Pick and Roll(over)

Hundreds of TV ads for financial services have appeared during the 2013 NCAA men's basketball tournament so far. None was an absolute slam dunk, but all were good. Read on, watch the video clips, and judge for yourself.

The Alt-Asset Teams that Reinvent Annuity Companies

'Insurance Solutions' groups use private assets to boost the returns of life/annuity company investment portfolios. RIJ talks with Todd Fonner of Investcorp Insurance Solutions about this trend.

One Life Insurer’s Pivot to Private Assets

American Equity Investment Life’s ‘AEL 2.0’ strategy is designed to help it thrive even in a low yield environment. Allocating up to 40% of its money to ‘private assets’ is key to the fixed annuity specialist's plan.

NAIC Eyes ‘Bermuda Triangle’ Strategy

A document from the NAIC's Financial Stability Task Force reflects the concerns that the NAIC has heard from a variety of sources about the increased ownership of life insurers by private equity firms. (Image from NAIC document.)
Featured

Brand Conscious, But in Different Ways

Affluent investors seem to love direct retirement product providers, but advisors’ favorite brands vary by distribution channel. Everyone seems to like American Funds.

Participants Still Wary of Equity Risk: Spectrem Group

In 2012, 401(k) participants held 36% of their assets in diversified equities and another 13% in company stock. In 2006, these investors had 40% of their assets in diversified stocks and 19% in company stock, according to Spectrem Group.
News

MetLife now manages a sixth of Romania’s DC assets

At year-end 2012, more than 5.7 million Romanians participated in the "second pillar" with net assets of RON 9.64bn (€2.18bn) in nine funds. Since 2008 the number of funds has been halved to eight funds following several mergers, the CSSPP said.

The Bucket

Brief or late breaking items on New York Life's 2012 financial results, on a Center for Retirement Research study about the effectiveness of retirement income projections on participant savings behavior, an April 11 webinar on variable annuity products sponsored by Morningstar, Inc., and Nationwide's acquisition of 17 HighMark funds.