In this week’s roundup, we look at the latest partnership around Annexus, Luma and The Index Standard besides a new First Trust Index.

Baltimore-based Transamerica has expanded its partnership with FT Indexing Solutions by bringing the First Trust Equity Edge Index to its flagship Rila - Transamerica Structured Index Advantage Annuity – on an exclusive basis. The Rila product has surpassed US$1 billion in sales in its first two years, according to the insurance carrier.

The index provides additional exposure to U.S. equities that exhibit high quality and value, consistent with a balanced investment approach. ‘First Trust Equity Edge provides investors with access to growth potential with limits to downside risk, which is consistent with Transamerica's mission to help people make the most of what's important to them,’ said Liza Tyler (pictured), Transamerica's head of annuity solutions.

The First Trust Equity Edge Index features a unique blend of US equities 'that demonstrate high quality and value’. It combines two equally weighted methodologies and is sourced from the Value Line Dividend Index, a benchmark of the highest-yielding stocks in the Value Line universe and the Nasdaq US Rising Dividend Achievers Index.

The Index Standard solutions now available on Luma

The New York-based index research company has partnered with Luma Financial Technologies to provide in-platform solutions for fixed index annuity (FIA) products to enhance client outcomes. Users of Luma’s product marketplace now have access to a scoring system, forecasts and annuity allocation insights.

“As our research solutions cover everything from product specifications to performance outlook, having all this data available in the same place for Luma users is a huge value add,” Branislav Nikolic,  managing director, head of insurance at The Index Standard, told SRP. He added that the firm’s unbiased research will help the users navigate a potentially much more demanding fiduciary landscape in the near future.

As part of the solutions, the forecasting process starts by first determining what drives returns for an index before going to over 30 top to gather their forward-looking ‘capital market assumptions’. In addition, the model allocations aim to provide a choice of diversified annuity index crediting strategy combinations based on the index forecasts and options available within the annuity, according to The index Standard. 

Nationwide introduces second generation Rila

The Ohio-based insurer has launched Nationwide Defined Protection Annuity 2.0 (DPA 2.0) with updated features designed to ‘provide more flexibility and customisation’, in a response to investors’ concerns about the US economy and inflation.

In partnership with Annexus and Genesis Development Group, DPA 2.0 features daily protection and floor levels, 10 index strategies (an increase from five for the first generation) and free withdrawals of up to 10% of the contract value during the first six years of owning the annuity.

The index options are the S&P 500, S&P 500 Average Daily Risk Control 10% USD Price Return Index, MSCI EAFE Index, NYSE Zebra Edge Index, J.P. Moran Mozaic II Index, BlackRock Select Factor Index and SG Macro Compass Index

The new Rila provides three defined protection levels – now applied daily – which limit negative performance. This allows clients to select protection level of their investment at 90%, 95% or 100%. Investors can choose to lock in their gains to date through an enhanced performance lock feature.

Annexus partners with John Hancock, Nationwide

Annexus, an independent retirement product design and distribution company, has collaborated with Boston-based insurer John Hancock Financial to launch John Hancock Indexed Universal Life (IUL) yesterday (5 June).

Much like universal life, IUL offers premium payment flexibility and a lifetime of coverage, according to the carrier, a unit of Toronto-based Manulife. 

Issued by John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.),the new offering aims to enhance John Hancock’s Protection IUL product by integrating Annexus’ indices and the all-new PRISM Booster Strategy, offering consumers a wider range of indexed account options.

‘This collaboration with Annexus enables us to expand our indexed account offerings to continue to meet our customers' evolving needs,’ says Neal Kerins (above), vice president of product development at the insurer. 

‘Our work with Annexus will also extend the reach of John Hancock’s Vitality Program, a solution that offers long-term financial protection as well as significant savings and rewards customers for steps taken towards a longer, healthier, better life.’

Cannex, Luma co-launch annuity marketplace

Canada’s financial data and research provider Cannex has partnered with Luma Financial Technologies to launch the Cannex Annuity Marketplace, which aims to assist financial professionals at small and mid-sized firms with annuity selection and decision making on asset allocations, terms and riders.

The platform can analyse the performance of hundreds of fixed, indexed-linked (FIAs and Rilas) and variable annuities, as well as income annuities. It leverages Cannex’s annuity data, analysis, and illustration expertise, along with Luma’s technology platform.

‘As carriers continue to innovate and launch unique products and features, the importance of being able to understand and evaluate annuities on a standardized basis has grown,’ said Gary Baker (right), president of Cannex USA. ‘The marketplace’s tools illustrate the performance characteristics of different annuities consistent with best interest requirements and client goals.’

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