What this means to the future of retirement saving.
By Cyril Tuohy
Veteran sales executive of life insurance and annuities products Liza Tyler has been appointed senior vice president, annuity distribution, for AIG Financial Distributors. She will be in charge of developing and executing annuity sales strategies, American International Group (AIG) has announced.
Tyler, a former executive with New York Life Investments and Genworth Financial, will be responsible for developing new ways to sell annuities through the company’s independent broker/dealer network and through the AIG Financial Network, the captive agent force for AIG’s proprietary life and retirement products.
John Deremo, executive vice president and chief distribution officer for life insurance with AIG Financial Distributors, said in a statement that Tyler’s specialty resides with selling through wire houses, banks and independent distributors.
“Liza brings more than 20 years of financial services experience and a successful track record of partnership with advisors from wire houses, banks and independent firms to AIG,” Deremo said in a statement.
Tyler takes on the annuity responsibilities previously held by Bill Martina. Martina will retire by the end of the first quarter after a transition period during which he is expected to guide Tyler in her new role, AIG also said.
Her appointment comes a week after AIG announced the revamp and expansion of its 1,400-strong career life insurance distribution network to include proprietary mutual funds and retirement products, which have the potential for higher growth.
Tyler’s hiring may herald a future of midlevel executive changes through the company as AIG looks to develop its retirement products and services distribution channels to supplement the slow-growth life insurance business.
Analysts said the retooling of AIG Financial Network showed AIG was getting serious about moving into the variable annuities space. In the aftermath of the Great Recession, competitors pulled back from the variable annuities marketplace as interest rates stayed low but carriers were still responsible for paying out generous living benefit guarantees agreed to before the financial crisis.
AIG, which almost collapsed in the crisis, remained relatively dormant in the retirement market as it worked to restructure itself with the help of the government bailout, and wasn’t as exposed to the variable annuities marketplace as its competitors.
Now that the company has no more obligations to taxpayers, it is ready to pursue a growth strategy, which includes the aggressive pursuit of the retirement market. That market is growing by an estimated 10,000 people a day as baby boomers leave salaried employment.
Not all baby boomers are equally prepared for retirement. Many will need to supplement Social Security with other income sources such as annuities. For financial advisors, distributors and sales strategists like Tyler, the 76 million baby boomers represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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