Life-Annuity Distribution & Marketing Annual - COVID-19 Impacts on Distribution


Conning:  Life-Annuity Distribution Confronting COVID-19, Regulation, and Consolidation


  • COVID-19 Accelerating Digital Distribution
  • Distributors and Insurers Facing Increased Regulatory Burden
  • Private Equity Appetite for Distribution Continues

HARTFORD, CT – September 08, 2020 – Without question, the most significant development affecting life-annuity distribution in 2020 is COVID-19. As the industry adapts to a new work environment, it is doing so as new fiduciary and suitability rules take effect. In addition, distributor consolidation continues, fueled in part by private equity.

The Conning study, “Life-Annuity Distribution & Marketing Annual: COVID-19 Impacts on Distribution” explores those three issues and how the industry has responded to them. Further, it analyzes individual life and annuity sales trends by channel and product.

“The life-annuity industry, has shifted operations to a work-from-home environment in response to COVID-19. That includes moving into a fully remote sales and service experience,” said Scott Hawkins, a Director, Insurance Research at Conning. “While disruptive in the short-term to sales, a longer-term view may find that this crisis has accelerated the trend towards the digitization of the life-annuity industry.”

“COVID-19 is not the only force disrupting distribution in 2020. Both insurers and distributors face new regulatory compliance hurdles,” said Steve Webersen, Head of Insurance Research at Conning. “These new regulations are likely to increase compliance costs and add to lower sales in the short term. Those costs are just another factor in driving consolidation among distributors. Fueling that consolidation is the continued interest among private equity firms in acquiring distributors, especially RIAs.”


Life-Annuity Distribution & Marketing Annual: COVID-19 Impacts on Distribution” is available for purchase from Conning by calling (888) 707-1177 or by visiting

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Conning ( is a leading investment management firm with a long history of serving the insurance industry. Conning supports institutional investors, including pension plans, with investment solutions and asset management offerings, risk modeling software, and industry research. Founded in 1912, Conning has investment centers in Asia, Europe and North America.

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