On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that "closely-held" for-profit corporations (those that are majority owned by five or fewer people) can be granted religious exemptions from certain contraceptive coverage (such as IUDs and the morning-after pill) required under the Affordable Care Act.
Hobby Lobby is by no means a small business -- it has nearly 600 stores and some 13,000 employees. But the Supreme Court's description of "closely held" companies calls into question how far the ruling might extend.
Seventy-eight percent of small businesses are family-owned, according to LIMRA, an insurance trade research firm -- but only 2% of small businesses have 50 or more employees. This is key to the Hobby Lobby decision because any business with fewer than fifty employees is already exempted from the health insurance mandate under the Affordable Healthcare Act.
Top 5 Medical Stocks To Invest In 2015: Iamgold Corporation(IAG)
IAMGOLD Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration, development, and production of mineral resource properties worldwide. It primarily explores for gold, silver, zinc, copper, niobium, diamonds, and other metals. The company holds interests in eight operating gold mines, a niobium producer, a diamond royalty, and exploration and development projects located in Africa and the Americas. Its advanced exploration and development projects include the Westwood project in Canada; and the Quimsacocha project, which consists of 3 mining concessions covering an aggregate area of approximately 8,030 hectares in Ecuador. The company was formerly known as IAMGOLD International African Mining Gold Corporation and changed its name to IAMGOLD Corporation in June 1997. IAMGOLD Corporation was founded in 1990 and is based in Toronto, Canada.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Tom Stoukas]
Air France led airlines lower, falling 4 percent to 7.30 euros. International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) lost 1.9 percent to 270.7 pence while Deutsche Lufthansa AG slid 2.1 percent to 15.75 euros.
Top 10 Insurance Companies To Watch In Right Now: MBIA Inc (MBI)
MBIA Inc. (MBIA), incorporated on November 12, 1986, together with its consolidated subsidiaries, operates the financial guarantee insurance businesses in the industry and is a provider of asset management advisory services. These activities are managed through three business segments: United States public finance insurance, structured finance and international insurance, and advisory services. The Company�� United States public finance insurance business is operated through National Public Finance Guarantee Corporation and its subsidiaries (National), its structured finance and international insurance business is primarily operated through MBIA Insurance Corporation and its subsidiaries (MBIA Corp.), and its asset management advisory services business is primarily operated through Cutwater Holdings, LLC and its subsidiaries (Cutwater). It also manages certain business activities through its corporate, asset/liability products, and conduit segments. The corporate segment includes revenues and expenses that arise from general corporate activities. Funding programs managed through the asset/liability products and conduit segments are in wind-down.
MBIA Corp. owns MBIA UK Insurance Limited (MBIA UK), a financial guarantee insurance company that is regulated and supervised by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in the United Kingdom and is authorized to carry out insurance business in the United Kingdom and in the European Economic Area on a cross border services basis. Its financial guarantee insurance generally provides investors with an unconditional and irrevocable guarantee of the payment of the principal, interest or other amounts owing on insured obligations when due or, in the event that the Company has the right at its discretion to accelerate insured obligations upon default or otherwise, upon its election to accelerate. The Company conducts its financial guarantee business, as well as related reinsurance, advisory and portfolio services, through its subsidiaries National Publi! c Finance Guarantee Corporation (National), its United States (United States) public finance-only financial guarantee company, and MBIA Insurance Corporation and its subsidiaries (MBIA Corp.), which write global structured finance and non-United States public finance financial guarantee insurance.
The Company�� United States public finance insurance business is conducted through National, and its structured finance and international insurance operations are conducted through MBIA Corp. and its subsidiaries. It also issue insurance policies to guarantee the payment of principal and interest on municipal obligations being traded in the secondary market upon the request of a broker or an existing holder of uninsured bonds, where premium is generally paid by the owner of the obligation. In addition, the Company has provided financial guarantees to debt service reserve funds. The primary risk in its insurance operations is that of adverse credit performance in the insured portfolio. It seeks to maintain a diversified insured portfolio and have designed each insured portfolio with the aim of managing and diversifying risk based on a range of criteria, including revenue source, issue size, type of asset, industry concentrations, type of bond and geographic area.
