity Insurance Company, ClassicMark℠ combines the strength and simplicity of FIAs from years past with the modern innovation and opportunity of […]

    Labor Department Says Insurance Industry Gained 7,500 Jobs in February

    {March 13th, 2018} by Best's News Service

    WASHINGTON – The insurance industry gained 7,500 jobs in February 2018 from January 2018, according to preliminary figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Numbers from January and February 2018 both remain preliminary. They show the job gain was 0.28% for February 2018 over January 2018. Updated preliminary estimates for January 2018 show the […]

    How to improve gender diversity in financial advice

    {March 13th, 2018} by Jeff Benjamin

    Solving the riddle of why women make up such a small percentage of the financial planning profession begins with early and repetitive efforts to remind both women and men about the benefits of a more diverse workplace. While women comprise 51% of the overall U.S. population, they make up less than 16% of financial advisers, […]

    Variable Universal Life Premiums Climb 17%: LIMRA

    {March 13th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    High stock prices, and consumers’ hunger for higher returns, are helping to push variable universal life (VUL) insurance sales much higher. Annualized premiums from new individual VUL policy sales soared 17% between the fourth quarter of 2016 and the fourth quarter of 2017, according to new survey data from LIMRA. The total amount of death benefits purchased […]

    Fintech and Finserv Need Each Other: Report

    {March 13th, 2018} by Michael Fischer

    Expanding customer expectations are reshaping the financial services industry, driven by the bar set by big technology firms, and the customer journey is being redefined by creative, agile fintech solutions, according to a new report. However, many fintech startups have realized they will struggle to succeed alone, and are increasingly looking to collaborate with the […]

    Vote Now for the 2018 IA25

    {March 13th, 2018} by Ginger Szala

    When it comes to the financial markets and your advisory business, is President Donald Trump an influencer and innovator — or not? How about Warren Buffett, Larry Fink, Jeremy Grantham and Liz Ann Sonders? Do their views significantly affect your thinking on the markets and portfolio building? In the RIA, broker-dealer and clearing/custody fields, which […]

    Annexus Named EQDerivatives 2017 Annuity Innovator of the Year

    {March 13th, 2018} by Annexus

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., March 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — For the second consecutive year, Annexus, a leading designer of indexed annuities and indexed universal life insurance, was named Annuity Innovator of the Year by EQDerivatives. Based on multiple criteria including product innovation, performance data, and annual sales, EQDerivatives is honoring Annexus due in large part to the success of the Nationwide […]

    Great American names new president

    {March 13th, 2018} by Erin Caproni

    Great American Insurance Group has a new division president. Mark Muething has been named president of the company’s annuity group in addition to his duties as chief operating officer and general counsel for the division. Muething joined American Annuity Group, the predecessor to Great American’s annuity group, nearly 25 years ago as senior vice president and […]

    IUL Keeps Life Sales in the Black for 2017

    {March 13th, 2018} by Cyril Tuohy

    Strong sales of indexed universal life kept the broader life insurance market in positive territory last year despite struggling universal life and whole life sales, LIMRA reported Monday. Overall life insurance premium rose 1 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, according to LIMRA’s U.S. Retail Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey. New individual life insurance premium in the fourth […]

    New York Life Achieves Milestone Financial Results in 2017

    {March 13th, 2018} by New York Life

    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–New York Life Insurance Company today announced a record-breaking year of financial results in 2017, including all-time company highs for operating earnings, assets under management, and individual life insurance in force. Company records were also achieved in the metrics that directly capture the value New York Life delivers to its policy owners: dividends […]


    {March 13th, 2018} by Office of Attorney General

    OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a consumer protection lawsuit today against CLA Estate Services, Inc. and CLA USA, Inc. for operating a “trust mill” by misleading hundreds of Washington seniors about estate planning, and persuading them to purchase high-commission insurance products.  The Texas-based company enticed seniors with a “free lunch” to attend workshops about […]

