Not a week goes by that at some point (and often more than once) I say to myself, “I need to ask Jim that” or “Jim would know.” Then you remember…and you are sad.
Jim served our industry faithfully for 50 years, beginning back in 1965! Most recently, Jim served as a founding member of the Americans for Annuity Protection (AAP) Board of Directors. He brought to the organization the same energy and passion he applied to everything he did. He was dedicated to building AAP and fulfilling its mission.
It was a pleasure when I received an email from The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) announcing that the 2015 IRI Champion of Retirement Security Award will be presented to Jim Mumford, former First Deputy Commissioner of the Iowa Insurance Division on Friday, Nov. 20.
The award will be posthumously presented during the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Fall National Meeting, and will be accepted on Jim’s behalf by Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart.
I personally had the privilege and honor to work with Jim and other colleagues on a number of issues. It is through those activities that I know if had not been for Jim:
- Fixed index annuities would not be covered under the National Organization of Life and Health Guaranty Associations.
- The final NAIC Suitability Model would have contained unworkable restrictions on fixed annuity sales and caused much confusion for consumers.
- The Buyer’s Guides would include language that was punitive and unbalanced.
- Burdensome Buyer’s Guide licensing and printing fees would still be imposed merely to comply with state law.
- An interpretive memo on the NAIC Illustration Model would have damaged FIA disclosure.
- Insurance and investment-only advisors would not have clear guidelines for permitted and prohibited activities.
All of these achievements helped the industry and helped annuity consumers. That was the balance Jim always strove for and most often achieved. And, these are just on the fixed annuity side of the business. As the First Deputy Commissioner of Iowa, Jim was responsible for much more than the annuity product line.
IRI created the Champion of Retirement Security Award to recognize the outstanding achievements of state regulators who support policies that enhance consumer education about the importance of retirement saving and planning, and ensure that consumers have access to the products and advice they need to help them enjoy a financially secure retirement. “We can think of no one more deserving of this recognition than Jim,” stated the email.
Hats off to The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) for taking this important step to publicly and permanently honor Jim’s legacy. He is gone but not forgotten, and we’ll always be grateful for his commitment and integrity. He made our noble industry more noble.
Kim O’Brien is the vice chairman and CEO of Americans for Annuity Protection. She has 35 years of experience in the insurance industry. O’Brien served The National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) for almost 12 years and led the organization to defeat the SEC’s Rule 151A.
Contact Kim at email@example.com.
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