Fleet Financial Group, which pioneered bank proprietary variable annuities in 1993, has added its own fixed and indexed annuities to the product mix.
The Boston-based company teamed with Keyport Life Insurance Co., also of Boston, to develop three new offerings, which it began selling Monday. Keyport, a subsidiary of Liberty Financial Cos., serves as both underwriter and investment adviser.
Fleet's variable annuities are underwritten by American Skandia Life Assurance Co., Shelton, Conn. Fleet serves as investment adviser to the variable annuities, which mirror its Galaxy mutual funds.
Few banks have proprietary fixed annuities, but "there is increasing interest in building proprietary fixed annuities to get a bigger piece of the margin," said David G. Kaytes, managing vice president of First Manhattan Consulting Group, New York.
However, Mr. Kaytes questioned spending development dollars on fixed annuity products, because their sales rates have slowed compared with those of variable annuities.
Two of the three new offerings are fixed annuities, each with a different minimum, surrender date, and target market.
Galaxy Fixed Annuity 5, which has a five-year guaranteed interest rate and requires a minimum investment of $5,000, is being sold in Fleet's branches, where it will become the only fixed annuity offered.
Galaxy Fixed Annuity 7, which has a guaranteed rate for seven years and a $10,000 minimum investment, is marketed through Fleet Investment Services along with fixed annuities from outside providers.
Fleet, which sells fixed annuities issued by a preferred list of insurers, including John Hancock and Western National, had sales of $298 million in fixed annuities last year.
The third new proprietary annuity, Galaxy Index, has a $5,000 minimum investment and is linked to the S&P 500 stock index.
Separately, the Boston-based banking company said it promoted vice president William A. Flemer to head of sales for its private clients group.
Most recently the sales manager for New England, Mr. Flemer succeeds James P. Carley, who resigned to become chief operating officer of Webster Trust, a subsidiary of Waterbury, Conn.-based Webster Bank.
Mr. Flemer is working with the marketing departments of Fleet subsidiaries Quick & Reilly and Columbia Management Co. to offer their services and investments to private clients and prospects. Fleet acquired the companies-a discount brokerage and asset management firm, respectively- last year in a move to expand in investment services.