Jackson National Life signaled a deeper foray into the alternative investment space in 2013 with the announcement on Thursday of a comprehensive list of alternative investment training tools and resources for financial advisors.

The Lansing, Mich.-based company, which has $129.9 billion of assets, said broker-dealers and advisors with which the company partners had a “significant role” in building out the offering, according to Bill Burrow, senior vice president of national sales for Jackson.

“People have a wide variety of ways in which they learn, and we recognize that,” Burrow said. “For that reason, we offer everything from CE programs to an extensive symposium for those that can dedicate the time. We also have a robust website and are even offering an alternative investments virtual seminar.”

Burrow noted the most “impactful” way to take advantage of the program is to visit with a financial professional with knowledge and expertise in the alternative space.

“The size and scope of our wholesaling staff make it very difficult for anyone else to match the breadth and depth we can offer in education and resources,” he added.

The 2013 initiative is a continuation of the 400 educational events held by Jackson in 2012. The effort is part of a larger push by some insurance and annuity manufacturers to switch their focus from guaranteed living benefit products to instead offering alternative investments as a diversification tool.

“Although financial advisors continue to seek ways to incorporate alternatives within client portfolios, many are unclear on how to effectively utilize these asset classes and confidently explain alternatives to their clients,” Clifford Jack, executive vice president and head of retail for Jackson, said in a statement. “At Jackson, we are dedicated to educating representatives on alternative investments so they may help their clients consider new ways to manage risk in their portfolios.”

This year, Jackson will offer:

  • 30 regional half-day training events beginning Feb. 26 in Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Six national full-day training sessions beginning in June in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco
  • 120 alternative education training sessions, kicking off in May
  • 130 alternative investments continuing education training sessions throughout the year
  • Virtual training seminars
  • Quarterly alternative market webcasts
  • Monthly alternative investment conference calls

“The importance of incorporating alternative investing strategies into portfolios has become evident, given continued volatility and increased correlations in the traditional equity market,” Jack added. “Utilizing alternative asset classes can help advisors construct counter-correlated portfolios, which address market fluctuations and provide the potential for greater returns with less risk.”