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Prudential Financial education content

Prudential Financial

Prudential Financial hired Avanza to draft 16 articles on key aspects of annuities and retirement planning. Designed to help Prudential’s customers prepare for and live in retirement, the informative, yet entertaining articles were distributed to Prudential agents and independent investment professionals for use in prospecting and client development.

Sample content: 
“Asset Allocation:  A Lifecycle Approach”

‘Asset allocation’ sounds complex, but its essence is simple. It is the systematic process of diversifying your wealth among different investments such as stocks, bonds, and cash equivalents. Your goal is to achieve an investment portfolio with the highest potential return for the least amount of risk. However, asset allocation does not guarantee a profit...

How do you determine the right allocation?  By forging the right mix of assets for your current lifecycle stage. Put simply, every investor has two impulses:  to grow assets or to protect assets. Where you fall depends on your life stage. If you are fresh out of college, you probably will want maximum potential gain. If you are in your peak family formation and child rearing years, you may still want to grow assets, but your risk tolerance may be lower, since you’ll need to put your kids through college or to buy a bigger house. And if you are only a year or two away from retirement—or already retired—you will tilt toward principal protection.”

See entire article [PDF]


Kaplan Financial disability

insurance course

Kaplan logo

Kaplan Financial, a financial services compliance and continuing education publisher, hired Avanza to update its Disability Income Insurance course.  The course helps sales professionals understand the market needs for disability-income protection, product features and benefits, and selling approaches.

Sample content:  “Disability Income Insurance”


All of us face three basic risks: dying too soon, living too long or becoming disabled. Death is a given—that’s why people buy life insurance. Old age is a probability, which clients must plan for so they don’t outlive their financial resources. And then there’s the risk of disability—often overlooked compared with the other two, but a potent risk just the same.

Unlike death and retirement, becoming disabled is only a possibility. But it’s a devastating one because it cuts to the core of a person’s ability to earn a living. Once the flow of earned income stops, most financial plans quickly fall apart. This concept is pivotal, so it bears repeating:

Successful financial plans depend on the client’s ability to earn a living.”


National Ethics Association content strategy and development


The National Ethics Association is a one-stop source for small-business owners to grow their firms through reputation-based marketing. It is also dedicated to helping consumers find service providers they can trust.

The Association hired Avanza to manage its communications and content effort, with the goal of expanding its member ranks.  Serving as its outsourced communications department, Avanza manages industry PR, relationships with affinity partners, and content publishing.  We have overseen the launch of new brand positioning, provided the content design for a new web site, launched a sponsored errors-and-omissions insurance benefit, and published a host of new ethics-oriented content.

Avanza currently generates NEA content for three financial trade outlets (Senior Market Advisor, LifeHealthPro, and ProducersWeb). We also generate content for NEA's Ethics blog, its quarterly member newsletter, and its E&O HQ microsite.

The National Ethics Association has a great mission:  to help small business owners establish, grow, and protect their reputations through ethical business practices.   Avanza is proud to be its communication partner.


Sample content: 
The Ethics-Driven Field Marketing

Organization .”


Once upon a time, a financial marketing organization (FMO) would simply provide a broad range of products on a profitable basis to their contracted agents.  Period.

Then product-driven FMOs became marketing-driven, helping their insurance and financial advisors identify and develop productive market niches.

In recent years, FMOs have further evolved into business consultants, helping advisors successfully manage their complex practices. 

But exceptional FMOs aren’t resting on their laurels.  That’s because many are now helping advisors successfully operate in an environment of consumer mistrust and regulatory scrutiny.   They are becoming ethics-driven, doing their part to improve the quality of sales practices in the financial services industry.

When FMOs become ethics-driven, everybody wins.  The FMOs attract a higher caliber advisor. Advisors avoid high-risk sales practices.  And consumers get better advice and more appropriate product solutions.

So as more FMOs transition to the new ethics-driven philosophy, expect to see and hear unusual things from your favorite FMO.”

Read the consumer fraud prevention guide we created.

View the ethics motivation and compliance content we develop for NEA.

Managed Care Insurer sales training

A New York health insurer was concerned about increasing the effectiveness of its salesforce. It retained Training Implementation Services, a Connecticut consulting firm, which in turn hired Avanza to quarterback the project and oversee the development of an Accountability Performance System and Accelerated Learning Guide.


Sample content:
Selling in the

New Healthcare Environment”

The new healthcare environment poses challenges to anyone who sells and services health insurance. New technology, rising costs, government mandates, and other issues have forced employers to find new ways to finance quality healthcare for their employees, while managing costs.   

To this end, they also have higher expectations of you, the Health Benefit Consultant or Account Manager. Not only do they want you to continue doing what you normally do, they want you to go ‘above and beyond’ by advising them on how to meet their benefit objectives, while controlling expenses. Becoming more familiar with the healthcare marketplace—both local and national—is the first step in operating effectively in this new environment.”


CT Business, magazine article

A Connecticut economic development publication hired us to profile the Connecticut Insurance and Financial Services Cluster, a new partnership between the state of Connecticut and its major financial institutions.

Sample content:
Connecticut’s IFS Cluster”

IFS Cluster New Jersey’s Prudential Financial gobbles up Connecticut’s American Skandia for about $1.2 billion and the retirement business of CIGNA Corp, based in Hartford, for $2.1 billion. Hartford’s Travelers Property Casualty and The St. Paul Companies, Inc., of Minnesota, combine in an industry-shaking $16.4 billion stock-for-stock merger. United Health Group buys Trumbull’s Oxford Health Plans, Inc. Bank of America acquires FleetBoston for $47 million and Banknorth of Portland, Maine takes over New Britain-based American Savings Bank.

