Robin Raju has been head of individual retirement at Equitable’s individual retirement business for close to a year, and he has been with Equitable and its affiliates since 2004.
He said one key shift he sees Equitable driving is an emphasis on showing how insurance fits in a client’s financial life.
More and more, Equitable advisors are talking about insurance as an asset class — part of everyone’s portfolio, alongside stocks and bonds, Raju said last week, in an interview.
“Insurance has a role to play,” Raju said.
Raju has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Scranton. He began working for Equitable in 2004. He spent three years at AXA Global Life and Savings in Paris, back when Equitable was part of AXA S.A. of Paris. He later was treasurer of Equitable’s holding company, Equitable Holdings, and business chief financial officer for Equitable’s life, retirement and wealth management businesses before he took over as head of the individual retirement business, in April 2020.
Traditionally, the rule of thumb has been that clients should subtract their age from 100 to determine what percentage of their assets to invest in stocks, then invest the rest in bonds.
What percentage of a client’s assets should come in the form of insurance defies that kind of simplistic approach, because analyzing insurance needs depends on a client’s age, the client’s tax situation and many other factors, Raju said.
But, once an advisor sits down with a client and helps the client develop a plan, “we think insurance is part of the solution,” Raju said.
Here are three other things Raju is seeing in the U.S. annuity market, drawn from the interview.
1. He sees the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest as a more practical version of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule efforts.
Like the Labor fiduciary rule, Reg BI requires financial professionals to put the client’s interests first, and to document that they’ve done that.