New York Life leads Million Dollar Round Table for the 60th consecutive year

New York Life has dominated the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) in the United States for the 60th consecutive year, with 2,376 qualifying New York Life agents in 2014. MDRT granted membership to only 10,211 agents in the entire United States, making membership in this organization a distinguishing life insurance career milestone for those demonstrating superior professional knowledge, experience and client service. Of the 1,179 female MDRT members in the United States, 32 percent are New York Life agents – making the company the leader in female MDRT membership. 

New York Life has also been the leader of MDRT’s two top-tier categories, since their creation in 1998, with 333 qualifying agents for “Court of the Table” and 119 qualifying agents for “Top of the Table.” These elite groups recognize the highest producing agents in the industry and have 2,360 U.S. members and 1,170 U.S. members respectively. 

Life Happens awards $180,000 to 47 students, 2014 Life Lessons Scholarship Winners

Life Happens announced 47 winners for its 2014 program, who will receive a total of $180,000 to put towards their dream of a college education. This is the greatest number of recipients and highest level of funding Life Happens has provided through the program since its inception in 2005. The scholarship recognizes the character and perseverance of young people who pursue their college dreams despite the loss of a parent or legal guardian.

The stories of this year’s top recipients can be viewed at www.lifehappens.org/scholarship-recipients.

Volunteer efforts of CPCU Society Members inspire opportunity to meet Earvin “Magic” Johnson

The CPCU Society launched a social media campaign, “The Magical Ways We Transform Lives,” which allows its members to share how their local chapters give back and make a difference in their communities.

This campaign was inspired by Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who will be the keynote speaker for The Institutes’ 2014 CPCU Conferment Ceremony, kicking off the 2014 CPCU Society Annual Meeting from September 20-23 in Anaheim, CA.

The “Magical Ways” campaign allows Society chapter members to share with other chapter members and annual meeting attendees how they are making a difference through their community outreach campaigns known as Good Works Projects. For more information about the campaign and to view the current chapter entries, visit www.Facebook.com/CPCUSociety/.

The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company will donate $5,000 to charity for best life insurance story

“Imagine the Possibilities” is the name of a Facebook contest announced by The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company as part of Life Insurance Awareness Month. The contest asks consumers to submit a story about how life insurance has made a significant impact on their life. The contest welcomes stories of how a beneficiary was able to imagine and attain their life’s dreams because their loved one had a plan in place for the unexpected, or how the cash value from a permanent life insurance policy helped a person during their lifetime. The best story will be recognized with a $5,000 donation to a charity of the winner’s choice.

Anyone can enter by simply visiting Penn Mutual’s Facebook page, completing the entry form and submitting a story about how life insurance has made a meaningful impact on their life. The contest runs from Aug. 15 to Sept. 30, 2014.

Penn Mutual is sponsoring the contest in conjunction with Life Insurance Awareness Month in September to promote the possibilities that life insurance can provide a person during a lifetime.

Inc. Magazine names SNL Financial one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. for 2014

Inc. Magazine has added SNL Financial to its annual list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S for the sixth time. SNL made the 2014 edition of the “Inc. 5000,” with 2013 revenues over $187.9 million, a 61 percent increase during the past three years.

The “Inc. 5000″ list ranks privately-held companies based upon three-year revenue growth through 2013, and SNL came in at No. 4,413 this year. SNL is the largest of the eight Charlottesville-based companies that made the list.

Mike Chinn, SNL’s president & CEO, said, “We are honored, once again, to be recognized by Inc. Magazine for the continued growth and success of our company. In the past two years alone, we have expanded our product offerings to include global banking industry coverage, comprehensive data and news on the metals & mining industry, and new reporting and analytical tools for the insurance industry through the acquisition of iPartners. We have achieved all of this while improving scalability and enhancing operational excellence throughout the company, an achievement only made possible by the dedication and determination of our nearly 3,000 talented employees around the globe.”

