AIG Benefit Solutions, the group benefits division of American International Group, Inc. (AIG), has appointed several industry veterans to fill key leadership roles. The appointments are part of an expansion of the organization, which was created following the merger of the benefits units of American General Life Companies and Chartis Accident & Health — both of which are AIG units — on Jan. 1, 2012.

The new leaders at AIG Benefit Solutions are: Susan Kenney Cotter, head of product; Arthur Drake, head of transformation management; Deanna Osmonson, head of compliance; and Lorena Weaver, head of information technology. In addition, Thomas DeLuca will oversee human resources at AIG Benefit Solutions through his position as vice president, human resources, SunAmerica Financial Group/AIG Benefit Solutions.

Susan Kenney Cotter was previously vice president of Marketing and Products for Colonial Life, a subsidiary of Unum. Cotter worked with Colonial since 2007, during which time she developed a strategy for Colonial’s portfolio of disability, life and supplemental health products, and was a champion of a consumer-focused approach.

Cotter is involved with a number of industry and community groups including the LIMRA Worksite Marketing Study Group, the Public Affairs Committee of the Alliance of American Insurers and the WYO Marketing Committee of the Federal Insurance Administration. She received her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and international studies from the University of South Carolina (including a year of study at Universidad de Sevilla in Seville, Spain), and her master’s in international business management and policy studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, Calif.

Arthur Drake was previously AIG’s global head of Operations Development, a position he held since April 2010. During that time he oversaw development and implementation of the AIG framework, and was responsible for the design, implementation and operations of AIG’s Global O&S Operations Council. Drake has been a key member of AIG’s Global Operations & Systems team since 2008, when he joined the company as vice president of the Global O&S Program Management Office. He also held positions as director of the Enterprise Project Office at EmblemHealth and Senior Financial & Planning Analyst for Pacific Telesis (now AT&T).

Drake has held leadership roles in several professional associations, including the Project Management Institute and Enterprise Management Association-International, and he mentors project and program managers in developing leadership skills. Drake received his MBA from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., and his Bachelor of Arts in Management from St. Mary’s College of California. He completed a Leadership Certification from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Deanna Osmonson was previously vice president and compliance officer with American General Life Companies in Houston. She joined American General Life Companies in 1981, through the Franklin Life Insurance Company, and has since held various compliance roles at Franklin, VALIC and AGLC. She attended Illinois State University, where she majored in Business Administration; earned LOMA FLMI and AIRC designations; and holds FINRA Series 7, 24 and 63 securities registrations.  

Lorena Weaver joins AIG Benefit Solutions with more than 30 years of experience in IT and customer support. She was previously vice president of the Central Project Office with Allianz Life Insurance Company, where she established a new department to oversee the governance of a portfolio of projects valued at $60 million. She also spent 11 years with ING in roles of increased responsibility, including head of ING Employee Benefits IT; COO of ING Employee Benefits Customer Service & IT; head of ING Infrastructure Services; and head of ING Annuity and Corporate Services/CIO.

Weaver received her bachelor’s degree in Business with a focus on MIS from Metropolitan State University in Minnesota.

Thomas DeLuca is a seasoned HR executive with 25 years of experience in the field. He was previously director of Human Resources for Quest Diagnostics Inc. where he led all aspects of human resources for their Health Plans and national sales efforts in their 30,000-plus employee physician division. DeLuca’s experience also includes HR leadership roles for several Fortress Investments portfolio companies, and for Cendant Corporation’s Hotel Franchising and Consumer Travel Americas divisions. 

In addition to AIG Benefit Solutions, DeLuca will provide HR leadership for SAFG’s Advisor Group and SAAMco units. He received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, and is a certified Myers Briggs consultant.

In other industry news:

URL Insurance Group, Harrisburg, Pa., has announced chairman and chief executive officer, Gary C. Clemens, will retire after 26 years of leadership of URL Insurance Group.

