Nationwide Financial Finds Regulatory Responsibilities Top Retirement Plan …

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Mar 20, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) —
Eighty-four percent of professional service firms, such as law offices,
medical practices and consulting agencies, say compliance with
regulations is their top concern when sponsoring retirement
plans for their employees, according to research from Nationwide
Financial Services, Inc.

The research also shows that 28 percent of firms with fewer than 50
employees do not feel that their fiduciary requirements are being met.
Additionally, 28 percent of plan sponsors were unable to show a complete
understanding of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974

Based on the research, firms also say that before hiring a financial
advisor, they need them to be experts on regulatory and legislative
issues. To help advisors stay up-to-date, Nationwide Financial created
and Regulatory Online Resource, an online resource for advisors.

“Professional service firms present a real growth opportunity for
financial advisors,” said Anne Arvia, senior vice president of
Retirement Plans for Nationwide Financial. “What this research shows is
that financial advisors can clearly demonstrate their value to these
firms by working to address their concerns about compliance.”

The study compares employee benefit packages and the retirement
planning needs of small businesses to those of professional service
firms. The study also looks at anticipated changes to employee benefits,
how benefit decisions are made, and how professional service firms
select and work with financial intermediaries.

While ensuring plans are in compliance with regulations was the most
important service advisors can provide for all small businesses, other
services were ranked differently based on firm size and tenure. For
example, firms with fewer than 50 employees ranked “timely resolution of
operational issues” as the second most important service they expect to
be provided, while larger firms placed more value on the “selection and
monitoring of investment options.”

Firms that have been in business for more than 50 years ranked
“investment selection and monitoring” as the second most important
service to support their plan, while businesses less than 10 years old
cited “providing participant advice” as their second priority, behind
keeping the plan in compliance.

Overall, 69 percent of professional services firms expect an annual or
quarterly plan review, and 67 percent expect educational materials to be
available for their participants.

Nationwide launches Added Value program

The survey was conducted to help Nationwide Financial gain insights
about small businesses and professional service firms, and to develop
tools for financial
advisors to better support the unique needs of these businesses
through its new Added Value program.

The Added Value program will provide financial advisors with information
about key markets, along with guidance and tools to help financial
advisors win and retain plan sponsor clients. Resources in the Added
Value program include presentations on how to improve prospecting and
retention efforts, and an educational overview of social media.

Also included in the Added Value materials are ways financial advisors
can enhance their value proposition based on a professional service
firm’s type, size and tenure.

“Financial advisors are looking for plan providers that can offer more
than just a list of products. The Added Value program gives advisors an
edge in helping address professional service firms’ needs and concerns,”
said Arvia.

Arvia noted that the professional service firms research is just the
first phase of our Added Value program.

“In the future, Nationwide will conduct similar studies so that we can
continue to provide financial advisors with the tools they need to help
grow and retain long-term client relationships,” said Arvia.

For more information about the research and the Added Value program,
please watch this short video
featuring Anne Arvia. Financial advisors can obtain more information
about the program at .

Survey Methodology

In 2011, Nationwide Financial commissioned a third-party research firm
to conduct a study titled “Employee Benefit Trends.” The study compared
the employee benefit preferences of professional service firms with
those of other firms. Over 500 firms participated in the survey.
Qualified respondents were primary decision makers for employee benefits
at their firms and served in management roles. Firms surveyed were
for-profit businesses offering defined contribution plans and had 5 to
500 employees.

About Nationwide

Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest
diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S.
and is rated A+ by A.M. Best. The company provides a full range of
personalized insurance and financial services, including auto insurance,
motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life
insurance, farm, commercial insurance, administrative services,
annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions and long-term savings
plans. For more information, visit .

Life insurance is issued by Nationwide Life Insurance Company or
Nationwide Life and Annuity Insurance Company, Columbus, Ohio.

Nationwide Investment Services Corporation, member FINRA. In MI only:
Nationwide Investment Svcs. Corporation. Nationwide Mutual Insurance
Company and Affiliated Companies, Home Office: Columbus, OH 43215-2220.

Nationwide, Nationwide Financial, the Nationwide framemark, Nationwide
YourLife and On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual
Insurance Company.

SOURCE: Nationwide

Erica Lewis, 614-249-0184
Jeff Whetzel, 614-249-6354

Copyright Business Wire 2012

Complaints about Goldman Sachs add to financial advisers’ credibility problems

When Greg Smith took Goldman Sachs to the woodshed on the New York Times opinion page last week, the public bashing told individuals once again that they have good reason to wonder if they can trust bankers, 401(k) managers, insurance salesman or financial advisers extending a warm handshake.

So says Larry Cohen, a financial company consultant with Strategic Business Insights. At a Retirement Income Industry Association conference in Chicago this week, he warned companies selling everything from 401(k) mutual funds to annuities that revelations since the financial crisis, including Smiths complaints, have left the public disenchanted and feeling like pawns that financial companies manipulate rather than serve.

