NU Online News Service, March 29, 10:09 a.m. – With a total of $4.3 billion in investment product sales through banks last year, Independent Financial Marketing Group, Purchase, N.Y., was the largest third-party marketer of bank-sold investment products for the third year in a row, says Kenneth Kehrer Associates, Princeton, N.J. IFMG’s total bank sales grew 41% in 2001, from about $3.1 billion in 2000.

IFMG is now a unit of Sun Life Financial Services of Canada Inc., Toronto.

Essex Corp., New York, moved from third place to second among TPMs in banks last year, with a strong surge in fixed annuity sales. Its total sales in banks increased from about $2.5 billion in 2000 to $3.5 billion last year. Although its bank-sold mutual funds fell from $305 million to $221 million and its VA sales from $702 million to $401 million in that time, its bank sales of fixed annuities soared to $2.9 billion, from about $1.5 billion in 2000, as it continued to lead in the product category.

Bankmark, a subsidiary of Conseco Inc., Carmel, Ind., fell to third place, although its total sales in banks increased from around $2.7 billion to $2.8 billion. Its fixed annuity sales improved from $1.3 billion to $1.7 billion, while its VA sales rose from $456 million to $486 million. Its mutual fund sales fell, however, from about $1 billion to $668 million.

Other TPM leaders in total bank investment sales were:

  • PrimeVest, St. Cloud, Minn. (about $2 billion, up from $1.8 billion).
  • Talbot Financial Services, Albuquerque, N.M. (about $2 billion, up from $1.5 billion).
  • LPL Financial (around $1.4 billion, slightly higher than the year before).
  • Invest, Tampa, Fla. ($1.3 billion, down from $2 billion).
  • Raymond James Financial Inc., St. Petersburg, Fla. ($1.2 billion, up from $1.1 billion).
  • Investment Centers of America, Bismarck, N.D., ($1.2 billion, up from $1 billion).

Kehrer’s data rank TPMs for a combination of wholesale sales (i.e., by bank salespeople), retail sales (sales in banks by its own salespeople) and fees for back-office processing of banks’ investment sales.