Through the Company�� reinsurance of United States public finance financial guarantees from MBIA Corp. and Financial Guaranty Insurance Company (FGIC), National�� insurance portfolio consists of municipal bonds, including tax-exempt and taxable indebtedness of United States political subdivisions, as well as utility districts, airports, health care institutions, higher educational facilities, student loan issuers, housing authorities and other similar agencies and obligations issued by private entities that finance projects that serve a substantial public purpose. Municipal bonds and privately issued bonds used for the financing of public purpose projects are generally supported by ! taxes, as! sessments, user fees or tariffs related to the use of these projects, lease payments or other similar types of revenue streams. As of December 31, 2012, MBIA Corp. had 899 policies outstanding in its insured portfolio. In addition, MBIA Corp. had 199 insurance policies outstanding relating to asset/liability products liabilities issued by MBIA Inc. and its subsidiaries.
In the Company�� asset management advisory services business its registered investment advisors provide fixed-income asset management services for third parties and the investment portfolios of the Company and its affiliates (including the wind-down businesses) on a fee-for-service basis. Its advisory services are offered in two product lines, traditional and structured. Within the traditional product line, Cutwater offers cash management, customized asset management, discretionary asset management and fund accounting services to governments, insurance companies (including the Company�� insurance subsidiaries), corporations, pension funds, unions, endowments, foundations and investment companies in both pooled and separate account formats. These services are offered through registered investment advisers, and Cutwater receives asset management and administrative fees as compensation. Within the structured product line, Cutwater manages asset/liability programs and conduits (the wind-down businesses), Collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and other funding vehicles for banks, insurance companies, program trustees and investment companies, and it earns base and performance fees for its services. Cutwater�� advisory services are offered through two principal operating subsidiaries: Cutwater Asset Management Corp. (Cutwater-AMC), an SEC-registered investment adviser and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member firm, and Cutwater Investor Services Corp. (Cutwater-ISC), an SEC-registered investment adviser.
The asset/liability produc! ts busine! ss historically raised funds for investment through two sources, such as issuance of customized investment agreements by the Company and one of its subsidiaries for bond proceeds and other funds, and issuance of medium-term notes (MTNs) with varying maturities issued by its subsidiary MBIA Global Funding, LLC (GFL). Each of these products is guaranteed by MBIA Corp. In addition, GFL would lend the proceeds of its GFL MTN issuances to MBIA Inc. (GFL Loans). The Company primarily purchased domestic securities and lent a portion of the proceeds from investment agreements and GFL MTNs to its subsidiary Euro Asset Acquisition Limited, which primarily purchased foreign assets as permitted under the Company�� investment guidelines. The Company�� conduit segment is principally operated through Meridian Funding Company, LLC (Meridian) and, formerly, Triple-A One Funding Corporation (Triple-A One). The conduits were used by banks and other financial institutions to raise funds for their customers in the capital markets. During 2012, Triple-A One was liquated. The conduits provided funding for multiple customers through special purpose vehicles that issued commercial paper and MTNs.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Its big day has also boosted other insurers. Radian Group (RDN) has risen 7.2% to $14.39, while Old Republic International (ORI) has advanced 2.1% to $15.24, Genworth Financial (GNW) is up 3.6% at $13.41 and MBIA Inc. (MBI) has jumped 4.3% to $10.76.
- [By Amanda Alix]
But, it probably won't be that easy. The question of successor liability by B of A for Countrywide has come up before, in the recently settled battle between the bank and monoline insurer MBIA (NYSE: MBI ) . Earlier this year, the insurer filed with the New York courts a very long and colorful presentation in its bid to win summary judgment on this very issue. Despite its effort, however, New York State Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten wouldn't rule either for or against�the question, citing disputed facts that needed more scrutiny. But, in a blow to Bank of America, she did decide that the successor liability issue should be heard in New York, rather than Delaware, which was B of A's preferred venue.
