With speculation running high about a possible sale of Aviva’s U.S. operations, we asked producers and industry experts to weigh in on what an Aviva sale would mean for them — and how they plan to handle any client concerns.
Check out their responses and then tell us your own game plan in the comments section below.
“I have and still use the product, and I am definitely sure some of my clients will have questions if this does take place. There are a handful of fixed index annuities that I use, and Aviva’s happens to be one of them.
“Although I will be entertaining questions and concerns, my clients know that I have their best interest in hand and everything will work out. Change is inevitable — including in business — so even if a sale is imminent, that doesn’t mean that a company is not doing too well, and possible changes may benefit our clients and both entities involved.”
— James R. Veal, founder & managing member, JRV Wealth Management Group LLC
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“This should not have much of an impact on my business. Client concerns can be addressed by discussing the regulatory requirements of fixed indexed annuities, including their reserve and solvency requirements. These protections are in place to protect the consumer.
“Because the increased requirements can result in less profit potential, only companies absolutely committed to the FIA market will continue to pursue the market. However, because the competition for premium dollars is as great as it has ever been, competition should continue to promote attractive product offerings with actuarial soundness.”
— Jim Brogan, president and founder of Brogan Financial in Knoxville, Tenn., and Senior Market Advisor’s 2011 Advisor of the Year
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“The possible Aviva USA sale will not impact my business nor should it significantly impact an agent who focuses on annuities. Carrier takeovers and the sale of them are very common, often working for the benefit of the client. Usually, policies are grandfathered in and are not impacted.
“If an impact is to be felt, then it will be a good one, since these types of carrier transactions are designed to enhance and improve the client’s policy and service. And the thing that will never change is the fact that the client still has me, and I provide exceptional service and products. So clients have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
— Henry Vazquez, MGA/IMO, Henry Agency of Georgia
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“It’s a very difficult market for indexed annuities. Aviva and other mega annuity issuers need to consider moving ‘direct’ or back to the old model of captive agents versus the myriad of downlines and IMO’s… simply too many hands in the distribution pie to pass along suitable returns in exchange for locking one’s money up for 10 years.
“Historically, when interest rates rise, older contracts put in force prior to the increase do not readjust to the higher caps and rates. How awesome would it be if Aviva could offer a short-term product with bailout rates?”
— Michael Ham, founder of the coaching sales system found at www.TheSalesTalk.com.