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John Hancock to acquire Symetra broker-dealer

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John Hancock, a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC), agreed to acquire Bellevue, Wash.-based Symetra Investment Services (SIS) from Symetra Financial Corporation (SYA). The transaction is anticipated to close in three to six months, subject to regulatory approvals. Terms were not disclosed. Symetra Investment Services, Inc., a dual registered broker-dealer/investment advisor firm with approximately 280 registered representatives, would become affiliated with John Hancock Financial Network (JHFN). JHFN currently has 1,600 registered representatives through its current dual registered broker-dealer/investment advisor, Signator Investors Inc.

In other industry news:

Imeriti Financial Network (IFN), a life and annuity Independent Marketing Organization (IMO), has had the lowest Suitability Call Out Ratio (SCOR) percentage of all IMOs doing business with Allianz Life Insurance Company for the past two years.

The SCOR measures how successful an IMO is at educating agents about the value of sending supplemental information to Allianz at the same time they are submitting their applications. As producers submit additional information at the time of application, SCOR is reduced.

BenefitMall expanded its regulatory compliance suite with allCheck, an online broker compliance analysis tool geared toward the small to medium-sized employer.

allCheck is an educational tool which provides employers with an initial assessment of how this sweeping legislation may impact them. Inviting and simple to use, allCheck takes employers through a 10 minute survey that bases its assessment on some of  the most critical factors of PPACA:  Eligibility, Tax Credits, Affordability and Reporting.

Once employers answer a few questions about their business, allCheck then generates a customized report that provides an overview of how PPACA will impact them.  This report highlights possible actions to consider including reviewing the employers current benefits offered with a broker to ensure they meet minimum standards, evaluating their workforce to determine appropriate eligibility rules, and talking with a tax professional about claiming possible tax credits.  Additionally, employers will receive advice about other benefit and payroll compliance considerations including a review of the new Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) and W-2 reporting requirements.

allCheck is complimentary for all registered BenefitMall brokers.  Employers can gain access to allCheck through a registered BenefitMall broker.   In the near future, BenefitMall will also offer complimentary access to allCheck to CompuPay, A BenefitMall Company, payroll clients.   

New York Life appointed Brooke Zrno Grisham as chief executive officer in charge of the Nautilus Group. 

Grisham is responsible for a Dallas-based team providing dedicated support in business and estate planning for a group of New York Life agents serving the advanced markets for life insurance. She reports to Senior Vice President Gerard Rocchi.

Grisham joined New York Life in 1999 working as a senior associate in the Nautilus Group and has held positions of increasing responsibility, most recently as chief operating officer where she was responsible for case development, information technology, compliance and administrative functions. She was named a vice president in 2011. Prior to joining New York Life, Grisham worked as a corporate sales and marketing trainer for Mary Kay Inc.

Grisham has a Bachelor of Arts degree in business communications from The University of Texas at Dallas.

SBLI of Massachusetts named William R. Izor, CLU, ChFC, CFP, and Patrick Johnson, CLU as regional vice presidents. Izor and Johnson join SBLI’s current Regional Vice President, Gerard Kreuz, CLU, ChFC.

Izor’s territory will extend from southern California throughout the southern half of the country. He previously served as the vice president of National Accounts for Prudential Select Brokerage. Prior to that, he was the regional director for Southern California at The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company.  

Johnson’s territory will consist of northern California and extend east across the northern half of the country. Before joining SBLI, he was a regional sales vice president with MetLife, responsible for establishingrelationships with current and prospective broker general agencies and broker/dealers in Northern California. His experience also includes nationwide speaking engagements and tenures in sales positions at Citibank, Salomon Smith Barney, and Transamerica.  

Kreuz will continue to cover Ohio, West Virginia, the Northeast, and the East Coast. He has been at SBLI for 12 years and has provided training and sales techniques to brokers, banks, and property and casualty agencies. His tenure at SBLI follows a stay at New England Financial, where he worked with producers in advanced sales.

The American Worker Plans, Self Insured Services Company (SISCO) and Strategic Underwriting Solutions LLC have joined together to offer employers an Integrated group medical management program called Benefit Partnership. This collaboration provides a combination of consolidated administration health management, benefit redesign and creative funding for long-term affordability.

The American Worker Plans’ HR and ACA premium calculator model encourages plan designs that can provide positive employee value reinforcement, while satisfying the government’s minimum benefit levels. This is supported with a consolidated enrollment and full service integrated administration.

Part of the Benefit Partnership program, and first step, is a HealthCheck 360 onsite health risk assessment of the group’s overall health, inclusive of families, so that a more predictable model of future exposure and morbidities is established.

The American Worker Plans is seeking quality benefit agencies nationally for training and geographically protected distribution of the program.