by Structured Settlement Watchdog
Milestone's John T. Bair, the managing member and principal owner of Buffalo based structured settlement factoring company CrowFly, LLC [Milestone Wealth Form ADV Part 2 Section 10 IAPD - Investment Adviser Public Disclosure - Homepage (sec.gov) ] has apparently recently terminated his appointments, and the sublicensee appointments with life insurers issuing structured settlement annuities. According to New York Department of Financial Services publicly available published records at time of publishing, Bair/Milestone no longer hold appointments with Berkshire Hathaway, Pacific Life & Annuity Company, Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance Company, New York Life Insurance Company and The Prudential Insurance Company of America effective May 31, 2022, according to the New York Department of Financial Services, Upon information and belief Bair/Milestone are not appointed with structured settlement annuity issuers USAA LIfe, American General and United of Omaha.
What About Milestone Fee Master Option 2?
In addition, it is evident that the Bair/Milestone's Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company appointment was terminated as of May 31, 2022. Bair/Milestone solicited trial lawyers for several years with this dubious chuckler "Keep more of your total contingency fee and work within an existing financial framework that can return historical dividends as high as 6% or greater. What a neat party trick by "Marty McBair" it would be to take a time machine and get historical dividends in the future. Without MassMutual, whose appointment Bair has dropped, and with Northwestern Mutual a no-brokerage company, is Option 2, deep-sixed?
What About Milestone Fee Master Option 3?
"A more tried-and-true strategy, this approach has been allowable since 2008 but has been cost prohibitive until now. No longer limited to the eight basic structured annuity options, this platform relies on the inherent advantages in the marketplace of
annuities. All annuities are available to back the obligations of this feeMaster option". Can MIlestone and Bair seriously and accurately represent to trial lawyers and disabled plaintiffs that ALL annuities are available when they are now not, now that the appointments have terminated by Milestone/Bair?
In its most recent still published form ADV Part 2, in Section 10 (Conflict of Interest), Milestone Wealth indicates that it "may recommend an annuity listed by CrowFly to a Milestone client". To the extent what Milestone is selling to an investor, or a trust, is a factored structured settlement payment stream. It is NOT an annuity. Plaintiffs and their attorneys should be mindful that when another person's structured settlement payments are being sold to them or their clients it is a factored structured settlement payment stream, or receivable that does not meet the definition of annuity under the laws of many states.
Factored structured settlement payment streams are not annuities and not a qualified funding asset for a structured settlement.
He was not the first, but for 4-5 years, John Bair was the only structured settlement annuity general agent who was also cofounder, managing member and principal owner of a structured settlement factoring operation, CrowFly, LLC. [ see Milestone Wealth Form ADV Part 2, page 10 regarding Conflict of Interest]
On April 20, 2020 Bair sent a missive to trial lawyers to get their clients out of annuities while soliciting clients to buy factored structured settlement payment rights inappropriately billed as "annuities" from CrowFly, LLC. At the time of the solicitation it was known that the 2017 Revisions to NAIC LIfe & Health Guaranty Association Model Act (#520) expressly excluded structured settlement investors from the insolvency scheme. Today 37 states have adopted the revisions and as a result provide no protection to structured settlement investors in the event of insolvency. The 2017 revisions included a retro clause that affects people who have bought such investments prior to the effective date of the adoption of the revisions. Expect the 2017 Revisions to eventually be adopted in all 50 states.
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