It’s been my pleasure now to be co-moderator of 3 roundtables with life settlement company executives. The first was held in October 2006, the second in March 2007 and the third–which is the centerpiece of this supplement–on Oct. 11, 2007.

It is difficult to describe how much things have changed in the space of the year between the first and third roundtables. A year ago it was an embattled business. This sense of conflict rose to a fever pitch in March as the business battled with both the life insurance industry and state regulators over the composition of a model regulation covering life settlements. That battle is still going on in some quarters, but what has become apparent is that life settlements have gained recognition as an option for consumers and investors that would have been hard to predict only a year ago.

Some of this is due to the increased presence in the market of institutional investors. Much of it is due to the story of life settlements receiving a positive response from the financial and estate planning communities.

As you’ll read inside, this is still a business experiencing its share of growing pains. But its participants are more confident than ever in the mission of the option they offer.

We hope you find the roundtable discussion, as well as the other articles in this supplement, enlightening. And as always, we welcome your feedback.

Steve Piontek

Editor-in-Chief