ING Creates Wealth Management and Insurance Platforms in the US to Make it Easier for Consumers to Understand and Synchronize Retirement Savings, Income Distribution and Risk Management Strategies

April 2, 2007 Atlanta Share: Print Subscribe to Email Alerts

In its ongoing Consumer Retirement Surveys, McKinsey & Company identified a number of concerns that US pre-retirees are becoming increasingly anxious about, including potential cuts to safety net programs, accumulating sufficient savings, and creating a guaranteed stream of income. With these concerns as the backdrop for the US retirement savings environment, ING US Financial Services, part of Amsterdam-based ING Groep NV, announced recently that it has realigned its US retirement savings and insurance operations to pioneer a more effective way to address the evolving retirement challenges facing US consumers.

“With our scaled presence in the individual retirement product market and the defined contribution product market, plus the insurance product market, ING is uniquely positioned to help US consumers create a comprehensive retirement savings plan that integrates their defined contribution retirement plans at their workplace with their personal investments outside the workplace,” said Tom McInerney, ING Executive Board member, chairman and CEO, ING Insurance Americas. “This new alignment of businesses addresses a variety of external factors, including the ongoing erosion of the safety nets that once provided financial confidence for generations of retirees. Because of these changes, financial products, such as variable annuities, that provide downside protection and streams of income that can’t be outlived are increasingly attractive for tomorrow’s retirees. ING is focused on making it easier for consumers to create appropriate solutions for their retirement savings and risk protection programs that will allow them to retire with confidence.”

ING created two distinct business divisions within this strategy. One division, called US Wealth Management, is focused on long-term retirement savings, retirement income, and comprehensive financial planning. The other operation, called US Insurance, is focused on risk protection, wealth preservation and risk management.

Kathleen A. Murphy, CEO, US Wealth Management

The US Wealth Management business is led by CEO Kathleen A. Murphy, and includes ING’s 401(k), 457, and 403(b) defined contribution businesses, its Rollover/Payout business, plus its retail annuity business, and one of the industry’s largest independent broker/dealer network.

“A secure and independent retirement is part of the American Dream and ING works with thousands of financial professionals and consumers daily to help make this dream a reality,” Murphy said. “ING’s Wealth Management businesses offer a full portfolio of products and services to help consumers prepare for retirement at the workplace and throughout their retirement years, especially the unprecedented number of Baby Boomers transitioning into retirement over the next 20 years. Since many Baby Boomers are expected to live well into their 90s, they will face an emerging kind of financial risk called longevity risk. Longevity risk is manageable with proper planning, preparation and products.”

ING is a leading provider of retirement plans in its 401(k), 403(b) and 457 Defined Contribution market segments; a leader in fixed and variable annuities; and has one of the largest independent broker/dealer networks with nearly 9,000 registered representatives.

“Retirement planning in America is changing; the defined contribution plan is now where the majority of retirement savings are accumulating, yet the flexibility to create streams of income and downside protection exists within the retail product world,” Murphy said. “By marrying these two worlds, ING’s US Wealth Management business is creating a more holistic approach to helping consumers manage their retirement portfolios. This evolution in the retirement savings marketplace has resulted in a steady transformation of the role of the financial services company in the 21st century and creates the need for this broader approach, which we’re calling Wealth Management.”

Prior to becoming CEO of ING US Wealth Management, Murphy was group president, US Worksite and Institutional Services. Murphy also served as chief administrative officer and general counsel for ING US Financial Services.

Catherine H. Smith, CEO, US Insurance

The US Insurance business is led by CEO Catherine H. Smith, and includes ING’s life insurance, employee benefits, and group reinsurance businesses.

“There are two core issues in the insurance market today: first, Americans are under-insured and need to incorporate basic life insurance into their overall financial plan,” Smith said.
“Second, the role of life and other voluntary insurance products has evolved and expanded beyond just protecting people and their loved ones from unexpected life events. With new designs and increased flexibility, insurance products comprise key elements of sophisticated financial plans. “

Smith continued: “As Baby Boomers’ retirement needs have evolved, we see the heightened importance of risk protection combined with wealth creation. Insurance products can provide an important protective wrapper around retirement savings. This insurance wrapper effectively manages a diversity of risks and allows consumers to enter their retirement years with confidence. Bottom line – life insurance has become the forgotten foundation of a long-term, comprehensive financial plan,” Smith said. “With the cost of term life insurance on the decline and product innovation on the rise, there has never been a better time for life insurance and other insurance products to become a central part of consumers’ financial foundation.”

Prior to becoming CEO of US Insurance, Smith was president, ING US Retail Financial Services. Smith also served as chief operations officer for ING US Financial Services.

ING US Financial Services delivers four consecutive years of growth since completing its massive consolidation in 2002

In 2006, ING’s US operations delivered its fourth consecutive year of earnings and sales growth with a 25 percent compounded annual growth rate (“CAGR”) in operating earnings(1) since 2002, a 16 percent 4-year CAGR in sales of ING’s 401(k), 457, and 403(b) defined contribution and rollover products, and a 14 percent 4-year CAGR in sales of variable annuity products.

“With four consecutive years of outstanding earnings and sales growth, ING’s US operations are performing strongly and are well positioned as a major player on the US financial services landscape," McInerney said. “We have evolved our business model over the past five years to address the demands of today’s diversifying marketplace. This realignment of our major businesses will allow us to take a more strategic, coordinated approach to the marketplace. It will allow ING to more easily provide a continuum of products, risk management techniques and distribution strategies to meet the evolving needs of the baby boomers, and allow ING to share product development and risk management expertise across its Wealth Management and Insurance platforms.”

For more information about ING’s US Wealth Management and US Insurance businesses, visit www.ing.com/us.

Press inquiries

Dana E. Ripley, 770.980.4865 or 404.788.9624 (cell) or dana.ripley@us.ing.com

About ING

ING Groep, N.V. is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, insurance and asset management to more than 60 million private, corporate and institutional clients in more than 50 countries. With a diverse workforce of more than 120,000 people, ING comprises a broad spectrum of prominent companies that increasingly serve their clients under the ING brand.

In the U.S., the ING family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which include life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits, financial planning and reinsurance. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves more than 15 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit www.ing.com.

Annuities are offered through ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company. Life insurance products are offered through ReliaStar Life Insurance Company, ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York and Security Life of Denver Insurance Company. Only ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York is admitted, and its products offered in, the state of New York. All are members of the ING family of companies.

Certain of the statements contained herein are statements of future expectations and other forward-looking statements. These expectations are based on management's current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results, performance or events may differ materially from those in such statements due to, among other things, (i) general economic conditions, in particular economic conditions in ING’s core markets, (ii) performance of financial markets, including emerging markets, (iii) the frequency and severity of insured loss events, (iv) mortality and morbidity levels and trends, (v) persistency levels, (vi) interest rate levels, (vii) currency exchange rates (viii) general competitive factors, (ix) changes in laws and regulations, (x) changes in the policies of governments and/or regulatory authorities. ING assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this document.

Operating earnings represent the total US underlying profit before tax and before investment gains (losses) as defined and disclosed in the ING US Statistical Supplement.