Prudential Individual Life Insurance names Randy Zipse vice president, advanced markets

Randy Zipse has been appointed as vice president, advanced markets for Prudential Individual Life Insurance, a business unit of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU). In his new role, Zipse will support various distribution channels including brokerage general agencies, independent and career sales professionals and financial institutions to develop business opportunities and advanced marketing solutions for clients. 

Zipse most recently served as senior vice president, advanced sales, Highland Capital Brokerage. Prior to that Zipse worked for John Hancock (USA) where he was responsible for their advanced markets group. Zipse earned a law degree from Drake University College of Law, a BA in Business from The University of Northern Iowa and he is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Zipse is a frequent contributor to industry publications as well as a lecturer at meetings including AALU, a leading organization focused on the unique issues involving the advanced life markets.

Colonial Life broadens enrollment solutions with Employee Navigator partnership

A new partnership between Colonial Life and Employee Navigator offers employers and their employees streamlined access to enrollment capabilities and services that can save time and money. Colonial Life’s Harmony® enrollment system now offers real-time integration with Employee Navigator, a cloud-based employee benefits and human resources platform.

“By integrating our Harmony® enrollment system with Employee Navigator, brokers and employers can now offer Colonial Life benefits via a seamless enrollment process,” says Missy Porth, director, Enrollment Solutions at Colonial Life.

“Our partnership with Colonial Life makes it even easier for insurance agents and their clients to take advantage of important products offered by Colonial Life, while leveraging their extensive and professional benefit advisor staff,” said George Reese, CEO of Employee Navigator.

Edward Jones partners with Securities Training Corporation to address growing shortage of financial advisors

Financial services firm Edward Jones is partnering with Securities Training Corporation (STC), a financial services training company, to help prepare students for a career as a financial advisor. The effort is intended to address an increasing industry concern – a shortage of financial advisors.

Beginning this fall, Kansas State University will offer a first-of-its-kind credit course that prepares students to take the Series 7 exam, the general securities licensing exam required by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). All materials used by faculty, as well as training provided to these instructors, will be provided by STC with the $5,000 cost paid by Edward Jones. The financial services firm has committed to pay the cost of adding this course to the curricula of 10 universities that currently offer a financial planning sequence.

Maryville University in St. Louis was the first school to agree to incorporate the Series 7 course in its program and will offer the course beginning in the spring 2015 semester.

Paul Weisman, CEO of STC, said the seed of the idea was actually planted seven years ago at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI. A three-credit Series 7 course was added to the curriculum in 2007 but the concept never expanded elsewhere.

“Edward Jones’ sponsorship makes it easy for universities to add a very practical course to their curricula,” Weisman said. “Our hope is that as more universities sign up for this program, more students will be exposed to the material and choose to become financial advisors, a desperate need in the industry.”

Girard Securities gains effective transition tool for advisors with Laser App

In an increasingly competitive industry, Girard Securities, an independent broker-dealer organization with more than 230 independent advisors responsible for more than $10 billion in client assets, needed a way to provide its current and future advisors with intuitive and comprehensive technology.  

That’s why Girard chose to implement Laser App’s Anywhere and Transition Tool solutions. Girard advisors now have an always-available, comprehensive online forms library that contains more than 30,000 forms to accommodate any client need.

Currently more than 90 percent of Girard advisors use Laser App Anywhere, and many have used the Transition Tool when joining Girard.

Sterne Agee analyst, John Nadel , comments on RGA and VOYA relatively large in-force reinsurance deal announcement

Reinsurance Group of America Inc. (RGA) and Voya Financial Inc. (VOYA) announced that RGA will acquire, via a reinsurance transaction, an in-force block of level term insurance with approximately $100 billion face amount in-force, $1.3 billion of statutory reserves and about 170,000 policies. While specific terms were not disclosed, we estimate RGA will capitalize the acquired block with somewhere between $100-120 million of capital, and thus utilize roughly 20 percent of existing $500 million of excess capital in support of the transaction.

Assuming a pricing hurdle around 12 percent after-tax return on equity (ROE), we estimate the acquired block should generate roughly $10 million in after-tax operating income for RGA beginning in 2015, or roughly $0.12 – $0.14 per share depending upon buyback assumptions. For the moment, we do not believe the transaction is significant enough in terms of capital outlay to alter our buyback assumptions (which remain $70 million in 2014 and $200 million in 2015), particularly keeping in mind that RGA should generate between $200-300 million in annual free cash flow to supplement current excess capital levels.

