NAVA At 10 Years: Upping The VA Education Ante
National Association for Variable Annuities, Reston, Va., is upping its educational ante for VAs.
At the organization’s 10th anniversary here, NAVA President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Mackey announced that NAVA has decided to offer continuing education courses for registered representatives.
Eventually, the courses will lead to a designation through a planned “NAVA University.”
The variable product trade group made the decision to move in this direction earlier this year.
It reflects NAVA’s continuing commitment to increasing education about variable products, especially VAs, he indicated. (See chart.) Such education is a key mission of NAVA, he said. “We take it seriously.”
The first step to forming the NAVA University, he said, is to develop the online CE courses for registered reps. Those courses are now in development, he said, and the first ones should be ready for students by early next year.
The courses are being designed to qualify for CE credits from state insurance departments, Mackey said.
Merry Mosbacher, NAVA’s outgoing chair and principal of Edward Jones in St. Louis, noted in a report distributed to members, that the host for NAVA’s online education site is Reg.Ed.com.
Unltimately, she said, NAVA expects to create a “comprehensive, broad-based curriculum” on VAs. This will be offered under the banner of the new NAVA University.
Those who successfully complete the program will receive a designation, Mosbacher said.
In the past year, NAVA also took on another education initiative, said Mackey. This is to develop courses that will be included in a new certification program offered by National Association of Securities Dealers, in conjunction with the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
The program will lead to a Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professionals designation, Mosbacher said.
In other educational moves, NAVA debuted a new conference focused on retirement income planning earlier this year. At certain conferences, it also began offering CE and CLE credits from some states, reported Mackey.
Separately, the organization has begun to develop actual data on VA sales, not estimates. It already has obtained 2nd quarter figures on gross premium flows and net assets for about 80% of the VA market, Deborah Tucker, NAVA’s assistant vice president of communications, told National Underwriter.
In subsequent quarters, she said, it aims to gather even more information–gross premium flow, net flows and net assets–and from 90% or more of the market.
According to Tucker, this information will be reported to the press. It should help identify new money coming into VA products (i.e., from sources outside of existing VAs and fixed annuities), she noted.
New money is a topic about which many financial reporters are particularly interested, she said.
The information will be reported on an aggregate–not company by company–basis, she added.
NAVA’s data reporting function will be similar to that performed by the Investment Company Institute for the mutual fund industry, observed Mackey.
Regarding NAVA’s decision to gather net flow data, for both sales and assets, Mosbacher said, in her written report to members, that net flow data is presently being reported by other organizations and is the standard method for reporting sales in the mutual fund industry.
“We believe it is in every member’s best interest to ensure that net flow data is reported accurately,” she said.
Tucker told NU that “this is survey data, drawn from information the firms put on the form, based on their actual results. We are requesting the data by individual contract.”
It may be difficult for some companies to provide such data at first, she allowed, “so we expect there will be a learning curve.”
But the end result, she said, “should be numbers in which we have confidence.”
At the annual, Greg Gloeckner, vice president-VA marketing at Midland National Life Insurance Company, West Des Moines, Iowa, was elected to succeed Mosbacher as NAVA chair.
NAVA also elected four new board members: Mary Ann Brown, senior vice president, MetLife Financial Services, Boston; Bill Robinson, executive vice president-annuities, Pacific Life Insurance Company, Newport Beach, Calif.; Jerald E. Hampton, executive vice president, SalomonSmithBarney, New York City; and Larry Sullivan, president, Legg Mason Financial Services, Inc, Baltimore, Md.
In addition, three VA activists were inducted to the NAVA Hall of Fame: Rick Carey, executive vice president of Info-One and editor/publisher of The VARDS Report, a Marietta, Ga. VA statistical service which Info-One now owns; Joseph W. Jordan, senior vice president-marketing and sales, for MetLife Financial Services, New York City; and Robert J. Routier, a securities attorney whose career spans work at the Securities and Exchange Commission, American Council of Life Insurers in Washington, and private practice.
Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, November 5, 2001. Copyright 2001 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.