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Moncton-based Assumption Life launched its new Registered Investment Account (RIA) this week, allowing insurance advisors who aren’t securities-registered to provide their clients with a cheaper investment alternative to the typical segregated fund.

Assumption Life’s product guide calls the RIA a “unique concept” in the insurance sector (only a couple of insurers offer RIAs). A client’s deposits are kept in the insurer’s general funds, and the client receives the returns of a selected reference fund or funds, minus the associated management fee.

The product, available for registered accounts (including RRSPs and TFSAs), was designed for insurance-licensed advisors who aren’t securities-registered, but who want to offer a better management fee to their clients, said Pierre Martin, marketing director at Assumption Life. (Assumption Life doesn’t offer mutual funds.)

On the front-loaded Series E, for example, commissions are 0% to 3%, with trailers of between 0.4% (for fixed income funds) and 0.8% (for regular funds), the product guide says. On the no-load Series D, commissions are 2% (plus override) with trailers varying by fund type and years invested. (Series D also has commission chargebacks.)

A client’s contributions up to $100,000 are protected, and the death benefit and maturity guarantees are each 75% of net deposits, the guide says. (Contract maturity is age 105.)

Investors can choose from 24 funds, including target date funds and wrapped portfolio solutions.

Assumption Life’s RIA was created in partnership with Moncton-based Louisbourg Investments, a subsidiary of Assumption Life.