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Management Research Services Unites With American Enterprise Group

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MRS – AEG Partnership Press Release

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American Enterprise Group, Inc. (AEG) announced today it will be partnering with Management Research Services, Inc. (MRS), a global leader in insurance automation and technology solutions, announced today the release of a new electronic application system for life and health insurance policies.  The new technology will allow insurance professional to complete and submit application for straight through processing and instant policyholder decisioning. The platform will allow for real-time processing 100% in-good-order applications. This partnership will empower the divisions of AEG to service and offer real time policy issuance to our distribution and policyholders.

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The partnership with MRS is a part of an ongoing, companywide focus on innovation within AEG, and is a result of an earlier interaction with American Enterprise Ventures, LLC, which is a venture capital company backed by AEG that focuses on investments in early-stage startups in the insurance, finance, and healthcare industries.

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“Representatives of American Enterprise Ventures discovered MRS at an innovation summit and were impressed with the new technologies the company offered,” explained Julie Larson, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer. “We were looking for a new rules and application processing platform to better meet our growing needs, so the American Enterprise Ventures team brought the potential solution to company leaders for further vetting. It was a great find for us.”  Brad Darnell, MRS Chief Technology Officer, says “At MRS we look for partners, not clients, and we could not have asked for a better one than AEG. Right from the beginning, we have developed a strong relationship with great collaboration between our organizations. This teamwork has led us to a multi-phased product rollout strategy in a short amount of time. Our approach not only supports AEG’s digital transformation goals but is also driving exciting innovation to our platform. We are grateful every day for the partnership that has been developed with this excellent company.”  GG Oncel, MRS Head of Customer Strategy & Growth, says “MRS is proud to have been chosen as the exclusive partner of AEG for its digital transformation efforts across product lines and distribution channels.  The teamwork between the two companies has been excellent resulting in an implementation process that has moved forward with great speed and efficiency.  The MRS No-Code platform has proven again that it can support highly complex application processes at any level of volume needed.  MRS places significant value in its partnership with AEG and is excited to showcase it to show how we can support the larger tier carriers in the US market and beyond.”

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About American Enterprise Group, Inc.

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American Enterprise Group, Inc., has multiple insurance company subsidiaries under the American Republic®, Great Western Insurance Company (GWIC®), and Medico® brands. These companies offer life and health insurance product solutions to help people secure their financial futures through various distribution channels and are licensed in 49 states, plus the District of Columbia. American Enterprise is based in Des Moines, Iowa, and employs approximately 450 people in its Des Moines, Iowa; Omaha, Nebraska; and Ogden, Utah, offices.

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About American Enterprise Ventures, LLC

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American Enterprise Ventures, LLC is a venture capital company backed by American Enterprise Group, Inc. American Enterprise Ventures’ investment strategy focuses on early-stage startups in the insurance, finance, and healthcare industries. With initial investments of up to $1 million, American Enterprise Ventures’ funds are typically made in seed to Series A round startups. For more information visit www.americanenterprise.com/aeventures.

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About MRS

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At MRS, we help clients transform change into a competitive advantage.  MRS provides a high-end technology product to life, health, and annuity insurance industries.  In today’s world where “the only thing constant is change,” that original vision has been expanded to include more services and technology capabilities designed to help clients adapt quickly and in a cost-effective way.  MRS has invested heavily in our technology platform to create a foundation for the next revolution in life insurance.  MRS’s No-Code platform gives you all the tools needed to build a highly secure, complex application that efficiently collects voice and electronic data without writing a single line of code.  The result is a vastly reduced time to market with no initial or ongoing maintenance costs making the total cost of ownership substantially lower than status quo solutions.  Our platform’s ability to support powerful reflexive logic makes the MRS rules engine extremely efficient in collecting all information needed to make a point-of-sale decision.  The capabilities and flexibility of our platform allow customers to use the MRS technology platform as their single solution or as a tool to support and enhance current technology solutions they already have in place.  For more info on MRS product e-Apps, please email GG Oncel at gg.oncel@mrsreps.com or visit the website at www.managementresearchservices.com.

HSBC LIFE AND DACADOO FORGE GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP TO ENHANCE HOLISTIC HEALTH AND WELLBEING OFFERING TO CUSTOMERS

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5 May 2021

(Hong Kong/London, 5 May 2021) – and dacadoo announce a global partnership to help customers improve and maintain their physical, mental and financial wellbeing.

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HSBC Life, the Group’s insurance business, will integrate dacadoo’s Digital Health Engagement Platform into its recently launched health and wellbeing platforms, available to both corporate and retail customers.

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HSBC Life’s Well+ and Benefits+ platforms, which motivate people to shift towards and maintain a healthy and financially-fit lifestyle, are currently available in Hong Kong, with customised versions launching in mainland China, powering the Pinnacle Personal Wealth Planner platform, Singapore, and other markets over time.

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Post integration with dacadoo, HSBC Life’s Well+ and Benefits+ customers will gain access to personalised insights about their overall health and wellbeing, and receive incentives and rewards for healthy behaviours across lifestyle, body, mind and finances. A “health score” – a number indicating overall health – which changes in real-time depending on the user’s lifestyle factors such as health, nutrition, activity and sleep, will also be accessible to customers using the platform, with Well+ integrated within HSBC’s core mobile banking app.

