A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio has found that two securities representatives lack standing to sue Ohio National Life Insurance Company over a change in variable annuity commission arrangements.
U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott concluded, in two similar orders that were both filed Thursday, that Ohio National had selling agreements with the reps’ broker-dealers, not with the reps themselves.
The references to reps in the selling agreement ”do not demonstrate an intent to give enforceable rights to the representatives,” the judge writes.
The judge issued the orders in connection with Browning v. The Ohio National Life Insurance Company et al. and Cook v. Ohio National et al.
The lead plaintiffs in the cases are Lance Browning, senior vice president of Income Solutions Wealth Management in Tyler, Texas, and Stephen Cook, a financial planner in Dallas.
Browning worked with Ohio National through LPL Financial.
Cook worked with Ohio National through Triad Advisors.
Ohio National is a Cincinnati-based insurer that was making an active effort to expand its variable annuity business.
In late 2018, Ohio National said it was getting out of the variable annuity business, focusing on the sale of life insurance and disability insurance, and ending its annuity sales compensation arrangements, including arrangements to pay trail commissions on annuities already in force.