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Financial Services Companies to Unite Against Asset Looters

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About 30 companies in the life insurance and retirement services markets are teaming up to defend themselves against crooks who are trying to defraud them and their customers.

LIMRA and LOMA, two arms of LL Global, will be hosting an organizational meeting for executives from the companies at LL Global’s headquarters in Windsor, Connecticut, on June 13.

Bob Kerzner, the president of LIMRA, LOMA and LL Global, talked about the new project earlier this week in an interview.

(Related: Retirement Services Group Forms Data Security Alliance)

Kerzner said he has been thinking of the new group as a “fraud information bureau.”He said he expects the group to provide a forum that top-level financial services company managers can use to share critical information about new types of attacks, such as new efforts to use stolen personal information to loot assets from customers’ annuities and life insurance policies, Kerzner said.

The members of the new group will come up with the group’s name, describe the group’s mission, and shape the systems needed to implement the mission, Kerzner said.

LIMRA and LOMA help financial services companies gather data on industry trends and share ideas about how to manage the sale and administration of life insurance policies, annuities and other financial services products.

The groups have about 100 committees. Members of  the committees have been talking about the need for a new mechanism to for exchange fraud-fighting information, Kerzner said.

“We think the life and retirement industry are really under attack,” Kerzner said. “There are more bad guys trying to see if there are vulnerabilities in the system.”

One problem is that the information-sharing mechanisms now available to companies in the life and retirement markets are too slow, Kerzner said.

By the time companies share what they’ve seen, attackers may have already changed their tactics, Kerzner said.

Existing organizations already offer forums companies can use to exchange information about cyberattacks and other types of attacks.

Kerzner said he believes LIMRA and LOMA will be in a good position to offer a good solution for financial services companies, because of the organizations’ decades of experience with setting up financial services industry committees.

One gap Kerzner sees is a lack of basic data on fraud attacks on life insurers and retirement services providers. LIMRA and LOMA are now conducting company surveys to get data on the scope of the problem, he said.

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