Industry Updates 

Important news and updates from insurance carriers, financial institutions, and solution providers for brokerage professionals and agencies. 

Please send announcements, press releases, or noteworthy developments to Jordan Foster for review and consideration.

July 2022

Bryan W. Adams Named a “Best CEO for Diversity” in Comparably’s Top 100 Awards

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC (“Integrity”), a leading distributor of life and health insurance, and provider of wealth management and retirement planning solutions, today announced Co-Founder and CEO Bryan W. Adams has won a 2022 “Best CEO for Diversity” award from Comparably, a well-respected organization that recognizes top-ranked CEOs and companies. Integrity joins the ranks of other noteworthy award winners in the large employer category, which has included Adobe, Microsoft, ADP, IBM, Uber and Hubspot, among others.

Life and Disability Income Insurance Products from MassMutual Now Available on iPipeline®'s End-to-End Digital Platform

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) today announced another way to access its life and disability income (DI) insurance products. Effective immediately, products are now available through iPipeline® on iGO®, iPipeline's intelligent digital application platform built specifically for insurance and financial services.

Patrick Bet-David and PHP Agency Join Integrity to Accelerate Growth and Serve More People

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC (“Integrity”), a leading distributor of life and health insurance, and provider of wealth management and retirement planning solutions, today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire PHP Agency, an industry leading field marketing organization (“FMO”) based in Addison, Texas. As part of the acquisition, Patrick Bet-David, Founder and CEO of PHP Agency, will become a Managing Partner in Integrity. 

Verisk Collaborates With Magnifact to Help Integrate Groundbreaking Data Analytics Solution for Life Insurance Distribution

Magnifact® is joining its award-winning insurance analytics capabilities with Verisk’s top-ranked FAST technology platform to help carriers and their distributors gain a broader scope of real-time, data-driven insights and automation.

Business on the Go with The Crump Mobile App

Crump Life Insurance Services has introduced a modern and easy-to-use new mobile app that gives financial professionals the tools to do business when, where, and how they choose, including quoting, real-time case status, and the ability to upload files for new and existing cases.

June 2022

Integrity Announces Appointment of Respected Insurance Industry Leader Tom Dempsey as Chief Distribution Officer

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC (“Integrity”), a leading distributor of life and health insurance, and provider of wealth management and retirement planning solutions, today announced Tom Dempsey will join its executive team as Chief Distribution Officer. Dempsey has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the insurance industry and most recently served as Head of Transamerica Financial Network and President and CEO of World Financial Group, a Transamerica Company.

Lisa Ling Will Speak at Virtual Summer Symposium (Sponsored by Legal & General America)

The National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA) announced that their 2022 Summer Symposium will include a special discussion with renowned journalist and author, Lisa Ling, sponsored by Legal & General America. At the virtual event, which will take place on August 2 and 3, Ling will discuss breaking misconceptions and building client trust.

NAILBA's Summer 2022 ID Trends is Live

We at NAILBA recognize your busy schedule and the need to stay focused on your business and the support of your clients. Our mission is to support you and the industry with targeted information through membership benefits and industry publications like Perspectives magazine and our digital newsletters – NAILBA Now and The Independent. To further our mission, we have launched an annual resource that exams the independent distribution (ID) trends in the insurance and financial services markets – ID Trends. We have compiled the research and articles within ID Trends to provide insights, education, and fodder for your business on such topics as life insurance, long-term care, disability insurance, annuities, as well as back office support and commission reporting.

Velocity Life Insurance Agency Accelerates Growth Through Integrity Partnership

Integrity’s robust, end-to-end systems will empower Virginia-based Velocity to provide a wider range of technology, products and resources to its fast-growing network of agents.

Royal Neighbors of America Recognizes Top 10 Chapters

Royal Neighbors of America, a fraternal benefit society located in Rock Island, Ill. has recognized its top 10 community chapters in the country. Royal Neighbors chapters are made up of Members who have a desire to impact their community through volunteerism. This designation is based on the number of volunteer hours generated by a chapter in one year.

Integrity Expands Annuity and Life Insurance Distribution by Partnering with Annuity Agents Alliance

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC ("Integrity"), a leading distributor of life and health insurance, and provider of wealth management and retirement planning solutions, today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Annuity Agents Alliance, an insurance marketing organization based in Denver, Colorado. As part of the acquisition, Anthony Owen, President of Annuity Agents Alliance, will become a Managing Partner in Integrity.

Royal Neighbors of America Awards $175,000 in Scholarships 

Royal Neighbors of America, one of the largest, women-led providers of life insurance and annuities, has awarded $175,000 in scholarships to more than 60 Beneficial Members to assist with the costs of continuing education. The scholarships are awarded annually to help students seeking a degree at an accredited college, university, trade or vocational school.

Integrity Expands Life Insurance Distribution by Partnering with Abernathy Financial Services

Florida-based IMO with winning pedigree further bolsters Integrity’s mission to innovate life, health and wealth solutions that help Americans make the most of what life brings

Increase on GBU's Preferred Series Rates

The rising-rate environment we’ve experienced over the past several months is a market condition that hasn’t occurred for decades. To provide the most valuable product to your clients, GBU is changing the structure of our rates such that the first-year rate will now be higher than the in-surrender rate (years 2 through 5 or 2 through 8).

Price Decrease on Asset-Based Long-Term Care Product Portfolio

OneAmerica®, a national provider of insurance and financial services, has announced a reprice within its Care Solutions product portfolio asset-based long-term care products. On May 26, the companies of OneAmerica decreased its premiums for the Care Solutions portfolio of products nationwide.

Finseca Brings 626 Advisors to Schmooze Washington

Finseca celebrated its new, bigger size by saying hello to the District of Columbia. The Washington-based advisor group gathered 626 advisor members in the nation’s capital this week for an advocacy summit that featured people such as Dean Cameron, the Idaho insurance director and president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, as the speakers.

Hubert Humphrey and HGI Partner with Integrity to Innovate Insurance and Serve More Americans

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC ("Integrity"), a leading distributor of life and health insurance, and provider of wealth management and retirement planning solutions, today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire HGI, one of the nation's most prominent life insurance brokerages. As part of the acquisition, industry icon Hubert Humphrey, Founder and CEO of HGI, will become a Managing Partner in Integrity.

NAILBA Names Brian Kennedy Sr. Director of Professional Development, will Spearhead Case Manager Credential

The National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA) today announced that Brian Kennedy has joined the association staff as Sr. Director of Professional Development. In his new role, he will manage all NAILBA Professional Development and member resources with special focus on the NAILBA Certified Case Manager (NCCM) program. NCCM has enhanced the careers of over 300 life insurance case managers since its introduction in late 2020.

May 2022

NAILBA and Finseca Announce Merger to Create: NAILBA, a Finseca Community

Per the overwhelming support of the NAILBA members, Finseca and NAILBA have officially voted to merge and create: NAILBA, a Finseca Community. On January 4, 2022, Finseca and NAILBA announced an intent to explore a merger after significant due diligence conducted by a joint task force that included NAILBA and Finseca members, staff, and leadership.

