AgentLink, a service provider to independent insurance agents, has announced that it will enter Tennessee effective immediately.  Already active in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and North Carolina, AgentLink’s portfolio of products and services includes life insurance, senior products, group and individual major medical, ancillary lines, dental, disability, annuities, E&O, employee benefits and back-office management. Focusing their services in Tennessee primarily towards life insurance and senior products – including Medicare supplements, Medicare Advantage, prescription drug plans, final expense, senior dental and annuities – AgentLink makes it easy for agents to become contracted to sell in these areas.

The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company, Inc. (GIAC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, announced the third annual Guardian Retirement Solutions™ 401(k) G2 Summit: Gain and Grow. Hosted in more than 20 locations across the country, the G2 Summit addresses the latest issues and trends related to small-plan investing, with particular emphasis this year on the challenges that plan participants face. The G2 Summit spans 12 weeks, beginning on March 25, 2015, in Richmond, Va. More than 20 cities will host the G2 Summit with the same program offered in each location. Over 1,000 financial professionals are expected to participate in the G2 Summit throughout this period. The G2 Summit gives financial professionals the opportunity to gain concrete examples and steps for serving the small-plan retirement market. The G2 Summit will address current trends in retirement investing and methods for serving the needs of plans sponsors and participants. Topics to be addressed include plan participant satisfaction, understanding of plan costs and helping employees understand investment options.

Nationwide released the YourLife Indexed Universal Life (IUL) suite, adding two new IUL products to its existing portfolio of financial solutions to help advisors meet the specific needs of their clients. The Nationwide YourLife Indexed UL Accumulator (IUL Accumulator) offers permanent coverage and the potential for cash value growth to supplement retirement income. Clients can choose between a fixed option and six indexed interest strategies, including a new uncapped strategy and an international strategy. The Nationwide YourLife Indexed UL Protector (IUL Protector) offers clients looking for affordable, permanent coverage with the opportunity for cash value growth potential. An optional Extended No-Lapse Guarantee rider delivers a cost-efficient death benefit guarantee with an automated monitoring service to help keep the guarantee on track.

PlanSource®, which provides a cloud-based health exchange and benefits engagement platform, announced the acquisition of the ClearBenefits benefits administration business from BENU, Inc. located in San Mateo, CA. With the acquisition of ClearBenefits, PlanSource expands its U.S. presence by adding employees in California who will be retained to service the ClearBenefits customers. The addition of these customers and employees to the PlanSource community continues to solidify the company’s commitment to grow and become the dominant player in California.

The Bank Insurance and Securities Association (BISA) recently inducted Paula Nelson, head of annuity distribution for Forethought Life Insurance Company, into the association’s prestigious Circle of Excellence, at its Annual Convention held March 5-7, 2014 in Hollywood, Florida. The BISA Circle of Excellence honors individual professionals for their commitment to the insurance and securities industry. Candidates for this award must be program executives with a minimum of 20 years of experience in the industry. Nelson has been with Forethought since 2010. She oversees all annuity distribution, including distribution through the bank channel, which is served by BISA. Forethought now consistently ranks among the top sellers of fixed annuities through banks. The company has sold annuities through banks since 2011, according to a press release.

MassMutual has added eight new retirement sales professionals to support its fast-growing retirement plans business. The new appointments include six new managing directors (MDs) and two new business development managers (BDMs), replacing openings and bringing the number of MassMutual retirement plan sales professionals to 78. The MDs train and educate advisors about MassMutual’s retirement plan products and services, identify retirement plan prospects, and make the case for MassMutual and its products. BDMs partner with MDs, supporting sales at benefit agencies and building relationships at payroll providers, professional employer organizations (PEOs) and professional associations. The new managing directors and their territories are as follows:

  • Rick Pardo covers emerging market plan sales for Arkansas, Louisiana and the Mississippi coast. Previously, Pardo was regional vice president for John Hancock Retirement Services. 
  • Don Worden supports emerging market plan sales for the greater San Diego area. He was most recently the business development manager for MassMutual Retirement Services in Orlando, Fla.
  • Dean Staroselskiy covers emerging market plan sales for the Western Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, West Texas and Western Oklahoma. Previously, Staroselskiy was regional vice president for John Hancock Retirement Services in Dallas. 
  • Jasonn Potter covers emerging market plan sales for Las Vegas, Southern Idaho and Utah. Previously was a financial advisor in Salt Lake City, and also represented Guardian and The Standard for retirement plan sales. 
  • Jenny Dodson covers institutional markets in Central and South Texas. Dodson was most recently a senior relationship manager for MassMutual Retirement Services in Houston, Texas
  • Scott Littlewood supports emerging market plan sales for upstate and Western New York, including Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse. Before coming to MassMutual, Littlewood was a retirement plan wholesaler for ADP.

The new BDMs and their territories are as follows:

  • Kevin Rogers supports 11 MDs in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.  Rogers was previously a regional sales consultant for MassMutual Retirement Services.

Raeann Sarsfield supports nine MDs in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Idaho, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. Sarsfield has seven years’ experience with MassMutual, including participant education, sales support and the call center.

New York Life announced that Aaron Ball has joined New York Life as vice president and leader of the company’s Long-Term Care Insurance business based in Austin, Texas. Ball will be responsible for overseeing the company’s Long-Term Care business, including all facets of product development and marketing. Ball joins New York Life from Genworth where he spent 12 years, most recently as the head of product and inforce for their long-term care business.  Prior to that, he was senior vice president and general counsel, Insurance Products.