Financial Research Corp., Boston, Mass., released 529 College Savings Plan results for first quarter, 2012. Total 529 savings plan assets were an estimated $158.3 billion, reflecting a 9.6% increase from Q4 2011 assets of $144.4 billion and 8.1% increase from Q1 2011 assets of $146.4 billion.
In contrast to other products, long-term mutual fund and ETF assets (excluding fund-of-fund affiliated) increased 10.6% over the past quarter from $8.9 billion to $9.8 billion and increased 4.9% over the past year from $9.4 billion. Estimated 529 net inflows were $2.9 billion in Q1 2012 compared to inflows of $2.4 billion in Q4 2011 and inflows of $3.3 billion in Q1 2011.
First quarter net inflows of $2.9 billion were an improvement from net inflows of $2.4 billion in the fourth quarter. From an industry asset level perspective, 529 saving plans continue to reach year-over-year all-time highs. Therefore investor interest in 529 plans and saving for education continues to rise.
Estimated 529 net inflows were $2.9 billion in Q1 2012 compared to inflows of $2.4 billion in Q4 2011 and inflows of $3.3 billion in Q1 2011 which reflects that investors continues to make saving for their education a priority.
In other industry news:
American Equity Investment Life Holding Company, announced that Wendy C. Waugaman, chief executive officer and president, will take a medical leave of absence, effective immediately. John M. Matovina, chief financial officer, will serve as interim CEO and president during Waugaman’s absence.
Waugaman will remain on American Equity’s board of directors and will participate in certain management and strategic discussions as her health permits. Matovina has served on American Equity’s board of directors since 2000 and has served as vice chairman since 2003 and chief financial officer since 2009.
Prudential Group Insurance, a business of Prudential Financial Inc., appointed Andrew Sullivan, who currently oversees its Small Market Business segment, to lead its disability business, effective immediately. Sullivan’s new title is senior vice president, Disability and Small Market Business.
As head of the Disability Business, Sullivan will direct business strategy, oversee product development, underwriting and claims management, as well as the company’s absence management and return to work programs.
Sullivan joined Prudential Group Insurance’s senior leadership team in September 2011 as senior vice president of the Small Market Business segment. Previously he worked at CareFirst BCBS where he was senior vice president of the Consumer Direct Unit. Prior to that Sullivan was senior vice president, Individual & Small Group Health Segment at CIGNA.