MIB Expands Digital Solutions Portfolio through Acquisition of APEXA from RGA

MIB, the life insurance industry's most trusted and secure partner for data-driven risk management and digital services, announced that it has reached an agreement with a subsidiary of Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated (RGA) to acquire APEXA, Canada's leading contracting and compliance service provider for life insurance advisors, MGAs, and carriers. The acquisition expands MIB's portfolio of digital solutions and client base in Canada. READ MORE

OneAmerica Commits $1 Million Toward Financial Literacy

OneAmerica announced a $1 million commitment to activate a uniquely tailored financial literacy program in Central Indiana. In collaboration with The American College of Financial Services, the program will offer practical financial understanding to build a personal relationship with finance and drive economic empowerment, with a focus on narrowing the racial wealth gap. READ MORE

Latest MoneyGuard Solution From Lincoln Financial Group Offers More Control, Flexibility and Options

Lincoln Financial Group launched the next generation of Lincoln MoneyGuard® by introducing MoneyGuard Fixed Advantage, a universal life insurance policy with a long-term care rider. READ MORE

NAILBA Wins 2022 Gold Circle Award for Excellence in Integrated Media Solutions from ASAE

NAILBA announced that it has been recognized by ASAE with a 2022 Gold Circle Award in the Integrated Media Solutions category. The Gold Circle Awards competition is the premier association marketing, membership, and communications award that recognizes excellence, innovation, and achievement in association/nonprofit marketing, membership, and communications programs. READ MORE

Transamerica announced the launch of the Transamerica Structured Index Advantage Annuity, a registered index-linked annuity that is designed to create more certainty for investors in uncertain markets.  READ MORE

Senior Market Sales (SMS), a leading insurance marketing organization serving more than 70,000 independent health and wealth agents across the country, has developed and released Client Stream® Lead Exchange, a revolutionary lead acquisition platform. READ MORE

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC, announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Ash Brokerage, a leading financial advisory and general agency brokerage. As part of the acquisition, Tim Ash, CEO of Ash Brokerage, will become a Managing Partner in Integrity. READ MORE

Transamerica Transforms Annuity and Life Insurance Solutions with Addition of Liza Tyler and Andrew DeMarco
Transamerica announces that Liza Tyler has been appointed Head of Annuity Solutions and Andrew DeMarco as Head of Life Solutions for the company’s Individual Solutions division. READ MORE

Equitable Reinforces Commitment to America’s Teachers During Teacher Appreciation Week
Equitable, a leading financial services organization and principal franchise of Equitable Holdings, Inc., announced its 3-year partnership with The Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) National Teacher of the Year Program. READ MORE

Bestow, the leading life insurance technology company, today announces the launch of new embedded insurance technologies that empower businesses of all sizes to join them in increasing financial security through life insurance. READ MORE

Northwestern Mutual announced the appointment of Jeff Sippel to executive vice president and chief information officer. In his role, Sippel will head the technology organization responsible for advancing the company’s technology architecture, infrastructure and cloud services, reliability, service support, and information risk/cybersecurity. READ MORE

Ethos, one of the largest term life insurance providers in the United States, has hired industry veteran Nichole Myers as its Chief Underwriter. Myers will be responsible for growing Ethos' underwriting offerings, as well as leading overall underwriting strategy and execution. READ MORE

April 2022

New York Life announced that Craig DeSanto has assumed the company’s chief executive officer (CEO) position. Mr. DeSanto was named CEO-elect in November 2021 after serving as a member of New York Life’s Board of Directors since February 2021 and as New York Life’s president, a title he will retain, since July 2020. READ MORE

Effective May 2, 2022, Pacific Life’s Pacific PremierCare suite of products will no longer be available for new sales. This includes Pacific PremierCare Choice one-year, five-year, 10-year, and lifetime premium whole life insurance products with long-term care (LTC) benefits and Pacific PremierCare Advantage Universal Life Insurance with Long-Term Care Benefits in California. READ MORE

Symetra announced the introduction of a new version of its Accumulator indexed universal life insurance (IUL) product — Symetra Accumulator Ascent IUL. The flexible-premium adjustable life insurance policy with index-linked interest options provides death benefit protection plus policy cash value growth potential that can help with future income needs. READ MORE

U.S. individual life insurance application activity was soft in March when compared with March 2021, according to the new MIB life application activity report. The overall level of activity was 7.7% lower last month than in the year-earlier month, MIB says. READ MORE

Agent Support Group (ASG), one of the fastest-growing life insurance brokerages in the U.S. and an affiliate of AmeriLife Group, LLC, announced that Vice President of Sales Mark Milbrod, CLU, CLTC, has been elected to the board of directors for Forum 400, an exclusive industry community for elite life insurance and financial security leaders and professionals. READ MORE

American International Group, Inc. (AIG) announced that Sabra Purtill, has been appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer for its Life & Retirement business (to be rebranded as Corebridge Financial, Inc. following its Initial Public Offering), effective immediately. In her new role, Ms. Purtill will report to Kevin Hogan, Executive Vice President, Chief Executive Officer, Life & Retirement, and she has joined the Life & Retirement Executive Leadership Team. READ MORE

Pacific Life announced Vibhu Sharma as its next chief financial officer (CFO), effective April 11. Mr. Sharma succeeds Darryl Button as CFO, following Mr. Button’s appointment as Pacific Life’s president and chief executive officer (CEO). READ MORE

Symetra announced the introduction of a new version of its Accumulator indexed universal life insurance (IUL) product — Symetra Accumulator Ascent IUL. The flexible-premium adjustable life insurance policy with index-linked interest options provides death benefit protection plus policy cash value growth potential that can help with future income needs. READ MORE

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC ("Integrity"), a leading distributor of life and health insurance, and provider of wealth management and retirement planning solutions, today announced it has acquired Applied General Agency ("AGA"), an acclaimed independent marketing organization ("IMO") based in Anaheim, California.  READ MORE

U.S. life insurance application activity declined in March with Year-over-Year (YOY) activity down -7.7%, when compared to record-breaking activity in March of 2021, and finishing Q1 2022 at -5.6% year to date, according to the MIB Life Index.  READ MORE

Royal Neighbors of America, a fraternal benefit society located in Rock Island, Ill., reports they delivered $20.5 million in social impact in 2021. A Membership organization that offers life insurance and annuity products, Royal Neighbors is driven by its mission of supporting women and serving communities, making social impact the cornerstone of their work. READ MORE

Recognizing an increased need for greater flexibility and adaptable options for clients, The Standard announces an expansion of its annuity offerings with the new Enhanced Choice Index (ECI). ECI is a single-premium deferred index annuity that offers features to optimize growth capabilities, including four distinct index interest crediting strategies. READ MORE

Prudential Financial, Inc. announced the completion of the sale of its full-service retirement business to Empower, the second-largest retirement provider in the U.S. READ MORE

The Bank Insurance & Securities Association (BISA) announces the appointment of six new members to serve on the association’s Board of Directors in addition to the full slate of officers and directors for 2022. READ MORE

Mark Williams says anyone involved in helping clients with annuities right now had better be paying close attention to Washington. Williams is CEO of Brokers International — a 67-year-old Urbandale, Iowa-based annuity and life field marketing organization that is now part of Integrity Marketing. READ MORE

A new online resource center focused on linked benefit long-term care insurance has been launched by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. READ MORE

MassMutual launched a multi-channel marketing effort to raise awareness of and fight media myths that women are "bad with money." The centerpiece of the integrated effort is a print campaign from Grey New York debuting in the Washington Post. READ MORE

MARCH 2022

AmeriLife Group, LLC (“AmeriLife”), a national leader in developing, marketing, and distributing life and health insurance, annuities and retirement planning solutions, today announced two key leadership changes to its Distribution and Marketing organizations aimed at accelerating and fortifying its business against the backdrop of record-breaking organic and acquired growth over the last two years. READ MORE

American International Group, Inc. (AIG) today announced that it plans to rebrand SAFG Retirement Services, Inc., the parent company of its Life & Retirement business, as Corebridge Financial, Inc. when it becomes a public company. READ MORE

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian) unveiled the Guardian Secure Index Annuity, with an optional guaranteed living benefit rider – the Guardian Income Magnifier Rider, which is issued by its wholly owned subsidiary, The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company, Inc. (GIAC). READ MORE

SE2, an Eldridge business and leading life and annuity insurance technology and services company, today announced the strategic acquisition of Breathe Life, a new business hybrid distribution and digital engagement platform provider for the life insurance industry. The transaction expands SE2’s end-to-end SaaS solutions to help carriers offer a digital buying experience that exceeds customers’ expectations and reduces operational costs.  READ MORE