- [By Brian Pacampara]
What: Shares of mortgage insurer MBIA (NYSE: MBI) climbed 10% today after settling its lawsuit against Flagstar Bancorp (NYSE: FBC), in which it accused the bank of misrepresenting the loan quality underlying $1.1 billion in mortgage-backed securities. �
- [By Dan Dzombak]
That said, there's a lot to like about financials -- particularly Bank of America, which is today's Dow leader, up 2.9%. The stock looks cheap relative to the market but has been held back by fear over its many legal woes. Earlier in the month the bank settled one of the major cases against it, paying $1.7 billion to MBIA (NYSE: MBI ) and taking a stake in the insurer to settle its suit.
Top 10 Insurance Companies To Watch In Right Now: Muenchener Rueckversicherungs Gesellschaft AG in Muenchen (MUV2)Muenchener Rueckversicherungs Gesellschaft AG in Muenchen is a Germany-based holding company engaged in reinsurance and insurance business fields. The Company diversifies its operations into reinsurance, primary insurance, Munich Health and Asset management. The Reinsurance business comprises five divisions: Life; Europe and Latin America; Germany, Asia Pacific and Africa; Special and Financial Risks, and Global Clients and North America. The business covers a range of products from traditional reinsurance products to solutions for risk assumption. The Company's primary insurance activities are combined into the ERGO Insurance Group (ERGO) and offers direct insurance, life, property-casualty, health, legal expenses and travel insurance products. It covers the Company's international health reinsurance business and health primary insurance outside Germany and engages the risk management services. The Asset management business handles the investment activities of Munich Re and ERGO. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jonathan Morgan]
Munich Re (MUV2), the world�� biggest reinsurer, dropped 4.9 percent to 145.25 euros after it said second-quarter profit fell 35 percent, missing analysts��estimates, as claims arising from natural disasters rose. Net income dropped to 529 million euros from 808 million euros a year earlier, trailing the 557.1 million-euro average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Top 10 Insurance Companies To Watch In Right Now: ACE Ltd (ACE)
ACE Ltd (ACE) is a holding company of the ACE Group of Companies. ACE is a global insurance and reinsurance organization, serving the needs of customers in more than 170 countries. It offers commercial insurance products and service offerings, such as risk management programs, loss control and engineering and complex claims management. It also provides specialized insurance products ranging from Directors & Officers (D&O) and professional liability to various specialty-casualty and umbrella and excess casualty lines to niche areas, such as aviation and energy. In addition, it supplies personal accident, supplemental health, and life insurance to individuals in select countries. ACE operates in four business segments: Insurance-North American, Insurance-Overseas General, Global Reinsurance, and Life. In December 2011, it acquired Rio Guayas Compania de Seguros y Reaseguros, a general insurance company in Ecuador. On November 30, 2011, it acquired Penn Millers Holding Corporation (PMHC). On April 1, 2011, it acquired the operations of New York Life�� Hong Kong. On February 1, 2011, ACE acquired New York Life�� Korea operations. In September 2012, it acquired 80% of PT Asuransi Jaya Proteksi in Indonesia.
ACE�� Insurance-North American segment consists of the operations in the United States, Canada, and Bermuda. This segment includes the operations of ACE USA (including ACE Canada), ACE Bermuda, ACE Commercial Risk Services, ACE Private Risk Services, ACE Westchester, ACE Agriculture, and various run-off operations. During the year ended December 31, 2011, Insurance-North American segment accounted for 45% of its consolidated net premiums earned. During 2011, ACE USA represented approximately 49% of Insurance-North American�� net premiums earned.
