Western & Southern Financial Group, (Western & Southern) a financial services company that provides consultative risk management financial solutions for individuals preparing for or in retirement, announced its total annuity sales reached $1.25 billion for first four months of 2009.



Western & Southern claims it is on pace to top its total fixed and variable annuity sales of $2.97 billion for 2008 — which itself was up more than 59% over 2007 and an all-time high. Total annuity reserves currently stand at a record $18.5 billion as of April 30, up 4.5% over $17.7 billion at year-end 2008.



“Our strong annuity sales are a direct result of the ongoing flight to quality,” said John Barrett, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Western & Southern. “The financial stability our customers have relied on for more than 120 years remains our top priority,” Barrett noted. “At Western & Southern, we take their financial security seriously — very seriously.”



Sales generated in the bank distribution channel, which is served by Western & Southern member company W&S Financial Group Distributors Inc., accounted for $523 million of that $1.25 billion through April 30. Sales through banks reached $1.2 billion in 2008, more than double their 2007 level.



“Nationally, bank annuity sales hit a record high in 2008 at $54 billion (from a previous high of $50.1 billion in 2003) while bank annuity market share grew for the first time in five years to 21 percent in 2008*,” said Mark E. Caner, president of W&S Financial Group Distributors. “Amid these national trends, Western & Southern’s outstanding sales results affirm that consumers are seeking interest rate guarantees and income certainty from strong providers during these uncertain economic times.”



According to LIMRA International, an association of life insurers and financial firms, Western & Southern’s sales continue to rank it among the largest individual annuity providers in the . And, for the past decade, it has consistently ranked among the top 10 life insurers for fixed annuity sales through banks.



Western & Southern member companies selling fixed and variable annuities through a variety of distribution channels include Columbus Life Insurance Company, Integrity Life Insurance Company, The Lafayette Life Insurance Company, National Integrity Life Insurance Company and the Western-Southern Life Assurance Company (marketed by Western & Southern Life).



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