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The Hartford Promotes Johnson to CIO

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Brion JohnsonThe Hartford, Hartford, Conn., promoted Brion Johnson to the position of chief investment officer and president of Hartford Investment Management Company, and Martha Gervasi to the position of executive vice president of Human Resources. Both executives report to the company’s chairman, president and CEO Liam E. McGee, and the promotions are effective immediately.

Johnson succeeds Hugh Whelan, who was named the acting head of Hartford Investment Management Company following the departure of the previous leader. Whelan will retire from the firm following a transition period, as was his ultimate intent when he assumed the interim leadership role. Gervasi succeeds Eileen Whelley, who has decided to pursue a new opportunity with a global insurer.

Johnson was Hartford Investment Management Company’s chief financial officer and head of strategy and development. Prior to joining The Hartford, he served as executive vice president and head of portfolio management for PPM America Inc., the North American subsidiary of London-based Prudential, plc, where he built and led an investment team responsible for client relationships, portfolio management, quantitative and risk management, and trade execution.

Gervasi joined The Hartford as senior vice president of human resources for the company’s Consumer Markets business as well as the Finance and Enterprise Risk Management functions. In January 2012, Gervasi assumed the role of human resources lead for the company’s Commercial Markets division.

In other industry news:

Pacific Life Insurance Co., Newport Beach, Calif., is now offering two additional investment options within its variable annuity products:  Fidelity VIP FundsManager 60% managed by Fidelity Management & Research LLC and First Trust/Dow Jones Dividend & Income Allocation Portfolio managed byFirst Trust Advisors L.P.

Fidelity VIP FundsManager 60%, an actively managed fundoffunds, has the ability to allocate among more than 200 Fidelity retail and institutional funds, comprising an extensive array of asset classes, styles, and sectors. These include emerging markets debt and equities, highyield debt, floatingrate loans, Treasury InflationProtected Securities, real estate and commodities.

First Trust/Dow Jones Dividend & Income Allocation Portfolio is based on First Trust’s Capital and Dividend Strength unit investment trust portfolios. The fund applies a quantitative investment approach in which managers use complex mathematical models to identify market trends and opportunities in the early stages. The models also help maintain a high degree of discipline in making decisions and executing investment strategies.

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Minneapolis, Minn., named Charles Wikelius as assistant vice president, senior counsel. In this role, Wikelius addresses all aspects of insurance regulation throughout the United States and leads the legal department’s response to state enforcement matters. Wikelius reports to Scott Bowman, vice president Litigation and Regulatory.

Wikelius joined Allianz Life in 2000 as an attorney with the legal department responsible for litigation and regulatory matters. Prior to joining Allianz Life, he served as a deputy attorney general with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and was also a deputy commissioner responsible for enforcement with the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

Brown & Brown Insurance of Nevada Inc., a subsidiary of Brown & Brown Inc., Daytona Beach, Fla., has acquired certain assets of Insurcorp and Maalouf Benefit Resources, Las Vegas, Nev., which recently combined under the name “Insurcorp.”

Insurcorp provides employee benefits retail brokerage and consulting services to employers in Nevada and surrounding states. The company also offers property and casualty and related insurance products to its clients. Insurcorp has annual revenues of approximately $5 million. Following the transaction, Insurcorp’s operations will be combined with those of Brown & Brown Insurance of Nevada’s existing Las Vegas, Nevada office which will operate under the leadership of Brian Cruden.

“Insurcorp, with the addition of Maalouf Benefit Resources, is one of the largest employee benefit consultancies in Nevada. ,” said C. Roy Bridges, regional president of Brown & Brown Inc. “Brian, Georges and their team have significant experience and expertise providing employee benefits coverage as well as developing new innovations to assist their clients. They will be an outstanding addition to the Brown & Brown team.”

Transamerica, Los Angeles, Calif., is teaming up with Habitat for Humanity through a housing grant and home improvement efforts in 13 major cities across the U.S. Nearly 500 Transamerica employees are banding together to support local neighborhood stabilization efforts during the month of May.

“Transamerica understands that the success of tomorrow relies on what we are able to build today and we are bringing this idea home to the communities where we live and work,” said Kent Callahan, president and CEO of Employer Solutions and Pensions Division of Transamerica Life Insurance Company. “We are proud to roll up our sleeves and support Habitat for Humanity to help low-income families realize the dream of homeownership.”

The volunteer effort will include hundreds of employees from Transamerica Retirement Services, Diversified, Transamerica Employee Benefits, Transamerica Retirement Management, Transamerica Stable Value Solutions, Clark Consulting and the Transamerica COLI/BOLI Service Center business units of the Employer Solutions and Pensions Division, which collectively serve over 34,000 employers and 3.4 million workers in the U.S.

Habitat for Humanity has built or improved more than 500,000 houses and served more than 2.5 million people around the world.

Participating Transamerica employees will gather at their respective build sites for a full day, helping either to transform existing properties or to build new quality, affordable homes in partnership with Habitat partner families.

Prudential Retirement, a business unit of Prudential Financial Inc., Hartford, Conn. (NYSE: PRU), received the Volunteering Excellence Award from Hands on Hartford for its commitment to community outreach.

“Prudential employees often take the initiative to organize programs and fundraising drives to benefit our programs and the people we serve,” said Barbara Shaw, CEO of Hands on Hartford. “They exemplify our ethic of service and core values, honoring above all else the respect and dignity of those we serve.”

In the past three years, Prudential employees have volunteered their time and talent in a variety of activities including food drives, collecting warm clothing and blankets for people in need during the winter and Prudential Retirement donated money to support Hands on Hartford’s Christmas meals program.