Demand for variable annuities among advisors is expected to remain strong, despite recent volatility in that market, according to a report from market research and consulting firm Cogent Research.

The report found that 77% of all advisors expect to continue selling variable annuities and allocate 11% of their assets under management toward these products.

Five of the leading variable annuity providers--Prudential, Jackson National, MetLife, Aegon/Transamerica and RiverSource--increased their penetration among variable annuity users over the past year, according to the study. Prudential made significant inroads among advisors in the regional broker channel, Jackson National among advisors in the national wirehouse channel, and RiverSource among independent advisors.

Prudential and Jackson National led in what Cogent Reseach calls "Advisor Investment Momentum," a measure of advisors' intent to increase or decrease usage of existing providers in the coming year. Next in the AIM ranking were Lincoln National, MetLife, RiverSource and Aegon/Transamerica.

"The contrast between providers pulling back from the VA business and advisors looking to VAs to meet their clients' objectives creates an opportunity for the remaining providers to step up, ride out the risk, and potentially gain a strong hold on the market," Meredith Lloyd Rice, senior project director at Cogent Research and author of the report, said in statement.

The report, Advisor Brandscape 2012, surveyed 1,750 registered financial advisors across all channels in the U.S. The survey was conducted in March 2012.

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