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Insurer’s CEO tries to win agents over

January 29, 2007

NEW YORK — James Hohmann — who became chief executive of Allstate Financial Group this month — said he will confer with the insurer’s agents in the next few weeks to solidify relationships and discuss possible initiatives. His main goal...

Banks’ foray into life insurance stymied

January 29, 2007

NEW YORK — While some bank advisers are successfully selling life insurance to middle-market clients, many are running into the same low-commission and burdensome-underwriting roadblocks that plague their non-bank counterparts. New life insurance...

Allianz subsidiary names CEO

January 29, 2007

Allianz Life Insurance Co. has named Gary Bhojwani its new chief executive, according to bizjournals.com. Mr. Bhojwani was formerly the president of the commercial division at Novato, Calif.-based Fund Insurance Co., a property and casualty...

VA critic’s new take on pricing called just as wrong as his first

January 22, 2007

NEW YORK — Some variable annuity providers disagree with a prominent academic gadfly who this month attacked the investments as underpriced — just as many of them disagreed with him a decade ago when he said they were overpriced. The now-ubiquitous...

Allianz Life Insurance girds for annuity battle on its home turf

January 15, 2007

NEW YORK — To some industry insiders, a lawsuit filed last week against Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America is political opportunism; to others, it’s a regulatory coup. Lori Swanson, a Democrat sworn in as Minnesota’s attorney...

New laws may boost HSA popularity among wealthy

January 8, 2007

NEW YORK - Legislation signed by President Bush in the waning days of the Republican-controlled Congress may make health savings accounts more appealing to advisers' wealthy clients, industry observers say. Wealthy clients couldn't get excited...

INVESTMENT OUTLOOK: Bigger life insurers, smaller premiums?

January 8, 2007

NEW YORK - There is no such thing as being too big in the life insurance industry. So more consolidation - and the premium savings it often brings - is likely this year, according to industry analysts. The "ultracompetitive" life insurance market...

Sales of VAs bloom, fixed annuities fade

December 18, 2006

NEW YORK - Demographic and economic trends that favored variable over fixed annuities during the first three quarters of this year probably will continue in 2007, most industry experts say. The stock market%A0;is expected to continue to rise...

Gulf Coast clients may snub their insurers

December 11, 2006

NEW YORK - Gulf Coast clients fighting with insurers over hurricane-related damages may not want to have anything else to do with those insurers, according to advisers in the region. "I doubt that clients who have had so much trouble getting...

Insurers wary of NASD/NYSE regulator

December 11, 2006

NEW YORK - Life insurers are concerned that a combined NASD/NYSE regulator will promulgate rules without sufficient proof that additional regulation is necessary or without regard for compliance cost burdens, industry observers say. "Life insurers...

EIA sales slump lingers as class actions loom

December 4, 2006

NEW YORK - Equity index annuity sales were down for the three-month period ended Sept. 30, the third year-over-year decline in the past four quarters. The specter of tighter regulation - along with product stigma from class-action litigation...

Insurers brace for scandal over bid rigging with GICs

November 27, 2006

NEW YORK - Just when insurers thought they had put the worst of the bid-rigging scandals behind them, a new one involving guaranteed investment contracts is gaining steam. The key issue is whether tainted bidding for GICs by insurers and brokers...

Hartford panel discusses the future of longevity

November 27, 2006

NEW YORK - Living longer is a blessing - but only for as long as the money holds out. That was the key warning from participants in "The Future of Longevity" panel discussion this month in Cambridge, Mass., sponsored by The Hartford (Conn.)...

HSAs likely to be under fire in next Congress: Will their loss be LTC's gain under Democrats?

November 20, 2006

NEW YORK - Floundering health savings account legislation in a Democratic-controlled Congress might affect long-term-care insurance, industry observers say. One scenario is that LTC sales could go up if people decide to buy the insurance instead...

India is becoming a hiring hub for cost-cutting insurers

November 20, 2006

NEW YORK - Insurers in the United States and Europe are hiring more employees in India to perform administrative jobs, according to recent studies and company announcements. The Principal Financial Group Inc. has announced plans to expand its...

LTC specialist brokers seek more adviser business

November 13, 2006

NEW YORK - Insurance brokers that specialize in long-term-care coverage increasingly are seeking to partner with financial advisers, according to industry observers. Such relationships - which often involve a fifty-fifty commission split or...

Lincoln to revamp retirement strategy

November 13, 2006

NEW YORK - Lincoln Financial Group last week announced the formation of a retirement income security ventures group charged with obtaining more business from advisers' soon-to-retire baby boomer clients. The decision is the result of a yearlong...

Life settlement providers eye broker commission disclosures

November 13, 2006

NEW YORK - Life settlement providers are scrambling to avoid becoming embroiled in broker compensation abuses similar to those that have been alleged against one of the industry's leading companies. A lawsuit filed last month in Manhattan Supreme...

Insurers seen as targets by private equity

November 6, 2006

NEW YORK - Private-equity firms increasingly view insurance brokers and companies as lucrative acquisition targets, according to industry observers. Acquisition announcements can be expected in the next few months, said John Marra, a partner...

Allianz enters market for boomer retirement

October 30, 2006

NEW YORK - Allianz Income Management Services - a late arrival to the baby boomer retirement market - promises to shake up product offerings and producer compensation. But the newcomer faces a chilly reception from most competitors already in...

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