App-ward Mobility

Connecting with investors via full-size computer screens is so last-decade. People now live on their smartphones, and the financial industry has little choice but to follow.

Heat from the Street

At a vulnerable juncture in the evolution of their products, publicly-held VA issuers are feeling unprecedented pressure from Wall Street. That was made clear by speakers at the IRI Marketing Conference in New York this week.

Act V of the VA Drama

In an effort to de-risk its book of GMIB business, Transamerica Life is offering to buy back the benefit. And one firm, Achaean Financial, wants to help insurers convert some of their living benefits to immediate variable annuities. Is this the start of a trend?

The Weird Math of Charitable Gift Annuities

Here's how the wealthy buy lifetime income while giving zip to insurance companies, a pittance to the IRS and--unless they live a very long time--a sizable gift to charity.

Rollups are Back in Style

Guardian Life and Protective Life have both filed prospectuses for variable annuities with 10-year/100% deferral bonuses.

The Crisis Behind the Crisis

A new report from Oliver Wyman examines the dysfunctional state of the global financial services industry. It blames asset-liability mismatching for a lot of the trouble, and suggests a return to simpler 'Volkswagen' banking.

Russell’s “parachute” decumulation strategy

The strategy recognizes that most people don’t want to relinquish a big chunk of their liquidity at age 65 and that the SPIA “mortality credit” isn't attractive until the client reaches age 75 or so.

‘Pullback from pure DC’ predicted in UK

Current DC arrangements in the UK are so inadequate, one official said, that employers will eventually find their workforce dominated by workers in their 70s or 80s who can't retire, and whom employers can't force to retire.

St. Louis Fed president questions U.S. monetary policy

"Monetary policy is a blunt instrument which affects the decision-making of everyone in the economy,” said James Ballard, pointing out that low interest rates hurt savers. Better to address unemployment directly than through monetary policy, he added.

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items regarding Mary Fay, Curian Capital, RIIA, New York Life, Milliman, and Albridge Solutions.