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Russell lands ex-Schwab exec for wealth management

October 10, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO - Russell Investment Group has put an old industry hand in a new position to help recast it as a wealth management consulting firm. The Tacoma, Wash.-based money manager hired J. Nicholas Georgis as managing director, wealth management,...

Hedge funds avoid a major hit from catastrophe bonds

October 10, 2005

NEW YORK - Hedge funds that invest in catastrophe bonds have not been significantly affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, although the bonds may have to make payouts related to underlying insurance losses for the first time in their history,...

Return-of-premium riders seen boosting term life insurance

October 3, 2005

NEW YORK - Several major life insurers are promoting return-of-premium riders to jump-start their term life insurance sales. Riders returning to term life policyholders their premiums - sometimes with interest - at the end of the policy term...

HSAs may be good for banks, bad for insurers

October 3, 2005

NEW YORK - Health savings accounts will flourish and create new income opportunities for banks but could significantly reduce health insurers' premiums, according to a report released last month. About 740,000 people will have an HSA-linked...

Brokers curtail equity- indexed-annuity sales

September 26, 2005

IRVINE, Calif. - Independent-contractor brokerage firms are taking steps to restrict the sale of equity-indexed annuities in response to pressure from NASD of Washington. Currently, most independent firms allow their reps to sell fixed annuities...

Life insurers bow to VA rule change

September 26, 2005

WASHINGTON - The life insurance industry is backing down in its battle against an NASD rule change aimed at creating suitability sales practice standards for variable annuity sales. In comments filed with regulators last week, the American Council...

Pacific Life gets caught up in VA class action

September 26, 2005

NEW YORK - Litigation over variable annuity sales practices continues to plague life insurers. Notices were mailed last week to a class of 119,352 people who purchased variable annuities within qualified retirement plans - including individual...

Family talks might reduce inheritance squabbles

September 19, 2005

NEW YORK - Parents who explain their wills, life insurance and other aspects of their estate plan to their children could head off much of the post-death confusion that can create ill will within a family, according to experts in financial planning...

Life insurers ease policy burdens of hurricane victims

September 19, 2005

NEW YORK - Advisers welcomed life insurer announcements earlier this month intended to help policyholders displaced by Hurricane Katrina cope with overdue premium payments and policy cancellations. "Many of the agents and advisers in areas such...

NAIC vote on travel delayed

September 12, 2005

WASHINGTON - The likely passage of a resolution opposing denial of life insurance coverage on the basis of potential travel to countries on the State Department's warning list was delayed when state insurance regulators had to cancel their fall...

People more likely to get LTC at work

September 12, 2005

NEW YORK - People are much more likely to buy long-term-care insurance if it's offered as an employee group benefit through payroll deduction as opposed to being sold on an individual basis, according to consultants in the field. But agents...

Uncertainty for advisers after Hurricane Katrina

September 5, 2005

BOSTON - Thousands of financial advisers along the Gulf Coast are paralyzed by the swath of death and destruction cut by Hurricane Katrina. With no power, and most telephones and cell phones rendered useless by Katrina's unimaginable assault,...

Proposal on IRA conversions of annuities worries insurers

September 5, 2005

CHICAGO - The life insurance industry is among those voicing concern that temporary government regulations to shut down a specific annuity scheme could have far-reaching consequences. The rules, issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury...

Insurers join appeal of ruling questioning life insurance trusts

August 29, 2005

CHICAGO - Insurers are weighing in on a controversial federal court decision calling into question the use of life insurance trusts, saying the court's opinion is "a source of confusion for estate planners, the insurance industry and consumers."...

Spitzer: Ax insurance antitrust exemptions

August 29, 2005

WASHINGTON - New York Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer wants the insurance industry's antitrust exemptions repealed, a move the insurance industry says would lead to "chaos." In a comment letter filed in mid-July with the Antitrust Modernization...

Insurers push annuities in Social Security reform

August 29, 2005

WASHINGTON - The life insurance industry is calling for some form of annuity payments to be required if the government adopts private accounts in Social Security. But the industry has not taken a stand on whether the annuity programs should...

Agents and insurers wary of gene-based tests

August 29, 2005

NEW YORK - Comments by the head of a major diagnostic laboratory relating to the potential expansion of genetic testing in life insurance have many in the industry wondering whether it's a good idea. "I think applicants would recoil at such...

Detour arrives for key HSA roadblock

August 29, 2005

NEW YORK - Aetna Inc. announced last month that participants in its high-deductible plans linked to health savings accounts will have the option of waiving the deductible for listed preventive medications. The new program, which some industry...

Life agent group supports optional federal charter

August 22, 2005

WASHINGTON - A group of life and health insurance agents is trying to counterbalance the hefty weight of property-casualty agents in the battle over optional federal insurance regulation. The Agents for Change, financed by the Financial Services...

Probe of Canadian hedge fund goes offshore

August 22, 2005

OTTAWA - The seedy saga of Portus Alternative Asset Management Inc. has moved offshore, and the collapsed Toronto hedge fund firm's main rival has been affected by the scandal's wake. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police's commercial-crime unit...

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