April 30, 2007
Given my commitment to publishing new content on an almost daily basis, I did not want you to check-in starting Wednesday and see nothing but a test pattern while I’m away enjoying the sights in Athens and Crete.
Beginning tomorrow my family and I are off to Greece for a two week vacation. I did, [...]
April 29, 2007
I believe it was Winston Churchill who said, “A young man who isn’t a liberal has no heart. An old man who isn’t a conservative has no brain.” Leaving behind the politics, I enjoy the symmetry of these words. Churchill’s quote inspires me to fashion my own:
“A new retirement income initiative that isn’t [...]
April 27, 2007
The talks given during day two of NAFA’s Annuity Summit opened and closed strongly with one excellent presentation after another sandwiched in between.
ING’s Harry Stout led off with a compelling analysis of current industry dynamics and challenges. Low rates, a flat yield curve and a 13,000 level for the Dow Jones Industrials conspired [...]
April 26, 2007
What if you invited three-hundred people to a party and nobody showed?
While I know that press is highly skeptical of the fixed annuity business, even this jaded observer was astonished to hear NAFA Executive Director, Kim O’Brien, report that only 10 of the 300 reporters invited to NAFA’s Annuity Summit even bothered to reply. [...]
April 25, 2007
Now reporting from Scottsdale…
I’m in Arizona this week to attend the National Association of Fixed Annuities annual Annuity Summit. NAFA Executive Director, Kim O’Brien, and her team have put together a program of very high quality. This meeting is occurring at a pivotal moment for the fixed annuity industry.
Speaking of interesting (and [...]
April 24, 2007
In the first three parts of this series I offered a historical context for the present challenges confronting the fixed annuity industry. In this fourth installment I’ll present a vision of tomorrow’s practicing annuity producer: an agent who is more productive, who is selling a more diverse lineup of annuity products, who is financially [...]
April 23, 2007
In this wide-ranging interview, Phil Eckman, CEO of Transamerica Retirement Management, talks about Transamerica’s view concerning the importance of the Boomer retirement income business as evidenced by the company’s decision to create an entirely new business unit. Eckman also addresses the challenges arising out of the inherently greater degree of complexity of insurance products, [...]
April 20, 2007
Now, just in time for your weekend reading pleasure…
In just a short time some of the best minds in financial services have contributed a wonderful collection of insights to my blog. In addition to my own ruminations, I’ve taken some of these contributions and published them in the form of a downloadable book. [...]
April 19, 2007
I am pleased to announce that two of the retirement income industry’s leading lights will be the subjects of interviews in my Industry Leaders & Innovators Series. Phil Eckman and Fred Conley are articulate and talented individuals charged with significant strategic responsibilities within their respective organizations. Their visions and insights will be welcome by all [...]
April 17, 2007
“A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care imposed at either equity or law. A fiduciary is expected to be extremely loyal to the person (the principal) to whom they owe the duty. They must not put their personal interests before the duty, and must not profit from their position as a fiduciary, [...]
April 16, 2007
In Part Three of this series I will suggest specific actions to repair both the current hostile regulatory climate and the challenging marketing environment which together pose a significant threat to the future success of the fixed annuity industry. Readers should know that my day-to-day work is wound around developing solutions to such problems. [...]
April 13, 2007
In part one I wrote about the authentic risk to the fixed annuity industry that it may fail to realize its full potential in Boomer retirement security. This would, in my judgment, constitute a tragic result for an industry which, due to its product set and its capacity to assume longevity risk, ought to be [...]