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Who, what, where: February 2, 2015

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Hearsay Social, provider of the leading social business platform for the financial services industry, announced new capabilities for its Compliance Solution, providing improved efficiency and control for compliance teams and the financial professionals whom they supervise. A new social media profile review and publishing experience enables administrators to review and approve individual, online profiles of financial professionals more efficiently and provides the firm more control of static content. In addition, Hearsay Social now offers more context for compliance professionals as they review social media content in addition to an enhanced ability to attach notes, documents, and images to records associated with communications on social networks. It also has a new static profile review workflow with automated publishing, automatic static content verification and new review notes and attachments to help manage compliant content.

The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today unveiled a new web-based resource center focused on protecting older investors. The site, which is tailored toward financial professionals and consumers, features the latest information and research regarding diminished capacity detection and financial elder abuse prevention. “The population of people aged 65 and older is one of the fastest growing cohorts in the United States,” IRI president and CEO Cathy Weatherford said. “The U.S. Census Bureau projects that this group will nearly double in size by 2050 – largely as a result of aging baby boomers – increasing to nearly 84 million Americans. As this group continues its record expansion, it will necessitate the availability of information for financial services professionals and consumers regarding issues specific to older Americans. IRI has compiled the best resources from nonprofit groups, regulators and government agencies to create a one-stop shop focused on protecting older investors.” The site includes: resources for consumers to protect against being the victim of financial abuse; an interactive map to find local resources to protect older consumers who may be the victim of financial elder abuse; tip sheets for financial advisors on spotting signs of diminished capacity and financial elder abuse; regulatory notices, guidance and reports for financial services firms on interacting with older clients.

Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC) has announced enhancements to its life insurance portfolio of products, with updates to its Term and Survivorship Indexed Universal Life (SIUL) offerings. The enhancements offer new strategies for advisors to use in helping clients achieve goal-based outcomes, by providing added flexibility in planning for income replacement needs, tax efficient wealth transfer or health-related expenses. Now available with Lincoln WealthPreserveSM SIUL policies, which insure two individuals in a single policy, is the Lincoln LifeEnhanceSM Accelerated Benefits Rider (ABR) for clients who have a primary need for life insurance protection, but are also concerned about the impact a permanent chronic or terminal illness may have on their financial well-being. Lincoln has also made enhancements to its Lincoln LifeElements® Level Term products, which offer affordable death benefit protection for 10, 15, 20 or 30 years, helping families make financial transitions during difficult times. Lincoln LifeElements® Level Term (2014) features improved premium competitiveness helping expand market reach, and now, beginning in year 4, death benefit decreases are allowed, subject to a minimum requirement. This new option provides policyholders with the flexibility to meet shifting objectives as their situations evolve with age and lifestyle. Policyholders are able to reduce the death benefit one time per year beginning in the fourth year, and premiums will be adjusted accordingly.

Partners Advantage Insurance Services, LLC announced its acquisition of Independent Life Brokerage (ILB) of Florham Park, New Jersey. The ILB offices in Florham Park and its employees will become a part of the Partners Advantage distribution network and will continue to serve its base of financial professionals primarily focused in New York and New Jersey. “Joining the Partners Advantage family will allow ILB producers and employees to access more products and resources and expand sales into new areas,” stated ILB Founder & CEO Dan Pierson. Partners Advantage offers top shelf training, technology and service, highlighted by two exclusive programs, its Advanced Coaching & Business Building Program which leverages the skills of nationally recognized leaders in the financial services industry and its weekly, live training which helps financial professionals grow their product knowledge and understand important sales concepts.

Fifteen years ago, The Online 401(k) took the retirement industry by storm, using the Internet along with innovative web-based tools to bring retirement plans to the smallest of employers. The firm has renamed itself Ubiquity Retirement + Savings; the new name is meant to reflect the increased service offerings of the firm. When Chad Parks founded the company in 1999, its goal was to allow small businesses to implement cost effective 401(k) plans by via the web – at the time, a novel idea for financial services. In its new form, the company will still focus on small businesses – an underserved and largely ignored market – but now offers an expanding suite of products including Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), payroll deduction IRAs, single 401(k) plans, as well as traditional 401(k) plans. The firm’s service portal will still center on a web-based delivery and will continue to emphasize efficiency and limitation of time-consuming paperwork, but it will also encompass information and tools to showcase its commitment to savers everywhere.