ACE USA is the North American retail operating division which provides a broad array of P&C, A&H, and risk management products and services to a diverse group of commercial and non-commercia! l enterprises and consumers. ACE Bermuda provides commercial insurance products on an excess basis mainly to a global client base, covering exposures that are generally low in frequency and high in severity. ACE Commercial Risk Services addresses the insurance needs of small to mid-sized businesses in North America by delivering an array of specialty product solutions for targeted industries. ACE Private Risk Services provides personal lines coverages for high net worth individuals and families in North America.
ACE Westchester specializes in the North American wholesale distribution of excess and surplus P&C, environmental, professional and inland marine products. ACE Agriculture provides Multi-Peril Crop Insurance and crop/hail insurance protection to customers throughout the United States and Canada through Rain and Hail and Agribusiness insurance through Penn Millers Insurance Company. The run-off operations include Brandywine, Commercial Insurance Services, residual market workers��compensation business, pools and syndicates not attributable to a single business group, and other exited lines of business. Run-off operations do not actively sell insurance products, but are responsible for the management of existing policies and settlement of related claims.
During 2011, ACE�� Insurance- Overseas General segment accounted for 37% of its consolidated net premiums earned. Insurance-Overseas General segment consists of ACE International, its global retail insurance operations, the wholesale insurance business of ACE Global Markets, and the international A&H and life business of Combined Insurance. ACE International is its retail business serving local companies and insureds to large multinationals outside the United States, Bermuda, and Canada. ACE Global Markets, its London-based excess and surplus lines business, includes Lloyd�� of London (Lloyd��) Syndicate 2488 (Syndicate 2488). ACE provides a fund at Lloyd�� to support und! erwriting! by Syndicate 2488, which is managed by ACE Underwriting Agencies Limited. The reinsurance operation of ACE Global Markets is included in the Global Reinsurance segment.
Property insurance products include traditional commercial fire coverage, as well as energy industry-related, construction, and other technical coverages. Principal casualty products are commercial primary and excess casualty, environmental, marine and general liability. ACE International specialty coverages include D&O professional indemnity, energy, aviation, political risk and specialty personal lines products. The A&H operations primarily offer personal accident and supplemental medical products to meet the insurance needs of individuals and groups outside of United States insurance markets. ACE International�� personal lines operations provide specialty products and services designed to meet the needs of specific target markets and include property damage, auto, homeowners, and personal liability.
During 2011, ACE�� Global Reinsurance segment, which accounted for 7% of its consolidated net premiums earned. Global Reinsurance segment represents ACE�� reinsurance operations comprising ACE Tempest Re Bermuda, ACE Tempest Re USA, ACE Tempest Re International, and ACE Tempest Re Canada. The Global Reinsurance segment also includes ACE Global Markets��reinsurance operations. Global Reinsurance markets its reinsurance products worldwide under the ACE Tempest Re brand name and provides a range of coverage to a diverse array of primary P&C companies. ACE Tempest Re Bermuda principally provides property catastrophe reinsurance, on an excess of loss basis globally to insurers of commercial and personal property. ACE Tempest Re Bermuda underwrites reinsurance principally on an excess of loss basis, meaning that its exposure only arises after the ceding company�� accumulated losses have exceeded the attachment point of the reinsurance policy. ACE Tempest Re Bermuda also writes ! other typ! es of reinsurance on a limited basis for selected clients.
ACE Tempest Re USA writes all lines of traditional and specialty P&C reinsurance for the United States market, principally on a treaty basis, with a focus on writing property per risk and casualty reinsurance. ACE Tempest Re USA underwrites reinsurance on both a proportional and excess of loss basis. ACE Tempest Re International provides P&C treaty reinsurance to insurance companies worldwide. ACE Tempest Re Canada offers an array of traditional and specialty P&C reinsurance to the Canadian market, including casualty, property risk and property catastrophe.
