Nationwide Financial expands marketFLEX series of variable annuity products

Nationwide Financial has announced that it is adding 10 new guidance models and two new fund options sub-advised by Loring Ward to its America's marketFLEX series of variable annuity products.

America's marketFLEX combines the protection of a variable annuity with the enhanced risk management and diversification provided by extended investment options, including alternative investments.

The new guidance models, Known as Nationwide Guided Portfolio Strategies (GPS), provide a simpler way to use alternative investments and potentially reduce and manage risk for clients. This easy-to use, 'check the box' solution for advisors, includes 10 pre-packaged options focused on alternatives. The new GPS models are anchored around Cardinal funds, which are actively managed.

The addition of two new funds sub-advised by Loring Ward will expand upon the existing broad range of marketFLEX investment options, which includes a total of 18 fund families.

"At Nationwide, we're excited about the future of VAs and alternative investments," said Eric Henderson, senior vice president of Life Insurance and Annuities for Nationwide Financial. "With the support of our expanded alternative VA sales force, the new GPS models and investment options put Nationwide Financial in a strong position to take advantage of growing demand for this type of product."

In mid-2012, Nationwide Financial announced that it will integrate its alternative and fee-based annuity solutions sales team with its larger traditional annuity sales force. This move better aligns with the company's team-based approach, which puts advisors in touch with specialists across a broad range of client solutions and effectively expands the marketFLEX sales force from seven to over 100 wholesalers.

The product enhancements apply to both America's marketFLEX Advisor Variable Annuity (for fee-based advisors) and America's marketFLEX II Variable Annuity (for commission-based advisors).

"Nationwide has provided alternative asset strategies within traditional and fee-based VAs for more than a decade," Henderson said. "We're excited about the potential for this product over the next ten years."