Two life insurance distribution veterans are backing an alternative investment program management firm.

Brakovich and Shepherdson will be helping Steadfast expand its $1.6 billion public, non-traded real estate investment trust (REIT) and future alternative investment programs, Steadfast says.

Brakovich and Shepherdson will be joining the board of the Steadfast REIT’s parent, Steadfast Capital Markets Group L.L.C., Irvine.

Brakovich has been a manager at AXA Distributors, a U.S. arm of AXA S.A., Paris, and at MetLife Investors, a unit of MetLife Inc., New York (NYSE:MET), Steadfast says.

Shepherdson has been president of retirement services at AXA’s AXA Equitable, New York, Steadfast says.

Shepherdson says in a statement that Crossroads Capital will help Steadfast improve and expand its distribution platform.

In other business growth news:

- Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company, Philadelphia, a unit of Delphi Financial Group Inc., Philadelphia (NYSE:DFG), is expanding into the voluntary critical illness and voluntary accident insurance lines of business.

Reliance Standard hopes to fill some of the gaps left by increases in health care costs, the company says.

- Philadelphia Financial, Philadelphia, has started the Alpha Alliance, a network of producers aimed at advisors who serve the ultra-high net worth community. The network will start with 10 charter members.

- Allison Bell

Other business growth coverage from National Underwriter Life & Health: