Seventy percent of financial advisors said their communications with clients has increased since the coronavirus pandemic began, according to a survey sponsored by the Insured Retirement Institute and other industry groups. "As advisors communicate more with clients, they can help alleviate anxiety by reinforcing the benefits of a comprehensive financial plan that includes products providing guaranteed lifetime income and financial protection," said IRI President and CEO Wayne Chopus.
Private equity firm KKR & Co. said it will acquire Global Atlantic Financial Group, a major provider of fixed annuities and life insurance in the US, for around $4.4 billion. Global Atlantic will continue to do business as an independent entity retain its current brands and management team, KKR said.
A study suggests that savers who take withdrawals from retirement accounts to weather the effects of the pandemic could end up in a worse financial position in the long run. However, clients can mitigate the effect by paying back the withdrawals, the research suggests.
The Labor Department's decision to allow only 30 days to comment on a proposed exemption for investment-advice fiduciaries, instead of the customary 60 days, has drawn criticism from lawmakers and public interest groups. Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, have written Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia asking for a longer comment period.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority says examinations initially will look at whether companies have established procedures to comply with the Securities and Exchange Commission's Regulation Best Interest. "We're looking to see do they understand the obligations, and do they make a good faith effort to implement the changes that needed to be made," says Jim Wrona, vice president and associate general counsel at FINRA.
Emergency lending facilities from the Federal Reserve have accomplished the aim of stabilizing markets, despite modest use of some of them, says Daleep Singh, head of the markets group at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The central bank will change its approach if conditions require it, Singh says.
Referrals are the primary source of growth for financial advisory firms, so it's important to make sure current clients are highly satisfied, Philip Palaveev writes. He also suggests providing a good story for clients to tell others and making your firm feel as though it is a community.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, more clients may work with an advisor they've never met in person, writes Kristine McManus of Commonwealth Financial Network. Given this new reality, she stresses the importance of your website, noting it "might make all the difference" for prospects seeking an advisor.
The Insured Retirement Institute recently released Insured Retirement Matters, the association's 2019 annual report. The report showcases a number of IRI's accomplishments and sets the tone as it looks ahead to achieve its 2020 goals. Get the report here.
The annuity industry is poised for significant growth in the coming years, according to the State of the Retirement Industry, a report by the Insured Retirement Institute. Consumers are concerned about retirement risks and outliving savings, uncertain how to use retirement account balances to create sustainable lifetime income and are worried about potential Social Security insolvency and rising medical costs. These factors are putting insured retirement income squarely on the radar of retirement savers and financial advisors. Read the report.