Bank of America Merrill Lynch appoints first gerontologist

ALSO: Industry news from AIG, Prudential, AssuredPartners, Alliant, New York Life, Allianz

Bank of America Merrill Lynch appointed Cyndi Hutchins director of Gerontology.

A 28-year wealth management and retirement industry veteran, Hutchins has spent the last 15 years with Merrill Lynch – seven as a financial advisor in the greater D.C. / Maryland area, and the last eight as a retirement specialist.

Hutchins graduated from Towson State University with a degree in Business and Finance and recently earned a Masters in Gerontology from the University of Southern California.

Merrill Lynch has teams of retirement, wealth, trust and insurance specialists who work with advisors and clients. Hutchins predicts that in five years the company could have a team of gerontology specialists in place to meet the needs of an aging population.

“This is a mindset change for the industry and for advisors,” she says. “Adding value to client relationships today means having meaningful discussions about longevity, how to smoothly transition into retirement, what it means to go from being a son or daughter to being a caregiver, and how to plan for the unexpected.”

In other industry news: 

American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG) named Liza Tyler senior vice president, Annuity Distribution, AIG Financial Distributors.

Tyler’s responsibilities will include developing and executing annuity sales strategies for both the organization’s independent brokerage platforms and AIG Financial Network, the company’s recently-launched premier financial services group comprised of experienced advisors as well as newer advisors and agents seeking to grow careers in the retirement and protection space.

Prior to joining AIG, Tyler most recently served as vice president, Relationship Management for New York Life Investments, where she and her team supported the organization’s retail partner firms. Before New York Life Investments, Tyler served 14 years with Genworth Financial, where she was responsible for leading operations and internal sales, and previously served as an external wholesaler and Divisional Sales Manager. 

Tyler earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. 

 

Pruco Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU), introduced its newest universal life insurance product PruLife Founders Plus UL.

It provides death benefit protection with an extended No-Lapse Guarantee, and offers a choice between two interest crediting account options that can help build cash value in the policy. Additionally, an optional BenefitAccess Rider, available for an additional cost, allows consumers to advance up to 100 percent of the death benefit should they become chronically or terminally ill.

Founders Plus UL has two account options that support cash value accumulation. The Fixed Account offers a competitive interest crediting rate with a guaranteed minimum. The Plus Account combines the potential to earn both Basic Interest and Index Interest, which is tied to the performance of the S&P 500.

Additional key elements of the product include:

An extended No-Lapse Guarantee – Has the potential to provide consumers with guaranteed coverage into the mid to late 80s or longer, provided certain circumstances are met;

An optional Waiver of Premium Rider – Can cover the cost of premiums or certain monthly policy charges should the insured become disabled provided they meet the terms and conditions; and

The ability to choose the amount of premium payments (within limits).

 

AssuredPartners Inc., through its Dawson Companies platform, acquired Leonard Insurance Services. The agency specializes in commercial, personal, life and health insurance, employee benefits, financial planning and surety programs for contractors.

Since its founding in 1904, Leonard Insurance Services reported approximately $10 million in revenue, and is managed by principals Fred Kloots, Richard Martindale and Todd Witham.

As part of the acquisition, 58 Leonard Insurance Services employees will join Dawson Companies. Operations are based in North Canton, Ohio, and will continue under the local leadership of Fred Kloots and Rick Martindale.

 

Alliant Insurance Services acquired Pittsburgh-based Sagewell Partners.

Founded in 2006, Sagewell specializes in disability and life benefit plans, absence management solutions, and human resources consulting services.

Sagewell’s executive team, client services team and business development team will remain in place following the acquisition. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The New York Life Foundation increased its 2014 charitable giving budget to $16 million, a 10 percent increase over last year’s budget of $14.5 million. 

The funding will support programs in the Foundation’s focus of “Nurturing the Children,” particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement.  This is the fourth consecutive year the Foundation’s budget has increased.

Now in its 35th year, the New York Life Foundation has awarded more than $180 million in charitable contributions to nonprofit organizations across the country that are dedicated to improving the lives of others, particularly disadvantaged young people. 

 

Every tweet during Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America’s 14th annual Allianz Championship, held Feb. 7-9 at the Old Course at Broken Sound in Boca Raton, Fla., with the hashtag #AllianzBirdies will generate a $1 donation, up to a total of $40,000, for Junior Achievement of South Florida, with Allianz Life already committing a minimum of $20,000 to the organization.

With 13 chapters in Florida, Junior Achievement is dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.

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