Helping to Better Serve Your Employees
“There’s a great opportunity for us to become an exclusive insurance platform on the desktops of both bank and independent financial advisors." - John Bultema, Senior VP of Institutional Markets at Western & Southern Financial Group
Western & Southern Financial Group formed Institutional Markets in 2017 to lead the company’s efforts to find more ways to serve employers and other institutions with solutions such as pension risk transfer (PRT), bank-owned life insurance (BOLI), and Insurance Profillment Solutions (IPS) – a co-branded, multi-carrier, digital life insurance superstore serving banks and their clients. The team is also building solution suites that deliver retirement and group protection products to small businesses and mid-size companies.
“Western & Southern saw an opportunity to leverage several capabilities that we have for the Institutional Markets. Our strong balance sheet and superior credit ratings make us a great partner for companies looking for institutional insurance and group annuity offerings,” explains John Bultema, senior vice president of Institutional Markets at Western & Southern Financial Group.
“Over the last eight years, the pension risk transfer (PRT) market has been a growing market ever since Verizon and General Motors announced their very large PRT transactions in 2012," Bultema adds. "In 2011, the annual market was about $2 billion a year and, for 2018, the market grew to $28 billion. This growth demonstrates that companies with pension plans of all sizes are realizing the benefits of these transactions.”
“Our team serves pension plan sponsors ranging from small manufacturers and service companies of a couple hundred employees to very large Fortune 500 companies,” mentions David DiMartino, vice-president of Institutional Markets. “PensionAssist® is Western & Southern’s single premium group annuity that not only reduces a company’s workload, but also guarantees payments that retirees can count on each month.”
A PRT transaction helps reduce or eliminate the uncertainty and impact of plan volatility on a company’s balance sheet and frees up time spent by the plan sponsor on plan-related activities. PensionAssist® includes full-service benefit administration and service for the participants covered by the transfer and provides guaranteed monthly income to the plan sponsor’s participants.
“After the plan sponsor chooses us, we take great care and effort in transferring the participant data and payment information to Western & Southern. Feedback that we routinely receive is that both the consultants and the plan sponsors we work with praise our attention to detail, their customer service experience and our consistent follow-up and collaboration,” DiMartino adds.
Another service offered by the Institutional Markets division is the management of bank-owned life insurance (BOLI). Often used by banks, BOLI provides a tax-advantaged way to fund employees’ benefit packages.
“The BOLI market is very well established within the banking industry,” says DiMartino, who also manages the BOLI business. “As of year-end 2017, over 3,500 banks nationwide reported owning BOLI contracts. We rolled out our BOLI product in 2016. It’s a private placement group variable universal life insurance policy sold by Western & Southern member companies. Our BOLI team serves both local and regional banks.”
The final business group within Institutional Markets is Insurance Profillment Solutions (IPS) – led by Robert J. DalSanto, president of IPS. “Our bank clients were looking for the ability to provide more financial services to their online clients, many of whom seldom visit bank branches,” says DalSanto. “Leveraging our co-branded digital life insurance platform, bank clients can shop for and buy life insurance when they want, where they want, and on any device they choose – smart phones, tablets or PCs. Banks are even using the platform to help their mortgage and lending clients secure life insurance to protect their homes and businesses.”
DalSanto says the simplicity of the digital platform, which allows Bankers to manage the insurance conversation without managing the paperwork, has resulted in many banks deploying the insurance sales platform on the desktops of its branch and call center associates.
IPS is one more example of how Western & Southern’s Institutional Markets Team is helping its customers redefine the way they do business.
Western & Southern Financial Group is located at 400 Broadway St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. For more information, call 866.832.7719 or visit westernsouthern.com.