At stake, he said, are billions of dollars in business opportunities for financial companies. But the stakes go far beyond people snubbing companies that want to sell to them, Cohen added in an interview after his presentation.

Financial stocks rise, bucking negative trend




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By Wallace Witkowski, MarketWatch

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Financial stocks ranked as the best performing of the few positive sectors Tuesday, while concern about a slowing economy in China and mixed U.S. housing-sector data roiled the broader market.

Buoying the financial sector, shares of blue chip Bank of America Corp.

/quotes/zigman/190927/quotes/nls/bac BAC

closed up 2.9% at $9.81. The bank made another stab to close above $10 a share after it denied late Monday rumors it was considering a secondary offering of shares.

Click to Play

Signs suggest slowdown for China

China's demand for iron ore is “flattening out,” a senior executive at BHP Billiton says — a glum outlook that will add to concern the world's second-largest economy is slowing. (Photo: Getty.)

Shares of Citigroup Inc.

/quotes/zigman/5065548/quotes/nls/c C

 also rose, up 2.5% to $38.08, after the bank reported it sold its entire 2.71% stake in Shanghai Pudong Development Bank to China Pacific Insurance for an after-tax gain of about $349 million.
Read more on Citigroup.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

/quotes/zigman/188479/quotes/nls/gs GS

 shares rose 1.4% to $126.02 following reports of more job cuts in its trading and investment banking division during the company’s annual review process. The cuts follow Goldman’s elimination of 2,400 jobs last year. Morgan Stanley

/quotes/zigman/182639/quotes/nls/ms MS

 made gains as well with shares closing up 1.7%.

The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF

/quotes/zigman/246222/quotes/nls/xlf XLF

, which follows financial stocks on the S&P 500 Index

/quotes/zigman/3870025 SPX

, rose 0.5%, as the KBW Bank Index

/quotes/zigman/627445 BKX

, which follows the 24 leading U.S. banks, advanced 0.4%.

Shares of blue chip J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

/quotes/zigman/272085/quotes/nls/jpm JPM

 closed up 0.8% after reports it agreed to pay $150 million to settle a lawsuit from pension funds accusing the bank of ignoring warning signs by making risky investments in the $27 billion fund Sigma Finance Corp., which collapsed in 2008.

As for the other financial components in the Dow Jones Industrial Average

/quotes/zigman/627449 DJIA

, shares of Travelers Cos.

/quotes/zigman/455344/quotes/nls/trv TRV

 rose but American Express Co.

/quotes/zigman/217470/quotes/nls/axp AXP


Creating a bearish tone for stocks overall, an executive at mining company BHP Billiton Ltd.

/quotes/zigman/270355/quotes/nls/bhp BHP


/quotes/zigman/184879 UK:BLT

 said that Chinese demand for iron ore was “flattening.”
Read more on China ore demand.

In addition, China announced that it’s raising retail gasoline and diesel prices for the second time this year.
Read more on China energy prices.

Closer to home, U.S. construction of new homes slowed slightly in February while permits for new construction jumped.

Read more on U.S. housing data.


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BHP Billiton Ltd. ADS



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Wallace Witkowski is a MarketWatch news editor in San Francisco.

Landry’s Announces Financial Projections for 2012

HOUSTON, March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ —
Landry’s, Inc. and its restaurant company affiliates (“Landry’s”) announced today its financial projections for 2012. According to the Company’s Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President, Rick Liem, “Landry’s estimates revenues for our restaurant group, (excluding the Golden Nugget Casinos), to be between approximately $2.03 billion to $2.07 billion and for our adjusted EBITDA to be between approximately $330.0 million and $335.0 million.”

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which are intended to be covered by safe harbors created thereby. Stockholders are cautioned that all forward-looking statements are based largely on the Company’s expectations and involve risks and uncertainties, some of which cannot be predicted or are beyond the Company’s control. Some factors that could realistically cause results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements include the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the Company’s inability to obtain the synergies or operating results contemplated in connection with the Morton’s Steakhouse and McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants acquisitions; the effects of local and national economic, credit and capital market conditions on the economy in general, and on the gaming, restaurant and hotel industries in particular; changes in laws, including increased tax rates, regulations or accounting standards, third-party relations and approvals, and decisions of courts, regulators and governmental bodies; litigation outcomes and judicial actions; acts of war or terrorist incidents or natural disasters; the effects of competition, including locations of competitors and operating and market competition; ineffective marketing or promotions, weather, management turnover, higher interest rates and gas prices, negative same store sales, or the Company’s inability to continue to obtain projected savings and synergies. The Company may not update or revise any forward-looking statements made in this press release.

SOURCE Landry’s, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved