The Deal’s Life Settlements Report is the only provider of news, information and analysis of the secondary market of life insurance.
The Life Settlements Report is the leading authority on the life settlement market. Created and produced by a team of journalists and researchers focused exclusively on the life settlement market, users receive full access to our twice-monthly report featuring all of the intelligence and market data below.
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Delivered on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, The Life Settlements Report features:
Latest intelligence in the life settlements market
New policies, legal and regulatory issues that affect you are found in the bi-monthly report.
High quality data and metrics
Performance benchmarks are included in each edition, comparing the life settlement market against the bond market, performance of hedge funds and the stock market.
Tracking of state legislation
Our “status” map section shows states and their life settlements report status – those in which a law is pending, where settlement disclosure is required and where limited disclosure is required.
Annual league table rankings
The Deal’s senior analysts and researchers rank the top life insurance providers by policies acquired. By working with state regulatory bodies, the data team compiles the annual list, which makes up our league tables.
Tradewind Settlements under investigation by Florida regulatory agency
Tradewind Settlements LLC, which has sold at least 85 territories to insurance agents throughout the country to generate life settlements, is under investigation by a Florida regulatory agency after the company was accused of making misrepresentations about its management and life settlement broker affiliation and other irregularities.
Under a franchise-like business model, Tradewind charges $24,950 for a territory plus a $300 monthly fee. The company provides a weekend training class, sales and marketing materials and a software program.
At least two former agents and the company's former workshop leader say they spoke to a Florida Department of Financial Services investigator about what they viewed as questionable conduct.
Tradewind is based in Jacksonville, Fla., and also has an office in Atlanta at the same address as an adult entertainment business.
Lee Mowery, who led weekend workshops for Tradewind, said he had to hire an attorney to force the company to remove his name from the list of management on its website because it misrepresented his role. Mowery contends he was not an employee, only a consultant.
Furthermore, Mowery and others said the identity of the life settlement broker processing policies for Tradewind's producers is murky. They were told it was David Traina of Life Settlement Exchange Inc., but later learned it was really Life Insurance Settlements Inc.
Tradewind vice president Tom Smith said most of his company's transactions go to Life Insurance Settlements and have since the inception of the program in 2011 or 2012. He said Traina passes on leads to Life Insurance Settlements.
Rob Haynie, managing director of Life Insurance Settlements, insisted that his Fort Lauderdale, Fla., company is not working with Tradewind. He said he's only vaguely familiar with Tradewind as a company selling software and territories.
"I know the company is selling territories," Haynie said. "I thought that was genius."
However, there have been two forms on Tradewind's website with Life Insurance Settlements' logo, one a medical questionnaire for insured persons and the other a life settlement application.
Several insurance agents who were interviewed for the story say they are unclear about who owns Tradewind. They also questioned why Smith is not included in the company's listing of management on its website, since he's a key figure in its operation.
Tradwind's principal office is at 1739 Cheshire Bridge Road in Atlanta, according to the Georgia Secretary of State's website. The location also is the site of a sex toy and adult video shop called Inserection. The business is owned by Michael Morrison, who in 2005 was sentenced to three years in prison for tax evasion.
Smith, who said he works in business development out of Tradewind's Jacksonville office, said Morrison doesn't have any connection to the company. However, he said he could not explain why Morrison's Atlanta address would be the same as the company's principal office and said he would have to ask Jay Nault about that.
Nault is the owner and president of Tradewind and may have developed software for Morrison, Smith said. Nault also lives in Atlanta, according to Smith.
Morrison said in an e-mail that he knows Nault as a software developer who owns Tradewind. Morrison said he doesn't have any involvement with Nault's companies, although they work on some projects together such as the distribution system Nault developed for his adult stores.
The connection to the adult entertainment business scared away Mowery and at least two insurance agents.
Rob Roy, a producer who divides his time between Gilbert, Ariz., and Canton, Ga., said within the last few weeks, he spoke to Lily Leduc, special investigator with the Florida Department of Financial Services who he says is investigating Tradewind.
Leduc didn't respond to requests for comment. Ashley Carr, a spokeswoman for the department, said that due to confidentiality laws, she could not comment on any ongoing, open investigations.
"I told her I believed very strongly that Tradewind was a fraud operation," Roy said of his interview with Leduc. "They make promises they don't keep."
Roy said he decided to work with Tradewind based on Mowery's credentials. When Roy found that Mowery had been trying for more than a year to get name removed from the management page of the company's website, he became disillusioned.
"They used his credentials fraudulently," Roy said.
He also was puzzled about why Smith's name was not on the website.
"There's not a word anywhere on the website about Tom Smith, the vice president," Roy said.
To test how Tradewind's process worked before he started searching for policies to settle, he said he submitted one of his wife's smaller policies to the company in September.
He said he told Leduc it took an inordinate amount of time for Tradewind to process his wife's $125,000 policy, and by the time he was told in January that it couldn't be sold, it had expired.
Roy conceded that his wife, at 67, is younger than persons whose policies typically are sold in the market. But he said she has significant health issues, including peripheral artery disease that led to two partial amputations of her left leg. During one of the amputations, he said she had a heart attack and had to undergo open heart surgery. He said his wife has since recovered.
"There should be absolutely no reason why Tradewind couldn't get back to you with a 'yes' or 'no' quickly" on whether the policy could be sold, Roy said.