WSJ does hatchet job on Glenn Neasham trial storyBlog added by Roccy DeFrancesco on March 19, 2012
Roccy Defrancesco

Roccy DeFrancesco


Joined: May 24, 2006

If you haven’t seen it yet, the Wall Street Journal did an article on Glenn Neasham going to jail for selling a fixed indexed annuity. If you’ve been reading my stories or others on Producer’sWEB I’m sure you’ve heard about this. If you have not learned about Glenn Neasham getting sentenced to go to jail for selling a FIA, you can read more about it by clicking here.

While the WSJ article is about as slanted as they come, you should read it.

What’s disappointing is that the author Leslie Scism called me for an interview about this story on Friday. We talked for about 20 minutes, and I thought she was going to try to write an accurate article about Mr. Neasham.

I could write several pages about my opinion of Ms. Scism’s story, but instead I thought I would just let you read the email I sent her this morning. If you would also like to voice your displeasure with Ms. Scism, please be professional and assume whatever you write will end up in her next story.

Email sent to Ms. Scism

From: Roccy DeFrancesco
To: Leslie Scism
Sent: March 19, 2012


I just read your article. It was a classic hatchet job of someone who doesn’t know the industry (not that your lay readers will know).

From our discussion on Friday, I was led to believe you were interested in writing a factual article. Instead it seems you went for an article that would be the most inflammatory?

See the following:

Indexed annuities are attractive to agents because of the high commissions they receive from insurers, which can be 12 percent or more of the invested amount.

I don’t know any FIA that pays a commission of 12 percent. I don’t know any that pay 10 percent.

Most FIAs pay commissions of between 6 percent – 7 percent and that’s been dropping due to the 10-year treasury yield. I really thought you were interested in good information to write an accurate article. Too bad you didn’t read my book before you put this out. If you did you wouldn’t have used the following:

The firm (ValMark Securities Inc) for years has discouraged agents from selling certain indexed annuities. Now Mr. Rybka (chief executive) wants them to sell even fewer.

If you had done more research, you would know that any firm that discourages agents from learning about and selling FIAs appropriately should be on a bad advisor list. FIAs with GIB riders are better or much better than their variable annuity counterparts when it comes to guaranteed income for life.

If you get a change of heart about writing articles that portray an accurate depiction of story, let me know and I’ll help you educate your readers on some of the real problems in the insurance industry.

Roccy DeFrancesco, J.D.
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