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New York Life on a hiring tear

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New York Life hired 3,597 full-time agents in 2012. Since 2007 the company has recorded 11 percent growth of its agent force. It seeks to hire 3,700 financial professionals in 2013, with more than half to be women or individuals who represent the cultural markets.

In 2012, 62 percent of New York Life’s new hires in the field were women or individuals who represent the cultural markets. The company expects similar results in 2013 as it continues its long commitment to hiring and supporting women and individuals serving the African-American, Chinese, Hispanic, Korean, South Asian, and Vietnamese markets.

New York Life also led new agent membership in the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) in the United States for the 58th consecutive year in 2012.

In other industry news:

The Phoenix Companies Inc. (NYSE: PNX) launched Phoenix Remembrance Life, a whole life insurance product.

Phoenix Remembrance Life provides final expense coverage and an income stream death benefit for a beneficiary as well as three included riders that can advance benefits in case of critical or terminal illness or increase benefits in the case of accidental death. It also offers optional riders that can help insureds provide extra income to surviving spouses even after they have passed.

The offering comes with a traditional lump sum death benefit that can be used for final expenses and an additional income coverage rider that provides monthly income payments to a specified beneficiary after the insured’s death. It is available to insureds ages 30 to 80 at the time of issue. The insured chooses one of three coverage allocation options between the lump sum and income coverage: 75/25, 25/75, or 50/50.

Total coverage can be as low as $10,000 and as high as $50,000 to $100,000 depending on age.

Other features of Phoenix Remembrance Life include:

  • Three riders included at no additional cost: advance up to 50 percent of the lump sum death benefit for a critical illness; advance up to 95 percent of the lump sum death benefit for a terminal illness; and an accidental death benefit of 100 percent of the lump sum death benefit. Discounting for interest and fees may apply upon exercise.
  • Two optional riders to help carry on family traditions after the insured’s death: an education benefit rider that can help children and grandchildren with higher education expenses by providing four consecutive annual payments of up to $5,000 per year if the beneficiary attends a qualifying institution starting between ages 18 and 22; and a legacy rider that provides annual “birthday gifts” of up to $500 per year until the child or grandchild reaches age 22. Both the education benefit rider and legacy rider can be elected for up to five individuals. Additional premium is required for each rider.
  • Two optional riders to provide extra income protection of up to $1,000 per month for spouses upon death of the insured: a lifetime income rider that generates a monthly income stream for the lifetime of the beneficiary; and an income term rider, designed for families in their working years, that provides a monthly income stream until the beneficiary turns 65. Additional premium is required for each rider.

For the additional income coverage rider as well as the optional riders, the specified rider beneficiary must be alive to receive each rider benefit payment and cannot be changed after the policy is issued. This design allows these riders to offer meaningful death benefits at an affordable price.

Burnham Benefits Insurance Services added Richard P. Asensio, JD, MBA, to its team as VP, director of Compliance.

The addition of the director of Compliance role allows Burnham to provide clients with greater guidance and peace of mind in navigating the growing issues associated with health and welfare state and federal compliance requirements. Asensio will work directly with clients to help them choose the best options while meeting HCR requirements. He will also work with Burnham’s consultants to expand their arsenal of assessment and compliance tools, furthering the firm’s ability to assist clients in determining optimal long-term strategies.

Asensio earned his JD from the University of San Diego and his MBA from Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. He is a member of the State Bar of California. His areas of expertise include IRS, ERISA, COBRA and HIPAA compliance, healthcare reform (PPACA) implementation, and document and operational compliance reviews of both retirement and health and welfare plans.

Brian Murphy has accepted an invitation to join the Lion Street Board of Directors. He will advise on the growth and expansion of Lion Street’s financial services distribution platform.

Murphy served as executive vice president of The Hartford’s Individual Life Group from 2007 until 2012 and was also chairman of Woodbury Financial Services, The Hartford’s independent broker-dealer. Previously, Murphy was EVP of Insurance Operations at American General. He has broad industry experience including being chairman of the Financial Services Institute, and he was a member of the Life Insurance Committee of ACLI.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions appointed Karen Phelan and Melissa Scott to its life insurance segment.

Phelan joins LexisNexis as Senior Director, Vertical Strategy. Phelan has more than 20 years of experience in the underwriting and operations areas and is recognized for leadership and customer service excellence. Phelan was previously with MassMutual Financial Group where she was corporate vice president of life underwriting and operations. Scott has been named Product Solution Specialist. Scott has extensive experience in operations, automation and business process workflows. She was previously with First Advantage and Indiana Farm Bureau/United Farm Family Life Insurance Company.

United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut awarded the Best Company Leadership/CEO Support award to Vantis Life Insurance Co. for the third year in a row.

Special fundraising events over the year included the Day of Caring, during which the company created 24 scarecrows for the residents of Avery Heights Assisted Living, and “Ball Game Day,” which featured baseball, cotton candy and a bean bag toss. 


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