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To engage customers on their journey to health and wellbeing, dacadoo’s technology draws on a broad selection of motivational and scientific principles, ranging from artificial intelligence and gamification, to automated coaching and behavioural science. Bryce Johns, Global CEO, HSBC Life and Insurance Partnerships, commented: “HSBC Life is focused on providing customers with the right products, services, and rewards to boost their holistic wellbeing. Helping our customers make the shift to healthier lifestyles is a key strategic priority for us. Our partnership with dacadoo, and our uniquely integrated approach to health and wealth, will enable our customers to take even greater control of their physical, mental and financial wellbeing.”

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Peter Ohnemus, President and CEO of dacadoo, added: “We’re delighted to partner with HSBC Life as we believe in giving everybody better opportunities to access their full health potential through dacadoo’s Digital Health Engagement Platform. We look forward to developing our partnership further and bringing value-added digital health services to HSBC Life’s customers.”

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NOTES TO EDITORS

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1. HSBC Life’s Digital Health Engagement Platform, Well+, allows customers in Hong Kong to enrol and earn rewards, such as Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE and cash rebates, including RewardCash after they have purchased eligible plans. More at www.hsbc.com.hk/insurance/ and www.hsbc.com.hk/rewards

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2. HSBC Life’s Benefits+ is a leading digital employee benefits solution launched to commercial clients in Hong Kong in February 2021. The solution is the first-of-its kind dedicated health and wellness proposition for Hong Kong employers with flexible group medical and life coverage and an immersive one-stop digital platform for employees.

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3. HSBC Life is the insurance business of the HSBC Group. We manufacture life and health insurance products in Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore, India*, France, UK, Malta, Mexico and Argentina. HSBC Life offers a range of insurance products to meet the protection, education, retirement, wealth growth and legacy planning needs of our customers. Our services and products are available through HSBC banking channels, selected third-parties, including financial advisers and aggregators. *Through our joint venture, Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance

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4. HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of HSBC, is headquartered in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 64 countries and territories in its geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa. With assets of $2,959bn at 31 March 2021, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

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Press Contacts:

• dacadoo: Manuel Heuer, +41 44 251 23 23, manuel.heuer@dacadoo.com

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About dacadoo

dacadoo, named a 2021 “Cool Vendor in Insurance” by Gartner, licenses its Digital Health Engagement Platform, including its Health Score and Risk Engine to Life & Health insurance operators (B2B), supplying Insurtech and health-tech solutions to over 35 of the top 100 Life & Health insurance operators globally. Available in over 16 languages, dacadoo’s technology is provided as a fully branded, white label solution or it can be integrated into customers’ products through its API. Through its ‘Connect, Score, Engage’ offering, dacadoo supports Life & Health operators to motivate their clients to lead healthier lifestyles through its SaaS-based Digital Health Engagement Platform. dacadoo also provides its Risk Engine, which calculates relative risk on mortality and morbidity in real-time. dacadoo has over 120 employees across locations in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific and over 100 filed patents around their digital Life & Health solutions.

The Rise of Platforms

…And what it means for the life and annuity sector

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May-1-Essick-Tech

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by Matt Essick

Mr. Essick is Chief Marketing Officer for Ensight™, a sales and data acceleration provider specializing in the insurance carrier and national-distributor space. He spent a decade as a marketing strategist for the Zurich Insurance Group, U.K. and participated first-hand in the rise of digital platform distribution models. Visit Ensight here.

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The era of the platform economy is here.

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Actually, it has been here for a decade or longer.

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Think Apple, Google, Airbnb, Microsoft, Uber, Amazon, Square, LinkedIn, Lyft, Facebook, and Tesla.

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The majority of the most valuable companies globally are now based on a platform business model, which is defined as: “the creation of digital communities and marketplaces that allow different groups to interact and transact”.

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And in the financial services space?

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Let’s name just a few – Robinhood, Envestnet, eMoney, Acorns, Oscar, Xero, RightCapital, Personal Capital, Avant, Blend, Chime, Brex, BrainTree, Enfusion, Verifi, Circle, Opploans, Transferwise, Venmo, Gravity Payments, Coinbase, etc etc. The list goes on and on.

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Fintech platforms are remaking the financial services industry. Redefining the “experience” of every corner of financial services. And thus, redefining expectations, across the value chain, from manufacturing to distribution to consumers. The broad principles of the Fintech platform era:

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– Ecosystems and connectivity are key

– Customers now engage product manufacturers through “platform distribution”

– User experience (UX) is fundamental to acquisition and retention

– At scale, Fintech platforms change industry dynamics

– Winners (and survivors) adapt their business model quickly

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And so, what does this mean for the Life and Annuity sector?

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Some Predictions for the Life and Annuity Platform Era

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Predictions are always a dangerous game. But if one takes the broad dynamics of platform-based economies as largely constant through every sector, we can also look into the near future for the Life and Annuity sector.

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Here are three predictions over the next decade:

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– Life, Annuity and LTC business origination (new business) will proportionately and dramatically shift towards multi-carrier distribution platforms

– Life and Annuity distribution will consolidate onto 3-5 leading “mega-platforms”, owning over 50% share (*similar to financial planning software landscape)

– Distribution focus will shift from traditional, back-office “agency management platforms” to field technology “sales enablement platforms”

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Perhaps the grandest prediction is that digital platforms, independent of proprietary development and ownership by insurance carriers and distributors, will become true power brokers in the industry.

