War of words over equity index annuity

Aug 25, 2006 @ 12:01 am

By Gary S. Mogel

An annuity marketing group is demanding that a rating firm retract damaging statements about the group and its new equity index product.

The Annexus Group in Scottsdale, Ariz., which comprises a dozen "independent marketing organizations," this month sent a cease-and-desist letter to Premium Producers Group LLC in Santa Ana, Calif., a developer of software that evaluates and grades equity index annuities.

Annexus alleged that Premium Producers issued opinions and ratings of its new BalancePlus annuity that were "false, libelous and defamatory," and violated federal unfair-competition laws.

The annuity is issued by American Investors Life Insurance Company Inc. of Topeka, Kan. Premium Producers' software incorrectly concluded that the annuity had poor historical returns and crediting methods, according to attorney Mark Chester, a principal with Chester & Shein PC in Scottsdale, the law firm representing Annexus.

But Mitchell Maynard, founder of Premium Producers and the developer of the rating software, said that Mr. Chester is "misinformed" and that Annexus is being "disingenuous" about the review of the BalancePlus annuity.

"Our statements and review are true," Mr. Maynard said. "An unflattering review does not constitute falsification, libel or defamation."

Annexus is demanding that Premium Producers retract its ratings and reviews of the annuity, as well as allegedly disparaging comments made about Annexus on its website.


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Sponsored financial news

Featured video


Top questions surrounding future of DOL fiduciary rule

Reporter Greg Iacurci and managing editor Christina Nelson discuss the biggest uncertainties springing from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision to vacate the regulation.

Latest news & opinion

What the next market downturn means for small RIAs

Firms that have enjoyed AUM growth because of the runup in stocks may find it hard to adjust to declining revenues if the market suffers a major correction.

DOL fiduciary rule likely to live on despite appeals court loss

Future developments will hinge on whether the Labor Department continues the fight to remake the regulation its own way.

DOL fiduciary rule: Industry reacts to Fifth Circuit ruling

Groups on both sides of the fiduciary debate had plenty to say.

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacates DOL fiduciary rule

In split decision, judges say agency exceeded authority.

UBS, after dumping the broker protocol, continues to see brokers come and go

The wirehouse has seen 14 individuals or teams leave and five join for a net loss of $2.4 billion in AUM


Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print