Chicago — Bull markets are not the most likely of times for rigorous self-examination.  So, one may well understand why life insurers, flush in recent years with demands for annuity products, had not spent too much time wondering how to improve the operational infrastructure servicing those products.

“We believe that the annuity industry’s significant sales growth through 2006 masked underlying efficiency and effectiveness issues,” New York-based Deloitte LLP contends in its yearly Annuity Contract Expense Benchmarking Study (ACES).

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