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Life insurers become picky about who gets lowest rates

September 13, 2004

Premiums for term life insurance are inexpensive compared to 10 years ago, but insurers have created more hoops for applicants to jump through before getting the lowest rates. Cigar-bar denizens, travelers to India, and scuba divers venturing...

M Financial teams up to create money management platform

September 13, 2004

NEW YORK - One of the fastest-growing independent broker-dealers in the industry is teaming up with a top Wall Street firm to create a proprietary money management platform. In a move that mimics its relationships with top insurance companies,...

Viaticals shouldn't be overlooked, some say

September 13, 2004

NEW YORK - Scandals involving mutual funds and corporate governance haven't stopped people from investing in - or advisers from recommending - funds and stocks. In light of that, some in the viatical-settlement field are asking why its own bad...

States seen pushing uniform rules for firms

September 13, 2004

WASHINGTON - Next year, as many as 20 states are expected to start considering new securities legislation that would make filing requirements and other regulations for investment advisory and brokerage firms more uniform. Seven jurisdictions...

Asset custodians pushing VAs, but why?

September 13, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO - Ameritrade Holding Corp. reported two weeks ago that it was the latest to add a platform for making no-load variable annuities available to its clients. Some advisers said they wonder why these constraining and expensive products...

IRS decision may boost sidecar IRAs

August 30, 2004

CHICAGO - The deemed IRA, a little-used option that allows employees to link an individual retirement account to their 401(k) plan, just may get a boost thanks to some rule tweaking by the Internal Revenue Service. In its weekly bulletin last...

Proposed rule changes on VA sales win few fans

August 30, 2004

NEW YORK - As independent broker-dealers continue to generate more revenue from variable annuities, the brokerage industry is in a heated discussion over how best to sell the hybrid investment product. Last week, NASD of Washington made public...

New mortality tables are stuck in limbo

August 30, 2004

NEW YORK - Revised mortality tables that would lower term life insurance premiums by up to 30% are not being used, because most states have yet to adopt them. Insurance companies that do business in states where the new tables have been adopted,...

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...

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