Leading financial services educator, Bryn Mawr, Pa.-based The American College, and the State Farm Insurance Companies announced Feb. 21 the appointment of Eileen C. McDonnell as the first State Farm Chair in Women and Financial Services.

As a former president of New England Financial, McDonnell brings a profound understanding of the financial needs of women and the financial services industry to this academic appointment.

The need for increased understanding of women as financial consumers is undeniable: Women control 89 percent of all bank accounts. The world’s largest economy is American women. They directly purchase 83 percent of all products and services. Nearly half of all Americans with assets exceeding $600,000 are women.

“Women are an enormous market force and advisors need tools and strategies to address their unique needs at each stage of their lives,” said Larry Barton, Ph.D., president and CEO of The American College. “Thanks to the generosity of State Farm, we will now develop and disseminate research that will benefit women as producers and consumers.”

As the first holder of the State Farm Chair in Women and Financial Services, McDonnell will teach coursework and create educational content that will help financial professionals better serve the women’s market. She will be instrumental in the creation and dissemination of research studies and results through print, exclusive webcasts, and audio interviews.

Prior to joining The American College, McDonnell was the first woman president of New England Financial in its 168-year history. She has held numerous executive positions over the past 20 years in the insurance industry with AXA/Equitable, Guardian and MetLife.

For more information, visit www.TheAmericanCollege.edu.