Prudential Financial Inc. has named John Strangfeld to succeed Vivian Banta as the leader of the company’s domestic insurance division.

Banta and Strangfeld both are vice chairmen at Prudential, Newark, N.J. Banta, 56, has decided to retire in April, Prudential says.

Banta has been head of the domestic insurance division since 2002.

Strangfeld has been head of Prudential’s domestic investment division since 2002, and he will keep that responsibility, Prudential says.

In other personnel news:

- Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, has named Brian Murphy executive vice president and director of its U.S. individual life business.

Murphy, who has been president of Hartford’s Woodbury Financial Services unit, succeeds Michael Kalen, who is now president of Hartford Life Ltd. in Europe.

Hartford Life Ltd. sells unit-linked investment bonds, which resemble variable annuities.

At Hartford Life Ltd., Kalen is succeeding Lincoln Collins, who is returning to Hartford’s U.S. operations.

- Boston Mutual Life Insurance Company, Canton, Mass., has hired Clifford Lange to be chief financial officer and chief actuary.

Lange previously was chief actuary at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Rochester, N.Y. He has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and actuarial science from the University of Connecticut.

Lange is a Fellow of the Life Management Institute and holds the Chartered Life Underwriter professional designation.

The Jacobson Group, Boston, was in charge of the search.

- Standard Insurance Company, a unit of StanCorp Financial Corp., Portland, Ore., has picked Chris Wolfe to run a new retirement plans office in Phoenix and Tony Leonard to run a new retirement plans office in Charlotte, N.C.

The Phoenix office will service retirement plan sponsors and brokers in Arizona and New Mexico, and the Charlotte office will serve sponsors and brokers in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Wolfe has been working as an internal sales specialist in Standard’s home office. He has a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, and he holds the Accredited Pension Administrator professional designation.

Leonard has been a regional vice president in the Charlotte office of MFS Retirement Services. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from University of Notre Dame, where he was a member of the varsity football team. He holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary professional designation.

- Curian Capital L.L.C., Denver, a unit of Prudential P.L.C., London, that sells fee-based separately managed account services to financial professionals, has named David Sprague East region vice president and Greg Verfaillie West region vice president.

Sprague was a senior vice president of marketing strategy at Prudential’s Jackson National Life Distributors unit.

Verfaillie has been a regional business consultant at Curian.

Curian reports it also has increased the size of its sales force 60%, giving a total of 54 regional business consultants.

- The Council for Affordable Health Insurance, Alexandria, Va., has hired Kevin Wrege to be regional director of state affairs.

Wrege previously managed state legislative and regulatory affairs for the Southeast at America’s Health Insurance Plans, Washington.

Wrege also has been a senior counsel at the Massachusetts Division of Insurance.

- The Illinois Staffing Association, Chicago, has named Susan Henry president for the 2007-2009 term.

Henry is a senior vice president at the Jacobson Group, Chicago.

Henry has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska, Omaha.