American General Establishes Independent Advisor Network

AIG American General in Houston has launch the Independent Advisor Network (IAN) as part of a strategy to expand its services to independent financial advisors who cater to the emerging mass affluent market.

"Mass affluent consumers are a growing market niche in America today," says Dick Miller, IAN‚s chief executive officer. "We define the mass affluent market as individuals and small business owners who have assets between $100,000 and $1 million available for investing. Our research shows that the mass affluent market controls approximately $4 to $5 billion of investable assets. Through IAN, we offer independent financial advisors a dedicated service platform, a broad portfolio of top-tier products and professional-development opportunities to help reach and serve these clients."

Miller says that AIG American General believes the mass affluent is a market that‚s being underserved and provides a significant opportunity for the company and advisors. He adds that American General is targeting independent agents at the Million Dollar Roundtable Level and above to establish primary relationships with them.

Products include term, universal, whole and variable universal life policies, as well as fixed annuities and supplemental health insurance. Through IAN, independent advisors can establish professional development accounts that offer study groups and seminars, strategic planning, online sales tools and a relationship with The Strategic Coach, an entrepreneurial coaching organization headed by noted industry speaker and author Dan Sullivan. Business development accounts offer strategic planning.

For more information on IAN, please visit

Morningstar To Create Hedge Fund Database

Morningstar Inc. of Chicago is creating a global hedge fund and private partnership database to assist investors in evaluating alternative asset classes. The database will include participating funds‚ investment strategy, performance data, portfolio manager information and operations data.

"One of our goals in creating this database is to help make the hedge fund industry more transparent to all investors," says Joe Mansueto, chairman and CEO of Morningstar.

Morningstar plans to complete its hedge fund database over the next year. Ryan Tagal, product manager, is leading the firm‚s initiative. The company initially will offer hedge fund information through Morningstar DataLab, a Web-based research product for institutional investment professionals. Access to Morningstar‚s hedge fund database will be restricted to accredited investors and their advisors.

DST Vision Adds Search529

DST Vision, an account management Web site for financial intermediaries, now offers access to Search529.

With Search529, Vision users can perform research and compare plan expenses and performance data for all 529 plans, download pre-completed enrollment forms and sales materials, and develop presentation materials. Search529 also offers updated compliance information, industry background and illustration calculators. DST Vision also provides access to customer account information in 35 529 plans.

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