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The implication? Perhaps, Geoffrey G. Parker, a Dartmouth College professor and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) research fellow, said it best:

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“The bulk of the power in industries is likely to shift to ecosystems… So, the message is every firm needs to understand platforms and figure out their place in the industry structure that is coming”.[2]

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Unstoppable Drivers Towards Platform Distribution

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There are several unstoppable forces and accelerants now at play.

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Each of these trends, in and of itself, is enough to shift the structure of the sector. However, when one considers all five in the aggregate, the emerging future is a foregone conclusion.

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Consolidation in Distribution: 
Consolidation is at hand in the Life and Annuity distribution landscape and will only accelerate from here. Whether we are talking about LifeMark and Bramco joining together to create LIBRA, or the acquisitions made by the PE-backed national players (e.g., Simplicity, AmeriLife), the future of distribution will look very different. One thing is for sure, technology platforms play a critical role in the integration of firms.

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Staggering Investment in Fintech:
 Global fintech investment reached $44 billion in 2020[3], an increase of 14% from 2019. The scale of investment in Fintech platforms is staggering – and insurance carriers and distributors will simply not be able to compete with a legacy internal development (“build” vs “buy”)” mindset. If nothing else, $44 billion definitively underscores the fact that we are in the age of fintech and insurtech platforms.

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The March to Best Interest (BI): The Life and Annuity sector is on a continued trajectory towards a Best Interest (BI) centric regulatory environment. While this may differ by channel, a rapidly growing number of distributors are choosing to err on the side of a fiduciary model. This means suitability standards, illustrating different product options, and capturing auditability along the way. There is only one way to accomplish this efficiently and cost effectively – a technology platform (*not paper).

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New distribution Business Models: The traditional distribution business model within the Life and Annuity sector is changing. There is a growing focus across several fronts: automating back-office processes; shifting time and focus to field-oriented sales enablement; and, extending a digital platform to financial professionals for advisor-centric “self-service”. This is the strength of technology firms.

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The weight of market expectations: Every single financial services experience today is digital, visually intuitive, interactive and easy to understand. Every single one – except the life and annuity sales experience. Moreover, every single core stakeholder group in the value chain now expects this modern digital experience, from employees to financial professionals. Let’s remember, millennials now represent the largest workforce in the economy today.

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These drivers are irreversible. To borrow a phrase from the noted American journalist Sebastian Junger – this is the “perfect storm”.

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3 Recommendations To Win

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So how can Life and Annuity insurance carriers and distributors adapt and win? I have three recommendations to start.

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Develop a platform-led distribution strategy

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Every carrier and distributor should now be thinking about how this emerging context will impact product development, distribution profitability and the market-facing business model.

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There are several long-term strategic questions to be debated. Here are just a few:

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– Business origination: What will be the impact on new business origination? Will closed, proprietary service channels remain at scale in the future?

– The wholesaling operating model: What is the future model of wholesaling? How will wholesalers engage with the channel?

– Channel strategy: Where will my target customers be, and how will I reach them? Will I need to access those customers on a 3rd party platform, or can I provision a platform to (capture) them?

– Profitability: How will I drive profit and scale in this new era? Which channels will see an erosion of profitability? What new target operating model may be required to maintain ROE?

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These are fundamental questions that need to inform distribution strategy over the next decade. Without addressing these critical questions (and others), insurance carriers and distributors will be flying blind into the “perfect storm”.

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Expect to see a few casualties.

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“Get on” the dominant platforms early

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It is simply not possible to compete with $44 billion in fintech platform investment.

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The old “build vs. buy” debate is a different question today. If you are an insurance carrier or national distributor, choose wisely what you elect to “build” rather than “buy”.

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An emerging dynamic of the platform economy is the ecosystem. It is critical to buy the flexibility to thrive in an ecosystem. The leading fintech and insurtech platforms bring connectivity and pre-built integrations to the table.

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There are two other central reasons to adopt the dominant emerging platforms early, and ahead of your competition:

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First, you can ride the opportunity of a “network effect”. A network effect refers to a situation in which the value of a product, service, or platform grows based on the number of buyers, sellers, or users who leverage it. Leading distribution platforms will be rapidly growing the number of customers you can reach – through one efficient digital channel. (Of note, it becomes increasingly painful and inefficient to do business outside of a platform network as well.)

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Second, it is impossible to understand how these platforms work ‘in practice’, on a day-to-day basis, the subtle nuances – unless you are actually also utilizing the platform itself. For a carrier, this means potentially being one step-removed from understanding how its products are actually sold, why they are selected, and how to win business.

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Smart counsel today is to adopt and use best of breed” third party platforms early on.

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Play to win and embrace the change

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The Life and Annuity sector today falls into two camps: Early adopters (change embracers) and late adopters (change laggards).

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Waiting to adopt emerging technology used to be wise counsel. But in the era of Moore’s Law, this is no longer a recipe for winning.

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Digital innovation “lead time” or “cycle time” is becoming an increasingly deciding factor in the emerging winners and losers. And the stakes are higher than ever.

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One might say that embracing digital platforms has “compounding returns”. Competitive advantage can double, or quadruple based on an organization’s digital fitness.

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Understanding the dynamic of new distribution technology platforms – and how to win on these platforms – takes time. Players who adopt first, stand to benefit from those compounding returns and will be well positioned for market-leading growth and profitability in the decade ahead.

