A small insurance company in Illinois is trying to get the attention of financial planners by playing up the competitive threat posed by bank brokers.

Golden Rule Life Insurance Co., Lawrenceville, recently took out a provocative ad in the July issue of Financial Planning, a trade magazine for financial planners, stockbrokers and insurance agents.

Under a headline reading "Will Banks Eat Your Lunch?" is the sketch of a grinning, bespectacled bank broker with a bushy mustache. The broker is seated at a desk holding up an annuity contract.

The advertisement was for a complex long-term-care insurance policy dubbed Asset-Care, which uses annuities to fund the policies. Golden Rule sells this policy through financial planners, not bankers.

The insurance company, which holds $1.2 billion of assets, issues mostly life and health policies.

Jeffrey Martin, assistant vice president, director of Golden Rule's life insurance operations, said that three months ago he hired a salesman devoted to promoting the company's products to bank brokers. But so far, the company hasn't generated any sales through banks. - Howard Kapiloff

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