In 1986, Gary C. Clemens with Richard S. Basciano (1947-1997) founded URL Insurance Group. The URL Brokerage Company was formed to provide independent insurance agents, general agents and casualty agencies the opportunity to provide multiple companies and products to their clients.

In 1967, Clemens left professional baseball to begin his career in insurance with United Republic Life Insurance Company. From 1967 to 1986, he earned several top sales awards, was promoted to management, director of sales, president and chief operating officer.

Kenneth M. Clemens, current president and chief operating officer at URL Insurance Group will assume the role of president and chief executive officer.

 

The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, Horsham, Pa., has appointed Michael E. Geary, LUTCF, to managing partner of the newly established career agency in San Diego, Calif.

As managing partner, Geary will be responsible for all aspects of the agency’s growth and development, and will lead Penn Mutual’s continual efforts to grow and expand their presence in Southern California.

Prior to joining Penn Mutual, Geary worked at various leading national financial services companies throughout his career, establishing a successful track record of creating and building agencies, recruiting advisors, building training programs and driving performance and revenue. He has also been awarded numerous industry awards for recruiting, development and production practices.

Geary serves as a board member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) and is a member of the General Agents’ and Managers’ Association (GAMA). He is a registered representative of Hornor, Townsend, & Kent, Inc. In addition, he is an active member of his community, supporting Special Olympics and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. 

 

Hub International Limited, Chicago, Ill., has acquired the shares of Bryson & Company Inc., a Ridgeland, Miss.-based insurance brokerage firm. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Bryson, which currently operates out of locations in Ridgeland, Canton, Hattiesburg, Oxford and Holly Springs in Mississippi, and in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, will become part of Hub International Gulf South.

Sam Bryson, president of Bryson, will join Hub Gulf South, and report to Steven Terry, president and CEO, Hub Gulf South.

Recognized as one of the largest independent agencies in the state of Mississippi, Bryson was first established in 1959 and has grown both organically and through acquisitions over the past five decades. Bryson is a full service agency, offering property and casualty, personal lines and employee benefits products and services. They work with a wide range of industries, with specialization in architects and engineers, construction, logging and lumber, and agriculture. This acquisition will strategically expand Hub’s footprint in this region, representing Hub’s first Mississippi-based locations. 

Symetra Life Insurance Company, Bellevue, Wash., has added a new lapse protection benefit to its cash value universal life (UL) insurance product, Symetra Classic UL. The optional rider guarantees that life insurance coverage will continue for any selected period up to the customer’s lifetime, even if the cash value becomes insufficient to pay monthly charges. The new benefit is designed for customers looking for guaranteed protection now, but who want the flexibility to shift their policy’s focus to growing cash value later.

Policyholders must elect the benefit at issue and may terminate it at any time, eliminating the benefit charges.

Also new to Symetra Classic is the addition of the Cash Value Accumulation Test, which can provide more flexibility in premium funding than the existing Guideline Premium Test life insurance option.

Symetra Classic UL is tailored to customers seeking a life insurance policy that offers tax-advantaged growth and cash value accumulation, which can be accessed when unplanned needs arise or as a source of supplemental retirement income. The product offers flexible features and payment options, and multiple ways to access the policy’s accumulated cash value.

 

ComPsych Corporation, Chicago, Ill., has released a report that found s ome 51% of workplaces globally experienced a crisis (natural disaster, civil unrest, employee death, etc.) in the past year. In addition, 37 percent of organizations surveyed report they plan to expand EAP services to their multinational employee population.

In the report, ComPsych also polled HR and benefits professionals of multinational organizations on global employee issues. The top five global workforce challenges were reported as:

  • Work-related stress and anxiety;
  • Balancing family responsibilities;
  • Financial pressures; 
  • Weight management; 
  • Depression.

To receive the complete Global Trends Report, which includes data on global companies’ benefits strategies, benefits currently offered and benefits planned for expansion, send an e-mail to jhudson@compsych.com

ComPsych provides employee assistance programs and fully integrated EAP, behavioral health, wellness, work-life, HR and FMLA administration services under the GuidanceResources brand.