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1 The Platform Economy, The Innovator, Jennifer Schenker (https://innovator.news/the-platform-economy-3c09439b56)
2 The Platform Economy, The Innovator, Jennifer Schenker (https://innovator.news/the-platform-economy-3c09439b56)
3 The state of FinTech: a recap of 2020 and a glimpse into 2021, FinExtra, 2/8/21 (https://www.finextra.com/blogposting/19849/the-state-of-fintech-a-recap-of-2020-and-a-glimpse-into-2021)

STRUCTURED ANNUITY STEAL THE SHOW IN 2020!

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STRUCTURED ANNUITY STEAL THE SHOW IN 2020!

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Wink, Inc. Releases 4th Quarter, 2020 Deferred Annuity Sales Results

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Des Moines, Iowa. May 4th, 2021Wink’s Sales & Market Report is the insurance industry’s #1 resource for annuity sales data since 1997. Sixty-one indexed annuity providers, 45 fixed annuity providers, 69 multi-year guaranteed annuity (MYGA) providers, 14 structured annuity providers, and 46 variable annuity providers participated in the 94th edition of Wink’s Sales & Market Report for 4th Quarter, 2020.

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Total fourth quarter sales for all deferred annuities were $56.3 billion; an increase of nearly 4.0% when compared to the previous quarter and an increase of nearly 6.0% when compared to the same period last year. Total 2020 deferred annuity sales were $209.1 billion.

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Noteworthy highlights for all deferred annuity sales in the fourth quarter include Jackson National Life ranking as the #1 carrier overall for deferred annuity sales, with a market share of 8.8%. New York Life moved into second place, while Allianz Life, Equitable Financial, and Brighthouse Financial rounded out the top five carriers in the market, respectively. Jackson National’s Perspective II Flexible Premium Variable & Fixed Deferred Annuity, a variable annuity, was the #1 selling deferred annuity, for all channels combined in overall sales for the eighth consecutive quarter.

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wink1

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Total fourth quarter non-variable deferred annuity sales were $28.7 billion; down nearly 7.0% when compared to the previous quarter and up 7.0% when compared to the same period last year. Total 2020 non-variable deferred annuity sales were $112.5 billion. Non-variable deferred annuities include the indexed annuity, traditional fixed annuity, and MYGA product lines.

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Noteworthy highlights for non-variable deferred annuity sales in the fourth quarter include New York Life ranking as the #1 carrier overall for non-variable deferred annuity sales, with a market share of 7.9%. Athene USA moved into second place, while American Equity Companies, AIG, and Sammons Financial Companies completed the top five carriers in the market, respectively. Western-Southern Life’s SmartSelect 3-Year, a multi-year guaranteed annuity, was the #1 selling non-variable deferred annuity, for all channels combined in overall sales.

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.wink 2

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Total fourth quarter variable deferred annuity sales were $27.5 billion; an increase of 18.2% when compared to the previous quarter and an increase of 4.5% when compared to the same period last year. Total 2020 variable deferred annuity sales were $96.5 billion. Variable deferred annuities include the structured annuity and variable annuity product lines.

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Noteworthy highlights for variable deferred annuity sales in the fourth quarter include Jackson National Life ranking as the #1 carrier overall for variable deferred annuity sales, with a market share of 17.6%. Equitable Financial moved into the second-place position, as Lincoln National Life, Allianz Life, and Brighthouse Financial concluded the top five carriers in the market, respectively. Jackson National’s Perspective II Flexible Premium Variable & Fixed Deferred Annuity, a variable annuity, was the #1 selling variable deferred annuity, for all channels combined in overall sales for the eighth consecutive quarter.

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Indexed annuity sales for the fourth quarter were $15.0 billion; up 9.3% when compared to the previous quarter, and down 12.1% when compared with the same period last year. Total 2020 indexed annuity sales were $58.1 billion. Indexed annuities have a floor of no less than zero percent and limited excess interest that is determined by the performance of an external index, such as Standard and Poor’s 500®.

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Noteworthy highlights for indexed annuities in the fourth quarter include Athene USA retaining the #1 ranking in indexed annuities, with a market share of 12.4%. AIG gained the second-ranked position while Sammons Financial Companies, Allianz Life, and Fidelity & Guaranty Life rounded out the top five carriers in the market, respectively. Allianz Life’s Allianz Benefit Control Annuity was the #1 selling indexed annuity, for all channels combined.

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wink4 

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Traditional fixed annuity sales in the fourth quarter were $474.1 million; sales were down 2.9% when compared to the previous quarter, and down 31.4% when compared with the same period last year. Total 2020 fixed annuity sales were $2.0 billion. Traditional fixed annuities have a fixed rate that is guaranteed for one year only.

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Noteworthy highlights for traditional fixed annuities in the fourth quarter include Modern Woodmen of America ranking as the #1 carrier in fixed annuities, with a market share of 20.5%. Global Atlantic Financial Group ranked second while Jackson National Life, EquiTrust, and OneAmerica rounded out the top five carriers in the market, respectively. Forethought Life’s ForeCare Fixed Annuity was the #1 selling fixed annuity, for all channels combined for the second consecutive quarter.

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Multi-year guaranteed annuity (MYGA) sales in the fourth quarter were $13.2 billion; down 20.5% when compared to the previous quarter, and up 44.7% when compared to the same period last year. Total 2020 MYGA sales were $52.3 billion. MYGAs have a fixed rate that is guaranteed for more than one year.

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Noteworthy highlights for MYGAs in the fourth quarter include New York Life ranking as the #1 carrier, with a market share of 17.2%. American Equity Companies moved to the second-ranked position, as Brighthouse Financial, Western-Southern Life Assurance Company, and AIG rounded out the top five carriers in the market, respectively. Western-Southern Life’s SmartSelect 3-Year was the #1 selling multi-year guaranteed annuity for all channels combined.

