NEW YORK, Jan. 30, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The shifting political landscape and socio-economic trends in the U.S. are creating a more positive outlook for participants in the life settlement industry, according to featured speakers today at The Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA)’s Seventh Annual Life Settlement Institutional Investor Conference.

The event, which is the leading professional gathering of institutional investors in the life settlements asset class, was held at The Ritz-Carlton Battery Park in New York City.

Preston Rutledge, Tax and Benefits Counsel on the Majority Tax Staff of the Senate Finance Committee, delivered the keynote address: “Insights from Capitol Hill.” Rutledge discussed various issues that will impact the life settlement industry over the next few years, from his unique perspective of an official in the federal government.

“2017 will be an extremely action-packed year in the U.S. Senate,” said Rutledge, the staff lead on several tax and benefits matters before the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT). “We’ll be tackling a number of major legislative initiatives in these next three months and the pace of activity between now and the end of April is likely to be very fast.”

Rutledge told the audience that the current political climate in Washington, D.C., with the new Trump Administration and Republican majorities in both the Senate and the House, might create an opportunity for the life settlement industry as Congress looks for new ways to fund health care without increasing federal spending. He cited the specific example of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), and proposals floated by life settlement industry representatives that would allow seniors to deposit proceeds from the sale of a life insurance policy into an HSA on a tax-free basis, as a new idea worthy of study.

In a separate presentation at the conference, Scott Hawkins, Vice President and Director of Insurance Research at Conning & Co., shared data and analysis from Conning’s 2016 Life Settlements Market Review and Forecast. Conning annually publishes a market review describing the current issues facing life settlement investors -- as well as market participants -- and a forecast of projected market growth.

“There are some favorable socio-economic trends for industry participants, starting with the fact that consumer demand is increasing as more Baby Boomers retire and become more familiar with the life settlement option,” said Hawkins. “We’re also seeing investor interest shift to the ‘secondary market’ for life insurance as an alternative investment asset class.”

In addition to the featured presentations from Rutledge and Hawkins, today’s conference included:

  • New data collected from measuring realized investment performance of actual life settlement investment portfolios, presented by Lauren Cohen, L.E. Simmons Chaired Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School;
  • Insights into the alignment between capital availability and policy flow, from a panel of industry experts that included Cyndi Poveda, Chairman of LISA, Wm. Scott Page, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Lifeline Program, Bill Corry, Owner of Corry Capital Advisors, Dan Young, President of Magna Life Settlements, and Michael Freedman, President of GWG Holdings, Inc.;
  • An analysis of multiple sets of data to help gauge the size of the total life settlement market and the tertiary market in particular, provided by Rocky Roland, former Principal and Alternative Asset Manager of Apollo Global Management, LLC;
  • A review of opportunities and pitfalls in constructing a life settlements portfolio, provided by Jon Nelson, Chief Executive Officer of Preston Ventures; and
  • A discussion of legislative and regulatory issues impacting institutional investors, led by Brady Cobb, Partner at Cobb Eddy Mijares, PLLC, and Michael Kreiter, Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs at LISA.

“LISA’s Life Settlement Institutional Investor Conference is the most significant annual event that brings together professionals from pension funds, hedge funds, family offices, foundations and endowments for updates on the latest developments in the life insurance secondary market,” said Darwin M. Bayston, CFA, president and chief executive officer of LISA. “We had a record turnout for this year’s conference, which is another encouraging sign for the health of the life settlement industry and for institutional investors in this asset class.”

About the Life Insurance Settlement Association
The Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA) is the nation’s oldest and largest organization representing participants in the life settlement Industry, with a current membership of more than 90 companies doing business in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The mission of LISA is to promote the development, integrity and reputation of the life settlement industry, to advance the highest standards of practice and professional development for the industry, and to educate consumers and advisors about a life settlement as an alternative to lapse or surrender of a life insurance policy. For more information, visit www.lisa.org.

Media Contact:
Daryn Teague
(805) 358-3058
dteague@teaguecommunications.com