During 2011, ACE�� Life accounted for 11% of 2011 consolidated net premiums earned. Life includes ACE�� international life operations (ACE Life), ACE Tempest Life Re (ACE Life Re), and the North American supplemental A&H and life business of Combined Insurance. ACE Life provides individual life and group insurance, including Egypt, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates, throughout Latin America, selectively in Europe, as well as China through a non-consolidated joint venture insurance company.
ACE Life offers a portfolio of protection and savings products, including whole life, endowment plans, individual term life, group term life, group medical, personal accident, universal life, and unit linked contracts. ACE Life sells to consumers through a range of distribution channels, including agency, bancassurance, brokers, and direct to consumer marketing. ACE Life Re helps clients (ceding companies) manage mortality, morbidity, and lapse risks embedded in their books of business. ACE Life Re�� business is a Bermuda-based operation, which provides reinsurance to primary life insurers, focusing on guarantees included in certain fixed and variable annuity products and also on more traditional mortality reinsurance protection. ACE Life Re is a United States-based traditional life reinsurance operation. Combined I! nsurance ! distributes specialty individual accident and supplemental health and life insurance products targeted to middle income consumers in the United States and Canada.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Ben Levisohn]
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and American Express (AXP) rose 2% and 2.1%, respectively, as financial stocks gained on speculation that the jobless claims data would spur the Federal Reserve to taper sooner rather than later, while Ace Ltd.�(ACE) rose 3.8%. �General Motors�(GM) gained 1.1% after the US government said it could sell the last of its shares by year-end. On the downside, Target (TGT) fell 3.5% after reporting earnings that missed analyst expectations.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
For the past several years, Berkshire has contrasted its own cost-free float provided by profitable underwriting against the industry�� (unimpressive) tendency to lose money on underwriting while generating net returns from investment income. So far, so good. Less edifying, though, is the repeated contrast of Berkshire�� track record of profitability to State Farm��…even though, as a mutual company, State Farm�� profitability goals are inherently different from for-profit insurers like Berkshire. It�� true that through year-end 2013, Berkshire�� underwriters have ��ow operated at an underwriting profit for eleven consecutive years,��but so have ACE (ACE), American Financial (AFG),� AmTrust Financial (AFSI), Arch Capital (ACGL), Chubb (CB), HCC (HCC), Progressive (PGR), RLI (RLI), and W.R. Berkley (WRB), any or all of whom provide a more meaningful comparison than contrasting Berkshire�� results to a company that�� not out to produce a profit in the first place.
- [By Dividends4Life]
This week a few companies answered the call and rewarded their shareholders with higher cash dividends:
Consolidated Edison Inc. (ED) engages in regulated electric, gas, and steam delivery businesses. January 16th the company increased its quarterly dividend 2.4% to $0.63 per share. The dividend is payable March 15, 2014, to stockholders of record on February 12, 2014. The yield based on the new payout is 4.7%.
Cousins Properties Incorporated (CUZ), a real estate investment trust (REIT), owns, develops, and manages real estate portfolio, as well as performs certain real estate-related services. January 16th the company increased its quarterly dividend 66.7% to $0.075 per share. The dividend is payable February 24, 2014, to stockholders of record on February 10, 2014. The yield based on the new payout is 2.8%.
Wisconsin Energy Corporation (WEC) generates and distributes electric energy, as well as distributes natural gas. The company operates in two segments, Utility Energy and Non-Utility Energy. January 16th the company increased its quarterly dividend 2% to $0.3900 per share. The dividend is payable March 1, 2014, to stockholders of record on February 14, 2014. The yield based on the new payout is 3.8%.
BlackRock Inc. (BLK) is a publicly owned investment manager. The firm primarily provides its services to institutional, intermediary, and individual investors. January 16th the company increased its quarterly dividend 14.9% to $1.93 per share. The dividend is payable March 24, 2014, to stockholders of record on March 7, 2014. The yield based on the new payout is 2.4%.
