Two pieces of news provide a flicker of hope amid the doom and gloom.
By Cyril Tuohy
Jackson National, a provider of retirement products and services for consumers and professionals, is adding new options to its Elite Access variable annuity investment platform.
These options include 20 subaccounts and seven fund managers added to its variable annuities lineup, providing investors and financial advisers more choices for investment strategies through retail asset management subsidiary Curian Capital, the company said.
“Jackson has built great momentum with Elite Access due to our ability to effectively combine traditional and alternative asset classes into a product available for retail investors,” Clifford Jack, executive vice president and head of retail for Jackson, said in a statement.
The changes offer financial advisors new combinations of investments and strategies to shape the financial goals and retirement plans of clients. Launched in March 2012, Elite Access combines investment options with risk management to help address volatility and provide the potential for higher returns, the company said.
Jackson’s sales of variable annuities in 2012 totaled $19.7 billion, up 12.5 percent compared to 2011, the company said. Elite Access contributed more than $1.3 billion to Jackson’s variable annuity sales total in 2012.
“At Jackson, we continue to bolster our already stringent due diligence process, seeking the highest quality investment managers across the globe to provide access to international markets and traditional and alternative funds,” Jack said.
The seven fund managers added to Elite Access include Aberdeen Asset Managers, Ashmore, Baring International Investment, Eaton Vance Investment Managers, Schroder Investment Management, UBS Global Asset Management and Urdang Securities Management.
Competitors Prudential Annuities and Jefferson National have also made similar changes to investment options within their respective variable annuities portfolios, the companies said in separate announcements.
Prudential Annuities has added six new asset allocation portfolios from leading money managers to its Highest Daily variable annuity investment platform. Jefferson National has teamed with Envestnet to add 14 new institutional model portfolios to advisors using Jefferson’s Monument Advisor variable annuities.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer living in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. He has also written about food, restaurants and travel. He can be reached at Cyril.email@example.com.
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