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Shenandoah Life Successfully Exits Receivership

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Shenandoah Life Insurance Co., Roanoke, Va., successfully exited receivership following a $60 million capital infusion. Former Aviva Life Insurance Co. president and CEO Hans Carstensen has been named president and CEO of Shenandoah Life.

Shenandoah Life, which has served policyholders since its founding in 1914, will continue to be based in Roanoke as a subsidiary of its new owner, privately held Prosperity Life Insurance Group LLC. 

The transaction, finalized Tuesday by order of the Virginia State Corporation Commission, means the company will resume normal operations, including continuing to fulfill all of its commitments to policyholders.

Carstensen noted what a unique situation it is for an insurance firm to successfully exit receivership as most end up being liquidated. To what does Shenandoah owe its success? “Clearly, the talent of the commissioner, the receivership team and Shenandoah’s employees,” Carstensen said.

Carstensen said three years in receivership is tough to come through, but he is looking forward to the challenge. “It will be fun to get the company back in the market.”

In other industry news:

Association for Advanced Life Underwriting, Reston, Va., members elected new officers and three new directors for 2012-13. David A. Culley, CLU, ChFC, will serve as AALU president for the coming year.

Serving with Culley as AALU officers will be:

  • President elect – Thomas J. Von Riesen, CLU, ChFC
  • Immediate past president – Forrest G. Surles, CLU, ChFC, CFP, AEP, MSFS
  • Vice president & treasurer – Anthony J. Domino, CLU, ChFC, MSFS
  • Secretary – Mark B. Murphy, CLU, ChFC

Joining the AALU board of directors for a three-year term are:

  • Robert P. Burke, CLU, ChFC, AEP
  • Kenneth R. Samuelson Jr., CLU, ChFC
  • Marc P. Schwartz, J.D., CLU

The AALU membership also recognized Past President Nathan M. Perlmutter, CLU, ChFC and departing board members Daniel Barry and Michael G. Goldstein, Esq, JD, LL.M for their service to the AALU and the life insurance industry.

MetLife Inc., New York, N.Y. (NYSE: MET), announced Christopher Townsend will join the company as head of its Asia region, which consists of Japan, Korea, Australia, Hong Kong and China. Townsend will be based in Hong Kong, report to the CEO and become a member of the company’s executive management team.

Townsend previously was chief executive officer of Chartis–Australasia, with responsibility for the company’s businesses across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Earlier, he was the CEO for Hong Kong, head of mergers and acquisitions, and held a number of senior leadership roles in Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Sydney. He joined Chartis in the United Kingdom in 1991 and has spent more than half of his 21-year career in the company’s Asia-Pacific region. Townsend has agreed to join MetLife after a period of time during which he fulfills his existing obligations to Chartis.

Peter OwhThe Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. appointed Peter Owh to sales manager of Life Planning Group, its career agency in Uniondale, N.Y.

“Peter was recognized and selected as one of five sales managers nationwide for John Hancock’s Managing Directors Development Program in his early years,” said William J. Stevens, vice president of Penn Mutual’s Career Agency System. “And now, 16 years later, Peter has helped producers bring their practices to the next level by implementing a client-centered, team-based planning approach and will continue to raise the bar in his new position.”

The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, Conn. (NYSE: HIG), is expanding its investment choices for retirement plan sponsors and participants by introducing three new investment managers and 16 new investment options to its defined contribution retirement program offerings.

Two new investment managers, Calamos Investments and Delaware Investments, have been added to retirement plans for both corporate and nonprofit sponsors. A third manager, TIAA-CREF, has been added for nonprofit sponsors, including schools, charities, government entities and others.

Nine additional new investment options are being provided by investment managers currently available on The Hartford’s platform. Two of those investment options, the PIMCO Total Return III Fund and the Invesco Real Estate Fund, were added to The Hartford’s lineup for nonprofits. The PIMCO Total Return II Fund, a socially responsible fund, complements the insurer’s existing lineup of socially responsible investments.

Seven new investment options are available to both corporate and nonprofit sponsors: the Eaton Vance Atlanta Capital SMID-Cap Fund, the Federated Clover Small Value Fund, the Hartford High Yield Fund, the Invesco Van Kampen American Franchise Fund; the Oppenheimer Equity Income Fund and the Oppenheimer International Diversified Fund, and the Prudential Jennison Natural Resources Fund.

The Hartford’s defined contribution retirement plans, which offer an open architecture platform for investment funds, now allows plan sponsors to choose from as many as 294 funds available through 80 fund managers. The Hartford had $57.2 billion in retirement plan assets under management in retirement plans as of March 31.

The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Brookfield, Wis., honored Dallas Salisbury, president and chief executive officer of the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), with this year’s Public Service Award at the Washington Legislative Update conference in Washington, D.C.

“Dallas is a substantive contributor to the field of employee benefits on every level,” said Richard Lyall, International Foundation president and chair of the board who presented the award. “He is the foremost thought-leader in this highly complicated industry. He is universally respected by those in the field, as well as those in the most prestigious offices.”

Salisbury joined EBRI at its founding in 1978. Prior to joining EBRI, he held positions with the Washington State Legislature, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Employee Benefits Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

Salisbury is currently a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission Investor Advisory Committee, the Board of Advisors to the Comptroller General of the United States, and the Board of Directors of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources and a member of the board of the NAHR Foundation.


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