The nation’s long-term care insurers paid out $12.3 billion in claims during 2021, a significant increase over prior years according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI). According to the association’s annual report of claims paid, the $12.3 billion paid represents an increase of $2 billion over the total claim benefits paid by the industry in 2018. READ MORE

Pacific Life has been named one of the 2022 World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices. Pacific Life was evaluated on five categories, including its ethics and compliance program; culture of ethics; environmental and societal impact; corporate governance; and leadership and reputation. READ MORE

Total 2021 deferred annuity sales of $243.6 billion represented a major bounceback year for the industry and a 16.5% increase over 2020 sales, according to new Wink’s Sales & Market Report data. Total 2020 deferred annuity sales fell to $209.1 billion amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and total fourth-quarter sales for all deferred annuities were $60.9 billion -- an increase of 1.7% compared to the previous quarter and 8.1% compared to the same period last year. READ MORE

Nicole Buckenmeyer is the new president of the Life Insurance Direct Marketing Association (LIDMA). LIDMA represents companies and individuals that sell life insurance through direct mail programs, call centers, websites and other direct marketing channels. Buckenmeyer has succeeded Bob Bland, president of Lifequotes, as president of the Atlanta-based group. READ MORE

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC, a leading distributor of life and health insurance, and provider of wealth management and retirement planning solutions, today announced it has acquired Western Marketing, a leading independent marketing organization (“IMO”) based in Missouri Valley, Iowa. As part of the acquisition, Mark Finken, President of Western Marketing, will become a Managing Partner in Integrity. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. READ MORE

Halo Investing announced that Pacific Life has joined its growing digital annuities platform. Halo streamlines execution and management across the annuity lifecycle for advisors and offers different annuity options and strategies from the world's leading carriers. READ MORE

AmeriLife Group, LLC, a national leader in developing, marketing, and distributing life and health insurance, annuities and retirement planning solutions, announced that it has partnered with Bachmeier, Gudis and Associates (d/b/a BGA Insurance Group), a highly rated, national IMO that distributes a deep, competitive portfolio of Medicare, life and retirement planning solutions. READ MORE

Investors wary of increased market volatility and growing inflation drove total U.S. annuity sales to the highest levels since 2008, and the third-highest recorded in history, according to results from the Secure Retirement Institute (SRI) U.S. Individual Annuity Sales Survey. READ MORE

U.S. life insurance application activity declined in February 2022 compared to February 2021, with year-over-year (YOY) activity down -3.8%, representing the third consecutive month with YOY declines, the MIB Life Index reported. READ MORE

Duguay to Lead Life Insurers Council Board

Francois Duguay is taking over from Byron Allen as the chair of the LOMA Life Insurers Council (LIC) advisory board for 2022. Duguay is the chief actuary at Optimum Re Insurance Co., a Dallas-based arm of the Optimum Group of Montreal. The reinsurer is best known for its life insurance and critical illness insurance operations. READ MORE

Finseca and Forum 400 have officially merged and created Forum 400, a Finseca Community. On July 15, 2021, Finseca and Forum 400 announced an intent to explore a merger, and today, after an extensive due diligence process conducted by a task force of the Forum 400 current and past presidents in collaboration with Finseca’s leadership, as well as an overwhelmingly supportive membership vote, Finseca and Forum 400 are pleased to merge. READ MORE

Nationwide launched a new variable universal life (VUL) insurance product built specifically for fee-based investment advisors that allows for management of funds within the product without a life license. Nationwide Advisory Variable Universal Life is a permanent life insurance policy with a customizable guarantee that keeps the cost of the protection separate from the rest of the investment. READ MORE

The all-new NAILBA Career Center site offers self-service tools both for companies that want to post information about openings and for job hunters who want to post resumes. READ MORE

Transamerica has appointed Jonathan Cressman as Vice President and Managing Director for Annuities Wholesale Distribution in the company's Individual Solutions division, which provides insurance and investment solutions to customers throughout the U.S. READ MORE 

OneAmerica's Dennis Martin Offers 2022 Forecast: The Test of Time

Dennis Martin, who serves as President of OneAmerica Individual Life and Financial Services (ILFS), shares his industry outlook for 2022.  READ MORE


NAILBA Charitable Foundation Announces Additions to its Board of Directors

The NAILBA Charitable Foundation recently elected five new Board Members who will help carry out the Foundation's mission to continue to provide funds to worthy charitable organizations and individuals in NAILBA communities. READ MORE

Securian Financial announced 2021 results at its recent annual employee meeting. Revenue and overall sales grew, and the company fulfilled its purpose of being there for people who count on it—including providing nearly $850 million in COVID-19 related death benefits. READ MORE

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company reported excellent financial results for 2021 – including record sales and capital levels that reached an all-time high and strong operating earnings – while making significant progress on its long-term strategy and providing financial security for more Americans. READ MORE

For life insurers, making acquisitions for the sake of getting bigger is often a bad idea, according to consultants at McKinsey & Co. The consultants — who would like to help life insurers buy and sell businesses — talk about how life insurers should make deals now in a new global insurance report. READ MORE

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) announced the availability of a new virtual program from its Business Performance Center called RISE. The RISE program was developed to aid firm and agency managers with tools and techniques to build high-performing cultures that both attract and retain top financial advisor talent. READ MORE

American International Group continues to move toward selling a large stake in its Life and Retirement business to investors by the end of the second quarter. READ MORE

What is better for retirement and estate planning: life insurance or annuities? In a recent webinar by The American College of Financial Services, Ed Slott, CPA and head of Ed Slott & Co., and Wade Pfau, professor of retirement income at the college answered this question and more. READ MORE

iPipeline announced that it has been recognized by Energage as one of the Top Workplaces in the country for 2022. The firm was selected according to the responses of its employees to questions in the Energage Workplace Survey focusing on company culture. READ MORE

AmeriLife Group, a national leader in developing, marketing, and distributing annuity, life and health insurance solutions, today announced that its agencies and affiliates are now offering SimpliNow Legacy from AIG (issued by American General Life Insurance Company), a simplified issue whole life insurance product specifically designed for middle-market American seniors. READ MORE

LIBRA Insurance Partners, one of the nation’s largest insurance marketing organizations, announced Jonathan Jacobs as new Senior Vice President of Business Development. Jacobs will lead a team of relationship directors and interface with the distribution leaders at the company’s portfolio of carriers. He will also be responsible for identifying business development opportunities with life insurance BGAs throughout the U.S. and marshaling resources to be delivered to them. READ MORE

Annuities, especially variable and indexed products, will boom in what was called the best insurance environment in 20 years during Conning’s 2022 Outlook webinar. Strong consumer demand for new products is propelling the growth. In the life sector, the SECURE Act opened the door for enormous opportunity in retirement accounts. READ MORE

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC has acquired Senior Advisory Insurance Services, an independent marketing organization based in Upstate New York. As part of the acquisition, John Kulakowski, CEO of Senior Advisory Insurance Services, will become a Managing Partner in Integrity. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. READ MORE

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), one of the nation's largest life insurers and a leading provider of employee benefits, today announced it has acquired a minority equity stake in HPS Investment Partners (HPS). HPS is a leading global investment firm that currently manages approximately $80 billion in assets. READ MORE

Verisk announced that Pacific Life’s level-premium term life insurance product, Pacific Elite Term, is in production with Verisk’s FAST platform for new business, policy administration and claims. The launch marks another important milestone in Pacific Life’s digital transformation, which is focused on continuing growth with digital capabilities that power distinctive customer experiences, operational excellence and data-driven decisions across Pacific Life. READ MORE

