A U.S. insurer has recruited a top executive from a Canadian competitor.

Conseco Inc., Carmel, Ind., has hired C. James Prieur, the president of Sun Life Financial Inc., Toronto, to be chief executive officer.

Prieur, who also will be a Conseco board member, succeeds William Kirsch, who resigned in May.

James Hohmann, Conseco’s interim CEO, will become the company’s president and chief operating officer.

R. Glenn Hilliard continues to be Conseco’s chairman.

Prieur began his career at Sun Life Financial in 1979, in the investment management operations. He has a bachelor’s degree from the College Militaire Royal de St. Jean, Quebec, and master’s degree in business from the University of Western Ontario.

Hohmann has working for Conseco since December 2004. Before that, he was president of XL Life and Annuity, a unit of XL Capital Ltd., Hamilton, Bermuda. He has a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in business from the University of Chicago.