The deal should be accretive to RGA’s 2015 earnings by about 1.5 percent, so clearly a positive, but not necessarily a “dial-mover” in terms of capital deployment or deal size. As we understand it, the block of business was shopped actively in an auction-style bidding, so we could be somewhat aggressive on our 12 percent ROE assumption above.

We also understand that VOYA has been an active client of RGA for years and as such RGA should have good familiarity with VOYA’s products and underwriting history. Coupling this with the fact that mortality risk is clearly RGA’s area of greatest expertise, we wouldn’t expect any significant negative surprises in terms of the block’s performance over time.

Lincoln Financial Group expands survivorship suite 

Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC) announced that it has expanded its suite of Survivorship life insurance solutions with Lincoln WealthPreserve Survivorship Indexed Universal Life (SIUL), Lincoln’s first SIUL offering. Lincoln WealthPreserve  SIUL enables advisors to implement wealth preservation and estate planning strategies for clients, while offering cash accumulation and income potential in a tax-efficient manner.

Lincoln WealthPreserve SIUL is designed with a competitive cost structure for insuring two individuals in a single policy. It provides an income tax-free death benefit at the end of the last surviving  insured’s life, and is designed to enable policyholders to transfer a greater inheritance to beneficiaries, or provide proceeds to pay estate taxes, continue a business, or meet other financial needs. If properly structured in an irrevocable trust, the life insurance proceeds from Lincoln WealthPreserve SIUL may also be free from estate taxes.

The SIUL is immediately available to Lincoln’s national network of distribution partners (in states where approved).

Sammons Retirement Solutions® Inc. launches the LiveWell® fixed index annuity

Sammons Retirement Solutions® Inc. – which administers simple, innovative and straightforward solutions to help individual investors live well in retirement – has launched the LiveWell® Fixed Index Annuity (FIA), issued by Midland National® Life Insurance Company. This new addition to the LiveWell® Retirement Series provides independent financial professionals with a new option to help clients strengthen their retirement income prospects.

The LiveWell FIA offers the LiveWell® Income for Life rider that can guarantee income for life while allowing consumers to maintain control of their money. This feature offers the option to stop and start once income is elected, as well as the flexibility to decide frequency for scheduled payments.

CNO Financial Group names Chris Nickele chief actuary

CNO Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: CNO) announced that Chris Nickele has been named executive vice president and chief actuary.  Nickele previously was the executive vice president of product management, and the president of the Other CNO Business (OCB) segment.

Nickele joined CNO in 2005.  He had previously worked in a variety of actuarial and business leadership roles at Lincoln Financial Group, First Penn-Pacific, Zurich Kemper Life, and Bankers Life and Casualty. He holds a BS in Mathematics from the University of Notre Dame, is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

IICF names CNA’s Steve Marohn chairman of western division

The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) has named Steve Marohn, western zone officer for CNA, as chairman of its Western Division Board of Directors. As Chairman, Marohn will help guide the philanthropic endeavors of the IICF’s Western Division, including its ongoing commitment to community based non-profits operating in the areas of child abuse prevention, disaster preparedness, education, and health & human services. Marohn assumes the chairmanship having served on the IICF’s Western Division board of directors for six years.

Marohn brings more than 25 years of industry experience to the chairman position. As CNA’s western zone officer, Marohn is responsible for aligning eight branch offices throughout the Western U.S. to drive profitable growth. From his base in the Bay Area, he also manages CNA’s San Francisco branch and also sits on the board of Gamma Iota Sigma. Prior to his position at CNA, he spent more than 18 years at AIG, where he most recently served as executive vice president for AIG Japan Holdings in Tokyo.

Zurich honors eight program administrators with Spirit of Excellence award

Zurich North America, one of the leading writers of program business in the United States, recognized eight program administrators as recipients of its Programs unit’s 2014 Spirit of Excellence award. The sixth annual award is given to program administrators who have performed exemplarily during the previous year. Of the following award recipients for 2014, six are repeat honorees:

HUB International Midwest Limited – Veterinarian Professional Liability Program (six-time honoree) SIGMA Underwriting Managers – Excess and Surplus Property Program  (four-time honoree) SIGMA Underwriting Managers – Habitational (two-time honoree) Deans & Homer (two-time honoree) Glatfelter Insurance Group – Schools Program (two-time honoree) PDP Group, Inc. – Customer Service Vehicle Rental Program  (two-time honoree) ARROWHEAD General Insurance Agency, Inc. – Difference in Conditions Program US Assure – Builders Risk Program

Program administrators working with Zurich’s Programs unit specialize in writing insurance policies for underserved and niche businesses. Zurich currently works with more than 50 program administrators across the United States.