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Structured annuity sales in the fourth quarter were $8.4 billion; up 34.5% as compared to the previous quarter, and up 70.8% as compared to the previous year. Total 2020 structured sales were $24.0 billion. Structured annuities have a limited negative floor and limited excess interest that is determined by the performance of an external index or subaccounts.

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Noteworthy highlights for structured annuities in the fourth quarter include Allianz Life ranking as the #1 carrier in structured annuity sales, with a market share of 21.6%. Equitable Financial ranked second, while Lincoln National Life, Brighthouse Financial, and Prudential completed the top five carriers in the market, respectively. Prudential’s Prudential FlexGuard Indexed Variable Annuity was the #1 selling structured annuity for all channels combined.

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“In the past, I’ve made the observation that structured annuities are experiencing sales similar to that of indexed annuities, during the same period of the products’ maturity. That will change this year,” observed Sheryl J. Moore, CEO of both Moore Market Intelligence and Wink, Inc. “I project that structured annuity sales will soon gain enough momentum to surpass where their indexed brethren were just over a decade after development,” she explained. “The consistent double-digit gains in structured annuity sales over the previous quarter, year, and year-to-date support this!”

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 Variable annuity sales in the fourth quarter were $19.1 billion, an increase of 12.2% as compared to the previous quarter and a decline of 10.7% as compared to the same period last year. Total 2020 variable sales were $72.4 billion. Variable annuities have no floor, and potential for gains/losses that are determined by the performance of the subaccounts that may be invested in an external index, stocks, bonds, commodities, or other investments.

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Noteworthy highlights for variable annuities in the fourth quarter include Jackson National Life continuing their ranking as the #1 carrier in variable annuities, with a market share of 25.4%. Nationwide ranked second, while Equitable Financial, New York Life, and Lincoln National Life finished out the top five carriers in the market, respectively. Jackson National’s Perspective II Flexible Premium Variable & Fixed Deferred Annuity was the #1 selling variable annuity for the eighth consecutive quarter, for all channels combined.

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Wink reports on indexed annuity, fixed annuity, multi-year guaranteed annuity, structured annuity, variable annuity, and multiple life insurance lines’ product sales. Sales reporting on additional product lines will follow in the future.

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For more information, go to www.WinkIntel.com

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Wink, Inc. is the company behind the most comprehensive life insurance and annuity due-diligence tools, AnnuitySpecs and LifeSpecs at www.WinkIntel.com. Wink, Inc. is the distributor of the quarterly Wink’s Sales & Market Report. Serving as the insurance industry’s #1 resource of indexed insurance product sales since 1997, this report provides sales by product, company, crediting method, index, distribution, surrender charge period, and more. Wink’s Sales & Market Report expanded to cover all deferred annuity products in 2015, all deferred variable annuity products in 2019 and all non-variable cash value life insurance products in 2017.

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The staff of Wink, Inc. has a combined experience of more than 175 years working with insurance products, more than a decade of which is specific to competitive intelligence. Based in Des Moines, Iowa, the firm offers competitive intelligence and market research in the life insurance and annuity industries; serving financial services professionals, distributors, manufacturers, regulators, and consultants on both a domestic and global basis.

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Sheryl J. Moore is president and CEO is the guiding force behind Wink, Inc. Ms. Moore previously worked as a market research analyst for top carriers in the life insurance and annuity industries. Her views on the direction of the market are frequently heard in seminars and quoted by industry trade journals.

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May 4, 2021

Des Moines, IA

(855) ASK-WINK

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dacadoo Named A Cool Vendor in 2021 Gartner ‘Cool Vendors In Insurance’

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ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – 27 April 2021: dacadoo, a leading provider of Insurtech and Healthtech solutions, today announced it has been named as one of four Cool Vendors in Insurance 2021* by Gartner. This recently published report highlights that “Different stances to customer experience (CX) will be needed to respond to emerging consumer demands, including more digital channel capabilities and new products and services. Many of the Cool Vendors in this report are focusing on radically transforming CX to meet these shifts.” *

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The Gartner ‘Cool Vendor in Insurance’ research report “does not constitute an exhaustive list of vendors in any given technology area, but rather is designed to highlight interesting, new and innovative vendors, products and services”. The report also provides recommendations for Life and P&C insurance CIOs to take their financial services digital business strategy and innovation forward including the following:

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• “Create a product and technology portfolio that incorporates Cool Vendors by appraising their ability to deliver innovation across different scenarios to expedite delivery with shorter-term payback cycles.

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• Target business innovation projects and proof of concept (POC) efforts by measuring how Cool Vendors have combined emerging technologies and trends to maximize value against existing KPIs.

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• Accelerate CX transformation by leveraging Cool Vendor solutions to improve customer intelligence and enable dynamic and more-proactive engagement.” *

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“We consider our inclusion in the Cool Vendors in Insurance 2021 by Gartner, a strong confirmation of our mission to enable insurers to unlock the power of digital health engagement and health risk quantification to improve their business performance,” said Peter Ohnemus, President and CEO of dacadoo. “AI and reward-driven client solutions are driving further this mayor CX transformation of digital life and health. We believe that the global insurance industry is now ripe for getting into the growing ‘real-time movement’ that we have seen in other industries such as entertainment, travel, retail, etc. It is mission-critical that insurance companies become customer centric and able to build a long-term relationship with their clients. At dacadoo we call this the ‘REF factor’ (providing solutions that are Relevant, Easy and Fun to use) which is a new way of creating and benchmarking client engagement.”

