The Insured Retirement Institute, Washington, D.C., has endorsed a new designation focused exclusively on retirement income planning. The Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP) designation offered by The American College was developed with input from IRI members and in coordination with top experts from across the retirement income industry.

The RICP curriculum features online video lectures and interviews with top retirement income specialists, and is supplemented with additional material and a study guide. Three courses are required to complete the RICP. The first, “Retirement Income Process, Strategies and Solutions,” already is available. The remaining courses, “Sources of Retirement Income” and “Managing the Retirement Income Plan,” will be rolled out during the next six months.

In other industry news:

New York Life posted first half gains in sales of insurance, annuities and mutual funds. The company also recorded strong growth in agent recruitment.

The company’s insurance sales continue to grow with individual recurring premium life insurance sales through agents up 4% through the second quarter, over the first half last year. New York Life agents recorded an increase of 18% in sales of recurring premium whole life insurance for the same time period. New York Life also saw a 17% increase in long-term care insurance sales over the first six months of 2012.

Annuity sales for the company were up 17% and mutual fund sales also rose 17% over the first half of 2011. Income annuity sales increased 11% in the first half compared to a year ago. The company attributes mutual fund sales to consistent investment performance from the company’s investment boutiques in both income oriented and capital appreciation funds, which remain in high demand from customers.

New York Life noted recruitment of agents is the best six-month start in its history, with an increase of 14% over the first half of 2011, with 1,763 new agents hired so far in 2012. The full year 2012 goal for agent recruitment is 3,700.

 

Timothy F. Keaney, vice chairman of BNY Mellon and CEO of BNY Mellon Asset Servicing, has been elected to serve as a director of the Unum Group.

Keaney is a member of BNY Mellon’s executive committee, which oversees day-to-day operations for that organization. Prior to the merger of The Bank of New York Company, Inc., and Mellon Financial Corporation, Keaney was head of The Bank of New York’s asset servicing business and head of the company’s presence in Europe, with management responsibilities for all business activities in the region. He joined The Bank of New York in 2000 as a managing director responsible for depositary receipts. 

 

W Morgan WatsonW. Morgan Watson has been appointed managing director of National Financial Legacy Group, a Penn Mutual career agency in Hunt Valley, Md. He will be responsible for recruiting, training and developing new and experienced advisors.

Prior to joining Penn Mutual, Watson was named National Life Sales Manager of the Year in 2005; ranked first as sales manager for National Life in 2004 and 2005; and ranked first as manager of National Life’s Agency Leader Development Program from 2006 through 2008.

Watson is a member of NAIFA, the Society of Financial Service Professionals and GAMA International. He also holds his FINRA Series 6, 7, 63, 65 and 24 licenses and is a Certified Fund Specialist. He is a registered representative of Hornor, Townsend, & Kent, Inc.

The Navy Mutual Aid Association has gone live with the Accenture Life Insurance Platform, a life and annuity insurance software suite. The Platform supports Navy Mutual’s life and annuity product configuration, new business, underwriting and policy administration processing needs.

As part of the project, Accenture converted 138,000 policies from Navy Mutual’s legacy systems using the Accenture Insurance Data Migration Factory, an end-to-end data migration solution. This conversion allows the insurer to handle all new business and service existing policies on a single platform.

 

Inc. magazine recognized Starmount Life Insurance, Baton Rouge, La., for the fifth time as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America ranking No. 3881 on the 2012 Inc. 5000 List.

Starmount Life and its sister company, AlwaysCare Benefits, Inc., reported growth of 39.8% during the last three years.

Starmount Life is a privately owned and operated life insurance carrier, and AlwaysCare is an employee benefits provider of supplemental group plans including dental, vision, critical illness, accident, life, short and long term disability and limited benefit medical coverage, with employer-sponsored and voluntary plans to fit almost any need.