NU Online News Service, Jan. 17, 11:16 a.m. – Inviva Inc., New York, says its insurance company subsidiary, American Life Insurance Company, is having good luck with persuading mutual fund companies to participate in its new Direct Annuity variable annuity contract.

American Life develops simplified insurance and annuity products for paperless, Web-based sales systems. The Direct Annuity product, introduced in November 2001, is a contract with no mortality, surrender, withdrawal or transaction fees, inviva says.

So far, seven fund companies have agreed to sell investment services through the annuity contract and pay inviva a portion of the asset management fees, inviva says.

Inviva says the seven companies participating in the program are AIM, American Century, Berger Funds, INVESCO, PIMCO, Royce Funds, and Third Avenue Funds.