ONEOK Inc. (OKE) operates as a diversified energy company in the United States. January 15th the company increased its quarterly dividend 5.3% to $0.40 per share. The dividend is payable February 18, 2014, to stockholders of record on February 10, 2014. The yield based on the new payout is 2.5%.
Omega Healthcare Investors Inc. (OHI) is a real es
Top 10 Insurance Companies To Watch In Right Now: Helvetia Holding AG (HELN)Helvetia Holding AG is a Switzerland-based holding company of the Helvetia Group, an internationally active, all-lines insurance service group. The Company divides its activities into country markets Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Spain and Other insurance units, which include Austria, France and the global reinsurance business, as well as the Corporate segment, which includes all the Helvetia Group activities, as well as financing companies and the Company. Helvetia Holding AG classifies its activities as life business, non-life business and other activities. The life business offers life insurance, pension plans and annuities, among others. The non-life business includes property, motor vehicle, liability and transport policies, as well as health and accidental insurance coverage. The reinsurance business, among others, is included in Other activities business. The Company operates through its branch offices and subsidiaries. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Tom Stoukas]
Helvetia Holding AG (HELN) added 3.3 percent to 412 Swiss francs. Switzerland�� fourth-biggest insurer said first-half profit rose because of increased life-insurance sales and an acquisition in France. Net income climbed to 179.5 million Swiss francs ($192 million) in the six months through June, beating the average analyst estimate of 164.4 million francs.
Top 10 Insurance Companies To Watch In Right Now: ING Groep NV (ING)
ING Groep N.V. (ING), incorporated in 1991, is a global financial institution offering banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services to meet the needs of the customers. The Company�� segments include banking and insurance. Banking segment includes retail Netherlands, retail Belgium, ING direct, retail central Europe (CE), retail Asia, commercial banking (excluding real estate), ING real estate and corporate line banking. Insurance segment includes insurance Benelux, insurance central and rest of Europe (CRE), insurance United States (US), Insurance US closed block VA, insurance Asia/Pacific, ING investment management (IM) and corporate line insurance. In February 2011, the Company divested its real estate investment operation ING Real Estate Investment Management (ING REIM) to CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. In June 2011, the Company sold Clarion Partners. In July 2011, ING announced the completion of the sale of Clarion Real Estate Securities. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company divested its interests in ING Car Lease and ING IM Philippines. In February 2012, Capital One Financial Corp. acquired ING Direct business in the United States from the Company.
In June 2011, ING had completed the sale of its interest in China�� Pacific Antai Life Insurance Company Ltd. In June 2011, ING announced the completion of the sale of real estate investment manager of its United States operations, Clarion Partners, to Clarion Partners management in partnership with Lightyear Capital LLC. In October 2011, ING announced that it had completed the sale of REIM�� Asian and European operations to CBRE Group Inc. In December 2011 ING completed the sale of its Latin American pensions, life insurance and investment management operations.
Retail Banking reaches its individual customers through Internet banking, telephone, call centers, mailings and branches. Using direct marketing methods, it is a provider of current account services an! d payments systems to provide other financial services, such as savings accounts, mortgage loans, consumer loans, credit card services, investment and insurance products. Mortgages are offered through a tied agents sale force and direct and intermediary channels. ING Bank Netherlands operates through a branch network of approximately 280 branches. It offers a range of commercial banking activities and also life and non-life insurance products. It also sells mortgages through the intermediary channel.
ING Belgium provides banking, insurance (life, non-life) and asset management products and services to meet the needs of individuals, families, companies and institutions through a network of local head offices, 773 branches and direct banking channels (automated branches, home banking services and call centers). ING Belgium also operates a second network, Record Bank, which provides a range of banking products through independent banking agents and credit products through a multitude of channels (agents, brokers, vendors).
