NAVA Undergoing an Overhaul

Trade group plans a new mission, moves to Washington

The National Association for Insured Retirement Solutions (NAVA) is undergoing a complete rebranding and is moving its headquarters from Reston, Virginia, to Washington, D.C.

NAVA's new brand will be unveiled next month and the move to Washington will happen in a matter of days. Cathy Weatherford, president and CEO of NAVA, told attendees at NAVA's Government and Regulatory Affairs Conference in Washington June 8, that since her nine months on board as head of NAVA, "Pennsylvania Avenue has become the new Wall Street--for better or worse, which means our mission here at NAVA is even more critical than ever before." Pressing issues for NAVA, Weatherford said, will be to continue working with the SEC "to address significant industry concerns regarding the scope and implementation of the newly adopted Rule 12h-7 under the Securities Exchange Act," which regulates equity indexed annuities as securities rather than insurance products. Weatherford also expects legislation to be reintroduced soon that would give Americans, "regardless of the availability of an employer-sponsored retirement plan, the enhanced opportunity to have a steady paycheck throughout their retirement with a lifetime annuity."

While declining to divulge the trade group's new name, Weatherford said NAVA is undergoing a "complete rebranding from top to bottom" to better fit its members, its mission, and consumers. NAVA says its new mission, developed by Weatherford and NAVA's board, is designed to encourage industry adherence to the highest ethical principals; promote better understanding of insured retirement solutions; develop and promote best practice standards to improve value delivery; and to advocate on behalf of our members and consumers with policy makers on issues affecting insured retirement solutions.

NAVA also recently hired a new general counsel, Lee Covington, an insurance industry veteran who most recently served as co-leader for the National Insurance Practice at Squire Sanders and Dempsey in Washington. Weatherford noted that NAVA has also hired a "senior Hill communicator," and is about to hire a federal lobbyist, a first for NAVA.

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