Allianz Life launches Pro+ Survivor Fixed Index universal life insurance policy

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) announced the launch of Allianz Life Pro+ SurvivorSM Fixed Index Universal Life Insurance Policy, now available in 43 states. The new product is designed for consumers seeking an affordable, flexible option for life insurance coverage that provides death benefit protection for two lives in one policy. This addition to the survivorship market also has index allocation options that offer customers tax-deferred cash value accumulation potential and a level of protection.

“We know that Americans want affordable, customizable life insurance that helps them protect loved ones while also providing the opportunity to accumulate assets for future expenses,” said Jason Wellmann, senior vice president of life insurance sales for Allianz Life. “Allianz Life Pro+ Survivor provides this financial reassurance against life’s uncertainties with both flexibility and protection.”

Fitch affirms New York Life’s highest ratings for financial strength

New York Life, a mutual life insurer, announced that Fitch affirmed the company’s financial strength rating of AAA,its highest possible rating, on August 13, 2014.  Also, this past June, A.M. Best affirmed its A++ (superior) financial strength rating on New York Life, its highest possible rating.  In addition, both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s have affirmed New York Life’s top ratings in the last 15 months.  All four rating agencies have a stable outlook assigned to New York Life’s ratings.

New York Life remains one of only three life insurers with the highest financial strength ratings currently awarded by all four of the major rating agencies, out of more than 800 life insurers operating in the United States today.  

Prudential enhances life insurance product portfolio

Prudential Individual Life Insurance has enhanced its variable universal life (VUL) insurance product, PruLife® Custom Premier II, to offer more living benefits. This includes a wide range of underlying investment options for consumers who are looking to potentially accumulate cash value or supplement retirement income that in many instances may be accessed income tax free. The product also offers an optional rider that can help pay for costs associated with a chronic or terminal illness.  

More than 60 underlying investment options, including socially responsible “green funds,” give consumers the opportunity to design an investment strategy that aligns with their individual goals and maximizes the product’s growth potential.

SMA announces winners of the SMA Innovation in Action Awards

Strategy Meets Action (SMA), an insurance advisory firm, announced the winners of the SMA Innovation in Action Awards during its annual SMA Summit at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Boston. The 2014 winners in the insurer category were AssureStart, ingenie and Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (PURE). The winner in the IT solution provider category was EagleView® Technologies for their Risk Visualization Solutions (RVS).

The SMA Innovation in Action Awards are presented each year to celebrate innovation in the insurance industry. SMA launched this award program to inspire, share, and recognize solutions that enable an insurance company to move beyond modernizing and optimizing to real innovation and transformation, ultimately creating differentiation and competitive advantage. The program spotlights both insurers and solution providers that have successfully implemented solutions that best leverage next generation technologies as well as transformational projects or services that deliver game-changing business capabilities. 

VRC Insurance Systems announces Velocity 10.5.7 Cloud to streamline information sharing VRC Insurance Systems has released an updated version of their cloud-based self-service customer portal.  The portal will allow for fast and efficient sharing with agents, brokers, insureds and carriers through a secure connection. The cloud offers two sharing options. Information can be shared by granting access to designated recipients or it can be shared automatically with groups or divisions that regularly need access. The cloud-based self-service portal eliminates the possibility of data being entered incorrectly into the cloud. The Velocity database updates the cloud on a real-time basis, which also eliminates synchronization issues.

Assurity names Nick Jasa vice president of individual sales

Assurity Life Insurance Company has named Nicholas B. Jasa as vice president of individual sales for the company’s nationwide financial services organization. Jasa will direct all individual sales operations, including product and marketing strategy, sales development and building distributor relationships.

Jasa joined Assurity’s individual sales area in 2010 and was named regional sales manager in 2011. He has more than 10 years’ experience in sales and marketing roles, including insurance sales and sales management.

Guardian adds field director of retirement plan sales

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), a mutual life insurer and provider of employee benefits, announced Michael Reis has been appointed to the new position of field director of retirement plan sales. Reis will support the Guardian Retirement Solutions’ 401(k) national sales team as it continues to expand to meet growing demand in the small-plan market.

Reis brings over 14 years of experience to Guardian in both the financial and business management sectors. He joins Guardian from ADP, Inc. where he most recently served as vice president and national sales manager of their advisor channel. 

Reis received his B.S. in Management Science from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He holds NASD Series 7, 63, 66 and 26 licenses, and is also CRPC, ARPC and CRPS certified.

LIMRA names Ken Cochrane to be new vice president of developmental and commercial research

LIMRA announced that Ken Cochrane has joined the organization, filling a newly established role of vice president of developmental and commercial research. Over the past few years, LIMRA has launched a number of research initiatives to collect and analyze industry-wide, policy-level data, which will to help its members with product development, marketing and distribution strategies, as well as responding to the growing regulatory requirements.  

In his new role, Cochrane will lead a new unit responsible for developing commercial products and services, leveraging LIMRA data and comprehensive research capabilities. As part of the research division, he will work closely with LIMRA research managers to identify opportunities to create research-inspired solutions that will offer additional value to member companies. 

Ken started his career at Mutual Benefit Life, and was later senior vice president of national sales and marketing for Transamerica Retirement Services. His most recent role was as managing director of Pulse Logic, a market research and consulting company he founded in 2008. 

Society of Actuaries names Craig Reynolds as president-elect

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) announced the results of its member voting, with Craig W. Reynolds, FSA, MAAA, selected as president-elect during the association’s 2014-2015 year.

Based in Seattle, Reynolds is a principal and consulting actuary at Milliman Inc., where he has worked for more than 25 years. He previously worked at Farmers New World Life Insurance and John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1984, with a degree in mathematics.

He has held several volunteer positions at the SOA Board level, including serving on the research executive committee, international committee, finance committee and issues advisory council. He has also served as secretary of the SOA financial reporting section council, as a member of the Centers for Actuarial Excellence (CAE) grants committee, and as chair of the Valuation Actuary Symposium. 

Reynolds will begin his duties as the 67th SOA president at the SOA’s 2015 annual meeting and exhibit. The SOA also announced the elected vice-presidents: Susan E. Pantely, FSA, MAAA; Susan R. Sames, FSA, MAAA; and Jim Toole, FSA, MAAA, CERA. Errol Cramer, FSA, MAAA, will serve as president of the SOA for the 2014-2015 term.