Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the cost to move my license?
A: There are only two required fees that representatives must pay to do business through American Equity Investment Corp: Licensing and registration fees with FINRA (which vary depending on which and how many states you are licensed in): approx. $200 to $300 and Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance: currently around $860/year, prorated your first year.
Q. What are your monthly fees?
A: The only monthly expense for being associated with American Equity is to defer your portion of the cost for our "front office" software system and the "Firm" element of Continuing Education. Our front office software system allows our representatives to access their clients' account balances and trades, see any outstanding requirements on business and track their commissions paid and payable. The firm element for continuing education is offered by Quest CE. The cost for these two systems is $40 per month.
Q. What is your payout?
A: When you elect to join American Equity Investment Corp, you are required to include proof of gross dealer concessions at your current broker/dealer. This production will serve to establish your starting payout at American Equity Investment Corp. The payout schedule is as follows:
Gross Dealer Concessions Payout
$75,001 - $100,000 80%
$50,001 - $75,000 75%
$30,001 - $50,000 70%
$20,001 - $30,000 65%
$10,001 - $20,000 60%
$ 5,000 – $10,000 50%
Q. I primarily do insurance business through my own agency, but also do some mutual fund and variable business. Will you accept a smaller producer like me?
A: Yes. Many of our representatives own insurance agencies or are full time insurance producers. Our annual minimum required production is $5,000 of gross dealer commissions (GDC). This is one of the lowest requirements in the industry.
Q. I'm a high producer what kind of payout do you offer someone like me?
A: American Equity Investment Corp. provides an aggressive pay structure combining the best payout balanced with superior flexible service. Payout is based on verified production and percentages, includes both security production and brokered insurance commissions -- which gives you an edge over what most of our competitors pay. Requests for OSJ offices or groups of Representatives. will be addressed on an individual basis.
Q. What is your minimum production requirement?
A: Our annual minimum is $5,000 of gross dealer commissions (GDC). This is one of the lowest in the industry. We realize your primary business may be insurance, accounting or some other related field. We also realize that some years, like 2008, can make it difficult to meet high production requirements. Unlike most Broker Dealers American Equity lets you use a percentage of your fixed insurance production to help meet your requirements
Q. Do you have any quotas?
A: We feel that the true essence of an independent broker/dealer, and, in turn, a truly independent advisor, means that you have a wide array of product choices without the pressure of filling any type of quota. Therefore, we do not subject you to any product-related quotas.
Q. Will my clients money be as safe with a small Broker/Dealer?
A: Absolutely Yes. All client funds are held in custody at the investment companies. No investment checks are made payable to American Equity Investment Corp.; they are transmitted daily to the custodians. We are also a member of SIPC and currently we have over 10 times the required minimum net capital.
Q. I want to be an OSJ and hire reps under me. What’s your policy on that?
A: If you want an OSJ Office we’ll help you get it. Just pass the test and show us you have the experience. Naturally you will have to meet all FINRA requirements, too. We are set up for one level of overrides.
Q. If I need help with a tough business or compliance issue who do I call?
A: This is actually one of the greatest advantages of American Equity Investment Corp; if you need to talk to someone with the authority to get a decision made, you can get it done! You have a direct line to the Presidents desk with American Equity Investment Corp. and are free to call any time.
Q. What if I need to reach a support person right away?
A: Call our office any time during business hours and you will reach a real person, not a phone system. Our employees have a genuine concern for our representatives, and our business operation is designed to allow them the time and resources to provide personal service.
Q. Do I have to buy my E&O through American Equity Investment Corp. or can I use my own?
A: In order to assure consistent and appropriate levels of coverage overall, all representatives are required to carry their Errors and Omissions insurance via the American Equity policy. We believe this requirement best supports the overall goal of providing all of our representatives, partners, and their clients with the appropriate protection in advance of the need. Your E&O coverage is placed in effect as soon as you register with us so you do not experience dangerous gaps in your coverage.
Q. What is your attitude about compliance?
A: We build our compliance package as our defense for a time when we both may need it. Instead of working in opposition to the rep, we are on the same team. Our compliance people come from the selling side of the aisle. They have empathy for your need to navigate the barrage of controls, rules, and regulations endemic to our industry. They also have a command of current requirements and are committed to keeping you clearly informed. Our goal is to do a thorough job and keep the working relationship pleasant.
Q. Can you tell me about your Compliance department and your approach to compliance?
A: American Equity has an outstanding Compliance team who truly see themselves as your partner. These are real people who are there to help you remain compliant in our highly regulated, dynamic industry.
Q. What is required to move and how long does it take?
A: You can complete the registration paperwork and get your packet reviewed before you notify your old firm. Once you are cleared it takes us only about two days to get you in our system. The longest possible time element is getting past employment verifications from your old employers for the last three years. Give us a call and we can plan your move so you experience very little down time. We can coach you on handling the details of changing broker/dealers, depending on your individual situation.
Q. How long will it take to transfer my license?
A: Our Licensing Department will be able to transfer your license immediately upon receipt of your updated Form U-4 and any applicable registration fees provided your disciplinary history is clear. The Licensing Department will keep you apprised as your approval process is completed by each state.
Q. What products and services do you offer?
A: American Equity Investment Corp. offers a complete range of investment and insurance products available to our representatives and their clients in a completely non-proprietary environment. These products include, but are not limited to, several thousand mutual funds; variable annuities; and variable life, real estate and oil & gas programs, equity index annuities, fixed annuities and life insurance.
Q. In what States is American Equity licensed to do business?
A: American Equity is licensed in the following States: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Virginia. Other States can be added as needed.
Q. Can you tell me about what you offer for fee-based asset management programs?
A: American Equity Investment Corp. offers several fee-based asset management programs through our affiliated RIA, American Capital Management Inc. With the appropriate license, you can register with American Capital as one of our Investment Advisor Representatives (IARs), giving your clients access to our sub-advisors utilizing individual equities, mutual funds, or exchange-traded funds. Among the available turnkey programs are AssetMark, CLS Management, Flexible Plan Investments, Morningstar Managed and The Pacific Financial Group, just to name a few. From compliance guidance and advisory agreements, to research and Internet-based performance reporting, our fee-based programs are cutting edge.
Q. Can I do insurance business at American Equity Investment Corp.?
A: Yes. American Equity Investment Corp. has sales agreements with over 15 of the best known names in the business. While our representatives are not required to run their fixed insurance through us, most choose to do so for a number of reasons. These include complete underwriting and sales support, competitive pricing from over 15 carriers, and a staff who truly see themselves as your business partners. Also, a percentage of your insurance commission is counted toward your production requirements.
Q. Can I sell fixed insurance through my general agency contract?
A: Yes, you may continue to use your GA contract to sell traditional fixed insurance products. In addition, American Equity has a number of direct-selling agreements with companies that may offer competitive products as well. Commissions on all fixed insurance is paid at street level general agent rates and you get a percentage credit toward your production requirement.