LIMRA International and LOMA have concluded a proposed agreement to merge their operations and membership.

The boards of directors of LIMRA and LOMA approved the plan to join their associations and will now ask their respective members to approve it, according to a joint announcement by the 2 organizations.

If members approve, LIMRA and LOMA will come together as LL Global Inc., a not-for-profit company providing a unified management structure similar to that of a holding company.

LIMRA, Windsor, Conn., and LOMA, Atlanta, provide research, consulting, training and other services for life insurers.

Robert A. Kerzner, president and CEO of LIMRA, will head LL Global, and Thomas P. Donaldson, president and CEO of LOMA, will assume a new role as chairman of the executive committee of the board of directors of the new organization until his retirement Dec. 31, 2008.

Both groups will remain as distinct entities with their own identities and operations, according to the announcement. LL Global would be incorporated in Connecticut and based in Windsor.

Under terms of the agreement, every member of LIMRA and LOMA would also become a member of LL Global.

Neither organization expects extensive staff cutbacks except for duplicate executive functions, Kerzner says. Both will continue with their existing missions, which for LIMRA has been research aimed at supporting producer and managers in the field and for LOMA has been educational programs supporting the objectives of the home offices of insurance companies.

Because the 2 groups have little mission overlap, most of what they now do is complementary, Kerzner observes. But the combination would also allow cost efficiencies.

For instance, LIMRA could use LOMA’s e-learning platform to enhance training opportunities for its member companies, Kerzner points out.

“The structure is really designed to ensure we maintain a LIMRA and a LOMA that continue to serve their distinctive membership,” Kerzner says. “At the same time, we’re bringing them together under LL Global so that managing and running them can be done as if they were 1 organization serving the entire industry.”

The reasons for merging are “really quite simple,” Donaldson says. “It makes a lot of sense because our organizations are so complementary. We found many different reasons for doing it, and those reason increased the more we studied it.”

LIMRA and LOMA first announced their plan to join in November 2006.

Member companies of both organizations will receive ballots next week. Kerzner expects results of the vote to be available by mid-December and that, if approved, LL Global will begin operations Jan. 1.