Policygenius announced the release of The 2022 Policygenius Life Insurance Trend Report. This report focuses on major shifts in the life insurance industry, including significant growth in demand for no-medical-exam life insurance policies and strong insurance purchasing from people age 18-44. Overall, despite market volatility brought on by COVID-19 and a significant uptick in death claims, life insurance pricing remains stable. READ MORE 

The National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) joins the Insurance Careers Movement (ICM) in focusing on February as Annual Insurance Careers Month. Overall, the ICM includes more than 1,000 insurance carriers, agents/brokerage firms, trade associations and industry partners working to engage the next generation for careers in insurance.  READ MORE

Lincoln Financial Group today reported net income for the fourth quarter of 2021 of $220 million, or $1.20 per diluted share available to common stockholders, compared to net income in the fourth quarter of 2020 of $143 million, or $0.74 per diluted share available to common stockholders. READ MORE

Principal Financial Group announced that it has picked an affiliate of Talcott Resolution Life to help it shed the risk associated with its retail fixed annuity business and part of its life insurance business. The Des Moines, Iowa-based life insurer has named the Talcott arm, Sutton Cayman, to reinsure a retail fixed annuity block backed by $16 billion in reserves and a block of universal life policies with secondary guarantees backed by $9 billion in reserves. READ MORE

More than three-quarters (77%) of brokerage general agencies (BGAs) and independent marketing organizations (IMOs) surveyed say their top priority is to expand their network of producers. The study, conducted by LIMRA and NAILBA, reveals the pandemic altered what some firms are looking for in an ideal agent or advisor, with nearly 1 in 5 firms saying they are looking for a different profile of producer. READ MORE


Insurance Technologies, LLC (“InsTech”), a provider of sales and regulatory automation solutions for the insurance and financial services industries, announced the appointment of Laird Rixford as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. Rixford will lead InsTech through continued transformation and strategic expansion. READ MORE

Rona Guymon has been selected to lead annuity distribution for Nationwide. In this role, Guymon is responsible for distributing commission- and fee-based annuities across all channels, including broker/dealers, wires, banks, IMOs, registered investment advisors, technology platforms and other partners. READ MORE

Lion Street Joins Integrity to Expand Mission to Help Protect Life, Health and Wealth Needs of Americans

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC announced it has acquired Lion Street, an elite national network of agencies and professionals providing life insurance, wealth management and financial planning solutions to high-net-worth clients. READ MORE

SBLI (The Savings Bank Mutual Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts) announced that its charitable foundation has made a $25,000 donation to the American Red Cross to support its ongoing relief efforts for those affected by the deadly tornadoes that devastated residents of five states in the southern and central U.S. last month. READ MORE

Accenture received two XCelent awards for its life insurance and annuity platform from research and advisory firm Celent. The Celent report recognizes the Accenture Life Insurance & Annuity Platform (ALIP) as one of the highest-rated solutions in both the “Advanced Technology” and “Breadth of Functionality” categories. Additionally, ALIP’s high scores placed it in the “Luminary” category, Celent’s top rank within its new Technical Capability Matrix. READ MORE

Lincoln Financial Launches Lincoln AssetEdge VUL (2022)

Lincoln Financial Group launched the next generation of Lincoln AssetEdge®, an accumulation-focused Variable Universal Life (VUL) insurance policy offering significant tax-advantaged cash value growth and income potential and a cost-effective death benefit. READ MORE

AIG Life & Retirement Creates New Category of Structured Investing with Advanced Outcomes Annuity

AIG Life & Retirement announced the launch of Advanced Outcomes AnnuitySM. As a variable annuity featuring structured outcome investments, the Advanced Outcomes Annuity targets higher growth than many traditional structured annuities while also seeking a level of downside protection, through the unique investment strategies that have been developed with Milliman Financial Risk Management LLC. READ MORE

Lion Street announced that it had completed a study on the U.S. PPLI market and published its findings. The report was created in association with Life Insurance Strategies Group and includes comprehensive findings on a number of areas, including PPLI carrier parameters and statistics, policy structure, and the impact of IRC § 7702A changes. READ MORE AND ACCESS FULL REPORT

U.S. Life Insurance Activity Closes 2021 With Solid Growth, MIB Reports

U.S. life insurance application activity finished 2021 with annual year-over-year (YOY) growth up +3.4%, according to the US MIB Life Index, representing the second consecutive year of growth. Following record-breaking YOY growth in 2020 of +3.9%, 2021 achieved the second-highest YOY annual growth rate on record. READ MORE

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC announced it has acquired AIP Marketing Alliance ("AIP"), a leading independent marketing organization based in Troy, Michigan. As part of the acquisition, Rick Kisser, CEO of AIP, and Kym Kisser, CFO of AIP, will become Managing Partners in Integrity.  READ MORE

The U.S. life insurance industry is on track to post its fastest premium growth in nearly 20 years, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence Report released early last month. The report said strong consumer demand during the pandemic and a tailwind from a 12% overall expansion in premium sales in the third quarter of 2021 has readied the industry for a record-breaking 2021. READ MORE

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) has recognized more than 1,000 recipients of the 2021 NAIFA Quality Awards (NQA). The NQA recognizes insurance and financial advisors who excel at serving clients in Life & Annuities, Financial Advising & Investments, Health & Employee Benefits, Multiline Sales, or any combination of these specialties. READ MORE

Ameritas has introduced enhancements to its whole life insurance products, creating additional options to help meet client needs while maintaining current product competitiveness. READ MORE

Western & Southern Financial Group has completed the acquisition of Fabric Technologies Inc. and its subsidiary, Fabric Insurance Agency LLC, which provide a fully digital life insurance platform and mobile app that is serving over 60,000 families and has placed billions of dollars in life insurance coverage. READ MORE

Transamerica announced that Wendy Boyd has been appointed Head of Life Distribution for the company's Individual Solutions division, which provides individual insurance and investment solutions to customers throughout the U.S. READ MORE

Allianz Life announced that it has completed the reinsurance agreement with affiliates of Sixth Street, including Talcott Resolution Life Insurance Company, and Resolution Life, for a $35-billion fixed index annuity portfolio. The transaction unlocks $4.1 billion in value and frees up regulatory capital for Allianz. READ MORE

Highland Capital Brokerage, a national life insurance and annuity distribution company and subsidiary of Advisor Group, today announced the acquisitions of Hallett Financial Group, an independent insurance brokerage agency based in Minneapolis, as well as Hallett Financial's sister company, Quotacy, an insurtech firm. READ MORE

Senior Market Sales (SMS) has acquired Medigap Life, a highly successful call center serving thousands of customers in all 50 states with affordable Medicare health insurance plans. READ MORE

The National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA) announced John Gilbert, President at The National Benefit Corp. in West Des Moines, IA, as its 2022 Chair. READ MORE

Specialty Program Group, LLC (SPG), a leading operator of specialty insurance brokerage firms and underwriting facilities, announced today the acquisition of the assets of Brokers' Service Marketing Group II, LLC (BSMG) as of December 15, 2021. READ MORE

Dennis Martin, president of individual life and financial services at OneAmerica, shares his most-watched market indication--as well as how regulatory changes are accelerating the impact of the pandemic on advisors and financial professionals. READ MORE

Allianz Life announced that it has completed the reinsurance agreement with affiliates of Sixth Street, including Talcott Resolution Life Insurance Company, and Resolution Life, for a $35-billion fixed index annuity portfolio. READ MORE

NAILBA and Finseca announced that their respective Board of Directors have voted to initiate a process to explore a merger. This process is the culmination of significant due diligence conducted by a joint task force that included NAILBA and Finseca members and staff.  READ MORE

Senior Market Sales (SMS), one of the industry’s premier insurance marketing organizations, has acquired Transitions Benefit Group as a strategic partner in the employer group insurance space. SMS President Jim Summers said that Transitions Benefit Group has built a successful niche in the employer group space and that it will be a natural fit with SMS’ parent, Alliant Insurance Services, one of the nation’s largest insurance and employee benefits brokers. READ MORE

