Wealth & Risk Management Blog

William Byrnes (Texas A&M) tax & compliance articles

Posts Tagged ‘American International Group’

Summit Business Media Taps Advanced Markets ‘Dream Team’ to Drive Growth of Online Platform for Investment and Insurance Professionals

Posted by William Byrnes on May 5, 2011


Summit Business Media today announced that it has assembled a “dream team” of wealth management, financial planning and advanced sales professional reference experts to expand the content and scope of Advanced Markets AdvisorFX, the primary online source of practice-building and client-management tools for financial advisors and insurance professionals.

Advisors can try Advanced Markets AdvisorFX FREE for 15 days by going to http://www.advisorfxinfo.com and clicking on the “Free Trial” button to get started.

Rick Kravitz, Vice President & Managing Director of Summit Business Media’s Reference Division, noted thatAdvanced Markets AdvisorFX’s editorial advisory panel is comprised of experts from the international wealth management team at Thomas Jefferson Law School in San Diego led by Prof. William H. Byrnes, Associate Dean. He added, “Prof. Byrnes and his team bring enormous technical expertise as well as broad insights into the larger trends driving client decisions on tax, investment and wealth management strategies.”

Prof. Byrnes is a former Coopers & Lybrand expert in international law who has consulted for foreign governments as well as Fortune 1000 insurance and institutional investment companies. Other members of his team include:

• Robert Bloink, former Senior Attorney in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel and an expert in sophisticated wealth transfer techniques;
• George Mentz, a licensed attorney, MBA, and financial planner who was formerly a Senior Financial Planner and Wealth Manager for an international Wall Street firm;
• Don Goode, an insurance professional and former partner of Potomac West, where he lent active support to the first agent in the history of the insurance industry ever to receive more than $100 million in a single calendar year;
• Mike Rodman, three-time winner of “Top of the Table,” the Million Dollar Round Table’s highest honor, and founder of Advanced Planning Services, a premier advanced sales and advanced underwriting organization; and
• Robert Stuchiner, former Senior Vice President in charge of marketing and strategy for the AIG Affluent Markets Group.

Advanced Markets AdvisorFX’s unique content is designed to give users resources to attract new clients, grow their business and serve more markets. The content menu includes:

• The Advanced Underwriter Service (formerly from Dearborn Financial);
• The Advanced Sales and Reference Service (National Underwriter);
• Concepts and Client Illustrations from Don Cady’s classic estate planning, employee benefits and business planning Field Guides;
• Tax Facts on Insurance and Employee Benefits as well as Tax Facts on Investments, the largest circulation works of their kind in the insurance industry;
• Advisor FYI – daily headlines from media coverage of financial and estate planning issues;
• Advisor’s Journal – lengthy analysis and roadmap guidance on critical taxation and estate planning issues; and
• White papers on major legislation such as the Tax Relief Act of 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Pension Act of 2010 and others.

About Summit Business Media
Summit Business Media is the leading B2B media and information company serving the insurance, investment advisory, professional services and mining investment markets through a variety of channels, including print, online and live events. Summit provides breaking news and analysis, in-depth practice management strategies, business-building techniques and actionable data to the markets it serves. Through its Media and Reference Divisions, Summit publishes 16 magazines, 20 websites and 150 reference titles. Summit’s Event Division hosts a dozen conferences across the spectrum of markets the company services. Summit’s Data Division is the leading data provider of financial, marketing and benefits information on corporations, insurance companies and life, benefits and property-casualty agents.

Summit employs nearly 400 employees in ten offices across the United States.

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AIG Marked as Central Player in the Financial Crisis Blame Game

Posted by William Byrnes on March 15, 2011


According the FCIC report, in the late 90s, AIG leveraged its superior credit rating—its “most valuable asset”—to branch out beyond standard insurance products and become a major over-the-counter derivatives dealer. Through its subsidiary AIG Financial Products, AIG eventually amassed a derivatives portfolio with $2.7 trillion in notional value.

A significant portion of AIG’s derivatives business was devoted to credit default swaps (CDS’s) that “insured” debt held by financial firms and institutional investors. A CDS is a contract under which the party writing the CDS agrees to reimburse the party purchasing protection if there is a default on the underlying debt. In exchange, the party purchasing protection makes a series of payments to the issuer of the CDS—essentially premium payments.

AIG’s credit protection business grew rapidly, swelling from $20 billion in 2002 to $211 billion in 2005 and $533 billion in 2007.

Although insurance policies and CDS’s are similar, crucial differences between the two played a critical role in the crisis. An insurance company is obligated to set aside reserves to balance against potential losses; but a credit default swap, not being an insurance policy, is not subject to a reserve requirement. As a result, AIG was not required to put up collateral when it issued hundreds of billions in CDS’s. What the company did do, however, was promise to post collateral if its credit rating was downgraded.

Read the entire analysis by linking to AdvisorFX !  Sing up for the no obligation free trial – with full access to Advanced Underwriting Service, the Presentation Aids, Soft Skill Tools, Calculators, and Daily Journal.

 

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Lawsuit Seeks to Hold Insurer Responsible for Suspicious Death

Posted by William Byrnes on December 10, 2010


For as long as life insurance has existed, con artists and murderers have sought payouts from policies on the lives of their victims. Tomisue Hilbert, wife of insurance giant Conseco, Inc.’s founder Stephen Hilbert, suspects that her mother, Suzy Tomlinson, was a victim of one such schemer.

She looks to hold AIG responsible for her mother’s untimely death, believing that a high-value policy issued by American General (an AIG subsidiary) on her mother’s life was the impetus behind a scheme that ended with her mother’s death.  The life insurance policy at issue in the case is a $15 million policy on Tomlinson’s life naming Indiana businessman J.B. Carlson as its beneficiary. Policy premiums were paid with premium financing.

On September 29, 2008, Suzy Tomlinson drowned in her bathtub, fully clothed, after a night of drinking. Tomlinson’s death occurred right before a $1.27 million payment was due on the premium finance loan. Tomisue Hilbert’s lawsuit notes the fortuitous timing—for Carlson—of her mother’s death, Carlson’s debts of $5.9 million and the fact that Carlson may have been the last person to see her mother alive.

Read this complete article at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

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