What’s the importance of financial professionals and consumers working with a strong manufacturer?
That and other questions were tackled by Grant Kvalheim, CEO and President of Athene USA, and Greg Dillon, a principal with OneTeam Financial, in a recent panel discussion, sponsored by Athene.
According to Kvalheim, working with a strong manufacturer is key to finding the right solution.
Dillon, for his part, agreed. “Financial strength is important,” he said. “You want to make sure that (the) company is going to be around for the long-term,” especially “if you're using these instruments for lifetime income.”
And that, Dillon said, is a “very long commitment.”
During the panel discussion, Kvaleim discussed how Athene started during the financial crisis of 2008 with a leadership team with a combined 165 years of experience, and was built on a unique business model that can handle the current environment.
Among other things, Kvalheim said Athene was the largest seller of fixed index annuities (FIAs) in the second quarter of 2020. In a period of extreme market volatility, when many competitors pulled back, Athene stayed consistent in the marketplace, he said. “That's the commitment of the people that we work with, and the commitment to our consumers,” said Kvalheim.
In addition, Kvalheim spoke about Athene’s partnerships with key firms and organizations, including some of the largest banks and investment banks. Earlier this year, for instance, Athene added the Nasdaq FC Index, sponsored by Bank of America, and the AI Powered US Equity Index, sponsored by HSBC, to its suite of fixed indexed annuities.
Kvalheim also discussed Athene’s portfolio, how it goes about creating fixed annuities and FIAs, and how that compares and contrasts to the rest of the industry. Among other things, he said Athene offers a diverse portfolio of product solutions, built to perform for its customers in a variety of marketing conditions. What’s more, the company has a methodical product creation and pricing process. And it focuses on bringing innovative index solutions to market for its consumers.
During the panel discussion, Kvalheim also described how Athene provides value-add resources, including training and education, to financial professionals. “We have comprehensive product training,” he said, noting that the company requires agents to go through training before they can submit an application to Athene.
Plus, there’s continuing education. “We want educated producers, we want knowledgeable consumers,” Kvalheim said. “We think the more they know, the more our products shine.”
Ultimately, Kvalheim said, “it's up to every consumer to kick the tires, every agent to kick the tires and make that determination that we have the right product that serves their customer need because, at the end of the day, that's what we want. We want people living happy, long, retirement with enough money to do the things they want to do and enjoy life in retirement.”