ADP TO SPIN OFF BROKERAGE ARM: Payroll and benefits outsourcing concern Automatic Data Processing Inc. will spin off its massive brokerage-services unit, an arm that observers project would have a market cap of more than $3 billion. ADP said that as a result of the spinoff - which should be completed by the end of fiscal 2007 - it expects to receive a distribution of $500 million to $700 million from the business in the form of a tax-free dividend.ADP said that the decision to spin off the unit came after a year-long strategic review. In that process, the company mulled an initial public offering, as well as an outright sale of the business. Although ADP is better known for its signature payroll unit, its brokerage-services business both processes and clears trades of securities, along with handling the distribution of related materials such as proxy reports. It generated roughly $2 billion in revenue for its most recent fiscal year, accounting for about 20 percent of the company's overall revenue figure.
FIDELITY GIFT FUND EXCEEDS $6B IN GRANTS: Fidelity Investments said that its Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, one of the largest grant-makers among charities with donor-advised fund programs, has surpassed the $6 billion mark in grant disbursements since its founding in 1991.
Fidelity said that since the fund's inception, the Gift Fund has received more than $8.3 billion in contributions from more than 39,000 donors. Of that grant disbursement figure, the financial services conglomerate said that $945 million was disbursed over the year ended June 30.
Fidelity estimated that total charitable giving in the U.S. was more than $260 billion last year.
Since its founding, the Gift Fund's donors have granted 27 percent to support community and human services organizations, 33 percent to religious organizations, 25 percent to education, 7 percent to the arts, 6 percent to health and medical research, and 2 percent to environmental causes.
NEW variable annuities TO BE AVAILABLE VIA RAYMOND JAMES: Nine of the 18 insurance firms that provide variable annuities through financial advisors affiliated with Raymond James Financial Inc. have begun offering a series of new variable annuities. The brokerage firm said that the new products will be sold at a reduced commission.
Participating insurance carriers are: Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Co., Integrity Life Insurance Co., Jackson National Life Insurance Co., John Hancock Life Insurance Co. (U.S.A.), Nationwide Life Insurance Co., Ohio National Life Insurance Co., Pruco Life Insurance Co./American Skandia, Protective Life and Transamerica Life Insurance Co.
Scott Stolz, president of Raymond James' insurance and annuity general agency, emphasized that after a 60-day transition period, the firm's 4,800 financial advisors will no longer offer variable annuities that do not meet Raymond James' new fee and commission requirements. The company said that it expected a short-term reduction of revenue from annuities sales.
INTEGRITY LIFE ROLLS out ENHANCED BENEFIT RIDER: Integrity Life Insurance Co. has launched a new living benefit rider on its variable annuities that combines two retirement planning tools - ETF-powered accumulation, and guaranteed minimum accumulation benefit-backed preservation.
Currently available with Integrity's AnnuiChoice and Pinnacle variable annuities, the new Guaranteed Return Plus feature maintains that contributions of new money allocated to one of three ETF investment options are guaranteed to be worth up to 125 percent of their original value after 10 years. Integrity said that the guaranteed value of Guaranteed Return Plus contributions varies with the investment option selected:
* 125 percent for investments in the Touchstone VST Conservative ETF Fund, which is allocated approximately 35 percent to equity assets and 65 percent to fixed-income assets.
* 115 percent for investments in the Touchstone VST Moderate ETF Fund, which is allocated approximately 60 percent to equity assets and 40 percent to fixed-income assets.
* 100 percent for investments in the Touchstone VST Aggressive ETF Fund, which is allocated approximately 80 percent to equity assets and 20 percent to fixed-income assets.
If the value of a fund's contributions is less than those minimums after 10 years, Integrity will credit an amount up to the benefit's guaranteed maturity amount.
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