The Retirement side of ING U.S. has hired Rich Linton as president of Individual Markets, which provides personal retirement, investment and income guidance and product solutions to pre-retirees, retirees and the rollover markets.

As head of ING U.S. Retirement’s Individual Markets, Linton will be responsible for all aspects of the business, including ING Financial Partners–a closely aligned and branded broker-dealer with over 2,500 independent registered representatives. He will also oversee ING’s retail investor channel, a team responsible for providing phone-based guidance and support to new and existing ING U.S. customers looking for help with their retirement savings and income needs, including IRA rollovers.

Linton brings a broad range of retirement industry leadership and expertise to ING U.S. For the past two years, he was head of Business Retirement Solutions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, delivering retirement product solutions to small businesses through Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Advisor Alliance, SEP/Simple, and Investment Only platforms. Prior to that, he was executive vice president of the advisor retirement group at Fidelity, where he held a variety of senior positions over the course of 20 years.

Linton reports to Maliz Beams, CEO of ING U.S. Retirement. He received a B.A. in economics and mathematics from Boston University. He will work from ING’s Windsor, Conn. and Braintree, Mass. offices. His appointment was effective June 19.

In other industry news:

Symetra Life Insurance Company, Bellevue, Wash., has unveiled Symetra True Variable Annuity, which offers clients of fee-based and fee-only financial advisors a way to help maximize investment growth potential, improve tax efficiency and manage risk in support of their long-term financial objectives.

Some key features of Symetra True VA:

  • There are no front-end or back-end sales charges, and clients are not locked into a contract if their needs change over time. 
  • Investment activity occurs within a variable annuity that defers taxation on interest income, dividends and capital gains. Taxes are not paid on earnings when the contract value is transferred from one sub-account to another, or when rebalancing among sub-accounts to manage risk. 
  • Clients can select from a broad array of actively managed funds and passive index funds. 
  • Clients can secure a guaranteed income stream while maintaining liquidity and control of their assets.
  • An optional automated system tool gives advisers the ability to establish sell orders based on a client’s personal risk tolerance level. 
  • Optional wealth transfer benefit rider can help pay for beneficiaries’ tax burden by providing an additional amount of 50 percent of the contract’s accumulated earnings upon the client’s death to help cover taxes.

 

Jefferson National Financial Corp., Louisville, Ky., has launched five new dynamic allocation models available in a flat-fee variable annuity with institutional research by investment advisory firm CAPTRUST.

The partnership marks the first time that models powered by CAPTRUST are available within a variable annuity.By integrating these models in their flat-fee VA, Jefferson National gives independent RIAs and fee-based advisors access to institutional quality research, asset allocation strategies and proprietary manager selection from CAPTRUST.

Available to investors only through RIAs and/or broker dealers in Jefferson National’s Monument Advisor Flat-Fee VA, these asset allocation models were designed by CAPTRUST to address investors’ financial goals and risk tolerance. Understanding that the majority of portfolio returns are generated through asset allocation, CAPTRUST applies a top-down view to various asset classes in the models. Once the tactical asset allocation is established, CAPTRUST conducts “boots on the ground” proprietary, bottom-up investment manager selection with quantitative and qualitative analysis to make recommendations to Jefferson National.

 

SunGard, Birmingham, Ala., has launched a series of iWorks Healthcare service offerings to help U.S. health insurance plans automate and streamline key provider services functions. iWorks’ Provider Services Accelerators combine SunGard technology and consulting services to help health plans identify and transform manual, fragmented activities into automated business processes to help reduce costs and increase efficiencies.

U.S. health plans are focused on growth as they assess their readiness for government-driven healthcare reform. Cost containment and efficient management of provider relationships, credentialing and contracting, as well as integrating and centralizing medical records and data, have come to the forefront as pressing issues. The iWorks Provider Services Accelerators include service offerings that help meet these specific challenges.

SunGard’s iWorks is a business-driven IT product suite for the insurance industry for business lines: life/health/annuities/pensions, property and casualty and reinsurance. iWorks offers a range of products and services including front-office tools, policy administration, reinsurance, actuarial calculations, financial accounting, investment accounting, and reporting.

 

The Phoenix Companies, Inc., Hartford, Conn. (NYSE:PNX), has made a series of enhancements to its Premier LifeStyle Annuity and Secure LifeStyle Bonus Annuity.

The Premier LifeStyle Annuity is a single premium indexed annuity with three indexed accounts, a fixed account, principal protection from investment loss and a guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit. Designed for individuals planning for retirement, the offering now provides, for an additional fee, an optional Income Enhancer Plus Benefit that allows for increased income growth based on the performance of the indexed and fixed accounts.

Alternatively, the Secure LifeStyle Bonus Annuity is a single premium fixed indexed annuity featuring an optional G.I.F.T. Benefit Plus (Guaranteed Income and Family Wealth Transfer) that provides, for an additional fee, guaranteed lifetime income withdrawals as well as an enhanced death benefit until guaranteed withdrawals begin. The offering is designed for individuals in or close to retirement who are looking for a guaranteed increase to the income base.

These latest product innovations, issued by PHL Variable Insurance Company, a Phoenix subsidiary, are available exclusively through the company’s partnership with The AltiSure Group.

 

Benefit Advisors Network, Cleveland, Ohio, named specialized insurance and financial services company The Bjork Group, Inc. of Chicago as its newest member.

To become a BAN member, or to become a Smart Partner The Bjork Group had to pass a stringent screening process that included interacting with BAN’s members and its board, and scrutiny of the firm’s business ethics, industry knowledge, and commitment to providing the highest quality services.

BAN is an exclusive, national network of independent, employee benefit brokerage and consulting companies. BAN provides industry leading tools, technology, and expertise to member firms so that they can deliver optimum results to their employee benefit customers.