J. Kerry Clayton has retired from the board of Assurant Inc.

Clayton, the former chief executive of Assurant, New York, announced in January 2006 that he would retire from his executive position in March 2006 and serve on the company’s board as vice chairman for the remainder of the year.

The Assurant board plans to find an independent director to fill Clayton’s seat, the company says.

When the board finds the new independent director, independent directors will fill 10 of the 12 board seats, Assurant says.

In other personnel news:

- Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, Mass., has hired Michael Fanning to be senior vice president and chief operating officer for the U.S. insurance group.

Fanning, 43, will be responsible for all business operations in the group, MassMutual says.

Fanning previously was vice president of new individual business at a unit of MetLife Inc., New York.

Fanning has bachelor’s degrees in economics and management from Brown University.

- Sun Life Financial Inc., Toronto, has hired Venky Mysore to be vice president and country head for Sun Life Financial, India.

Mysore will run joint venture companies that Sun Life has started with Aditya Birla Management Corp. Ltd., Mumbai, India.

The Birla Sun Life companies have the seventh biggest mutual fund operation in India, with the equivalent of $3.5 billion in assets, and a large life insurance operation. The life company has a network of 21,000 advisors in 95 cities, Sun Life says.

Mysore previously was country manager for MetLife India, a unit of MetLife Inc., New York.

Mysore succeeds Gary Comerford, who is moving to Sun Life’s corporate office to become managing director for international operations.

- The Kentucky Office of Insurance has named Eugene Sherrard to be director of the insurance fraud investigation division.

Sherrard spent decades in the Louisville police department and eventually became chief of police. He also spent time working as a homicide detective and helping to run the department’s efforts to stop narcotics sales.

- Health Net Inc., Los Angeles, has hired Linda Tiano to be senior vice president, general counsel and secretary.

Tiano will succeed B. Curtis Westen, who will resign Feb. 1, then stay with Health Net as a senior vice president and special counsel until July 31, Health Net says.

Tiano previously was deputy general counsel for the East Region and national accounts at WellPoint Inc., Indianapolis. She was general counsel of WellChoice Inc., New York, when WellPoint acquired WellChoice.

Tiano has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and a law degree from Boston University.

Health Net also has named Philip Davis chief compliance officer. Davis has been and will continue to be Health Net’s deputy general counsel and corporate ethics officer.

Davis has a bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Ohio and a law degree from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

- Conseco Inc., Carmel, Ind., has hired W. Mark Johnson to be senior vice president and chief compliance officer.

Johnson previously was chief counsel at GE Employers Reinsurance Corp., Overland Park, Kan.

Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and a master’s degree in health administration from Brigham Young University. He has a law degree from Indiana University.