Pennsylvania has given a big boost to efforts by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to support the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest financial services sales standards. Gov. Tom Wolf recently signed Senate Bill 772 — legislation implementing the NAIC’s annuity suitability model update in the Keystone State. READ MORE

Milliman, Inc., a premier global consulting and actuarial firm, just released the results of its biennial broad-based survey on term life insurance. The study surveys 34 term life insurance companies and focuses on current topics relevant to a range of these products. READ MORE

Chubb announced that Bryce Johns will be appointed Senior Vice President, Chubb Group and President of Chubb Life. He will join the company from HSBC, where he served most recently as Global CEO of HSBC Life and Insurance Partnerships. In his new role, which becomes effective in April, Mr. Johns will have executive responsibility for Chubb's international life insurance business. READ MORE

Ohio National's new Prestige Series is focused on delivering lower-cost, permanent protection to individuals and businesses. The Prestige Series offers a high death benefit for the amount of premium paid, while providing cash value accumulation opportunities. Cash values can be accessed during the insured’s lifetime for almost any purpose, generally on a tax-preferred basis. READ MORE

The nation’s long-term care insurers paid out $12.3 billion in claims during 2021. That represents a significant increase over prior years according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. READ MORE


AIG announced that Graham Fulcher will join the company as International General Insurance Chief Actuary, a newly created role. Based in London, Mr. Fulcher will report to Jon Hancock, Chief Executive Officer, International General Insurance and Richard Olsen, Chief Actuary, General Insurance. Mr. Fulcher will join the company during the first quarter of 2022. READ MORE

In the Best’s Special Report, “Notional Value of Derivatives Exceeds $3 Trillion,” AM Best states that despite the increase in notional value, potential exposure has grown at a lesser rate of 30% during the five-year span, to $67.5 billion in 2020. Insurers use derivatives in hedging and portfolio management to set the price of future purchases and sales in order to hedge against price fluctuations. READ MORE

In response to tornadoes and storms that struck several Midwest and Southern states, New York Life announced a pledge of $150,000 in corporate grants to disaster response organizations supporting Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee and $100,000 to New York Life’s Emergency Assistance Fund. READ MORE

Sammons Financial Group announced changes to the Sammons Life Insurance Group leadership team as it prepares for the retirement of Steve Palmitier and the elevation of Jerry Blair to president, effective January 1, 2022. READ MORE 

No Sign Of M&A Activity Slowing Down, NAILBA CEO Says

Despite a raging pandemic, supply chain disruptions and labor shortages, merger and acquisition deals for most insurance sectors have increased in the last 12 months. Nowhere is the trend more evident in the independent brokerage sector, which has undergone unprecedented consolidation, driven mostly by private equity and other institution-backed investors. READ MORE

Gov. Jay Inslee announced a delay to the start of a mandatory payroll tax to fund Washington state’s new long-term care program. The Washington Cares Fund was originally set to begin collecting taxes in January 2022 to help pay for long-term care expenses as the state's population gets older. READ MORE

Allianz Life Grants $350,000 to Support Local Senior Services Programs
To help seniors in the Twin Cities community, Allianz Life has given $350,000 to local nonprofits with senior programming. The money supports community programs focused on building social vitality and independence through food and transportation assistance, home maintenance support, and other programming to help seniors enhance their quality of life. READ MORE

AM Best has revised its market segment outlook to stable from negative as the segment has experienced a number of improvements, including capital market gains and diversified earnings streams that helped offset the mortality impacts of the pandemic. READ MORE

NAILBA Charitable Foundation President Jim Sorebo took the stage at the Douglas Mooers Awards Dinner, held during the NAILBA 40 Annual Meeting in Orlando, to honor 2021 Foundation grant winners and top donors. READ MORE

Guardian Life Announces $1.13 Billion Dividend Payment to Policyholders

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America announced its Board of Directors approved a $1.13 billion dividend allocation to its eligible individual life policyholders in 2022, the largest payout in the company's 161-year history. READ MORE

OneAmerica announced enhancements to its suite of whole life insurance products to provide more robust, flexible options to clients. Whole Life Select, Whole Life 95 and Whole Life 121 products now include several new features that make them some of the most diverse in the industry. READ MORE

Strong consumer interest in whole life insurance helped lead to a 2.9% increase in life insurance application activity between November 2020 and November 2021, according to new data from MIB Group. READ MORE

Life Insurers Paid Record Amounts To Beneficiaries In 2020

New research from the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) shows that life insurance companies paid more than $90 billion to beneficiaries of life insurance policies in 2020, the highest ever in any single year. It also represents a 15.4% increase in payments over 2019, which is the largest year-to-year increase since the 1918 Influenza Epidemic.  READ MORE

The Liberty Company Insurance Brokers announced that it has partnered with Innovative Solutions Insurance Services. Innovative Solutions, led by Lynne Rosenberg, is a national brokerage general agency for life insurance, disability and annuity programs. The new partnership will provide a major conduit for Liberty in this line of business. READ MORE

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC announced a new strategic investment of $1.2 billion led by Silver Lake, the global leader in technology investing, for a minority stake in Integrity. Integrity's founders, management and employees will continue to be the majority shareholders of the Company. READ MORE

Non-variable universal life sales for the third quarter were $724.4 million; down 5.3% when compared to the previous quarter and up 15.9% as compared to the same period last year, according to Wink's Sales & Market Report. Non-variable universal life (UL) sales include both indexed UL and fixed UL product sales. READ MORE

Life insurance technology company Bestow and Equitable, a leading financial services company and principal franchise of Equitable Holdings, announced a first-of-its-kind enterprise partnership and the launch of a new, entirely digital term life insurance offering. READ MORE

The December Policygenius Life Insurance index shows life insurance prices remain stable, despite stock market volatility catalyzed by the newest coronavirus variant, Omicron. Policygenius data shows life insurance consumers have not been impacted by economic volatility caused by the new variant, as all demographics saw a nominal decrease in pricing, READ MORE

OneAmerica announced strategic leadership changes in its Individual Life and Financial Services (ILFS) line of business aimed at strengthening distribution, recruiting and business development operations. New ILFS appointments include Chris Coudret, vice president, Career and Independent Brokerage; Kristin Dorm vice president, Agency Growth and Development; David Junker vice president, Business Development; and Jeff Levin, vice president, Care Solutions Distribution. READ MORE

Wink, Inc., the competitive intelligence firm specialized in providing life insurance and annuity product data to the industry, announced Victoria L. Grossman has been named the President of Wink, Inc. effective immediately. Sheryl J. Moore, who has been CEO and President of Wink since she founded the company 16 years ago, will continue in her role as Chairwoman and CEO, focusing on strategy and business development. READ MORE

The 2022 outlook for the U.S. life insurance sector is stable, reflecting the ongoing, although slower pace of recovery for the economy, Moody’s Investors Service said in a new report. However, while persistent inflation, supply chain issues, and new COVID-19 variants are risks, the still-solid level of growth supports a continuing stable outlook. READ MORE

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC announced it has acquired Northwest Farmer-Stockman ("Farmer-Stockman"), an insurance distributor and financial services provider, based in Spokane, Washington, an entity of Cowles Company, a publishing, real estate, insurance and financial services conglomerate. Farmer-Stockman will become a division of Integrity partner American Independent Marketing, an IMO providing health and life insurance products to the senior market. READ MORE

Ethos, the insurtech leader that's transforming life insurance, has hired industry veteran Marty Schafer as its first Chief Distribution Officer to bolster the company's channel distribution. Schafer will be responsible for building a team to focus on enabling partnerships specifically with third-party life insurance distributors and life, property and casualty insurance agents. READ MORE

