Apparently shaking off the bad publicity from a series of state and federal investigations into variable annuity sales, brokers and other investment professionals increased their share of the VA market last year, a new study finds.
Brokers’ share of VA sales grew to 57% in 2004 from 52% in 2003, according to the Market Audit, a survey of household financial behavior by Integras, a division of market research firm Claritas Inc., San Diego.
At the same time, VA purchases made through insurance companies fell from 30% to 25%.
The survey found no significant change in VAs sold through banks, which accounted for 15% of sales.
The analysis also showed that age, wealth and small-business ownership appear to be factors influencing annuity channel preferences.
For instance, the mean ages of those buying VAs through the various channels were:
o Through an insurance company: 59
o Through a broker: 60.5
o Through a bank : 65
Corporate Insights also found annuity holders with the highest levels of income- producing assets were the most likely to buy through a broker, while those with lower average IPAs were more likely to purchase through a bank.