Our Qualifications

Media Contact:   Ana Sandoval, Equitable
                           (212) 314-4964, Ana.Sandoval@Equitable.com
SAN DIEGO, CA – October 10, 2007 – John Howells, a financial professional with Equitable Advisors in San Diego, has earned a Certificate in Retirement Planning from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Howells is one of only 500 financial professionals nationwide to complete this retirement planning education program. Bill Degnan, senior vice president and head of Equitable Life Insurance Company’s At Retirementsm unit, made the announcement.
The Wharton School is recognized around the world for its academic strengths at every level of business education. The retirement education program is a customized program developed for Equitable to provide Equitable Advisors financial professionals with intensive training in retirement planning.
The Wharton program commenced with 50 hours of intensive study taught by 10 Wharton School faculty members over a week-long period. It was led by Dr. Olivia Mitchell, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Professor of Insurance and Risk Management at The Wharton School. Topics covered included: 
  • Understanding the Retirement Marketplace
  • Identifying, Mitigating and Insuring Retirement Risks
  • Qualified and Non-Qualified Plans and their Roles in Retirement Planning
  • Medicare and Social Security – Dealing with Institutional Risk
  • Asset Allocation and Diversification
  • Real Estate in the Retirement Portfolio
  • Estate Planning and Tax Issues in Retirement
Individuals who complete the retirement planning education program at Wharton are required to complete ongoing continuing education provided by Wharton’s Learning Continuum and Equitable.
“Equitable and The Wharton School have developed an extraordinary program focused on concepts and issues for the At Retirementsm marketplace,” said Dr. Mitchell, the academic director for the program. “Selected on the basis of their work in value and relationship management, participants will strengthen their retirement risk-management and financial asset allocation techniques for their clients in the future.”
 “Offering this program to Equitable Advisors financial professionals is part of our company’s overall commitment to providing clients with the most comprehensive and current advice on a broad range of financial topics related to retirement,” said Christopher M. “Kip” Condron, Chairman and CEO of Equitable. “We chose Wharton because it is a leader in management research, education and knowledge creation, and we wanted our financial professionals to have access to some of the best minds on these issues.”
“The Wharton School is extraordinarily engaged with the Equitable leadership in linking top-notch financial sector producers and academics, communicating “outside the box” thought on financial strategy and decision-making for the At Retirementsm marketplace,” Dr. Mitchell said.
Mr. Howells works with individuals and business owners to help them define their retirement goals and create strategies to help meet their objectives.
In addition to the Certificate in Retirement Planning from The Wharton School, Mr.Howells holds the NASD Series (7, 66, 24 and life and health licenses and the Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and the Certified Life Underwriter (CLU) professional designations. He received his Masters of Science in Financial Services from The American College. He is recognized for his commitment to clients, professional leadership and outstanding sales performance. He is a past recipient of the company’s National Leadership and Centurion Awards. He was inducted to the company’s Hall of Fame in 2006. He is a member of the Million Dollar Round Table and the Financial Planning Association. He resides in Vista with his wife and children.
Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/ has approximately 4,600 undergraduate, MBA, and doctoral students, more than 8,000 participants in its executive education programs annually, and an alumni network of more than 80,000 worldwide.
About Equitable
Equitable Advisors is a leading provider of financial services for consumers and businesses, working with clients to help them define and meet their financial goals. Equitable provides life insurance, annuities and other needs-based products and services for the financial services market, and is a sponsor of the Variable Annuities Knowledge Center (www.variableannuityfacts.org), an online resource aimed at helping consumers understand the facts surrounding variable annuities. The Variable Annuities Knowledge Center is operated by a standalone non-profit organization and is overseen by an independent advisory board.
Securities products are offered through Equitable Advisors, NY, NY 10104, (212) 314-4600. Insurance and annuity products are available through Equitable Network, LLC, and its subsidiaries.