MassMutual’s pet project

The benefits to people of owning a pet can include lower blood pressure, reduced anxiety and more satisfying social lives. Now, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual) has discovered a way that pets can help boost retirement savings. Here’s how: The company recently encouraged retirement plan savers to increase their contributions to their employer’s 401(k) or other retirement plan through a direct marketing campaign promoting the popularity of pets. New retirement plan deposits attributed to the email and direct mail campaign, which started in March and ran through May, are projected to generate $43 million in additional deposits in 2016. The campaign enjoyed the highest response rate ever for those making additional savings. “With three out of five Americans owning pets, there is no doubt that we are a nation that loves animals of every shape, size and variety,” said Vice President of Marketing Kris Rice. “By connecting to something that is top of mind for consumers, our campaign is encouraging retirement plan participants to boost their savings.” The find out more, visit to RetireSmartPets.com.

Burns & Wilcox’s first PGA sponsorship is a winner

PGA Champion Jimmy Walker is an ambassador for Burns & Wilcox.Burns & Wilcox, a leading wholesale insurance broker and underwriting manager, is honoring professional golfer Jimmy Walker for winning his first major PGA title during the 98th PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club, which happened July 28-31. The win is also the first major PGA Championship win for Burns & Wilcox, who became an official sponsor of Walker in January 2016. “This past year, we made a strategic move when we announced our official sponsorship of PGA golfer Jimmy Walker… our first significant sponsorship investment,” said Alan Jay Kaufman, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, H.W. Kaufman Financial Group and Burns & Wilcox. “As a leading wholesale specialty insurance company, we invest in risk every day, and we understand that expertise and competitive drive almost always pay off, just as it did with Jimmy this weekend.” Kaufman added that the PGA win was a major boost to the company’s brand awareness, and will serve as the basis for a new advertising campaign.

Lincoln Financial teams up with Morningstar

Advisors will now be able to more easily illustrate retirement income in tax-deferred accounts with Lincoln Investor Advantage® Visualizer, a new tool that demonstrates the long-term impact of incorporating annuities as part of a comprehensive retirement plan. Lincoln Financial Distributors (LFD), the wholesale distribution subsidiary of Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC), announced the release of these unique enhancements on Friday. Lincoln Investor Advantage® Visualizer is now powered by investment research firm Morningstar, the interactive, online income planning resources that now includes a dynamic Tax Deferral Illustrator (TDI) designed to demonstrate the long-term impact of investing in a tax-deferred account versus a taxable account. “As technology evolves,” said John Kennedy, head of Retirement Solutions Distribution, Lincoln Financial Distributors, “we maintain our focus on identifying innovative opportunities like this that expand our product and distribution capabilities—making it easier for advisors to have more meaningful conversations with clients about securing retirement outcomes.” 

VUE Software enters the Asian-Pacific market

VUE Software announced recently that Aviva Financial Advisers, based in Singapore, has selected the VUE Distribution Compensation module, which marks VUE’s entry into the Asian-Pacific region. Aviva Financial Advisers is a new advisory firm in Singapore that’s wholly owned by global insurer Aviva.  The firm will use VUE’s Distribution Compensation module to automate payments for its advisers, which will increase efficiency and accuracy. Through VUE’s producer self-service portal, individual financial-adviser representatives also will easily access and manage their income details online.

“We are confident that our flexible solutions will meet and exceed our clients’ needs in this region,” VUE Software President and CEO Stephen Bruno said of the news.

Boston Mutual Life Insurance Co. appoints new VP

Boston Mutual Life Insurance Co., a national provider of insurance solutions for individuals and at the workplace, recently named Joseph W. Sullivan, Vice President – Chief Underwriting and Product Officer. In this newly created role, Sullivan oversees the company’s underwriting and product development efforts, creating a strategic vision, objectives, and operational plans for an integrated underwriting and product department.

“With his extensive experience in the insurance industry, Joseph Sullivan will play an integral role in expanding our underwriting expertise, product initiatives, and strengthening our position in the market,” said Paul A. Quaranto, Jr., chairman, CEO and president at Boston Mutual Life. “As we continue to invest in the resources to support our constituents, and as we move forward with the next growth phase of our Workplace Solutions and General Agencies divisions, we’ve built a strong foundation to maintain our positive momentum.”

Brightway Insurance recognized for size, growth

Brightway Insurance has been recognized by Florida Trend and the Jacksonville Business Journal for being one of the 225 largest privately held Florida-based companies and for overall sales revenue growth from 2013-2015, respectively. The Jacksonville-based national property/casualty insurance retailer selling through a network of franchised independent agencies throughout the country has experienced an annual growth rate of 41 percent since it got its start in 2008. “We are changing how insurance is sold,” said Brightway Chairman and Co-founder David Miller. “Our growth, in terms of both franchises and policies sold, tells us this model is compelling for Agency Owners and consumers.”