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2017 M Wellness Initiative: Inside and Out

M Financial | 26 April 2017 | M Team

M Team members take healthier steps to living well at our monthly "Lunch Bunch" Wellness Wednesday activity. Fueling our bodies right sets us up for success in all areas of our lives!

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2017 M Retirement Colloquium a Huge Success

M Financial | 18 April 2017 | M Community

Leading experts in the retirement industry explore a variety of economic, social, and regulatory factors impacting the retirement industry with M Community attendees at the 2017 M Retirement Colloquium.

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Julie Ragatz on PBS’s Nightly Business Report

M Financial | 14 April 2017 | M Community

Julie Ragatz, Director of the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics in Financial Services at The American College, addresses potential changes in the airline industry on PBS’s Nightly Business Report.

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Planning for Retirement with Cash Value Life Insurance

M Financial | 6 April 2017 | Solutions

The prospect of a financially secure retirement is a key goal of most successful people. Unfortunately, relatively few options exist to accumulate sufficient retirement funds in a tax-efficient way. Cash value life insurance can be a valuable means of saving additional funds for retirement beyond annual contribution maximums.

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Global Life Expectancy Increase by 2030

M Financial | 6 March 2017 | Partnerships

Studies show life expectancy is increasing, reinforcing the importance of enhancing health and wealth expectancy—the quality of a longer life and our ability to fund it—which remains the focus of the M Center of Excellence.

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M Partners with University of Michigan’s Industry Partnership Program

M Financial | 1 February 2017 | Partnerships

Through the Actuarial Industry Partnership Program (IPP) at the University of Michigan, sponsored by the Society of Actuaries, M Financial Group collaborated with interns on two projects: Predicting Financial Impairment Among Life Insurers and Credibility Methods for Life Insurance.

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M Financial and the ABA Introduce The Advisor's Guide to Disability Insurance

M Financial | 18 January 2017 | News

M Financial Group's latest publication with the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law—The Advisor's Guide to Disability Insurance—highlights the diversity of our business, our commitment to client advocacy, and our continued interest in working closely with professional advisors (including attorneys, CPAs, and Family Offices) to deliver value to clients.

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An Advisor’s Guide to Employer-Owned Life Insurance and Section 101(j)

M Financial | 22 December 2016 | Solutions

In 2006, a new federal tax law provision was added, stating that under certain circumstances death benefits paid under life insurance policies—for key employees—owned by an employer will be subject to ordinary federal income tax unless specified procedural requirements have been strictly adhered to during the application and underwriting process. We outline the issue in detail and clarify how to avoid adverse tax results.

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Why November Is the Perfect Month for Long-Term Care Awareness

M Financial | 17 November 2016 | Solutions

Families will soon come together to celebrate the holidays. Many will have someone—often a parent—who needs help with everyday living for an extended period (long-term care). Family gatherings during the holidays are the perfect opportunity to discuss how long-term care planning can best help your loved ones.

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M Benefit Solutions Implements Executive Leadership Changes, Looks Ahead to Growth Opportunities

M Financial | 20 October 2016 | News

David Watros, the current Vice President of M Corporate Benefits and a 25-year veteran of M, has been promoted to President of M Benefit Solutions. Shirley McMillan, who joined M Benefit Solutions nine years ago, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer of M Benefit Solutions. A subsidiary of M Financial Group, M Benefit Solutions is a leader in the nonqualified executive benefit plan arena.

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2015 M Annual Report—M Transformative

M Financial | 9 August 2016 | News

M Transformative. Our 2015 Annual Report attempts to exemplify the need for us to be transformative, building on decades of differentiation to blaze new trails to success. No matter how successful we have been in the past, we must be transformative in every way—in our leadership, our advocacy on behalf of clients, and our commitment to creating differentiated products and services.

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MFH Board Member Grace Vandecruze Featured in SNL Financial Exclusive

M Financial | 13 July 2016 | News

In a July 7, 2016, SNL Financial exclusive—Life insurers' values slide amid concerns over investment income—Grace Vandecruze, Founder and Managing Director of Grace Global Capital, and a member of M's Board of Directors, talks about the U.S. life insurance industry outlook following the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union.

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‘Storm’ Hits Life Insurers by Jeff Dattolo and Dave Buckwald

M Financial | 20 June 2016 | Solutions

Jeff Dattolo and Dave Buckwald of Atlas Advisory Group in New Jersey share their insight into what is causing the “perfect storm” in the life insurance industry and outline steps advisors can take to identify the best possible solutions for clients.

