Fitch Ratings affirmed its AAA (exceptionally strong) financial strength rating on New York Life, its highest possible rating, and A.M. Best affirmed the company’s financial strength rating of A++ (superior), its highest possible rating. Both agencies have New York Life on a stable outlook.

In addition to Fitch and A.M. Best, the current ratings and opinions of Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s remain in effect.

Among the highlights from the major rating agencies’ comments in affirming New York Life’s ratings are:

Fitch Ratings – Rating of AAA (highest) affirmed June 22, 2012

  • Very strong capital;
  • Consistent operating earnings driven by its large book of traditional life insurance reserves;
  • Well diversified liquid investment portfolio;
  • Leading position in the U.S. life insurance and annuity markets; and
  • Effective execution of its strategy to distribute products primarily through a career distribution channel targeting middle-market customers.

A.M. Best – Rating of A++ (highest) affirmed June 5, 2012

  • Leading market position in the U.S. life industry;
  • Highly productive career agency force;
  • Superior capital position;
  • Favorable liability profile;
  • Stable earnings; and
  • Commitment to mutuality.

In other industry news:

Western and Southern Financial Group, Cincinnati, Ohio, has appointed Anthony M. Garcia as president of W&S Agency Group, and Bryan C. Dunn, current president of W&S Agency Group, as president of The Lafayette Life Insurance Company.

Garcia will join Western & Southern in August. He has held senior management roles with Allstate Insurance Company, Household International/HSBC and Healthmarkets, Inc. His most recent position was as president and chief executive officer for TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company.

Garcia earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and an undergraduate degree in Finance from Delta State University in Mississippi, and holds a Series 7 securities license. He will be moving to the Cincinnati area with his wife, Donna, and their family.

Dunn has been in his current position since 2004 and has been with Western & Southern Financial Group since 1996. Prior to that, he worked for Prudential Life Insurance Company after playing professional basketball in Europe.

 

Connecture, Inc., Waukesha, Wis., has promoted Travis Potts to vice president, client services. 

Potts previously served as director of client services at Connecture – a role in which he oversaw numerous implementations of the company’s Web-based health insurance marketplace, service and administrative technologies within the nation’s most successful health insurance carriers.

In his new role, Potts will oversee implementations of Connecture’s technology and ongoing maintenance at the numerous carriers that utilize InsureAdvantage – the platform for health insurance distribution. He will also be responsible for the management of client services teams in Atlanta, Ga., Farmington, Conn. and Waukesha, Wis.

Prior to joining Connecture, Potts served as a project manager at Northwestern Mutual, a position he held for nearly nine years. Earlier in his career he was a software developer for Fiserv, a provider of information management and electronic commerce systems for the financial services industry. Potts also taught leadership classes at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point during his extended service in the U.S. Army.

Potts is based out of Connecture’s headquarters in Waukesha. He will report directly to Kevin McClain, senior vice president of operations at Connecture.

 

Lockton hired Scott Bastian as a vice president and producer based in the insurance broker’s Chicago office. He will be responsible for client advocacy and new business development in the employee benefits’ consulting practice.

Bastian brings more than 20 years of industry experience to Lockton, and most recently served as senior vice president of Consulting and Growth at a Milwaukee-based benefits consulting firm. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from University of Iowa. 

Hub International Limited, Chicago, Ill., has acquired the assets of Sidles, Duncan and Associates (SDA), an Irvine, Calif.-based employee benefits brokerage firm. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The SDA operation will become part of the California division of Hub International Insurance Services (Hub California). SDA shareholders Peter Duncan, Chad Sidles and Eric Barthel, will join the Hub California team as a part of this transaction.

SDA specializes in working with mid-sized and large employers to provide a broad suite of employee benefits brokerage and consulting services, including professional employer organization services, proprietary network management and healthcare purchasing strategies. Clients span across many different industries including national restaurant organizations, agricultural companies, hospitals, nursing homes, public sector, manufacturing and service industry. SDA has extensive experience in implementing and managing fully insured and self-funded plans and employee benefit plan administrative services.

 

Presidential Life Corporation has completed the purchase of Great American Life Assurance Company (GALAC), with approximately $5.60 million in statutory capital and surplus, for $7.04 million. 

Upon purchase, GALAC’s statutory capital and surplus principally consists of cash, short-term investments, and bonds with minimal liabilities as policyholder obligations related to in-force contracts are fully reinsured. The purchase price is subject to adjustment for the differential between final statutory capital and surplus at June 30, 2012 and $5.60 million.

GALAC maintains licenses to write life and annuity business in 38 states plus the District of Columbia. The Company is obtaining the aforesaid licenses and statutory capital and surplus as part of this transaction.