As the ominous drumbeat of consolidation echoes across the state, along with mounting concern over outsourcing jobs abroad, one also hears a new sound—the sweet, hopeful music of executives collaborating to protect and grow Connecticut’s insurance and banking industries, under the aegis of the new Connecticut Insurance and Financial Services (IFS) Cluster.”

Connecticut’s IFS Cluster” [PDF]

Polishing the Crown Jewels of Connecticut’s Economy” [PDF]


Connecticut investment advisory collateral brochure

This firm retained us to provide marketing communications and public relations counsel. The objective was to communicate the strength, stability, and competence of the firm by devising a new corporate identity, collateral package, and media presence.

Sample content: 
Personal Financial Management”

flagAn excellent financial management firm is like a classic piece of architecture:  Its advice is well-crafted. It combines various financial strategies into one harmonious design. It strives for long-term performance. If this is what you’re looking for in a financial advisor, then look no further.”



New England insurer, magazine article

The client prided itself on the quality of its claim services. It wished to profile this excellence in its corporate publication, distributed to the media, insurance agencies, and employees.

Sample content: 
Weathering the Storm Depends on Planning.”

Jack Brody, catastrophe coordinator, knows his hurricanes. In his 24-year career in claims, he’s worked on Hurricanes Beulah, Celia, Eloise, Frederick, Alicia, and Hugo, not to mention four hailstorms. Though his experience is extensive, his advice is short and sweet: ‘plan today for the catastrophe of tomorrow.’

‘It all starts with planning,’ says Brody. ‘Businesses should picture themselves without electricity for several days and with hundreds, if not thousands, of their customers needing service. By anticipating their needs, they’ll be better equipped to handle the chaos that follows disasters.’ ”


Managed care insurer, corporate publication


The client relied on professional nurses to run many facets of its business. It hired us to develop profiles of successful company nurses for its internal publication.

Sample content: 
Our Nurses Give New Meaning to Old Traditions”

June Morris, a health promotion product manager, can’t get enough of nursing. During the day, she helps the field sell and deliver health promotion services to clients. That involves screening vendors with services of interest, helping salespeople prepare proposals, and staying on top of the company’s various health promotion products.

But her day isn’t done when she leaves the office. That’s because she has not one, but two part-time nursing jobs awaiting her. During the week, she provides nursing services at the Policy Administration Building in the center city. On weekends, she’s a day and evening supervisor at a nursing home. ‘I get it all done,’ says June, ‘but don’t ask me how.’ ”


Consumer's Digest magazine article

A national consumer magazine hired us to write an article about a dream shared many Americans:  how to retire at an early age.

Sample content:
How to Retire Early”

Not having to work for a living, being able to play tennis at noon or at midnight, or having the time to volunteer for worthy causes. Sound impossible?  It isn’t. Just ask Edward Tauber.

Tauber and his wife retired at the ripe old ages of 43 and 41—and they have never been happier.

During their careers, both Taubers worked in marketing research and advertising. In their mid-30s, they were living and working in California. He taught marketing at the University of Southern California; she ran their market research firm.

But eventually, they tired of the grueling travel and the tedium of research. Was there a better way?  Tauber realized there might be. If they could live off his USC salary, while saving most of their company’s consulting revenue, they might be able to retire in 10 years, when he was 46 and she, 44.

‘We worked like dogs—60 to 70 hours a week,’ recalls Tauber. ‘We’d write reports on the weekend, travel during the week. I was teaching a full load, too, and serving as chairman of the USC marketing department. We had the equivalent of four jobs.’ ”


Financial Planning magazine article

A major monthly magazine for financial planners asked us to initiate coverage of an emerging product:  long-term care insurance. "LTC to the Rescue" kicked off a series of comprehensive articles on the complexities of long-term care and related products, with a focus on choosing the right carrier and product design for client needs.

Sample content:
LTC to the Rescue”

James H. Braziel’s first encounter with the financing of long-term medical care occurred over a decade ago, when the husband of one of his clients was forced to enter a nursing home. The client was distraught over the prohibitive cost of this care, and so was Braziel, a planner with Estate and Financial Planning of Chico, California. The wife was in good health, but without some intervention on Braziel’s part, the nursing home bills would have drained her assets, leaving her to face her remaining years with acute financial uncertainty.

The only recommendation Braziel could offer was that she divorce her husband. She agreed, reluctantly, and her attorney drew up the papers, unbeknownst to family and friends. Once divorced, she was no longer responsible for her ‘ex-husband’s’ bills, he qualified for Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid, and she was able to save the rest of her assets. It was a desperate solution, but so was the problem.”

Risk and Insurance trade newspaper article

A monthly magazine for  corporate risk and insurance managers asked us to profile the flexible benefits program developed by Hershey Food Corporation.

Sample content:
Staying Sweet”

risk and insurance"Hershey Milk Chocolate bars and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are as American as fireworks on the Fourth of July. That’s a marketing plus for Hershey Food Corp., maker of these and 53 other brands of chocolates and confections. But it can also be a hindrance.

The problem is that Pennsylvania-based Hershey must roll out new products, expand its global reach, and trim manufacturing costs—in short, function as an aggressive, modern consumer products company—while trying to maintain the mom-and-apple pie culture established by its founder nearly a century ago.

Nowhere is the contradiction between mean-and-leanness and sweetness-and-light more apparent than in the company’s approach to employee benefits. Benefits cost containment is a painful issue for most modern businesses, but it is especially sensitive for a corporate such as Hershey, which prides itself on its benevolent attitude toward employees.”

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Harry Lew understood the objectives of the project, delivered the revised product on time...and was extremely responsive to our questions.”

Robert Redman, Editor, Kaplan Financial

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