Life-Annuity Distribution & Marketing Annual: Confronting a Distribution Challenge


Michael Warner
Conning, Inc.

Conning—Individual Life & Annuity Insurers Respond to Distribution Disruptions

(Hartford, CT) July 11, 2016—Individual life and annuity insurers have been transforming their distribution and marketing operations in response to changes in consumer preferences, technological change, and now new regulations, according to a new study by Conning, Inc.

“The pace of distribution and marketing change in the life-annuity industry is accelerating, and insurers are scrambling to keep up,” said Scott Hawkins, a Director, Insurance Research at Conning. “Insurers have been retooling their systems to respond to the digital imperative that has driven consumer marketing and distribution strategy across all industries. These efforts are supportive of both traditional agent distribution channels and the potential for greater direct distribution. Now, adding to that complexity, the retirement market also must deal with the significant changes brought about by the Department of Labor’s proposed Fiduciary Rule.”

The Conning study, “Life-Annuity Distribution & Marketing Annual: Confronting a Distribution Challenge” analyzes individual life and annuity sales trends by product and channel for five years through 2015 and forecasts product-level sales through 2018. The study analyzes the digital marketing trends of the top insurers in the market, and advertising and related expense trends are presented. This edition also contains a focused review of the Department of Labor’s new Fiduciary Rule and the likely impact on insurers.

“Insurers are actively planning for the impacts of the proposed DOL Fiduciary Rule, which would phase-in through this year and into the next,” said Steve Webersen, Head of Insurance Research at Conning. “Of course, the Rule will impact insurers differently based on their product mix. The greatest disruption will be seen in midsized and large insurers with greater focus on indexed and variable annuities. Our analysis of the potential impact of the Rule industrywide has caused us to reduce our forecast of individual annuity sales for both 2016 and 2017.”

“Life-Annuity Distribution & Marketing Annual: Confronting a Distribution Challenge” is available for purchase from Conning by calling (888) 707-1177 or by visiting


Conning ( is a leading global investment management firm with approximately $103 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2016.* With a long history of serving the insurance industry, Conning supports institutional investors, including pension plans, with investment solutions and asset management offerings, award-winning risk modeling software, and industry research. Founded in 1912, Conning has offices in Boston, Cologne, Hartford, Hong Kong, London, New York, and Tokyo.

* Asset total includes Conning, Inc., Conning Asset Management Limited, Conning Asia Pacific Limited, Goodwin Capital Advisers, Inc., Conning Investment Products, Inc. and Octagon Credit Investors, LLC which are all direct or indirect subsidiaries of Conning Holdings Limited (collectively “Conning”) which is one of the family of companies owned by Cathay Financial Holding Co., Ltd. a Taiwan-based company.