Judy Diamond Associates, a division of Summit Business Media, publisher of LifeHealthPro.com, has launched Retirement Plan Prospector, an Internet-based sales prospecting and plan analysis tool targeted for defined contribution and defined benefits market professionals.
Information included in Retirement Plan Prospector was culled from the Form 5500 disclosure documents submitted to the Department of Labor by ERISA-qualified retirement plans as well as the market research of Judy Diamond and various third parties. It includes data on more than 750,000 plans nationwide.
“Until now, retirement market professionals looking to identify new leads and market trends needed the time and expertise to search through mountains of dense plan data to find the leads and actionable intelligence they needed,” said Eric Ryles, managing director of Judy Diamond Associates, in a statement. “With Retirement Plan Prospector, we do the work for them so they can focus on their businesses. Our plan scorecards allow for quantitative comparisons across plans while our suite of prospecting recommendations and key performance thresholds guide subscribers through the data.”
Judy Diamond Associates subscribers include financial advisors, agents, brokers and other retirement professionals. The new online tool is an outgrowth of market research and testing with users such as Putnam Investments and Extraco Financial Services.
Sammons Retirement Solutions (SRS) has added new equity, bond and alternative investment options to its LiveWell Retirement Series of mutual fund IRAs and variable annuities. All told, 36 new mutual funds, eight new variable annuities options and four new fund companies are now available.
In the LiveWell Mutual Fund IRA series, the additions include socially responsible equity options; gold and global real estate funds; balanced funds; five international large-cap equity funds; and three high-yield bond funds.
The eight offerings added to the LiveWell Variable Annuity investment lineup include:
- Columbia Variable Portfolio – Contrarian Core Share Class 2
- Columbia Variable Portfolio – Dividend Opportunity Share Class 2
- Columbia Variable Portfolio – Emerging Markets Bond Share Class 2
- Columbia Variable Portfolio – High Yield Bond Share Class 2
- First Investors Life Series Total Return Fund
- First Investors Life Series International Fund
- Janus Aspen Enterprise Portfolio Service Shares
- Ivy Funds VIP High Income
All additions are no-load mutual funds, says Ann Hughes, vice president, head of business and sales development, for Sammons Retirement Solutions. That’s in keeping with current consumer demand for lower fees in investment products like VAs, she adds.
The new funds in the VAs also came about as the result of requests by advisors, who asked that options from Columbia, Janus and First Investors be made available.
“Those were funds that advisors had expressed to us that they would like to see in our variable annuity,” Hughes says. “We are very responsive to what advisors are selling and what they are asking for and that is really what drove these Aug. 1 additions to our variable annuity.”
Aite Group, an independent research and advisory firm specializing on business, technology and compliance issues in the financial services industry, has hired Todd Eyler as research director of its insurance practice. In that capacity, he’s charged with overseeing analyst research and consulting in the P&C, life and health insurance fields.
A 15-year veteran of the insurance industry, Eyler was previously lead analyst for insurance and financial services at Forrester, Gartner, Fiserv and InsWeb. Most recently, he was general manager and P&L owner for the business unit at Marshall & Swift/Boeckh.