Companies on the “Inc. 5000″ are featured in Inc.’s September issue, which can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000/list/2014.

AIG announces QoL Performer Plus(SM)

American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG) announced the launch of QoL Performer PlusSM, an affordable universal life insurance that can provide a guaranteed death benefit up to age 80. The product also offers the opportunity for cash accumulation, as well as the Quality of Life…Insurance accelerated benefit solution that can make available needed cash if the policy holder suffers a qualifying illness or condition. 

The QoL Performer Plus policy pays currently competitive interest, with guaranteed minimum interest crediting of 4 percent for the first five years and 2.25 percent thereafter. For more information on QoL Performer, visit www.qualityoflifeinsurance.com

Prudential Retirement adds new plan sponsor client Pittsburgh Glass Works

Prudential Retirement has added new plan sponsor client Pittsburgh Glass Works, LLC, a manufacturer and distributor of automotive glass products. Prudential Retirement is a business unit of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU).

Pittsburgh Glass Works, LLC has 3,500 participants in its defined contribution plan with $232 million in assets. Founded in 1883, Pittsburgh Glass is a global leader in the manufacturing and distribution of a full range of automotive glass products, including windshields, sidelites, backlites and sunroofs. PGW’s products serve the automotive original equipment market as well as the aftermarket and also subsequently added Prudential Retirement’s managed account product as well.

Four new members join Benefit Advisors Network

Benefit Advisors Network (BAN) announced that four new benefit firms have been accepted as the newest members of the organization. BAN is a national network of progressive and visionary employee benefit brokers and consulting firms from across the United States. The five members include:

  • Shirazi Benefits, LLC – Founded in 1976, Shirazi Benefits is one of the largest group benefits brokerages in northern Colorado – representing approximately 167 employer groups, ranging in size from one to 1,000 employees.
  • The Insurance Exchange, Inc. – The Rockville, Maryland-based agency was founded in 1967 and serves the Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland markets. The firm specializes in working with government contractors, technology, non-profits, social service organizations, associations, and construction.
  • Morris & Reynolds Insurance – A family run business, Morris & Reynolds was founded in 1950 and currently employs over 65 people and writes nearly 10,000 policies per year. Their preferred client is in the middle market, with 100 or more employees. They offer a range of benefit, administration, loss control, and risk management-related solutions to the non-profit, medical, government, manufacturing, real estate, energy distribution, and hospitality industries.
  • Insurity Group, LLC –Headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the firm specializes in employee benefits, property & casualty, and personal lines of insurance. Insurity Group is licensed in all 50 states although their primary territory is the Chattanooga and North Georgia area. In the eight years since the company launched, it has grown into the second largest independent agency in the area with revenues at $2.5 million and 2000 customers in 2013.

“We have really seen an uptick in membership over the past few years as the industry is experiencing the “New Normal,” said BAN executive director Perry Braun. “We continue to only admit the best-of-the-best firms across the country that recognize the need to collaborate with others, enabling them to enhance the value they bring to their clients,” he added.

Pamela Sandy, CFP® named 2015 FPA president-elect

The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) announced that the board of directors has elected Pamela Sandy, CFP® as the 2015 FPA president-elect for a one-year term. Sandy’s term will begin on January 1, 2015, succeeding incoming 2015 FPA President Edward W. Gjertsen II, CFP®.

Pamela Sandy has been providing financial advice to clients for nearly 25 years and is the founder and CEO of Cleveland-based CONFIANCE, LLC, a boutique advisory firm that offers financial planning and wealth management services to individuals across the country. She became a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) professional in 1997 through the College for Financial Planning and an Accredited Domestic Partnership AdvisorSM in 2013.

Sandy currently serves on the FPA board of directors where she is concluding a three-year term in 2014, and has held various FPA leadership roles both locally and nationally. She served on the FPA of Northeast Ohio Board and as the chapter’s government relations director.

