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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...

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.)...

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...

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...

EIA insurers weigh FMO ties

October 23, 2006

NEW YORK - Life insurers that use field marketing organizations to distribute equity index annuities eventually may follow the industry leader and start dealing directly with more broker-dealers, according to industry observers. However, most...

Insurance industry wrestles with poor reputation

October 23, 2006

NEW YORK - Familiarity breeds contempt when dealing with people, but it breeds favorability when dealing with insurers. People have little regard for the insurance industry as a whole, but they generally don't have anything against individual...

SEC approval of Hancock VA funds seen as uncertain

October 16, 2006

NEW YORK - Advisers don't seem to like John Hancock Life Insurance Co.'s plan to substitute its own mutual funds for outside funds in its variable annuities, and the Securities and Exchange Commission might not either, industry observers say....

Pension reform law jump-starts hybrid LTC products

October 9, 2006

NEW YORK - Many insurers are jumping on the long-term-care hybrid-policy bandwagon thanks to the recently passed Pension Protection Act's tax advantages, according to industry experts. Money taken from an annuity's or life insurance policy's...

Banks seek to refine number of annuity insurers

October 9, 2006

NEW YORK - One-fourth of large banks thought that the number of their annuity insurers was too big, another fourth thought the number was too small, and half thought it was just right, according to a survey to be released this week by ING US...

Allianz OKs broker end run around FMOs

October 9, 2006

NEW YORK - Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America is changing the way it sells equity index annuities from a model based exclusively on "independent" wholesalers to one in which large broker-dealers may access EIAs directly. Starting...

John Hancock to replace 44 outside VA mutual funds

October 2, 2006

NEW YORK - John Hancock Life Insurance Co. last month sent its variable annuity sales force a "Supplement to Prospectuses" listing 44 outside VA mutual funds and the proprietary VA funds with which they are being replaced. "This is a bait and...

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