* HENSSLER ENTERS ACCOUNTING JOINT VENTURE: The Henssler Financial Group, a Kennesaw, Ga.-based concern, has formed a joint venture with the Atlanta-area accounting firm of Dickinson & DiLuzio to form a new accounting division of the firm - Dickinson, DiLuzio & Henssler LLC.The new entity will provide financial consulting services for both individual and institutional clients. This partnership expands Henssler to two offices and a staff of more than 55.
"The addition of Dickinson, DiLuzio & Henssler allows us to expand our current tax and accounting department," said Gene W. Henssler, Ph.D., president and chief investment officer of Hennsler. "The venture will add auditing, business valuations, accounting system designs (including Sarbanes-Oxley compliance) and fraud examination."
* REG LIMITS TAX AVOIDANCE OF INSURANCE, ANNUITY CONTRACTS: The Internal Revenue Service has finalized a regulation that would limit the use of life insurance and annuity contracts as a way to avoid current taxation of investment earnings. The regulation will prevent taxpayers from turning otherwise taxable investments in hedge funds and other entities into tax-deferred or tax-free investments by purchasing the investments through a life insurance or annuity contract.
Life insurance and annuity contracts receive favorable tax treatment in recognition of the importance of protecting loved ones against the potentially devastating financial consequences of death or the risk of exhausting savings while in retirement.
The new rule would help taxpayers purchasing a life insurance or annuity contract to be secure in the knowledge that the contract complies with the tax laws, according to the IRS. This regulation is part of the effort to modernize the rules for these contracts, in recognition of the developments that have occurred in the financial markets in recent years.
* FPA NAMES DIRECTOR OF CAREER DEVELOPMENT: The 28,000-member Financial Planning Association named Jean Cantey to the post of director of career development. In her new role, she will oversee the development of new career development programs to support the growth and maturation of the financial planning profession.
Prior to coming aboard at the Denver-based FPA, Cantey served as director of organizational development for Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. In that position, she directed the creation and implementation of organizational development strategies for a division comprised of 3,000 employees.
"We're excited that Jean is joining our team to help us shape the future career paths of financial planners," said Marvin W. Tuttle Jr., CAE, executive director/chief executive of the FPA.
* AMERICAN COLLEGE SEALS PACT WITH THAILAND INSURANCE INSTITUTE: Financial services education provider The American College has entered into an agreement with the Thailand Insurance Institute to offer the Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant designation programs to financial services professionals in that country.
Since the inception of the CLU and ChFC designations, over 94,000 professionals have earned the CLU and over 41,000 have earned the ChFC. The CLU enables students to attain advanced knowledge about life insurance and financial planning. The ChFC provides students with a comprehensive understanding of a wide range of financial planning issues.
Separately, The American College has created a new user-friendly online search engine to help consumers find educated, qualified and experienced financial advisors. Consumers can go to the college's homepage at www.theamericancollege.edu and click on "Find a Financial/Insurance Advisor Here!" The section offers users the ability to locate an advisor in their area using zip code or area code information. A list is displayed with professionals' names, credentials and contact information. The Web site also includes descriptions of specific credentials so consumers can select a professional with the knowledge and experience needed to address their unique individual financial situation.
The online directory includes information on professionals who hold at least one of seven different credentials: the CLU, the ChFC, the Registered Health Underwriter, the Chartered Advisor for Senior Living, the Registered Employee Benefits Consultant, the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy, and the Master of Science in Financial Services.
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