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From our view, the information provided in this Gartner report is of value to all insurance executives who are seeking new ways to transform their business models and jump into the future of digitization and customer engagement.

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* Gartner, ‘Cool Vendors in Insurance’, Sham Gill, Richard Natale, Laurie Shotton, Kimberly Harris-Ferrante, Rajesh Narayan, James Ingham, 15 April 2021.

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Gartner Disclaimer:

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in our research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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About dacadoo

dacadoo licenses its Digital Health Engagement Platform, including its Health Score, to Life & Health insurance operators (B2B), supplying Insurtech and health-tech solutions to over 35 of the top 100 Life & Health insurance operators globally. Available in over 16 languages, dacadoo’s technology is provided as a fully branded, white label solution or it can be integrated into customers’ products through its API. Through its ‘Connect, Score, Engage’ offering, dacadoo supports Life & Health operators to motivate their clients to lead healthier lifestyles through its SaaS-based Digital Health Engagement Platform. dacadoo also provides its Risk Engine, which calculates relative risk on mortality and morbidity in real-time. dacadoo has over 120 employees across locations in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific and over 100 filed patents around their digital Life & Health solutions.

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For more information, please visit www.dacadoo.com

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Per Gartner research process, we do not provide courtesy copies for Cool Vendor reports. If you are a client, you can access the document using this link: https://www.gartner.com/document/4000591.

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If you are not a client, Cool Vendor reports can be purchased on https://www.gartner.com/en/documents/4000591-cool-vendors-in-insurance. We would also invite you to complete this form to learn more about becoming a client https://www.gartner.com/en/become-a-client.

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dacadoo Media Contact:

Manuel Heuer

manuel.heuer@dacadoo.com

+41 44 251 23 23

Consumer Direct Life eApp While Maintaining The Agent Ecosystem

Covr Financial Technologies Launches New Insurance Product Suite with Investment from Sony Innovation Fund by IGV

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Covr Financial Technologies, Inc. 

Apr 29, 2021, 07:00 ET

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HARTFORD, Conn.April 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Covr Financial Technologies (Covr), a leading digital life insurance platform, has completed its latest funding round with an investment from Sony Innovation Fund by IGV.  This funding comes in conjunction with the launch of Covr’s suite of new AI-driven term life insurance products, which bring market-leading capability to the financial institutions and insurance companies that use Covr solutions to support the growing trend of self-directed, shop-from-home, insurance buying experiences that are now possible because of emerging technology and robo-advice tools.

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“We couldn’t be more thrilled with this investment from Sony Innovation Fund by IGV. Wrapping our latest round of funding with a highly recognizable, global brand like Sony, which is also an insurance distribution leader in Asia, is just incredible,” said Mike Kalen, Covr CEO. “This investment and Sony’s global network will go far in helping Covr continue to lead the way in digital insurance innovations in the U.S., and eventually abroad, with solutions such as our newly launched multi-carrier term life insurance platform that includes a growing number of instant-purchase journeys and our proprietary LoanMatch Protector product.”

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“We believe Covr reinvents the way life insurance is distributed by leveraging AI and advanced process automation, enabling insurance carriers to broaden their distribution path. This makes it possible for new entrants, such as banks, credit unions, C2C platforms and FinTechs, to efficiently offer policies to their own customers,” said Gen Tsuchikawa, CEO and Chief Investment Officer at Sony Innovation Fund by IGV. “Thanks to its comprehensive and modular software stack, Covr provides a genuine no-code environment for optimizing policy distribution, selection and issuance. We are quite confident in the growth path of Covr, and we look forward to supporting Mike and his team as they further grow Covr’s footprint.”

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Covr’s industry-leading digital life insurance platform integrates seamlessly into a financial institution’s existing website or other distribution model. This allows these financial institutions to offer a broad range of life insurance products from the leading insurance carriers to their customers. Today’s consumers expect choice, simplicity and speed when purchasing life insurance, and Covr’s technology is tailored to those demands. “Our partners are finding additional ways to serve their customers with our solutions,” Kalen said. “We partner with many of the leading financial planning firms, banks, broker dealers, credit unions, consumer lenders, personal finance apps, and other great brands to bring innovation and affordable insurance to their customers.”

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With Covr’s multi-carrier term insurance platform, customers can apply for life insurance online in minutes, with real-time quotes available from the leading insurance carriers. Leading the way in the journey are product offerings from Bestow, Haven Life, Banner Life and Americo, which all offer fully digital, instant-decision capability, and Covr’s technology to help clients find the product that fits best for them.

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“Customers today expect simplicity and choice when it comes to protection products – and expect that it’s done quickly,” Kalen said. “Our platform allows our financial brands and other partners to meet this demand with a digital, white-labeled solution.”

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Unique among Covr’s product offerings is LoanMatch Protector, a new product designed to mirror the remainder of an existing mortgage, small business loan or other debt. The coverage adjusts to the client’s precise need, saving consumers up to 30% and offering the market-leading ability to complete the entire process in 15 minutes.

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About Covr Financial Technologies Inc.


