Insurance companies have started rolling out new annuities, new commission structures and platforms specifically targeted to at fee-based and fee-only advisors. In 2010, insurers estimated 6% of their sales came from registered investment advisors—the lowest of any distribution channel, according to Cerulli Associates. Some say the attempt to attract fee advisors has fallen flat. “I don’t know anybody who has had widespread success,” said Bing Waldert, director of Cerulli Associates. However, a new study by the Insured Retirement Institute with data compiled by Morningstar reported a 10.3% increase in overall new variable annuity sales—to $136.6 billion in 2010 compared with $123.9 billion in 2009.

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