Third quarter variable annuity new sales of $45.2 billion were down slightly from the peak level of $46.5 billion reached in the 2nd quarter, although year-to-date sales of $132.1 billion are still a healthy 14.7% higher than 3rd quarter 2006 year-to-date sales of $115.2 billion.
Net flow dropped to $9.1 billion in the third quarter from a revised $9.2 billion in the 2nd quarter. This is not a large change, and only a 1.1% decrease in net flow during a period when sales fell by 2.7%, which is certainly preferable to a matching decline in both metrics.
Total sales in 2007 should be about $180 billion, with net flow for the year reaching $34 billion, or an approximately 15% increase in both of these important industry barometers.
Assets also rose to just shy of the $1.5 trillion mark to close the quarter at $1,492.8 billion, a 2.7% increase over 2nd quarter assets of $1,454.0 billion and up 9.4% from assets as of the end of 2006 totaling $1,364.3 billion.
MetLife once again took the top spot in sales, for both the quarter and year-to-date periods, but AXA Equitable was right behind. On a year-to-date basis, the top 5 companies were MetLife with a market share of 8.8%; AXA Financial (8.6%); TIAA-CREF (8.0%); Hartford Life (7.7%); and Lincoln National (6.9%).
The top 5 non-group products so far this year have been the RiverSource RAVA4 Advantage with 3.3% of year-to-date sales; Jackson National Perspective II (2.9%); John Hancock Venture III (2.8%); Pacific Life Innovations Select (2.5%); and American Skandia Xtra Credit Six (1.9%).
For the 3rd quarter the results were a bit different, with Venture III in the lead spot at a market share of 3.1%, followed by RAVA4 Advantage (3.0%); Perspective II (2.9%); Innovations Select (2.5%); and Accumulator Elite 2007 (2.1%).
When using these tables to gain insight on top selling products, it is important to note the effect of product closings and new product launches on the statistics from different time periods. For example, the appearance of Accumulator Elite in the quarterly top 5 but not in the year-to-date rankings is the result of a substantial portion of the year-to-date sales being allocated to the Accumulator Elite 2006 product, to which sales prior to the May launch of Elite 2007 were allocated.