NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Accenture (NYSE: ACN) today announced that Gartner, Inc. has given the Accenture Life Insurance & Annuity Platform (ALIP) the highest score in its Individual/New Business Onboarding/Straight-through Processing Use Case in a new report, titled “Critical Capabilities for Life Insurance Policy Administration Systems, North America.” ALIP also received high scores in the Digital User Support Use Case.

“The COVID-19 pandemic makes it clear that the insurance industry must adopt digital strategies and flexible technologies to quickly respond to changing conditions, particularly as demand for digital services soars,” said Shay Alon, who leads Accenture’s Life and Annuity Products and Platforms business. “New health risks and long-term changes in customer behavior will make automated underwriting, cloud platforms and technologies that bring life, health and wellness together even more pertinent. We believe our score from Gartner reflects our forward-thinking digital strategy for insurers, as they help customers with straight-forward processes for claims and policies.”

The report states, “Straight-through processing is a foundational digital business capability for a policy administration system (PAS).” The report also notes that as the industry moves forward, “CIOs must reevaluate their PASs for fitness for an expected acceleration in digital sales and services in a virtual work-from-home world.”

Used by leading insurers worldwide, ALIP is a robust, configurable and scalable solution that provides life insurance carriers and annuity providers with advanced capabilities for product development, new-business development, underwriting, policy administration, claims and payout. It is available as an on-premise solution and over the cloud as an integrated suite of software with modules that can be implemented individually or as part of a broader migration strategy.

Accenture’s life and annuity software is part of Accenture Life Insurance Services.

1 Gartner “Critical Capabilities for Life Insurance Policy Administration Systems, North America” by Richard Natale, Rajesh Narayan, Aug. 11,

New reports suggest that Apollo CEO Leon Black may have funneled as much as $75 million to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein before supposedly cutting ties in 2018.

The initial report published by the New York Times uncovers a number of alleged payments from Black to Epstein made through several companies.

A company that owned Black’s yacht wired $22.5 million to a company in 2017 that managed Epstein’s private jet – a move that raised questions at Deutsche Bank, the report said.

Other transactions passed through Black-owned businesses, according to the report, including a company that Black used to buy much of his billion-dollar art collection. The total amount of money that Black may have funneled to Epstein is around $75 million, which may have allowed Epstein to continue building wealth following his first criminal case.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
APO APOLLO GLOBAL MGMT 44.97 -1.54 -3.31%

Black owns roughly 23% of Apollo Management Group, according to a Forbes profile on the financier. He also chairs the New York Museum of Modern Art and serves as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Since the initial subpoena of Black in August, Apollo’s stock has steadily declined, falling from around $54 a share to around $42 a share in late September. The stock started to rally over the past couple of weeks, but these revelations may rock the stock’s value again.

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Apollo accordingly moved swiftly to distance both Black and itself from Epstein’s dealings.

“Apollo never did any business with Mr. Epstein,” a spokesperson for Black said in a statement to FOX Business. “We understand that the

As the shocking news emerged that the president and first lady tested positive for the coronavirus, some investors may have wondered if this was the “October Surprise” they feared. Presuming that the President recovers, investors are also absorbing the last employment report before the election. The September jobs report showed that the pace of

Jill Schlesinger 

economic progress is slowing down. The economy added a lower than expected 661,000 new positions, the smallest rise since the job recovery began and a significant deceleration from the spring bounce back. (Note: recent announcements of layoffs from large airlines, Disney, publisher Houghton Mifflin, insurer Allstate, and designer Ralph Lauren, were not included in the September report.)

The U.S. now has 10.7 million fewer workers employed than it did in February. To put that into perspective, for the five years starting in 2015 through 2019, the economy added a total of just over 11.6 million jobs, so the pandemic has wiped out almost five years of job gains. At the current pace, it would take another 16 months for the U.S. to regain the pandemic jobs lost.

The unemployment rate fell from 8.4% to 7.9%, but partially for the wrong reason–the number of people who are in the work force (the “participation rate”) dropped to 61.4%, two percent lower than it was before the pandemic. Front and center of those opting out, are women, especially those with school-age children.

The September jobs report syncs up with findings from “Women in the Workplace 2020”, an annual analysis conducted by McKinsey & Company and Lean In, which surveyed more than 40,000 people across 317 companies from June to August of 2020. McKinsey found that “more than one in four women are contemplating what many would have considered unthinkable just six months ago: downshifting their careers or

What’s happening now, and what it may mean going forward.

A quick summary

  • The dip-buyers are now just 2.9% away from making a new market high.
  • The earnings recession continues, but forward estimates look rosy.
  • Inflation is ticking higher from a very low base.
  • Big Tech has lost some of its mojo.
  • A COVID-19 vaccine is getting closer but is not yet in sight.

The S&P 500 was up 3.8% last week

It was a strong week, up 4 out of 5 days. The only downer was Tuesday, when Trump said he was ending congressional talks regarding a second round of stimulus payments until after the election. That didn’t play well, so he reversed course on Wednesday and the market rallied.

What caught my eye on the above chart, by Jill Mislinski from AdvisorPerspectives, were the three consecutive gap openings after Tuesday’s selloff. Gap openings are not uncommon, but three in a row are. It’s a sign of bullish enthusiasm.

This is the most overstretched market in history

If you believe, as I do, that mean reversion (regression to trend) is a natural law of the market – as gravity is to physics – this chart should concern you. (It also comes from Jill Mislinski.)

The S&P 500 is now trading 132% above its long-term trend. That’s higher than it was at the height of the 2000 Tech Bubble, and higher than the 1929 peak when cabbies and shoe-shine boys were giving stock tips to their customers.

The Sector Returns

Sorted by YTD returns, this table gives a snapshot of where the money is being invested. Technology is the dominant sector at every time frame (with the exception of 1-Month), and Energy comes in dead last.

Earnings and Earnings Estimates

The chart below shows the S&P 500 (blue line, left

NEW YORK — The final three months of the year, usually a boom time for many small businesses thanks to holiday shopping and celebrations, looks precarious as the coronavirus maintains its grip on the economy.

Owners contending with government restrictions or crumbling demand are trying to hold on, with some creating new products and services or desperately searching for new customers. Others, however, have found they’re already well equipped to meet the lifestyle changes brought about by the pandemic.

The big corporate and non-profit parties and events that Sophia D’Angelo ran before the virus outbreak have just about vanished. Large in-person gatherings that companies typically use to launch or promote their brands aren’t possible because of social distancing requirements.

“The fourth quarter was always the bulk of my business,” says D’Angelo, who owns Boston Experiential Group, based in Boston.

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D’Angelo has had to get creative. She’s using her expertise to arrange small gatherings like holiday-themed dinners and parties at people’s homes, usually for no more than 10 guests.

The fourth quarter is a key time for many industries and companies of all sizes. Some retailers typically expect to make as much as half their annual revenue during the holiday shopping season, as do many of their suppliers. Any business connected with holiday parties and celebrations also has high hopes for the October-December period.

This photo provided by Adam M. Rammel shows the beer garden at The Syndicate on Aug. 20, 2020 in Bellefontaine, Ohio. Many restaurants, event planners and even companies like distillers and corporate gift manufacturers face weaker revenues although t

But conditions are dicey this year. The coronavirus has devastated many small businesses; it’s estimated that hundreds