Ohio National Trailing Commissions Litigation

Attorney David Meyer Quoted on Fate of Ohio National Variable Annuity Commissions Litigation

As litigation unfolds over Ohio National Life’s policy changes to stop paying trailing commissions on GMIB variable annuities to the broker-dealers and advisors who sold them, questions remain as to how the case will play out.

Shortly after Ohio National’s abrupt September announcement about discontinuing those commissions, Ohio Securities Attorneys Dennis Concilla and David Meyer partnered to help advisors suffering from the resulting financial damages.

In addition to fielding calls from concerned broker-dealers and independent advisors across the country, Attorneys Concilla and Meyer also filed the first nationwide class action lawsuit against Ohio National on behalf of the thousands of advisors, many of whom are small business owners, who sold and serviced these policies and now have hundreds of millions of dollars on the line. Other lawsuits soon followed.

Naturally, those advisors have warranted concerns about the progress of the case, which is why we provide regular case updates on our website. In a bit a speculation about the matter, Financial Advisor IQ has published an article entertaining predictions from those involved – predictions which suggest the string of suits Against Ohio National may be resolved sooner rather than later.

What’s to Come: Ohio National Life Commissions Lawsuits

In the article, plaintiffs’ attorneys involved in the litigation weigh in on the prognosis of the multiple currently pending lawsuits against Ohio National, which claim the insurer’s abrupt cancellation of trailing commissions violated contractual obligations, among other claims. One attorney representing Next Financial Group noted discovery will be limited, and that the case can be “teed up” from a contract construction.

While Ohio National has remained mute on the pending cases, the company did recently send a letter to its VA policyholders as the deadline for offered buyouts approaches. As we discussed on a previous blog, that perplexing notice reminded customers that the insurer is no longer paying trailing commissions and that any financial advisor who does service policyholders about accepting buyouts may be influenced by their own compensation motives, and, strangely enough, that Ohio National will continue to provide advisors with information they need to service the contracts, even though they won’t be compensated. In short, they’re highlighting a real potential conflict of interest – albeit for a situation they created, and over which they’ve issued conflicting statements.

As David Meyer tells Financial Advisor IQ, Ohio Financial’s latest letter “highlights what a horrible mess this is.” Meyer and Concilla are representing Texas financial advisor Lance Browning and other similarly situated advisors. Browning faces $90,000 in lost trailing commissions per year as a result of the changes.

If you are an advisor significantly impacted by Ohio National Life’s abrupt cancellation of trailing commissions on its GMIB variable annuity contracts, Attorneys Dennis Concilla and David Meyer are available to discuss your options. Contact us to speak with a lawyer.