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New UBS index predicts weather

April 24, 2007

UBS AG today launched a global warming index based on weather futures for 15 U.S. cities that is being traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The UBS-Global Warming Index (UBS-GWI), compares the average daily temperatures of 15 U.S. cities...

Hey there, insurance agent: We can make you an RIA

April 23, 2007

NEW YORK — A new firm is assisting insurance agents in becoming registered investment advisers so the agents can obtain fee income from advice and securities products. That way, agents can circumvent broker-dealer production demands and NASD...

North Dakota blazes a regulatory trail

April 23, 2007

NEW YORK — North Dakota last week became the first state to adopt a more stringent statute regulating life settlements, with special emphasis on stranger-originated life insurance. Other states may follow, making life settlements a less attractive...

BofA to buy Chicago's LaSalle Bank

April 23, 2007

Barclays PLC today announced it would sell Chicago based LaSalle Bank Corp., a unit of ABN Amro Holding NV, to Bank of America Corp. for more than $21 billion. The deal comes a day after the announcement of one of the largest European mergers...

BoNY's revenues rise in first quarter

April 18, 2007

The Bank of New York Co. Inc, parent of Jersey City, NJ-based Pershing LLC, posted a 3% increase in net income during the first quarter. The bank said first-quarter earnings climbed to $434 million, or 57 cents per share, up from $422 million,...

HSA advocates blast sex-bias conclusions

April 16, 2007

NEW YORK — Proponents of health savings accounts and their mandatory high-deductible health insurance plans have come out swinging against a study concluding that the plans cost women about $1,000 more per year than men. Advisers recognize...

Adviser health insurance options exist

April 16, 2007

NEW YORK — Most financial advisers wouldn’t expect to find health insurance in the same store where they buy lumber and fertilizer, but it turns out that the folks in orange aprons really can help with just about anything. Since it was launched...

VA sales strong in 2006; expected to remain robust

April 9, 2007

NEW YORK — As long as the stock market keeps rising, and baby boomers keep getting older, variable annuity sales should continue to be robust, industry observers say. VA sales were up in the fourth quarter and for 2006, compared with year-earlier...

Solo advisers scramble for health coverage

March 26, 2007

NEW YORK — Advisers who start their own practices after leaving larger firms often find that their biggest obstacle is obtaining affordable health insurance for themselves and their families, observers say. “One health insurer quoted $32,000...

Boomer assets draw Old Mutual to VA market

March 19, 2007

NEW YORK — A life insurer known mainly for its fixed annuities has thrown its hat into the variable annuity ring. Old Mutual Financial Network in Baltimore last month launched a no-frills VA product to which a guaranteed-withdrawal-and-death-...

Quotas tied to benefits irk advisers

March 19, 2007

NEW YORK — Some insurers are taking away their advisers’ group health insurance and other employment benefits if proprietary-product quotas aren’t met, advisers say. The life insurance industry uses quotas — euphemistically called “validating...

Hancock tops in individual-life sales

March 6, 2007

John Hancock led the industry with $735 million in individual life insurance sales last year, according to a recent survey of 78 major life insurers by LIMRA International Inc. Sales at the Boston-based insurance company increased almost 20%,...

Insurers said to steer reps to in-house wares

March 5, 2007

NEW YORK — Many insurers are providing incentives to their advisers to sell proprietary products, despite claiming to have “open architecture” platforms, according to industry observers. MetLife Inc. in January was sued for allegedly providing...

Innovative policy targets wealthy clients

March 5, 2007

NEW YORK — Advisers with clients who need life insurance for tax minimization and wealth transfer may want to consider a new policy geared to that market. The policy — which combines the tax-free death benefits of life insurance with the tax-deferred...

Class action litigation looms as new hurdle for EIA insurers

February 26, 2007

NEW YORK — Add class action litigation to the regulatory controversies, bad press and other woes plaguing insurers that sell equity index annuities. A magistrate for the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii in Honolulu this month...

John Hancock ups the ante in cash value guarantees

February 19, 2007

NEW YORK — John Hancock Life Insurance Co. of Boston this month introduced a policy that guarantees cash values to a greater extent than other types of whole life insurance. But some financial advisers need convincing that the product is the...

MetLife accused of coercing advisers to sell its products

February 19, 2007

NEW YORK — A securities law firm is seeking class action status for clients who may have been financially damaged by an insurer’s threats and commission incentives designed to skew adviser judgment in favor of proprietary products. The case...

Investment choices in HSAs expanding

February 19, 2007

NEW YORK — When banks and brokers first started offering health savings accounts, clients could choose any investment they wanted for their account funds — as long as it was a certificate of deposit. But that is changing, according to industry...

Lawmaker changes horses on income stream comments

February 5, 2007

NEW YORK — A congressman who raised eyebrows last month when he seemed to imply that annuities are the answer to the need for lifetime retirement income claims he was misunderstood. “To paraphrase James Carville, it’s the annuities, stupid,”...

Home-invasion policy may calm client fears

February 5, 2007

NEW YORK — Recent reports of an uptick in home invasions in many parts of the United States may increase the popularity of a policy that covers medical and other costs of the invasions. So far, this type of policy is available only from Chubb...

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