Sandy splits her time between Cleveland and Boston, Mass. and is a member of the FPA of Northeast Ohio and the FPA of Massachusetts chapters. She is currently pursuing an individualized focus degree she has deemed Political Finance – the study of how politics and public policy decisions affect the lives of individuals – through DePaul University in Chicago.

MassMutual adds seven regional sales directors for retirement plans

MassMutual’s Retirement Services has added seven regional sales directors (RSDs) to support sales of defined contribution retirement plans in the emerging market. The additional RSDs will help support what MassMutual defines as the “emerging market” or typically retirement plans with less than $15 million in assets, according to Scott Buffington, vice president of sales for Retirement Services.

The RSDs support financial advisors and third-party administrators (TPAs), helping them to expand and diversify their practices by selling MassMutual’s retirement plan products and services. The new RSDs and their territories are:

  • Brian Cahal: Supports retirement plan sales in Southern Ohio. Cahal has more than 20 years of industry experience. Before joining MassMutual, he served Principal Financial Group, Fidelity and Paychex. He earned a Bachelor of Science at Ohio University, holds FINRA Series 7 and 63 licenses, and life, variable and health insurance licenses.
  • Will Deyoung, CEBS: Was promoted after serving as a regional sales consultant at MassMutual. He covers Fairfield County in Connecticut and Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Putnam Counties in New York. He has 10 years of industry experience and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Anne Maria College, FINRA Series 6 and 63 licenses, and a life insurance license.
  • Jeff Isaac: Covers all distribution channels (wire houses, regional firms, independents and TPAs) on Long Island, New York. He has more than 10 years of industry experience, most recently at a regional advisor firm and previously at UBS in New York City. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New York at Albany, holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 licenses, a life insurance license, is a CRPS, and has obtained the Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation to improve his understanding of fiduciary roles.
  • Tom O’Connell: Supports wire house advisors in Boston and Southern Massachusetts. He brings more than 10 years of experience to his role and was most recently at Lincoln Financial Group. Prior to that, he worked at ADP.  He earned a Bachelor of Science at Stonehill College and holds FINRA Series 6, 26 and 63 licenses and life, health and variable insurance licenses.
  • Mark Robinson: Supports all channels in western North Carolina and has seven years of retirement plan experience, most recently with Paychex. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from St. John Fisher College.
  • Ryan Rustler: Supports all distribution channels in Wisconsin. He has seven years of retirement plan sales experience with Paychex, The Retirement Advantage and ADP. He earned a Bachelor of Science at the University of Wisconsin and holds FINRA Series 6 and 63 licenses.
  • Matt Solomon: Covers all channels in Indiana and most recently worked in retirement sales for TransAmerica; previously served as both an external and internal wholesaler for Nationwide. He has 13 years of experience in the retirement plans marketplace and has a Bachelor of Arts from Bluffton University and, FINRA Series 6 and 63 licenses, and a life insurance license.

Standard Life Investment U.S. sales team adds insurance expertise

Standard Life Investments, a global investment manager, announced the appointment of Jim Giacin as head of insurance business development based in Boston. Giacin joins an expanding office at Standard Life Investments’ U.S. headquarters and adds to a team focused on providing a variety of solutions for institutional investors. 

Previously, he was a director in the Financial Institutions Group at Bancorp Services, LLC. He has more than 20 years of extensive experience executing structured finance and investment management transactions in the financial institution marketplace.

OneAmerica® appoints Pete J. Schroedle as retirement sales VP

Pete Schroedle has been named regional vice president of retirement sales for the central region of the companies of OneAmerica. In this newly created role, Schroedle will oversee the Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Minnesota, San Antonio and St. Louis offices and will be based out of the corporate office in Indianapolis. Schroedle had previously been at Principal Financial Group for 22 years.

“Our clients and staff will undoubtedly benefit from Pete’s extensive experience in the retirement plan market,” said Paul Citron, vice president of national sales for the companies of OneAmerica. “Pete is a great fit for OneAmerica. He shares our core value of stewardship and aspires to help people secure their financial futures.”