Brighthouse Financial announced Tuesday the availability of its new Digital Desk platform, which is designed to help financial advisors with the selection and purchase of fixed and income annuities.
Described in a prepared statement as a “one-stop resource” for fixed and income annuities, the Digital Desk is meant to assist advisors in educating their clients about various products and demonstrate the potential benefits of those products in the client’s portfolio.
From there the platform lets advisors submit the annuity suitability questionnaire and application electronically. The Digital Desk could help those firms lacking a fixed suitability process or relying on a paper-based one in expediting the rollout of fixed and income products to their clients. Specifically, the platform can currently support the Brighthouse Fixed Rate Annuity and Brighthouse Fixed Rate Annuity MVA products that were launched in September. Examples of what the interface looks like were unavailable at press time, according to a company spokesperson.
Research suggests that financial advisors would use more annuities if they had more options from providers, according to a study by the Global Atlantic Financial Group. The study of 400 financial advisors offering portfolio investment and retirement advice found that 56 percent believe annuities are an important part of a financial retirement plan, but 90 percent are frustrated with the “one-size-fits-all,” single-product approach by annuity providers. Nearly all the advisors surveyed (96.4 percent) said they would increase their use of annuities if they had access to a multi-product platform.
Brighthouse Financial Inc. was a unit of MetLife that sold mostly variable annuities and life insurance to individuals and was split off from MetLife in 2016. (Readers might recall that this was also when MetLife phased out Snoopy as the face of MetLife’s marketing.)