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Insurers Reduce Costs

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When Raymond James Financial announced earlier this year that it would require insurance companies who provide annuities through Raymond James advisors to make their product offerings simpler and less costly to investors, and volunteered to take less in commissions to enable the insurance companies to reduce costs to clients, it was an unusual move, to say the least. But in a move that is promising to please investors, this demand has been fulfilled.

The firm set July 31 as the date for insurance companies to comply with this pro-consumer move, and half of the 18 insurance companies whose annuities are sold through Raymond James Financial, based in St. Petersburg, Florida, have done that. The nine insurance companies who have simplified the product and reduced client costs for their annuity offerings are: Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company, Integrity Life Insurance Company, Jackson National Life Insurance Company, John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.), Nationwide Life Insurance Company, Ohio National Life Insurance Company, Pruco Life Insurance Company /American Skandia, Protective Life, and Transamerica Life Insurance Company.

Raymond James’ insurance and annuity general agency President Scott Stolz said, in the firm’s announcement, that the firm’s advisors will be unable to offer annuities from insurance companies that have not complied after a “60-day transition period.” He anticipates that four additional insurance carriers will be on board with less costly and complex annuities by the end of September and that the other five companies will eventually comply with the Raymond James mandate.


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