    My biggest surprise after becoming CEO: BLOG

    {March 13th, 2018} by Marianne Harrison

    I recently moved back to Boston to lead John Hancock as our company’s first female CEO in our 156 year history, and while I’m proud to be part of tangible traction in women’s advancement in a traditionally male dominated business, I was surprised at how much attention my appointment garnered. For me, the “congratulations” highlighted […]

    Transamerica, Businessolver Launch Wealth and Health Integration: Portfolio Products

    {March 12th, 2018} by Emily Zulz

    Transamerica and Businessolver have launched an industry-first direct “one wallet” integration of wealth and health that provides employees a holistic view of their overall wealth and health when electing their workplace benefits. Through this collaboration, employees using Businessolver’s proprietary benefits administration platform, Benefitsolver, will be able to enroll in or update their Transamerica retirement plan during the […]

    Pacific Life swims against the tide in the indexed annuity market

    {March 12th, 2018} by Greg Iacurci

    Pacific Life Insurance Co. is an outlier among the scores of companies selling indexed annuities. Of the roughly 60 companies that manufacture these annuities, Pacific Life is unique in that it guarantees the maximum interest rate on its products during the contract term. Other insurers reserve the right to — and often do — lower […]

    Two Insurance Marketing Powerhouses Announce Merger

    {March 12th, 2018} by AMZ Financial

    Two of the biggest Insurance Marketing Organizations (IMOs), AMZ Financial Insurance Services and Partners Advantage Insurance Services, today announced their definitive merger to further enhance and extend their insurance distribution network. The new company will be called Partners Advantage Insurance Services. The merger went effective March 1, 2018, with the companies planning to fully integrate […]

    Blackstone Is Building Risk Analytics as Part of Insurance Push

    {March 9th, 2018} by Melissa Mittelman and Erik Schatzker

    Blackstone Group LP has bigger plans for insurance companies than just managing their money. The world’s largest private equity firm is expanding into a lucrative business dominated by BlackRock Inc.: portfolio risk analytics. Bennett Goodman, co-founder of Blackstone’s GSO credit unit and chairman of its new insurance-solutions business, described the plan in a Bloomberg Television interview […]

    Gender of fund manager makes no difference in performance, Morningstar says

    {March 9th, 2018} by InvestmentNews

    In “My Fair Lady,” Prof. Henry Higgins famously turns to song to ask, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” Using its vast troves of data, Morningstar Inc. has answered that question — at least as far as fund manager performance is concerned — by finding that female managers are virtually identical to male managers. […]

    Voya to Pay $3.6 Million to Settle SEC Charges

    {March 9th, 2018} by Aisha Al-Muslim

    The Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday that two subsidiaries of Voya Financial Inc. agreed to pay $3.6 million to settle charges that they failed to disclose conflicts of interest and misled mutual-fund investors. The SEC said Voya Investments LLC and Directed Services LLC acted as investment advisers to certain mutual funds, offered to customers through insurance […]

    A New Retirement Bill Would Make Plans Safer For Annuities

    {March 9th, 2018} by Tracey Longo

    New bipartisan legislation designed to spur greater workplace retirement savings and the creation of more plans is being considered for inclusion in the omnibus federal budget measure. The Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act (RESA), introduced Thursday by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) and ranking minority member Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.), contains […]

    Pump-and-Dumpers Busted in FBI Sting: Enforcement

    {March 9th, 2018} by Emily Zulz

    The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department have instituted civil and criminal proceedings against a U.K.-based broker-dealer and its investment manager alleged to have engaged in stock manipulation with an undercover FBI agent. The SEC announced securities fraud charges against Beaufort Securities Ltd. and Peter Kyriacou, an investment manager at Beaufort, in connection […]

