Strong sales of annuities boosted Jackson’s earnings, top exec says

Jackson National’s first-half sales and deposits rose to $6.1 billion

Aug 13, 2009 @ 2:06 pm

By Darla Mercado

Jackson National Life Insurance Co., buoyed by robust sales of annuities, saw its first-half sales and deposits reach $6.1 billion, up from $5.94 billion in the first six months of 2008.

Variable annuity sales hit $3.8 billion in the first half of the year, up from $3.5 billion recorded in the same period last year.

“There has been a very clear shift and flight to quality in the annuity marketplace,” Clifford Jack, chief distribution officer at Jackson National, said in an interview.

He attributed the rise in sales to the strength of the insurer’s balance sheet, the stability of its London-based parent Prudential PLC, as well as the stability of the carrier’s product offerings.

“The companies that win are the ones that advisers believe will be there to pay obligations,” Mr. Jack said.

Sales of the Lansing, Mich.-based insurer’s fixed-rate annuities also rose to $1.9 billion, from $1.6 billion a year earlier. Of the fixed-rate-annuity sales, $1 billion came from traditional deferred fixed annuities, while the remaining $900 million came from fixed-index-annuity sales.

Sales of life insurance were down slightly in the first half this year. Jackson sold $25 million in life insurance products, compared with $30 million a year earlier.

Jackson’s separately managed accounts subsidiary, Denver-based Curian Capital LLC, reaped $402 million in deposits during the first half, down from $668 million a year earlier, as clients shied away from equity-based products.

National Planning Holdings Inc., the company’s Santa Monica, Calif.-based broker-dealer network, generated $284 million in International Financial Reporting Standards revenue during the first half, down from $319 million a year earlier. IFRS net income fell to $2 million, from $5 million in the first half of 2008.

Nevertheless, the network managed to increase the number of its registered representatives to an all-time high of 3,535 in the first half, up from 3,025 a year earlier.

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