NU Online News Service, Feb. 11, 2004, 6:06 p.m. EST – Jackson National Life Insurance Company wants to put even more emphasis on selling variable annuities through banks.[@@]

The Lansing, Mich., insurer will be expanding all types of financial institutional sales training this year, but it is particularly interested in giving VA product training to branch employees with securities licenses and in giving sales management education to bank reps who are dedicated to securities sales, according to Brad Powell, president of Jackson National’s institutional marketing group.

Jackson National has 25,000 appointed reps working with banks, and it added 6,000 of those reps in the last year.

Jackson National, a unit of Prudential P.L.C., London, also increased the total number of banks selling its products last year by 60, to about 1,000.

In 2003, Jackson National’s financial institution VA sales increased to $520 million, up from only $290 million in 2002.

“In 2003, with the continued low interest rate environment and the upswing in the equity markets, we anticipated that investors would be turning more toward variable products and focused our financial institution training and support accordingly,” Powell says.

Strong financial institution VA sales helped Jackson National increase its VA market share to 2.5% during the first 9 months of 2003, from 1.5% during the comparable period in 2002, according to Finetre Corp., Herndon, Va.