Laughlin Group of Cos., which helps banks run their annuity operations, has launched a new business unit that will act strictly as a sales arm for three major underwriters.

The Beaverton, Ore., company has started Laughlin Direct, which will hawk to banks the products of its parent company, Allstate Life Insurance Co., as well as those of Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co. and American Enterprise Life Insurance Co., a unit of American Express Co.

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