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Insurance Industry News Roundup: Week of Nov. 14, 2016

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American Century Investments philanthropic honor

Hope & Heroes, a non-profit organization focused on childhood cancer and blood disorders, honored American Century Investments’ Chief Client Officer for the Americas Peter Cieszko, and the global asset management firm at the charity’s annual fundraising dinner, which was recently held in New York City. Over the past 14 years, the dinner has raised more than $3 million for pediatric cancer research and programs. Peter Cieszko and American Century Investments received the Legacy of Hope Award, which honors “those whose commitment, now and in the future, to the eradication of pediatric cancer is exemplary.” Cieszko was recognized for leading American Century’s support of Hope & Heroes, which helps fund the lifesaving work of Columbia University Medical Center.

“My commitment to ending cancer and changing lives is both a personal and professional passion,” Cieszko said. “My leadership position at American Century affords me the opportunity to help our firm make a difference in the lives of others by ensuring sufficient funding for lifesaving research. It’s a privilege to support Hope & Heroes and its wonderful work on behalf of children with cancer.”

Could you benefit from more regulatory compliance training?

Clarity 2 Prosperity and Prosperity Capital Advisors are gearing up for a special edition of the Holistic Advisor Academy focused on compliance and other issues surrounding the Department of Labor fiduciary rule, which is scheduled to take effect in April 2017. This will be a 1.5-day educational event designed for advisors who want to thrive post-DOL. Attendees will learn how to “DOL-Proof” their sales and planning processes, revenue and businesses as a whole.  The event will be held Dec. 6-8, 2016 at The Mirage in Las Vegas. Tuition for the event is $499 and includes all meals during the event and a two-night stay at The Mirage. More information and registration details are available at or by calling (888) 240-1923. 

Study indicates half of ACA customers cutting back on health care

Even before news broke that the cost of mid-range health insurance from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges will significantly rise, customers were already skipping doctor visits to save money, according to recent research conducted by the market research firm GfK. The study was conducted with more than a 1,000 ACA consumers in August. The results indicated that about half of them were cutting back on care to help manage their health costs, compared to about a third of the general insured population.

“Lower-income populations are still the most likely to stick with the ACA exchanges, and should be able to ride out the new premium increases thanks to the subsidies,” said Liz Reyer, Vice President, Consulting, and health insurance practice lead at GfK. “Unfortunately, too many are unaware of these subsidies and may either drop coverage or – if their deductibles and co-pays rise – forego more doctor visits and possibly medication. To maintain the ideals as well as the cost models behind the ACA, consumer training in self-advocacy and educating consumers about care and coverage options, including subsidies, may be just as important as, say, promoting wellness visits.”

Click here to read more GfK articles about the future of insurance.

Jefferson National partners with Securities America 

Jefferson National has partnered with Securities America, one of the nation’s largest independent broker/dealers of more than 2,000 independent advisors and $58 billion in client assets, to supply its leading tax-advantaged investing solution to the financial advisors and financial institutions across the country. Now financial advisors and institutions served by Securities America will have a new choice for tax-smart investing to optimize clients’ portfolios. Jefferson National’s Monument Advisor is the industry’s first Flat-Fee Investment-Only Variable Annuity (IOVA) with nearly 380 investment options, including more than 70 alternatives—the industry’s most underlying funds3 and the most liquid alternatives utilizing strategies like those favored by hedge funds and elite institutional investors.

In related news from Jefferson National: For the first time, Orion Advisor Services LLC clients using Jefferson National’s Monument Advisor can now trade directly on the Orion platform, seamlessly and conveniently with their other custodial accounts. Jefferson National, a leading distributor of innovative tax-advantaged investing solutions for Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs), fee-based advisors and the clients they serve, now offers a seamless data interface and trading capabilities with Orion Advisor Services, LLC (“Orion”), a premier portfolio accounting service provider for advisors.

Kuvare Life Re (KLR) enters the marketplace

Kuvare Holdings LP, a growth-oriented insurance platform, recently announced the completion of its purchase of Guaranty Income Life Insurance Company (“GILICO”) and, separately, the establishment of a new reinsurer, Kuvare Life Re Ltd. (“KLR”), and execution of a closed-block reinsurance transaction with a highly rated insurance company. With the completion of these two transactions, Kuvare’s consolidated assets exceed $1 billion.

“It has been a pleasure to work with GILICO’s management team over the last year and we look forward to continuing to work with them as we expand the business and seek new opportunities in the years to come,” said Kuvare CEO Dhiren Jhaveri. “With GILICO and KLR, Kuvare’s platform is now well equipped to serve middle-market customers.

Kuvare is based in Chicago and partners with companies across North America.

Management changes ahead at Signator

Signator Investors, Inc., John Hancock’s dual registered broker dealer/investment advisor, announced that Christopher Maryanopolis will soon succeed Brian Heapps as head of Signator Investors, Inc., effective January 1, 2017. Heapps, who is retiring, will remain as chairman of Signator’s board, assisting with input on future strategy and direction.

“Signator will continue to thrive under Chris, who has worked closely with me throughout Signator’s transformation,” Heapps said in a prepared statement. “He has a great understanding of all the facets of our business as well as what is needed to succeed in today’s ever-changing regulatory, advisor and customer environments.”

Maryanopolis added:  “There will be no shortage of significant demographic and regulatory challenges facing broker-dealers over the next few years, but I think, given Signator’s strong foundation, as well as the innovativeness, intelligence and commitment of our staff and field, we will emerge positioned for future success.”

Rob Grubka rises Voya Financial
Rob Grubka rises Voya Financial

Voya Financial, Inc., has announced that Rob Grubka, seen here at right, has been named president of Employee Benefits, reporting to Alain Karaoglan, Voya’s chief operating officer.  He will also serve on Voya’s Operating Committee, collaborating on overall business strategy and key corporate-wide initiatives.

Grubka has served as chief risk officer (CRO) for Retirement and Annuities since joining Voya in 2015.  Prior to that, he was with Lincoln Financial for 14 years, where he held several key leadership roles, most recently serving as president of Group Protection.  

“Rob’s experience includes a unique combination of leadership roles in which he has been responsible for running a business, developing customer-focused strategies, advancing strong distribution partnerships and managing risk,” said Karaoglan.  “As CRO for Retirement and Annuities, he has driven positive change and has acquired an enterprise perspective that will serve him well as we focus on continuing to profitably grow our Employee Benefits business.”

Lemonade selects chief compliance officer

The insurer Lemonade has appointed William D. (Bill) Latza as its chief compliance officer and general counsel. Latza joined Lemonade after 25 years as a partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, where he specialized in insurance law. He has served as Lemonade’s external counsel since its founding in 2015.

“Bill was instrumental in getting Lemonade Insurance Company licensed in New York State,” said Daniel Schreiber, Lemonade’s chief executive officer and co-founder. “His invaluable experience in insurance regulation, and his indispensable network within the national insurance ecosystem, will be vital in propelling Lemonade onwards and upwards.”


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