Magazine article American Banker

UJB Planning to Launch First Proprietary Annuities, Both Fixed and Variable

Magazine article American Banker

UJB Planning to Launch First Proprietary Annuities, Both Fixed and Variable

Article excerpt

In a play to broaden its role as an asset manager, UJB Financial Corp. is unveiling its first proprietary fixed and variable annuities in the coming weeks.

Early next month, the Princeton, N.J.-based banking company plans to begin offering the Pillar Fixed Annuity through brokers working in its 204 United Jersey Bank branches.

In April, the bank plan expects to gain regulatory approval to begin selling the Pillar variable annuities through its branches. The variable annuity accounts will essentially be tax-deferred versions of the portfolios managed in the bank's $1.4 billion-in-assets Pillar family of funds.

About a dozen banking companies have created their own variable annuities over the past three years. Of that group, only a handful including First Union Corp. and SunTrust Banks Inc. - have made fixed annuities a part of the mix.

A UJB official said he expects the annuities to win strong acceptance. "We have found that our customers like the idea of their money being managed locally," said Louis M. Daniels, senior vice president for insurance services and alternative investments. "Plus, we are currently in an asset accumulation mode."

The annuities will be underwritten by Western National Life Insurance Co., a Houston firm that is working to help banks develop their own proprietary annuities. In addition to UJB, its bank clients include Charlotte, N.C.-based First Union and First of America Bank Corp., Kalamazoo, Mich.

UJB Financial has sold annuities since 1990, acting as marketing agent for the tax-deferred investments. …

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