ING Direct offers a range of financial products, such as savings, mortgages, retail investment products, payment accounts and consumer lending products. It operates in Canada, Spain, Australia, France, Italy, Germany, Austria and the United Kingdom. In June 2011, ING Group announced the sale of ING Direct USA to Capital One Financial Corporation.
Retail Central Europe
Retail Central Europe has a presence in Poland, and Romania and Turkey. ING in Poland is an Internet bank. During 2011, ING Bank Turkey launched the Orange account, the variable savings product. ING in Turkey also launched a mobile phone banking application. ING Bank Romania carried out its Internet banking site, Home��ank. In September 2011, a mobile version of the Home��ank Website was introduced.
Retail Banking has a presence in Asian markets of India, China and Thailand. As o! f Decembe! r 31, 2011, the Company had 44% interest in ING Vysya and 30% interest in TMB Bank in Thailand. Bank of Beijing (BoB), in which ING has the largest single interest (16.07%) is a commercial bank in China. ING provides principally risk management and retail banking to BoB.
ING Commercial Banking supports the banking needs of its corporate and institutional clients to invest both retail and commercial bank customer deposits. It is a commercial bank in its home markets in the Benelux, as well as in Germany, Central and Eastern Europe. In addition to the banking services of lending, payments and cash management and treasury, it also provides solutions in other areas, including specialized and trade finance, derivatives, corporate finance, debt and equity capital markets, leasing, factoring and supply chain finance. Payments and Cash Management (PCM) and General Lending are its some of the product lines. Structured Finance (SF) is a specialist commercial lending business, providing loans to support capital intensive investments and working capital. It is managed in three groups: the Energy, Transport and Infrastructure Group; the Specialized Financing Group; and International Trade and Export Finance. Leasing and Factoring (L&F) provides financial and operating leasing services for a range of equipment, as well as receivables financing and other factoring solutions for commercial banking clients. The Financial Markets (FM) is the global business unit that manages ING�� financial markets trading and non-trading activities. FM is managed along three business lines: ALCO manages the interest rates exposures arising from the traditional banking activities, Strategic Trading Platform incorporates the primary proprietary risk taking units, and Clients and Products is the primary customer trading facilitation business line.
During 2011, Real Estate Finance (REF) maintained its credit portfolio. Real Estate Development (ING RED) and! Real Est! ate Investment Management (ING REIM) has a controlled wind down of activities.
Duirng 2011, Nationale-Nederlanden introduced bank pension savings products and annuities. ING Life Belgium introduced a new Universal Life product. Nationale-Nederlanden also received a license from the Dutch Central Bank to launch a defined contribution DC company pension product PPI in Europe. NN Services introduced a processing and information technology system (business process management layer) for several legacy lines of retail Life businesses. NN Services IT manages all the closed book business of Nationale-Nederlanden. ING�� life insurance products in the Benelux consist of a range of traditional, unit-linked and variable annuity policies written for both individual and group customers. ING is also a provider of (re-insured) company pension plans in the Netherlands.
NG Benelux��non-life products, mainly in the Netherlands, include coverage for both individual and commercial/group clients for fire, motor, disability, transport and third party liability. Nationale-Nederlanden has also a central product manufacturing service for property and casualty insurance, which has developed products for ING Bank in Belgium and ING Bank in the Netherlands. ING offers a range of disability insurance products and complementary services for employers and self-employed professionals (such as dentists and general practitioners).
Insurance Central and Rest of Europe
Insurance Central and Rest of Europe has life insurance companies in Hungary, Poland, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain and Turkey. It has pension funds in Poland, Hungary, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Bulgaria, Romania and in Turkey. ING offers a range of individual endowment, unit linked, term and whole life insurance policies designed to meet specific customer needs. It also has employee benefits products, as well as pension funds, that manage individu! al retire! ment accounts for individuals. The latter comprise both mandatory and voluntary retirement savings.
