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Advisers are raising their fees

November 7, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO - Emboldened by increasing demand for their services, many financial advisers are raising their fees - or at least thinking about it. The evidence is mostly anecdotal but nonetheless suggests that advisers are starting to feel...

Tax reform plans seen as too tame

November 7, 2005

WASHINGTON - Some financial advisers are disappointed that the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform didn't go farther than it did in advocating sweeping reforms, even though some proposals are considered by others as too controversial...

NAVA, publisher to issue joint industry newsletter

November 7, 2005

NEW YORK - A prominent newsletter for the variable annuity industry published by an independent media outlet announced in October that it has become the "official publication" of the main variable annuity trade group. The parties say that the...

FSC of Atlanta to acquire Pan-Am of New Orleans

November 7, 2005

NEW YORK - Mergers and acquisitions continue to surge among independent-contractor broker-dealers. FSC Securities Corp. of Atlanta said at the end of October that it would acquire all 130 registered representatives affiliated with Pan-American...

Reps cry foul over sales of index annuities

November 7, 2005

IRVINE-A dispute is brewing between brokers and insurance agents over sales of equity index annuities. Brokers are hot about losing annuity customers to insurance agents and are accusing agents of misrepresenting the products. Insurance industry...

MetLife timely in integrating with Travelers

November 7, 2005

NEW YORK - Despite a few blips, MetLife Inc.'s integration of Travelers Life and Annuity Co., which it acquired in July, appears to be progressing on schedule. "We are just starting to see the benefits of the integration," said Ed Dare, owner...

Portability arrives for variable annuities

October 31, 2005

IRVINE, Calif. - Annuities are becoming more portable. The Depository Trust and Clearing Corp. of New York has launched a new service, ACATS/IPS, that electronically transfers annuity account information between brokerage firms. ACATS is the...

ACLI, members at odds over NASD

October 24, 2005

WASHINGTON - While the American Council of Life Insurers is looking to make nice with NASD, some of its members are talking about suing the regulatory agency. Both Gary Hughes, ACLI executive vice president, and a lawyer who represents insurance...

Insurer consolidation will benefit advisers

October 24, 2005

NEW YORK - The expected consolidation of life insurers will benefit advisers, because doing business with several large companies instead of many smaller ones reduces administrative costs and product overload, insurance industry analysts said....

'Plannerware' parties used to pitch annuities

October 17, 2005

NEW YORK - A financial services company has developed home-based workshops akin to Tupperware parties to sell variable annuities and other financial products to prospective female clients. In the first wave, female advisers of Minnesota Life...

E&O policies may not cover 401(k) sales

October 17, 2005

CHICAGO - Brokers who sell 401(k) plans and take on a fiduciary role might not be covered under their broker-dealer's errors-and-omissions policy, according to some plan experts. That has been a topic of concern in the industry, and it has left...

Improved distribution in Lincoln-Jefferson deal

October 17, 2005

NEW YORK - Financial advisers who do business with Lincoln Financial Group and Jefferson-Pilot Corp. expect that the merger announced last week will strengthen the companies' distribution systems and enhance their product offerings. "One of...

Independent broker-dealers are looking good to insurers

October 17, 2005

NEW YORK - Consolidation is picking up among independent-contractor broker-dealers, with three insurance companies again leading the charge to buy. Last Monday, Lincoln National Corp. of Philadelphia said that it will acquire Jefferson-Pilot...

Study: Nursing home cost tops 74G a year

October 10, 2005

NEW YORK - The average cost for a private room in a U.S. nursing home now exceeds $200 a day and $74,000 annually - up 5.7% from the amount last year. That means the average nursing home stay of 2.4 years runs up a bill of about $178,000. Those...

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,...

Raymond James works to push VA price cuts

October 10, 2005

IRVINE, Calif. - Raymond James Financial Inc. is working with insurance carriers to lower fees on variable annuities its brokers sell. By May, the firm plans to cap upfront gross on variable annuities at 5% and limit trail fees to half a percentage...

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...

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...

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...

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