NAILBA Announces Winners of 2021 ID Twenty Awards, Honoring 20 Insurance Innovators and Trailblazers
NAILBA, the Voice of Independent Distribution (ID), has announced the 2021 recipients of the ID Twenty Awards. Now in their third year, the ID Twenty Awards honor Independent Distribution’s most courageous innovators and visionaries, who have made important contributions to the insurance profession. READ MORE



NAILBA celebrated the return to live shows with a rousing kickoff session Monday at NAILBA 40. Attendees were welcomed by CEO Dan LaBert, who said 750 signups were received. NAILBA planned for 500 during the spring, he said. LaBert touted the revival of the brokerage trade association, which scaled back its elaborate conferences in recent years. NAILBA's return to strength reflects an industry that is on the upswing, LaBert added. READ MORE

New York Life announced that the company’s Board of Directors has named Craig DeSanto CEO-elect. Mr. DeSanto, who is currently the company’s president, will succeed Ted Mathas, who has served as CEO for nearly fourteen years. Mr. DeSanto will assume the chief executive position upon the retirement of Mr. Mathas on April 15, 2022. Mr. Mathas will remain chairman of the board in a non-executive capacity for a transition period. READ MORE

While variable universal life represents a small portion of the overall market, it is a slice that is growing bigger each quarter.VUL sales are being driven by very robust market conditions for the product, agreed a panel of industry executives at NAILBA's virtual annual meeting. READ MORE

OneAmerica has named Jeff Levin to be vice president of distribution at its Care Solutions unit. Levin now leads a team of divisional vice presidents, regional sales directors, and managers and oversees the account management team in the distribution, sale, and support of the company’s Care Solutions product line. Levin previously was a divisional vice president, responsible for expansion of Care Solutions products, including life and annuity asset-based long-term care products. READ MORE

Prolific best-selling author and business speaker Ross Bernstein is no stranger to NAILBA audiences. Bernstein's sports anecdotes range from legendary football coach Vince Lombardi to Olympic champion skier Lindsey Vonn. Best-selling author of nearly 50 sports books, Bernstein is an award-winning peak-performance business speaker who's keynoted conferences on all seven continents. READ MORE

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC ("Integrity") announced it has acquired Brokers Clearing House, a leading brokerage general agency (BGA) based in Des Moines, Iowa. As part of the acquisition, Debbie Hannam, President and Partner at Brokers Clearing House, and Dan Allison, Managing Partner at Brokers Clearing House, will become Managing Partners in Integrity. READ MORE

NAILBA-LIMRA Survey finds BGAs and IMOs Growing Producer Ranks, Selling More
Seventy-two percent of respondents said they expect an increase in 2021 sales over 2020, according to a joint study by NAILBA and LIMRA. LIMRA CEO Dave Levenson presented the results during NAILBA's virtual annual meeting. The survey of brokerage-general agencies and independent marketing organizations also found that 63% of the respondents that expect to increase sales say they expect to see at least a 10% rise in sales.  READ MORE



Sales of U.S. individual annuities continued to increase in the third quarter, in spite of the effects of a major surge in COVID-19 cases. Total sales rose 12% between the third quarter of 2020 and the latest quarter, to $62 billion, according to the Secure Retirement Institute’s latest issuer survey data. Sales of individual fixed annuities fell 0.9% and sales of individual variable annuities grew 29%.  READ MORE

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC has acquired DuBose Senior Insurance Marketing, an independent marketing organization ("IMO") headquartered in Florence, South Carolina. As part of the acquisition, Charles B. "Bubba" DuBose, Jr., President of DuBose Senior Insurance Marketing, will become a Managing Partner in Integrity. READ MORE

Better branding could help the people now known as life insurance agents serve more clients, and it could also help keep Congress from finding ways to tax life insurance, according to Marc Cadin, Finseca’s CEO. Cadin talked about the link between branding and federal tax policy in a recent interview. READ MORE

iPipeline announced it has been selected as a winner of the 2021 Global InsurTech100 Award. A panel of industry analysts and experts, who reviewed companies’ applications and research on more than 1,400 InsurTech companies within FinTech Global’s database, selected 100 winners around the world. READ MORE

AIG has appointed Shane Fitzsimons as its chief financial officer, replacing Mark Lyons, as the insurer prepares for the separation of its life and retirement business. Fitzsimons was most recently serving as the insurer's chief administrative officer. Lyons will move into the newly created role of Global Chief Actuary and Head of Portfolio Management at AIG from January, after which Fitzsimons will take his place. READ MORE

Mutual of Omaha Joins Forces with The Dodo in “Saving the Wild”
“Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” has joined forces with The Dodo, the most-viewed and engaged with animal brand globally, to bring new awareness to endangered species’ struggle for survival on our changing planet. This partnership will create an all-new digital series entitled “Saving the Wild” to tell heartwarming stories that illustrate the many challenges animals face in the wildREAD MORE

Transamerica has appointed David Curry as Chief Distribution Officer for the company's Individual Solutions division, which provides insurance and investment solutions to customers throughout the U.S. Curry, who previously served as National Sales Director for Lincoln Financial Group, will head Transamerica's distribution teams for life insurance, annuities, and mutual funds, focusing on the company's growth strategies. READ MORE

iPipeline announced that Kimberly Beck has joined the firm as Vice President of Marketing. Beck has nearly 25 years of experience in financial services marketing, and in her new role will focus on strengthening growth marketing capabilities while leading all aspects of marketing, including digital, product, customer engagement, and corporate communications. READ MORE

Sammons Financial Group Names Jerry Blair to Lead Life Division

Sammons Financial Group announced it is naming Jerry Blair as the next president of Sammons Life Insurance Group. Blair will replace Steve Palmitier, current president and chief operating officer of Sammons Financial Group’s life business, who announced his plans to retire last June. Blair will lead the life business lines of member companies Midland National and North American. READ MORE

Mike DeKoning Joins Thrivent as Senior Vice President of Insurance Solutions

Thrivent, a Fortune 500 diversified financial services organization, announced that Mike DeKoning has joined the organization as senior vice president of Insurance Solutions. DeKoning will oversee Thrivent’s life, health, and annuity product lines while helping the organization develop innovative insurance solutions focused on providing industry-leading client advice and customer engagement. READ MORE

NAILBA, NAIFA, and other associations representing a cross-section of financial and business interests signed a joint trade letter to Congress expressing strong opposition to the proposed new tax information reporting regime as described by the Department of Treasury. READ MORE

Simplicity Group Welcomes Independent Planners Group as 30th Acquisition

The Simplicity Group announced the acquisition of Independent Planners Group, a Scottsdale, AZ-based independent insurance wholesaler. As part of the transaction, Simplicity welcomes Mike Kelley and Brian Kelley as partners in the organization. READ MORE

Wink, Inc. released the second quarter, 2021 life sales results in its 96th edition of Wink’s Sales & Market Report. Wink’s Sales & Market Report is the insurance industry’s #1 resource for life insurance sales data, since 1997. READ MORE

Crump Life Insurance Services announced that Michael Martini has been named president of Crump, effective Oct. 1, taking over the role from Rob Carney who was recently appointed Crump chief executive officer. Martini reports to Carney, who in addition to his Crump CEO role, also was recently named CEO, CRC Group–Life, Retirement, and Benefits Solutions Division. READ MORE

Bestow, the leading digital life insurance platform, today announces its inclusion on CB Insights' Fintech 250 for the second year in a row. The FinTech 250 is a prestigious list of emerging private companies working on groundbreaking financial technologyREAD MORE

Royal Neighbors Grants $100,000 Nationwide to Empower Women
Royal Neighbors of America, one of the largest and first women-led insurance organizations in the U.S., located in Rock Island, Ill., has awarded 10 Nation of Neighbors empowerment awards to 10 women who are making a difference in the lives of women and/or girls. READ MORE