Insurance United States (Excluding US Closed Block Va)
ING Insurance US offers retirement services (primarily defined contribution plans), life insurance, fixed annuities, employee benefits, mutual funds, and broker-dealer services in the United States. ING Insurance US operates four businesses: Retirement Plans, Individual Retirement, Individual Life and Employee Benefits. ING Insurance US�� Retirement Plans business is a contribution providers, which offers a range of retirement solutions to all sizes and types of employers, including businesses for-profit ranging from start-ups to large corporations, public and private school systems, higher education institutions, state and local governments, hospitals and healthcare facilities, and not-for-profit organizations. ING Insurance US�� Retirement Plans business is a provider of defined contribution (DC) retirement plans in the United States based on assets under management and administration.
Insurance US Closed Block Va
ING US Closed Block VA consists of variable annuities issued in the United States that are primarily owned by individuals and were designed to address the demand for tax-advantaged savings, retirement planning, and wealth-protection. These annuity contracts were sold in the United States, primarily through independent third party distributors, including wirehouses and securities firms, independent planners and agents and banks.
ING Insurance Asia/Pacific (IAP) is a provider of life insurance products and services. It is a life insurer in the region, with nine life operations in eight markets. IAP has ip operations in Japan and South Korea, operates a nt business in Malaysia, and is well in China, Hong Kong, Macau, India and Thailand. In April 2011, IAP, together with Public Bank Berhad and Public Islamic Bank Berhad, launched a joint ! venture i! n Malaysia, ING PUBLIC Takaful Ehsan Berhad, which will develop Takaful insurance products. In June 2011, IAP completed the sale of its 50% interest in Pacific-Antai Life Insurance Company Limited (PALIC).
The business units of IAP offer select types of life insurance, wealth management, and retail products and services. These include annuities, endowment, disability/morbidity insurance, unit linked/universal life, whole e, participating life, group life, accident and health, term life and employee benefits. In Hong Kong non-life insurance products (including medical, motor, fire, marine, personal accident and general liability) are also offered.
Insurance Latin America
ING completed the sale of its pensions, life insurance and investment management operations on December 29, 2011. These operations were in Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.
ING Investment Management
ING IM is an investment manager of ING Group with activities in Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. In October 2011, ING IM sold ING IM Australia. ING IM provides a range of actively-managed strategies, investment vehicles and advisory services in all major asset classes and investment styles. It delivers a range of investment strategies and services to ING�� global network of businesses and third-party clients.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Vaughan Scully, ,]
Three of the fund's top 10 holdings��NG Groep (ING), BNP Paribas (Paris:BNP) (US:BNPQY), and Credit Suisse Group (CS)��re European financials that came into the fund beginning in early 2012, when the team began to sense the pessimism regarding the European banking sector was too extreme.
Top 10 Insurance Companies To Watch In Right Now: Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. (MMC)
Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., a professional services company, provides advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy, and human capital. It operates in two segments, Risk and Insurance Services, and Consulting. The Risk and Insurance Services segment provides risk management and insurance broking, reinsurance broking, and insurance program management services for businesses, public entities, insurance companies, associations, professional services organizations, and private clients. The Consulting segment offers advice and services to the managements of organizations in the area of human resource consulting, comprising retirement and investments, health and benefits, outsourcing and talent; and strategy and risk management consulting, such as management, economic, and brand consulting. The company also provides investment consulting services for endowments and foundations in the United States; health and benefit recordkeeping, and employee enrollment technology; human resource knowledge, data, and solutions for professionals in various industries; and Medicaid policy consulting services. It principally serves customers in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Asia Pacific, and Continental Europe. Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. was founded in 1871 and is headquartered in New York, New York.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By CRWE]
Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MMC) held its annual meeting of shareholders, at which the Company announced that its Board of Directors has voted to increase the Company�� quarterly cash dividend by 5 percent to $.23 per share on outstanding common stock.
- [By Christina Rexrode]
Marsh & McLennan Cos Inc. (MMC) and MetLife Inc. (MET) have been rising since those companies reported earnings earlier this week.