Having now read the sample copy of the First Edition of The Structured Settlements Report, a new publication of DealFlow Media, I am unimpressed.
First, the DealFlow Media publication Structured Settlements Report has to be Patrick Hindert's wet dream come true. The publication's tag line is News, Information and Analysis of the Primary and Secondary Markets. Like a kvelling uncle, HIndert has been trying to pair these two up for SOOOOO long.
Structured Settlements Report main story is clearly about highlighting the negatives of the primary and the "phenomenal growth of the secondary". According to DealFlow Media, the segment of the factoring industry that purchases structured settlement payment rights (which are referred to as the secondary ) does $350MM per year and the structured settlement industry does $6B plus per year. By my calculations that means that only 5.8% of the annual premium volume of structured settlements written annually is being factored. But the perception is that its SEEMS like much more than a "wet noodle" doesn't it? That's thanks to the continual advertising bombardment that $43 million will buy JG Wentworth.
Second, the February 6, 2008 inaugural issue is a scrapbook which highlights old stories like the departures of several annuity issuer ("with reputable names") from the market on the front page while relegating the explanation by NSSTA President Henry Strong to the back pages. Deal Flow Media neglects to mention the fine reputable names that are still in the market had large market share even before the Deal Flow mentioned companies left.
John Bair of Forge Consulting, "a shining force of integrity in our time" , was quoted by Deal Flow Media as saying "Outsiders looking into getting a structured settlement become supremely irritated and abandon their efforts. I think it speaks to the colossal failure of the industry to represent itself". Bair and his company's contributions to what it seems that HE deems "the colossal failure" should not be underestimated.
1.Bair's firm representing the absolute of "plaintiff exclusive" in advertising to his firm's clients and Bair personally to Marsha Kazarosian, the President of the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys, while during the same time period he and two other Forge principals signed an affidavit under penalty of perjury attesting to the United States Department of Justice these affidavits claiming to have substantially served defendants.
2. That Bair's firm delivered the typo laden and now infamous "Plantiff Brochure" to not just one, but two trial lawyer conventions, apparently hoping nobody would notice. Download FORGEBrochure.pdf
3. That Bair's firm, continually advertised that it could deliver an "equivocated guaranteed rate of approximately 15% " on structured attorney fees before being repeatedly flamed by this blog for an explanation and an opinion was sought from the New York State Insurance Department
4. That Bair's firm misrepresented to lawyers in Rhode Island that it is the "only plaintiff exclusive" firm in the country.
5. That Bair's firm advertised that it was purchasing structured settlement payment rights at the same time it was placing structured settlements in September-October 2006.
6. That at one point Bair's firm inaccurately advertised in its website that lump sums in personal injury settlements were not tax free
7. That Bair personally used and Forge used what was purported to be the testimonial of former Presidential candidate John Edwards to imply that Edwards personally used Forge for structured settlements, even though Edwards stopped practicing law 4 years prior to the founding of Forge.
Once again, REFER ABOVE 1 through 7!
Bair is hopefully misquoted by Deal Flow Media as saying that "NSSTA watches out for the interest of "life insurance companies" (the same companies that Forge Consulting has entered into a contract with, is appointed in 50 states by AND that pay Forge large amounts of commissions).
Deal Flow Media's Structured Settlements Report contains two advertisements for a Life Settlements conference. Life Settlements have NOTHING to do with structured settlements, except that the same money that funds the purchase of structured settlement payment rights may buy life insurance policies.
DealFlow Media's Structured Settlements Report, in my opinion, inappropriately tries to draw negative inference from a lawsuit field by Prudential Retirement Income and Annuity Company against State Street Global Advisors. First, according to the Prudential website Prudential has $438 BILLION in assets under management as of 12/31/2007. For a company that is supposedly educating those in the "deal flow" a loss of $80 MILLION represents what percentage? Just over one hundredth of 1%! But that's not all readers, here's the best part...Deal Flow Media is reporting about an entity that does not even issue structured settlements. Nice shoddy research! The issuer of structured settlement annuities issued by Prudential is The Prudential Insurance Company of America.
More examples of shoddy research come from the gossip columns. In a report about the sale of Gould and Lamb to ABRY Partners,LLC, DealFlow Media inaccurately refers to AIG, CNA, The Hartford and Travelers as life carriers among Gould and Lamb early clients.
DealFlow media's report on Single Claimant QSFs also contains inaccuracies.
In my opinion the DealFlow Media Structured Settlements Report is a complete waste of money. Why pay $1,195 ($1500) for a single user or $3,585 ($4,785) for unlimited users when (1) you are getting such shoddy research about the structured settlement industry (2) the information it presents is available elsewhere and apparently more accurately, FOR FREE.
Too much press is devoted to the factoring industry at the expense of the structured settlement industry and I think we all know why, WKRP.
As to structured settlement brokers and settlement planners I again ask you to assess the strategic intelligence of supporting DealFlow Media in any way. This is a very poor PR source for the structured settlement and settlement planning industry in my opinion. The industry's intellectual capital should not "given away" to profiteers like DealFlow Media.
Strategic industry thinkers who wish to discuss this should contact this author. For your reference you may wish to read a collection of posts that this author has written about DealFlow Media. Please click here