Covr partners with financial brands to provide life insurance solutions to their customers in an efficient, easy way that streamlines the process of selling and buying policies. Covr offers a choice of trusted life insurance products from leading insurance carriers, an easy way to compare rates, and the ability to purchase policies within minutes. Through its white label solutions, Covr helps financial institutions deliver a great experience under an existing brand their customers already trust. Covr currently serves over 25,000 financial advisors and over 20 million customers across over 30 financial institutions. For more information, visit covrtech.com or follow us @covrtech and on LinkedIn.

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Covr’s investors include nine leading venture capital firms: Nyca Partners, Commerce Ventures, Allianz Life Ventures, Connectivity Capital Partners, Contour Venture Partners, Aflac Ventures, Fairview Capital, Connecticut Innovations and Sony Innovation Fund by IGV. Covr’s Advisory Board includes financial services leaders, including Chairman Brian Finn, former president of Credit Suisse First Boston; Joe Plumeri, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of First Data Corporation and former CEO of Citibank North America; Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and co-founder of Ellevest as well as senior executive roles at Bank of America, Citigroup and Smith Barney; Hans Morris, managing partner, Nyca Partners, chairman of Lending Club, formerly president of Visa; Brady Dougan, former CEO of Credit Suisse; Gregg Fleming of Rockefeller Capital and Bob Kerzner, formerly CEO of LIMRA.

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About Sony Innovation Fund by IGV


Innovation Growth Ventures (IGV) is a venture capital firm formed in 2019 by Sony Corporation, Daiwa Capital Holdings Co., Ltd. and external limited partners. Managed by the Sony Innovation Fund (SIF), IGV invests in mid to late-stage startup companies across Japan, the U.S., EuropeIsrael and India.

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SOURCE Covr Financial Technologies, Inc.

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How Insurance Distributors Can Provide Transformative Solutions to Advisor Productivity

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The distributor opportunity to transform advisor practices

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The insurance distributor value proposition for advisors is built on a foundation of helping remove the barriers that restrict practice growth, create headaches and lower profitability. They already do a great job providing case management support, marketing support and access to carriers, but there is an overlooked opportunity to unlock advisor productivity and strengthen relationships.

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The opportunity arises from a very specific advisor challenge.

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The insurance advisor challenge: when growth outstrips inefficient processes

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Financial advisors seeking to dramatically increase the value of their book of business do a great job of creating plans for finding more prospects and meeting more of each current client’s needs. They look for ways to optimize processes, improve productivity and drive agency growth.

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However, even advisors who have set a clear vision and defined a plan for achieving their growth targets can run into trouble when growth outstrips processes. The irony is that, it’s all too easy for advisors to enjoy growth in their business, but then see it choked off because of workflow-related obstacles and slow-downs. Sometimes it’s the simple problems that shut down grand ideas.

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Download the full case study. Click here.

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Despite all the work an advisor may have done to put staff, structure and systems into place to kick-start their growth engine—if they are still reliant on manual, paper-based approaches to uncovering client needs, too much time is spent on each step in the sales process with each client.

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Why legacy financial planning software can create its own bottlenecks

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Financial planning software tools provided by carriers and vendors at some point in the past, are better than relying on jury-rigged Excel solutions, but it’s still not always good enough. Older solutions are less automated, and still require too many manual steps. They may be able to get the job done, but are cumbersome to use, don’t integrate with existing CRM and distributor or carrier systems, and require double entry of client data.

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It’s not unusual for an advisor’s assistant to spend 45 minutes collecting information from a client and entering it in their older, financial planning software tool. And then, the advisor may still need to review the results and tailor the recommendations.

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Accelerating the in-flow of new prospects brings with it a corresponding increase in the number of client discovery initiatives. And this turns out to be a cap on growth for some advisors. The math is simple; the amount of time each discovery takes, times the number of clients. Once that number becomes larger than a few hours a day, it’s like turning the advisor’s practice into a headwind. Everything slows down. Becomes hard. At a certain point, prospecting becomes secondary, and the growth curve flattens.

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These bottlenecks mean that advisors are reduced to making money in their business based on the time they can spend with a client (which is a limited resource) rather than based on the value they can deliver.

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Largely manual or inefficient processes create a form of business risk. Especially in a competitive marketplace where growth and being able to carve out a significant niche are vitally important. What advisor in the prime of their career would be satisfied with just maintaining their status quo?

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How distributors can provide transformative solutions for advisors that want to increase productivity

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The answer isn’t for advisors to hire more staff in an attempt to accommodate manual processes that are suffocating growth. Instead, this is an opportunity for distributors to deliver significant value for their advisors by providing an effective solution for eliminating roadblocks.

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To find out more, read the case study

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Insights Author

Charles-Pedneault

Charles Pedneault

Vice President, Insurance Distribution Solutions

See more insights from Charles

Contact Charles

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Ensight™ Surges Past One Million Digital Life Sales Presentations

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The company’s cloud-based sales experience platform is now servicing over 250,000 financial professionals across the U.S.

 

SAN DIEGO, CA, March 17, 2021 — Ensight™, the market leading life, long-term care (LTC) and annuity digital sales acceleration platform for insurance carriers, distributors and financial professionals, today announced that over one million digital sales presentations have been generated on its insurtech platform. Ensight’s growth rate also continues to compound, driven by an increase in remote selling, the hybrid wholesaling transformation shift and emergence of the “digital agent” model. Today the platform works with over 250,000 financial professionals.

