Lincoln National Corp. has put the benefits operations it acquired along with Jefferson-Pilot Corp. and other benefits operations in a new employer markets division.

The division will account for about 31% of Lincoln National operating income, and it will manage retirement and executive benefits operations as well as group protection operations, according to Lincoln National, Philadelphia.

The division will start with 2,000 employees; a sales force of 400; 60,000 plan sponsor customers; and about 5 million plan participants, Lincoln National estimates.

The president of the new division will be Westley Thompson, who has been president of Lincoln National’s wholesaling arm, Lincoln Financial Distributors Inc.

Don Roberson, former head of wire and regional broker-dealer distribution at Lincoln Financial Distributors, will be senior vice president of distribution for employer markets defined contribution and executive benefits.

Len Cavallaro will be senior vice president of sales and marketing for employer markets group protection. Before Lincoln National acquired Jefferson-Pilot, Greensboro, N.C., Cavallaro was senior vice president of sales and marketing in Jefferson-Pilot’s group division.