Off the Grid

As the DOL rule changes the role of the employee-advisor, the mode of compensating and incentivizing advisors may need to evolve. And that may spell changes in the almighty “grid.”

Great Hopes Ride on Great-West’s New Annuity

Great-West Financial's new Smart Track II variable annuity contract has four different income riders. Will it help Bob Reynolds achieve his goal of making Great-West a top-five retirement company in three to five years?

Surrender to Lapse Risk? Not These Insurers

Over-estimates of variable annuity lapse rates have cost life insurers billions. A group of VA issuers is now working with actuaries at Ruark Consulting to predict those rates more accurately.

Robos Take Manhattan

In New York last week for InVest, a fin-tech conference, I learned that advisors of the future won't be robots. They will be less sexy: Phone reps who help Millennials "navigate the site and provide some advice along the way."

The Least Bad Choice for President

At a time when the country needs a smart young technocrat without baggage, we must choose between two oldsters who together carry more baggage than all the major airlines combined.

MetLife retail business will be Brighthouse Financial

The separation will allow MetLife to focus “on our group business in the U.S… and our international operations,” said Steven A. Kandarian, MetLife chairman, president and CEO, in a release.

Who has skin in the presidential race? Not insurers!

Low interest rates were cited as the biggest industry threat (by 37.6% of insurers), followed by increased regulations (26.2%), competition (19.3%) and antiquated business models (12.4%).

Conning expects lower annuity sales in 2016-2017

'The greatest disruption will be seen in mid-sized and large insurers with greater focus on indexed and variable annuities,' said Steve Webersen, head of Insurance Research at Conning.

Vanguard emeritus Jack Brennan to chair FINRA

Brennan has served as FINRA’s Lead Governor since 2011. In June, FINRA announced that Robert W. Cook will become FINRA’s new chief executive in the second half of 2016.