ZL Technologies, Inc. (ZL), a provider of unified information governance for the large enterprise, and Socialware, a social media compliance and marketing platform for regulated industries, announced a strategic business partnership, which combines the consolidated data management of the ZL Unified Archive® (ZL UA) with Socialware’s social media access and policy enforcement solutions for social media users in regulated industries. This means that regulated businesses can leverage ZL’s unmatched long-term archiving and data governance, combined with Socialware’s ability to manage the use of the native social media sites across thousands of users: effectively creating an immensely robust and complete solution for social media governance and archiving. The new partnership between Socialware and ZL combines the best-of-breed in social media compliance and unified information governance, allowing financial services firms to permanently manage their social media content in the same environment as all other enterprise unstructured data. Information can be ingested directly from Socialware’s applications into ZL UA for permanent governance. The result is an optimized workflow and governance paradigm in which end users can freely use native social media sites with access controls and workflows offered by Socialware, while having the required data stored to a consolidated and highly defensible management environment.

Ash Brokerage’s CEO, Tim Ash, announced the appointment of Mike Timmons as president of The Palladium Group. Timmons will lead the firm’s expanding role in the independent planning and advisory markets, providing consultative guidance and delivery of insurance-based solutions through The Palladium Group, which was established in 2014. Timmons has more than 24 years of experience in the independent planning and advisory markets. He’s served in senior roles with firms such as Marsh Private Client Services and Centrelink Insurance and Financial Services.

Bill Carew, managing principal of Digital Benefit Advisor’s (DBA) Hartford, Conn. office, has been appointed senior vice president of growth for DBA, a national employee benefits firm with 25 offices across the country. Leveraging his expertise in developing strategic employer solutions, Carew, who will continue leading DBA’s Hartford office, will spearhead the company’s sales growth efforts and enhance DBA’s mid-market capabilities across its expanding national footprint. DBA offers leadership, simplicity and value, combining the commitment of experienced local market advisors with sophisticated technology, industry expertise and resources of a respected national company. As health care and insurance changes continue to evolve, DBA’s strategic leadership and operational support make the system work better for employers and employees. In addition to providing legal, legislative and compliance expertise, the firm helps employers understand and navigate the complexities of the Affordable Care Act. Employers receive access to a broader variety of carriers, dynamic tools and proprietary products, such as the company’s private exchange solution, Digital Benefits Marketplace (DBM). DBA drives value for employers and employees through aggressive, market-leading cost containment and innovative solutions.

LIMRA announced that Judy Zaiken, CLU, ChFC, has joined the organization as corporate vice president and research director for LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute research. Zaiken will be responsible for the development and execution of LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute’s research agenda, which covers both the institutional and retail sectors. Recent research has included insights and trends in participant savings, sales benchmark studies, plan sponsor and advisor surveys, market segment studies, and strategic white papers designed to increase the understanding of key issues and trends.

Each year, John Stewart, Legal & General Group chairman, recognizes employees for outstanding contribution to community service. These awards showcase employees who spend their time inspiring young people, volunteering in their community, and fundraising for causes close to their heart. Legal & General America’s Ismaelle Brunache was a winner at the Chairman’s Community Award ceremony held at the Legal & General Group’s headquarters in London. Ismaelle is a member of the check processing team and has been with LGA for eight years. Ismaelle was a joint winner in the category of Community Spirit for her work with the Senior Connection in Silver Spring, MD. She supports senior citizens by providing transportation and helping them shop, as needed. Ismaelle volunteers at least twice a month and has been involved with this program for the past eight years. Her motivation comes from knowing that many elderly people are often forgotten about and live alone for many weeks. Volunteers like Ismaelle make difference to the quality of elderly people’s lives. Other nominees from LGA: Mitch Abrams, Mohona Bose, Faith McFarlane, and Sonia Reigles.

PlanSource, which provides a cloud-based health exchange and benefits engagement platform, reported the achievement of 2014 year-end milestones including record sales, widespread adoption of its health exchange and benefits administration solutions, new product innovations and continued strong market momentum leading into 2015. PlanSource® experienced robust revenue growth with a year-over-year increase of 41 percent in 2014 and a nearly 50 percent increase in year-over-year new monthly recurring revenue (MRR). The company added a host of strategic partnerships including industry leader Marsh & McLennan Agency®, LLC and many others.

The U.S. business group of Sun Life Financial announced that it received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2015 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. For the seventh consecutive year, the designation places Sun Life Financial among the organization’s U.S. list of “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.” The Human Rights Campaign’s annual scorecard on corporate equality is the premiere national benchmark for LGBT workplace inclusion. The 2015 CEI rated 971 businesses in the report, which evaluates LGBT-related policies and practices including non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, competency programs, and public engagement with the LGBT community. Sun Life joins the ranks of 366 major U.S. businesses that also earned top marks this year.