    Closing Gender Gap Could Unlock US$40 Billion in Additional Annual Revenue

    {March 8th, 2018} by Daisy Prince

    Women could be the key to huge untapped sources of income, according to Powering Potential, a report by BNY Mellon released late last week. As much as US$40 billion in retail banking alone could be captured worldwide if the gender gap were eliminated. According to the data, the gap could be closed by providing greater access […]

    Creating Better, More Beneficial Networking Opportunities for Women in Finance

    {March 8th, 2018} by Melanie Franke

    At BISA’s 2018 Annual Convention, women in the BISA community came together for a networking lunch, as they have in previous years, to connect, network and share stories of how they got to where they are, and how they can help other women looking to expand career opportunities. Why is it important for women in […]

    3 Ways the Senate Dodd-Frank Bill Could Affect Agents

    {March 8th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    S. 2155 — the big Dodd-Frank Act change bill now on the Senate floor —  could lead to changes in the everyday lives of many agents and brokers who sell products such as life insurance, annuities, long-term care insurance and Medicare plans. Most sections in the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act” bill relate […]

    International Women’s Day 2018: Why women need to invest in life insurance

    {March 8th, 2018} by Anjla Dhir

    With the entire world observing ‘International Women’s Day’ today, it’s time that we focus our attention towards the greater needs of women that includes securing their lives and income. With women being the focal point in the eyes of all, the most pertinent question remains, “Do women value their own security and lives as their […]

    3 AXA Equitable IPO Answers

    {March 8th, 2018} by Allison Bell

    AXA executives held a conference call with securities analysts earlier this week to talk about the company’s plans to buy XL Group, a reinsurer, for $15.3 billion. Some of the analysts asked Thomas Buberl, AXA’s chief executive officer, and other AXA executives about AXA’s plans to sell stock in AXA Equitable to the public, through […]

    Allianz Life’s New FIA Aims for Accumulation

    {March 8th, 2018} by Kerry Pechter

    Allianz SE has dominated the fixed indexed annuity (FIA) category ever since it bought Robert W. MacDonald’s LifeUSA FIA sales juggernaut for $540 million back in 1999. So the folks at Allianz Life of North America, the German company’s US arm, keep a close eye on subtle changes in the FIA market.     Last year, […]

    State lawsuit accuses estate-planning company of being a deceptive “Trust Mill”

    {March 8th, 2018} by Connie Thompson

    The Washington state Attorney General’s office filed a consumer protection lawsuit Thursday against a company that promotes estate planning seminars in Washington. Investigators allege the “free lunch” seminars were used to ultimately sell complicated investments, and cash in on commissions. The lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court names CLA Estate Services, Inc., CLA USA Inc., and […]

    Victoria Peterson of Wink, Inc. named to the 2018 BISA Rising Star Program

    {March 8th, 2018} by Wink's RockStars

    The Bank Insurance & Securities Association’s (BISA) Diversity Committee approved Victoria Peterson’s Rising Star application. The Rising Star program recognizes BISA members who have demonstrated outstanding promise and commitment to diversity and inclusion in the financial industry. Individuals with outstanding leadership skills were encouraged to apply. Valuing diversity of thought and experiences that span a […]

    Another DOL Fallout: Annuity Sales

    {March 7th, 2018} by Cheryl Winokur Munk

    It’s not a fun time to be peddling annuities—especially in retirement plans. Annuity sales in 2017 were $203.5 billion, down 8% from the year-earlier period, according to a report from the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute. Industry watchers attribute a good portion of this drop to the DOL’s fiduciary rule, which has been putting a damper on […]

    Best’s Special Reports: A 25-Year Look Back and Ahead – Can the Ever-Changing Insurance Industry Keep Up With the Pace?

    {March 7th, 2018} by AM Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best has released two separate special reports, the first examining how key events have shaped the U.S. insurance industry over the past 25 years, and a second that takes a prospective look at the industry. In pondering the years ahead, A.M. Best emphasizes the transformative power of technology and contemplates how insurers in […]