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Family Limited Partnerships

M Financial | 14 June 2016 | Solutions

A Family Limited Partnership (FLP) is a legally organized business arrangement among family members that allows assets to be jointly owned by family members. Similar to other types of business entities, an FLP can own and control a wide variety of assets. In addition to assets designed for transfer to future generations, life insurance can be especially useful as it provides predictable future liquidity to fund operational and transfer costs.

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Participating Whole Life Basics—Dividends and Dividend Interest Rates

M Financial | 31 May 2016 | Solutions

Participating whole life (PWL) insurance continues to present unique challenges when assessing the competitiveness of a new policy acquisition or reviewing the performance of an existing in-force policy. PWL policy charges are generally bundled, which can make it difficult to understand, analyze, and review policy performance. We explore PWL product mechanics and design considerations, providing an enhanced understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of PWL products.

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Three Questions To Ask About Protecting Your Income

M Financial | 26 May 2016 | Solutions

What is the likelihood of becoming disabled? What causes disabilities during working years? What is the value of my income and is it sufficiently covered? A financial plan that does not address income protection is an incomplete plan. The good news is many sources of disability insurance are available.

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A Basic Overview of Stock Indexes

M Financial | 16 May 2016 | M Community

Indexed universal life (IUL) insurance products continue to increase in popularity, as does interest in the underlying stock indexes used to generate an IUL policy’s crediting rate. An index is a passively managed basket of investments that can consist of a variety of assets, including equity or debt securities. Each index is created with a different strategy in mind; some to provide a general performance overview of asset positions in a certain geographic region, while others are industry or even commodity specific.

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An Introduction to Private Foundations

M Financial | 28 April 2016 | Solutions

Private foundations are frequently used to provide additional control, flexibility, and ongoing management of a family’s charitable efforts. In addition, private foundations can be useful to accomplish income and estate tax planning goals, where life insurance can be a valuable foundation asset.

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Special Needs Planning

M Financial | 15 April 2016 | Solutions

Planning for a child or family member with special needs requires significant financial and legal forethought. As their requirements can extend beyond the lifetime of a guardian or caregiver, permanent life insurance can be an important part of a solution ensuring their ongoing care and to transition assets.

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Fred Jonske Joins ACLI's Board of Directors

M Financial | 16 October 2015 | News

The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), whose member companies help Americans achieve financial and retirement security, has elected M Financial Group President and CEO Fred H. Jonske to its Board of Directors.

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Utilizing Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts

M Financial | 10 September 2015 | Solutions

Estate planning attorneys and tax advisors often advise affluent families to consider using life insurance in their estate plans. Setting up an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) to own the life insurance policy can be a practical and tax-efficient solution.

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An Introduction to Charitable Planning Using Life Insurance

M Financial | 27 August 2015 | Solutions

Many affluent individuals and families express a desire to establish a legacy via charitable planning. Charitable bequests can take many forms and, in a wide variety of circumstances, life insurance can be used as a tool to bring leverage, privacy, and certainty to the transaction. As such, life insurance planning presents an important opportunity to maximize the benefits for both the donor and the charity.

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M Financial Group Welcomes Grace Vandecruze and Gabe Shaheen to its Board of Directors

M Financial | 21 July 2015 | News

We welcome the addition of Grace Vandecruze and Gabe Shaheen to our Board of Directors.


Grace Vandecruze is the Founder and Managing Director of Grace Global Capital LLC, a financial services firm specializing in financial advisory, restructuring, valuation, and capital-raising services to corporations and organizations around the world. Grace has extensive expertise in mergers and acquisitions and capital-raising in both the private and public markets for financial institutions.


Gabriel L Shaheen is the President and CEO of GLS Capital Ventures, and a Partner in NxtStar Ventures, both financial services advisory firms. Gabe spent 23 years at Lincoln National Corporation, during which he was at times running the reinsurance business, then the U.K. and U.S. life and annuity businesses, and currently serves on the board of Horace Mann Educators Corp as Chairman of the Board.

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M Financial Publishes Annual Report

M Financial | 10 July 2015 | News

This year’s theme—M at the Core of Inspiration—attempts to convey the inspiration that permeates the M Community and supports the execution of our core values. The annual report also includes a list of nearly 1,000 organizations supported by Member Firms with money, time, and other resources.

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Understanding the Generation Skipping Transfer Tax

M Financial | 8 June 2015 | Solutions

Federal gift and estate tax laws apply to transfers of wealth. When a transfer bypasses a generation in favor of a subsequent generation, such transfers are subject to an additional Generation Skipping Transfer tax.

