2014 in Retrospect: The Best of RIJ

Before 2015 arrives, bringing its own urgent demands for our attention, here’s a look back at a dozen of RIJ’s best articles of 2014.

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

Nationwide Settles 401k Fee Suit for $140M

"This is the most substantial settlement ever in an ERISA fiduciary breach case involving the receipt of revenue sharing by a service provider. It is... nearly 10 times greater than recent settlements against ING and MassMutual," according to the FRA PlanTools blog.

With Gibraltar Ventures, Prudential Retirement Aims to Be ‘Disruptive’

"Gibraltar Ventures will explore disruptive strategies and business models, focus resources on those ideas that have the most potential to advance retirement and financial security, and complement our current innovation efforts," said Christine Marcks, president of Prudential Retirement.
News

RIJ Takes a Vacation

Retirement Income Journal will not publish on Christmas or New Year's Day, but will return on January 8, 2015. I will be traveling in France and Spain, asking the residents of Paris and Barcelona how they expect to finance their retirements.

Watchdog group decries change in swaps regulation

MapLight, which tracks the influence of money in U.S. politics, claims that the four banks benefiting most from last week's relaxation of rules against swaps trading by federally-insured banks spent $30.7 million lobbying Congress and federal agencies in 2013 and 2014.

Assets keep flowing toward index and exchange-traded funds

PIMCO's firm-level outflows slowed to $12.8 billion after much larger redemptions in September and October. Janus, with Bill Gross on board, experienced its second positive month in November after 36 consecutive months of outflows.