Jackson National Enters The Registered Index-Linked Annuity Market

Jackson National Life Insurance Company, the main operating subsidiary of Jackson Financial Inc., today announced the launch of Jackson Market Link Pro and Jackson Market Link Pro Advisory, two new registered index-linked annuities (RILAs).JMLP (commission-based) and JMLPA (fee-based) offer consumers the opportunity to grow assets before and during retirement while offering different degrees of protection against unexpected market events. READ MORE

New York Life Expands Services to Provide Disability Insurance

New York Life's new product, MyIncome Protector, is the first offering in a suite of solutions designed to replace a portion of income in the event a policyholder becomes disabled. The new product will replace between 50% and 70% of a covered individual’s income.  READ MORE

Breeze, an insurtech focused on disability insurance, has launched the Breeze Agent Portal that streamlines how agents sell disability insurance and critical illness insurance to consumers. The Breeze Agent Portal allows agents to quote, apply for, and possibly even instantly bind disability and critical illness insurance policies for clients. READ MORE

Senior Market Sales Acquires Medicare Instructors as Part of New Growth Strategy

Senior Market Sales (SMS), one of the industry’s premier insurance marketing organizations, has acquired Medicare Instructors, a rapidly growing independent insurance brokerage focusing on Medicare insurance and financial solutions for people entering retirement. READ MORE

Ohio National Announces New Pricing For Term Life

Ohio National announced new pricing for its term life insurance, resulting in lower premiums across the product range. Repricing follows extensive pricing analysis aimed at enhancing the value of Ohio National term life products. READ MORE

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) released the second volume of the 34th edition of the Insurance Department Resources Report (IDRR). The report includes premium volume by type and state and demonstrates a healthy state-based insurance market for 2020. READ MORE

The Allstate Corp. moved closer to its complete exit from the life insurance and annuity business with the closing of the sale of its Allstate Life Insurance Company of New York to Wilton Re for approximately $400 million. READ MORE

September 2021 

Total U.S. annuity sales soared in the second quarter to a record $68.2 billion, a 40% increase from last year, according to the Secure Retirement Institute’s U.S. individual annuity sales survey. Total annuity sales in the first half of 2021 increased 23% from the previous year to $129.2 billion. READ MORE

In its 2021 Insurance M&A Outlook, Deloitte noted that the number of insurance deals for 2021 to date is up by 18%, aggregate deal value is about four times higher than in 2020, life and annuity activity is up from five to 17 deals, and broker transactions remain strong. READ MORE

SBLI announced a distribution partnership with Plum Life, a life insurance technology company that offers an agent-only digital experience designed to simplify the entire process of selling life insurance, from quoting to application to issue. READ MORE

Pacific Life Insurance Company is adjusting rates for PL Promise Term, a product specifically designed to serve the death benefit protection needs of the broad market consumer (household incomes of $50K to $250K). READ MORE

Allianz is in the process of offloading a large chunk of its U.S. life insurance policies, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The insurer, one of the world's biggest money managers, is reportedly working with advisers on a possible reinsurance deal for a portfolio worth tens of billions of dollars in assets and liabilities. READ MORE

Delaying DOL Fiduciary Rule Would Give Small RIAs Time to Comply

NAILBA, NAIFA, FINSECA, and seven other financial trade associations wrote to the DOL requesting more time to prepare for the agency's fiduciary rule for retirement accounts. The rule is scheduled to go into force on December 20. READ MORE

CNO Financial Group and OneAmerica® today announced a joint collaboration with The Actuarial Foundation to bring the national Math Motivators program to the Indianapolis-area schools. Math Motivators is a national program that cultivates better math understanding skills for local middle and high school students at qualifying schools. READ MORE

The head of a major annuity issuer says the nature of life and annuity distribution is changing because that’s what the customers want. Jasmine Jirele, CEO of Allianz Life of North America, touched on distribution earlier this week, during a session at KPMG’s 33rd annual insurance conference. READ MORE

As predicted by many analysts, insurance M&A activity has rebounded, and there has been a high number of transactions and high aggregate transaction values across the industry during the first half of 2021. Consolidation in the brokerage industry--along with three other key factors--is driving this high level of M&A activity. READ MORE

Dan Fortin, Chairman of Foresters Financial, announced  Foresters Financial President and Chief Executive Officer James Boyle's intention to retire in February 2022. Louis Gagnon, currently Chief Operating Officer, will succeed Mr. Boyle as President and Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 2022, and will join the board upon Mr. Boyle’s retirement. READ MORE

Lincoln to Reinsure $9.4B in UL and Executive Benefits Policies

Lincoln Financial announced that it has arranged to have Security Life of Denver — an arm of Resolution Life Group Holdings — reinsure a block of in-force universal life insurance and executive benefits insurance policies backed by $9.4 billion in reserves. READ MORE

Issuers of individual life insurance received 5.5% more applications this past August than in August 2020, according to MIB Group. The insurer-owned, Massachusetts-based group says increases in application activity ranged from 0.6%, for consumers ages 0 to 30, to 9%, for consumers ages 71 and older. READ MORE

Prudential Financial, Inc. and Fortitude Group Holdings, LLC, the parent company of Bermuda’s largest multi-line reinsurer (“Fortitude Re”), announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Prudential will sell a portion of its in-force legacy variable annuity block to Fortitude Re, for a total transaction value of $2.2 billion. READ MORE

Integrity Marketing Group Announces Acquisition of Aegis Financial

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC ("Integrity"), the nation's largest independent distributor of life and health insurance products, announced it has acquired Aegis Financial, a leading financial marketing organization based in Denver, Colorado. As part of the acquisition, Darin W. Lucas, President of Aegis Financial, and Carl Muehlemeyer, Chief Operations Officer of Aegis Financial, will become Managing Partners in Integrity. READ MORE

Bestow Completes Acquisition of Centurion Life Insurance Company

Bestow announced the successful acquisition of Centurion Life Insurance Company, an insurer with licenses in 47 states and the District of Columbia.  As the first full-stack life insurance carrier, Bestow will launch a suite of new financial protection products on its platform. READ MORE

Transamerica Vice President and Managing Director of Wholesale Distribution, Victor Sanchez, shares the very personal story of how, by protecting families through his work with life insurance agents, he honors his late father's memory. READ MORE 

Simplicity Group announced the acquisition of Minneapolis-based Sawtooth Solutions, LLC, a leading provider of unified managed account investment solutions to independent wealth advisors. Sawtooth provides access to hundreds of leading third-party asset managers, equipping advisors with model investment portfolios for all ranges of wealth, from the mass-affluent to the high net-worth.  READ MORE

Jackson Financial Inc., a leader in the U.S. individual variable annuity market, announced that it has completed the process of separating from its former parent, Prudential PLC of London, through a demerger. The deal has been in the works since March 2020. READ MORE

SBLI, Afficiency Inc., and Quility Insurance announced a strategic collaboration and the release of a new simplified issue term life insurance product that allows consumers to easily purchase life insurance online. READ MORE

Protective Life Corp. — a U.S. arm of Dai-ichi Life Holdings of Japan — has updated its logo. The insurer’s new logo features a stylized image of two figures hugging each other next to the Protective name. The new brand identity is designed to drive further growth by helping the company better connect with employees, customers, partners, and the community through a people-centric lens. READ MORE

In the first six months of 2021, the total number of policies sold increased 8%, compared with prior-year results. This is the highest policy sales growth recorded since 1983, according to LIMRA’s Second Quarter U.S. Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey. READ MORE

Every client’s situation is different, and advisors and agents have the responsibility of choosing the right type of life insurance for each client. Add to that complex tax rules and even the most seasoned financial planners can be stumped. The experts behind Tax Facts explain top tax and financial planning questions agents and advisors should be aware of in regard to life insurance. READ MORE

