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At broker-dealer firms owned by insurers, the cracks are showing

August 16, 2004

NEW YORK - The deep cracks in many of the insurance-company-owned independent-broker-dealer networks are showing, according to a recent report by UBS Investment Research, a unit of UBS Financial Services Inc. in New York. According to the report,...

Food pyramid NAVA's Rx for a healthy retirement

July 19, 2004

NEW YORK - In a bid to get investors to pay more attention to retirement planning, the National Association of Variable Annuities in Reston, Va., has launched a promotional campaign that likens retirees' investment needs to their dietary needs....

Plantiffs' attorneys zero in on broker variable annuity sales

July 19, 2004

NEW YORK - Securities plaintiffs' attorneys, often a bane to broker-dealers, are sizing up what they regard to be a soft underbelly for some firms: how some registered representatives sell variable annuities. Over the four years through December,...

AEGON latest to exit individual-LTC market

July 12, 2004

CHICAGO - In a move sure to shake further the confidence of sellers and consumers of long-term-care insurance, another major carrier has decided to call it quits. AEGON USA Inc. in Baltimore, the No. 5 company in terms of in-force LTC premiums,...

Big changes in store for deferred-comp plans

June 28, 2004

WASHINGTON - Deferred- compensation plans used by most executives would have to be changed under legislation likely to be enacted this year. Financial advisers are worried that the changes would make the plans harder to use and less flexible....

Conference attendance may reflect LTC industry woes

May 17, 2004

Poor attendance at the recent Long Term Care Forum, generally viewed as the leading national conference for independent insurance agents who specialize in the product, may be yet another sign of continuing uncertainty in the long-term-care industry....

Continuity plan is an imperative for advisers in case of disaster

May 17, 2004

Financial adviser Carl Camp realized he needed to develop a better business plan after all but one of his firm's computers were stolen. While Mr. Camp did have a backup for the information at his home, he admitted that the data were a week old....

VA-specific regs irk insurers

May 3, 2004

Advisers and insurance companies may be about to butt heads over stringent new regulations on variable annuity sales proposed last week by NASD in Washington. At the same time, the insurance industry is raising the ire of state securities regulators...

Documentation is name of VA game

April 26, 2004

Document, document, document. That is the mantra of Stephen Toretto, insurance counsel for Newport Beach, Calif.-based Pacific Life Insurance Co., who tries to drill this idea into the heads of independent agents who sell his company's products...

The Hartford aims to boost fund business

April 19, 2004

The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. is aiming to be a major player in mutual funds, as it is in annuities, and it's backing up the effort with real dollars. The Connecticut insurer has beefed up its wholesaling force, plans to hire a...

Future looks bright for annuity sales

April 12, 2004

The future of variable annuity sales looks bright, but not as dazzling as it appears for fixed annuities. VA sales are predicted to reach $150.4 billion in 2004, up from $129.2 billion in 2003, according to LIMRA International, a Windsor, Conn.-based...

Pressure to unify regs builds

March 29, 2004

The House Financial Services subcommittee on capital markets this week will begin considering legislation aimed at pushing state insurance regulators to unify their regulations. Committee Chairman Michael Oxley, R-Ohio, outlined a plan this...

Schwab revamps its annuity effort

March 22, 2004

Seeking to energize its lagging variable annuity business, Charles Schwab Corp. in San Francisco is launching a service for its independent financial advisers that helps them recommend annuities even if they're not licensed to sell them. Through...

High-deductible plans start rolling out for HSAs

March 15, 2004

Major health insurers are starting to offer insurance plans that can be used in health savings accounts. At the same time, financial planners who work with employee benefits increasingly are taking an interest in setting up the new plans for...

Life insurance financial advisers up in arms

March 8, 2004

Life insurance financial advisers throughout the country are rebelling against a decision by the association that represents them to support federal regulation of the insurance industry. The board of directors of the National Association of...

Retirement rule change may spur lawsuits

March 1, 2004

One tax expert who follows insurance issues predicts that a recent ruling by the Department of the Treasury on 412(i) retirement plans will lead to many lawsuits against insurance companies and agents. "There are a lot of insurance companies...

A move to internal hedging

March 1, 2004

With the reinsurance market essentially dried up, major variable annuity writers are turning to other means to handle the market volatility that makes offering guarantees a risky business. A number of major insurance companies either have, or...

Growth gambit - NFP continues to make a splash

March 1, 2004

National Financial Partners Corp. of New York is intent on sticking to its strategy for growth, so far spending $418.5 million in cash and stock on acquisitions. At an industry conference last week in New York, Jessica M. Bibliowicz, the firm's...

Key to annuity growth: Focus on forest, not trees

February 23, 2004

For the variable annuity industry to grow, companies need to stop focusing on taking market share away from one another and concentrate on overall market growth. ``I'll be honest with you: Up until three years ago, I didn't care about growing...

NAVA doesn't hear a time bomb ticking

February 23, 2004

The National Association for Variable Annuities insists it isn't aware of any significant market-timing problems in the industry, and it is leaving it up to individual insurance companies to deal with the issue on their own. ``We support strict...

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