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M Video: What Member Firms Like About
M Financial Group

M Financial | 2 June 2015 | M Community

M Financial Group is comprised of 140 Member Firms committed to serving the needs of their clients. Without these Firms, there is no M.


M’s success relies heavily on delivering value to Firms in ways that enhance their competitiveness, differentiation, and success. The value Member Firms see in M membership, shared through an anniversary video is clear: Member Firms like the collaboration and sharing that takes place within the M Community.

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M Intelligence Follow Up: NLG Best Practices for 1035 Exchanges

M Financial | 29 May 2015 | Products

As a follow up to a recent M Intelligence piece (Understanding—and Managing—the Impact of NLG Premium Payment Timing), Dan Furiness of KB Financial Partners, an M Member Firm in Princeton, NJ, has provided further insight on NLG best practices, specifically regarding 1035 premium timing sensitivity.

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Michael Mingolelli, Jr. Offers Insight on PPLI in Barron’s

M Financial | 20 May 2015 | Products

Tax deferral can have a significant and positive impact on tax-inefficient investments, especially in a rising tax environment. 


In a recent post in Barron’s PENTA blog, Michael A. Mingolelli, Jr. of Pinnacle Financial Group, an M Member Firm in Southborough, MA, shares his perspective on private placement life insurance (PPLI).

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Understanding—and Managing—the Impact of NLG Premium Payment Timing

M Financial | 19 May 2015 | Products

Many individuals were initially attracted to No-Lapse Guarantee universal life (NLG) policies because they were a good value in the declining interest rate environment. Clients also liked NLG because it offered coverage that could be “put in a drawer,” never to be thought about again—until it was needed. Today we know this is not the case. In fact, NLG may be a 50+ year commitment to paying on time, making full awareness of NLG parameters critical to proper management.

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Life Insurance Regulation Focus: Protecting Policyholders and Maintaining Insurance Company Solvency

M Financial | 14 May 2015 | Solutions

Life insurance remains one of the most highly regulated financial services sectors. State insurance departments, which serve as the principal regulator, are primarily focused on protecting the public by providing greater certainty that life insurance companies will remain solvent in order to meet their contractual obligations (i.e., paying death benefit claims and surrender values to policyholders).

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Bob Plybon Receives Gerald H. Sherman Service Award at AALU Annual Meeting

M Financial | 7 May 2015 | M Community

More than 1,000 industry leaders—including 100+ members of the M Community—attended the recent AALU Annual Meeting (May 3–5 in Washington, DC). Those present had the privilege of seeing Bob Plybon receive the Gerald H. Sherman Service Award for his exemplary service to our industry.

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Advanced Markets Insight: Life Insurance—It's More Than Death Insurance

M Financial | 23 April 2015 | Solutions

Ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals and business owners are familiar with the value of life insurance and the usefulness of death proceeds, which, when policies are properly positioned, are not subject to tax. On the other hand, the lifetime benefits and living applications of permanent cash value life insurance are less recognized and greatly under-utilized.

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Growth of M International Solidifies M's Differentiation in Foreign National Market

M Financial | 9 April 2015 | Products

M Financial Group has established an international platform that provides access to U.S. and offshore insurance products with global client support across four different segments of international insurance solutions: U.S. domestic products, international corporate benefits, Bermuda-based products, and offshore private placement products. Activity in this area remains high and continues to contribute to our growth.

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Recent Member Firm Articles—in Private Wealth, The Wealth Channel Magazine, CFO Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal—Highlight M Differentiation

M Financial | 31 March 2015 | News

M Financial remains committed to sharing expertise in ways that create new opportunities and facilitate informed decisions. So far in 2015, five Member Firms have shared their insight on topics that reflect M’s differentiation and remind clients and advisors that M Financial remains the leader in the ultra-affluent market. 

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MAGNASTAR® Continues to Lead the PPLI Market, Has Strong Momentum Entering 2015

M Financial | 12 March 2015 | Products

In 2000, M Financial Group launched MAGNASTAR®, a multi-Carrier private placement variable life insurance product available exclusively to M Member Firms. Private placement was relatively new to the marketplace then and our ability to introduce a proprietary offering served as another example of our leadership and focus on delivering innovative solutions to our clients.

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M Corporate Benefits Announces New Disability Carrier Relationship with Guardian

M Financial | 2 March 2015 | Partnerships

M Financial Group recently announced a new disability carrier relationship with The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), effective March 2, 2015. This new relationship brings diversity, depth, and increased capacity to M Financial's disability carrier lineup at a time when market changes and the broader needs of M Member Firms call for expanded multi-life disability insurance options. The relationship covers multi-life disability, but does not extend to single-life disability, which Guardian distributes through its general agency system.

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