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“Every financial services sales experience today is digital, interactive, visual and easy to understand – whether that is the leading financial planning software used by advisors, or the investment management and 401K portals now experienced by the consumer. Life, annuities and long-term care are the only remaining financial product areas out of step with today’s digital experience expectations,” said Bill Unrue, CEO, Ensight.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has acted as a digital catalyst over the past year, as life and annuity insurance carriers and distributors have had to adapt to a virtual (remote) sales operation. This business response is also now accelerating a permanent transformation to a “hybrid wholesaling” and “digital agent” sales and service model. Wholesaling transformation, in particular, offers the sector an opportunity to achieve travel and entertainment (T&E) budgetary savings, while driving improved wholesaler productivity, more flexible advisor servicing, and better product marketing through digital education.

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The Ensight sales acceleration platform was launched in 2017 to help modernize and transform the sales experience for life and annuity insurance carriers, distributors, financial professionals and consumers. Ensight simplifies the complexity of the permanent life insurance (GUL, Whole, UL / IUL, and VUL), LTC and annuity sales engagement into an intuitive, consumer-friendly digital experience. The platform leverages data visualization and rich content to create a modern interactive sales discussion, which has underpinned the rapid shift to virtual (remote) selling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 250,000 financial professionals, including insurance agents and advisors, now use Ensight to better explain how a permanent life insurance or annuity product works and interactively demonstrate product features, such as cash value accumulation, rates of return and policy charges.

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“The life and annuity sales model is at a once-in-a-generation inflection point. From the internal sales desk and wholesaler-advisor channel to the client’s point of sale experience, the entire value chain of the traditional sales model is being structurally reorganized and digitally redefined,” said Nathan Jacobson, Executive Vice President (EVP), Life Insurance, Simplicity Financial Group. “Ensight is the clear market leader today, enabling modern, interactive sales presentations that simplify the wholesaler-advisor-client discussion of complex permanent life, LTC and annuity products.”

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To learn more about Ensight and its digital sales acceleration platform, visit www.ensightcloud.com.

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About Ensight™
Ensight™ is the leading cloud-based insurance sales acceleration platform for more than 500 Life and Annuity distributors, thousands of financial professionals, as well as many of the largest North American insurance carriers. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Ensight helps drive sales growth and productivity, while addressing the entire sales lifecycle experience – from prospect to policyholder, new business to inforce.

 

EIS Appoints Dan Galdenzi To Lead Dedicated Healthcare Initiative

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Industry Veteran Sees Opportunity to Drive Digital Innovation  in Health Insurance Sector

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San Francisco, April 21, 2021 – EIS, a core and digital platform provider for insurers, has announced the appointment of Dan Galdenzi to lead a dedicated initiative to drive the growth and expansion of its core EIS Suite™ to carriers in the health insurance space. As General Manager and Executive Vice President, Healthcare, Galdenzi will direct an initiative focused on helping carriers accelerate their digital transformations to provide better customer experiences, achieve greater operational efficiency and deliver new products and services at two to three times the speed of traditional systems partners.    

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Galdenzi recently joined EIS from NASCO, the digital health solution provider for Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans, where he worked as SVP and Chief Growth Officer. Previously, he served as CIO at BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont, where he led the organization’s journey into a member-first culture and oversaw their four-year core administrative system migration onto NASCO. With nearly 25 years of progressive technology, business, and innovation experience in healthcare IT, Galdenzi brings a deep understanding of the market and a fundamental belief in the disruptive nature of modern technology to EIS.  

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“As health insurers look to diversify their offerings into ancillary services such as dental and vision, we see a great opportunity to provide them with a platform that can meet their digital needs and serve as a springboard for broader transformation,” said Galdenzi. “Healthcare has lagged the modernization movement embraced by other insurance sectors where EIS is successfully partnering to deliver disruptive technologies. We are assembling a team that has a deep knowledge of the unique challenges healthcare organizations face as they seek to reimagine their core IT systems and we look forward to employing our expertise to help them overcome barriers to transformation.”  

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“EIS is excited to welcome Dan to lead our healthcare initiative and build a world-class team to drive it,” says EIS’ Chief Executive Officer, Alec Miloslavsky.  “Dan is an industry authority, with a first-hand understanding of the challenges health insurers face as they leverage leading-edge technology to provide better experiences, while diversifying their services and moving into new markets.”  

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Dr. Mark Boxer, a member of EIS’ Board of Directors, a former Cigna executive and an internationally recognized innovator and technologist with more than 25 years of experience in digital health, healthcare technology, and analytics added,  “With the growing focus of insurers on delivering personalized and integrated experiences to customers, enhancing provider productivity and improving outcomes and affordability, the industry should heartily welcome the EIS initiative to help it support a broader ecosystem of products and services and use the newest technologies to do it.” 

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For more information, visit EISGroup.com. 

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About EIS 

EIS is an insurance software company that enables leading insurers to innovate and operate like a tech company: fast, simple, agile. Founded in 2008, EIS provides a platform for high-velocity insurance. This open, flexible platform of core and digital solutions liberates insurers to accelerate innovation, launch products faster, deliver new revenue channels, and create insurance experiences the world will love. And with thousands of APIs, the platform gives insurers the freedom to connect to a vast ecosystem of insurtech and emerging technologies. Headquartered in San Francisco, EIS powers premium growth for insurers in all lines of business worldwide. For more information on how EIS helps insurers become unbeatably fast at everything they do, visit EISGroup.com. 

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Media contact: 

Matt Conroy 

mconroy@stantonprm.com  

203-610-1421

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