Proformex and BKA Financial Enter Into Strategic Partnership

Proformex and BKA Financial have entered into a strategic partnership aimed at improving the life insurance ownership experience for clients. The companies aim to further redefine the industry standard for post-sale policy servicing by providing easier access to relevant data to empower better decisions and analysis to ensure clients receive the outcomes they expect. READ MORE

Sixty percent of Americans reported thinking differently about their financial future due to COVID-19, according to a new study from Lincoln Financial Group. Consumers ‘stressed’ and 'anxious' about financial planning ranked life insurance as one of the top three most important financial assets to continue funding. Nearly a quarter of millennials said the importance of funding life insurance has increased for them, the most among of any generation. READ MORE

Senior Market Sales® (SMS), one of the industry’s premier insurance marketing organizations, has acquired Thomas Insurance Group (TIG), an independent insurance brokerage firm owned by Charley Tinsley III. READ MORE

August 2021 

Lincoln Financial Group — a 116-year-old company with $380 billion in assets — has picked Ellen Cooper to succeed Dennis Glass as the president and CEO. Glass, who has been Lincoln’s CEO since 2007, plans to become the chairman in May 2022, following the company’s next annual meeting. READ MORE

OneAmerica reported that A.M. Best has affirmed the A+ (Superior) for insurance companies of OneAmerica, including American United Life Insurance Company® (AUL) and its affiliate, The State Life Insurance Company® (State Life). The ratings analyze the financial strength and performance of the companies and the ability to meet existing obligations. READ MORE
Integrity Expands Life Insurance Distribution with Acquisition of Twardowski Insurance Agency

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC, the nation's largest independent distributor of life and health insurance products, announced it has acquired Twardowski Insurance Agency, an independent marketing organization based in Denver, Colorado.  READ MORE

The court ruled that California’s life insurance policy termination law applies to all policies involved in policy termination processes starting on or after the statute’s Jan. 1, 2013, effective date — whether or not the policies were issued before the effective date. READ MORE

Legal & General America (LGA), a top-five U.S. life insurer, was Certified™ as a Great Place To Work ® for the sixth consecutive year for its employee-first focus, commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and leadership. Great Place To Work ® is the global authority on workplace culture, employee experience, and leadership behavior. READ MORE

Pacific Life Insurance Company announced that Darryl Button has been named CEO-Elect and will become president and CEO of Pacific Life, succeeding Chairman, President and CEO Jim Morris, on April 1, 2022, upon Mr. Morris’ retirement.  READ MORE

New York Life has started offering beneficiaries the Empathy app, from Empathy Project, a company that aims to support grieving families. The app can help guide families through steps such as account cancellations and submitting benefits claims, as well as help users locate and organize information and handle administrative and other tasks. READ MORE

Ash Brokerage, Ameritas and SCOR announced a new next-generation term life insurance product, Ash Instant term issued by Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. This innovative digital product is available to Ash advisors through the Ash Term Express platform.  READ MORE

AIG Life & Retirement announced that Bryan Pinsky has been named President, Individual Retirement and Tim Heslin has been named President, US Life Insurance. Pinsky and Heslin will continue to report to Todd Solash, Chief Executive of Individual Retirement and Life Insurance at AIG Life & Retirement. READ MORE

The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the biggest drivers – if not the biggest driver – of the insurance market in the last year and a half, according to a recent survey taken on behalf of the Million Dollar Round Table. The survey revealed that 42% of Americans who acquired new insurance policies since March 2020 said the COVID-19 pandemic was a factor in their decision, higher than all other options. READ MORE

Breeze Hires Insurance Industry Exec Andrew Hamill as Head of Distribution
Andrew Hamill has been hired as Head of Distribution by Omaha-based insurtech Breeze. Hamill spent the last five years leading brokerage distribution and strategy for Legal & General America. At Breeze, Hamill will scale Breeze's distribution by offering the insurtech's online platform to agents, brokerage general agencies (BGAs), and independent marketing organizations (IMOs). READ MORE

Insurance Technologies, LLC, a provider of sales and regulatory automation solutions for the life and annuities insurance industries, has partnered with RGAX LLC to integrate AURA NEXT with the FireLight® Sales Platform, delivering automated and accelerated underwriting upfront in the application process for life insurance sales. READ MORE

Since October 2020, when the original forecast was published, three COVID-19 vaccines were given emergency approval and distributed, two federal relief packages were passed and a last-minute change to life insurance tax law was implemented. These factors, coupled with stronger economic conditions and unprecedented consumer interest in life insurance, have led LIMRA to improve its 2021 sales forecast. READ MORE

LIBRA Insurance Partners, one of the nation's largest insurance marketing organizations, announced Rick Buteau as the organization's new Vice President of Operations. In his new role, Buteau will develop, negotiate and manage new business resources and processes for its LIBRA partner firms and carriers with an objective to improve the service experience for our partners and their advisors and agents. Buteau will also build upon relationships with key constituencies at the insurance carriers, LIBRA's brokerage general agencies and their external and internal staff, to build the differentiated service experience received by each of its partner firms. READ MORE

Royal Neighbors of America, Rock Island, Illinois, announced the launch of a new annuity product designed to protect the futures of certificate owners. The new Multi-Year Guaranteed Deferred Annuity (MYGA) product allows for one lump-sum premium. It will earn tax-deferred interest until maturity, which provides guaranteed growth. Royal Neighbors’ MYGA offers two guaranteed interest rate periods, each of the same length – 3, 5, or 10 years. After the second guaranteed interest rate period, the MYGA will not credit interest below the minimum guaranteed interest rate. READ MORE

Legacy Marketing Group Launches JourneyMark, First Joint Fixed Indexed Annuity With W&S Financial 
Legacy Marketing Group® (Legacy) today announced the launch of JourneyMarkSM, its first joint fixed indexed annuity with Western & Southern Financial Group (Western & Southern). Issued by Western & Southern member company Integrity Life Insurance Company (Integrity Life), an “A+ (Superior)” rated carrier* with a Comdex ranking of 96 out of 100,** JourneyMark offers a distinctive combination of growth potential, flexibility, and income features for consumers seeking innovative ways to address their retirement goals. READ MORE

Six Major Life Insurers Report Second Quarter Financials
A half-dozen life/annuity insurance companies—AIG, American Equity, Brighthouse Financial, Equitable, Lincoln Financial, MetLife released their second-quarter 2021 earnings reports this week. The reports reflect a variety of ongoing trends: Year-over-year increases in individual annuity sales, continuing stock repurchase plans, a shift toward higher-yielding investments in private or alternative assets, alliances with asset managers that source those investments, and new capital management strategies. READ MORE

Susan Keisler-Munro to Succeed Thomas Henning as Assurity President and CEO 
The Assurity Life Insurance Company is on track to get a new CEO for the first time in 26 years. The company’s board has picked Susan Keisler-Munro to succeed Thomas Henning as the company’s new president and CEO in January 2022. Henning, who has been the chairman, president and CEO of Assurity since 1990, when it was known as Woodmen Accident and Life, plans to serve as the chairman of Assurity’s board in 2022. READ MORE

SBLI Streamlines the Life Insurance Purchase Process with MIB’s Electronic Medical Data Service
SBLI (The Savings Bank Mutual Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts) recently selected MIB Group, Inc. as their primary electronic medical data vendor. SBLI made the selection following a pilot that involved a variety of strategies to streamline the underwriting process to enhance and expedite the experience for both customers and agents by leveraging electronic health record (EHR) data rather than traditional APS records. READ MORE

Protective Life Announces Lauren Drapeau as New National Sales Director of Annuity Advisory Solutions
Protective Life Corporation (Protective), a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc., today announced the hiring of National Sales Director of Annuity Advisory Solutions, Lauren Drapeau. She will be responsible for leading efforts to deepen and enhance Protective’s Advisory business partnerships. READ MORE

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