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Gerhart wins National Underwriter Regulatory Advocacy Award

By Michael K. Stanley
Life & Health National Underwriter

National Underwriter Life & Health would like to acknowledge Nick Gerhart as the winner of the Industry Elite Award for Regulatory Advocacy.

Gerhart, who is currently working for Sammons Financial Group, previously represented American Equity. Nominated by Andrew Unkefer, president and CEO of Unkefer & Associates, Nick was instrumental in reversing SEC Rule 151A. His dedication and commitment helped save jobs and preserve the fixed indexed annuity industry

SEC Rule 151A sought to reclassify fixed indexed annuities as securities rather than insurance products. Meant to address market conduct issues with FIA sales, 151A would have had a severe impact on the fixed indexed annuity industry. It would have forced anyone who sold fixed indexed annuities to become licensed by the SEC, a process that can be expensive as well as time consuming. 151A also had the potential to drive smaller operators out of the FIA business altogether.

Nick and others in the industry decided to mobilize, organize and fight the ruling. Iowa and Minnesota, which are home states for many fixed indexed annuity carriers, were able to serve as microcosms for the rest of the country as to what would happen to the industry if Rule 151 A was implemented. As covered by National Underwriter last July 26, Gerhart’s work was instrumental in helping to deliver the legal and legislative victories that resulted in the SEC’s withdrawal of Rule 151A.

"Senator Harkin and his staff, as well as Congressman Boswell and Senator Grassley and their staffs, were great help. We were very fortunate to have, in the state of Iowa, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle who understood the issue not just as a legal issue but the implications that ruling would have had for jobs in the state of Iowa."

Gerhart stressed that this achievement is the result of hard work by many different people. "It would be impossible to list everyone in the industry who helped, but thanks to all the carriers, IMOs and agents, and to Susan Voss with her leadership at the NAIC who was extremely instrumental in working with the Iowa delegation."

Courts VACATE SEC Rule 151a...

Great news across the wire today on the 151A Judicial front! Here is an excerpt from the Order:

"Having determined that the SEC's S. 2(b) analysis is lacking, we grant the petitions [assertion that] the SEC failed properly to consider the effect of the rule upon efficiency, competition, and capital formation… We therefore order that Rule 151A be vacated."

View the Vacate Order CLICK HERE

Read the revised court document CLICK HERE

Congress to Nullify SEC 151a...

On Tuesday, June 22nd, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs as part of the House-Senate Conference Committee on the Financial Regulations Bill voted 8-4 to approve the Harkin Amendment. The Harkin Amendment clarifies that fixed indexed annuities are NOT securities and should be regulated by state insurance regulators. This amendment was added to the Senate version of the Financial Regulatory Reform Bill.

Today, Thursday, June 24, the House side of the Conference Committee in a 12-4 vote also agreed to include the Harkin Amendment into the final Bill. The final version of the Bill is expected to be voted on by Congress and presented to the President for his signature prior to the July 4th Congressional recess.

As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” Although opposition forces may influence whether the Harkin Amendment is changed or remains in the final bill, we do have reason to be optimistic. will continue to work with NAFA and the Coalition for Indexed Products until this Bill is signed with the Harkin Amendment intact.

Although the stage is set for our ultimate victory, circumstances may require fast action over the coming weeks. Please continue to look for updates from For now, thank you for supporting the many months we have all worked together to make this dream a reality.

Tax-Deferred, and NOT A SECURITY!