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 Kelly Maheu ([email protected]) for review and consideration. 

September 2021 

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

2021 Media