Tuesday, January 05, 2010

A nod to Prince

I saw some stats attributed to the Insurance Retirement Institute in the Journal yesterday and I thought "what's that? An insurance industry association I've never heard of?" Really should be no shock, as the acronym soup is thick in the insurance world, but I looked it up anyway. And what did I discover?

The Insured Retirement Institute, the variable annuity trade group formerly known as NAVA...
I.e. National Association of Variable Annuities, which I remembered from bygone days as the kind of association that would have a former President (to wit, Gerald Ford) come and speak as a member of a panel, not even as keynote (I think Giuliani had that honor that year, probably 2003). Which is to say, it's an organization with a lot of money behind it. So why did it change its name? Too many hookers at the convention?

addendum: A little sleuthing shows that NAVA's complete rebranding dates to July of '09. Undoubtedly the group wanted to distance itself from pure play variable annuities, as the minimum guarantees associated with the most popular flavors of these little products were so detrimental to the financial health of such TARP recipients as the Hartford and Lincoln Financial, as well as ING, CIGNA, and a number of others. Variable life and annuity sales have fallen through the floor in 2009, so it seemed wise to wipe the slate clean and start all over! Good work guys!

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