The Hartford, Hartford, Conn. (NYSE: HIG), is introducing the Practice Management Portfolio to help financial advisors demonstrate their value in the wake of new federal regulations on the disclosure of fees associated with 401(k) and other defined contribution retirement plans.

“The Practice Management Portfolio is a suite of services and tools to help financial advisors work more proactively with retirement plan sponsors and participants to address a variety of questions and issues related to workplace retirement plans, including those related to plan fees and expenses, and the services they pay for,” said Christine Chaia, assistant vice president of marketing for The Hartford’s Retirement Plans Group.

The Practice Management Portfolio provides advisors with tools to help them identify, explain and capitalize on retirement plan-related expense and operational issues:

  • Free access to CustomConsultant, a program that includes an electronic data base to help advisors identify local retirement plans whose sponsors may need assistance with a variety of issues, including high fees, ineffective plan designs, fiduciary or operational concerns;
  • A nationwide series of practice management seminars conducted by Tom Foster, vice president and national spokesperson for RPG, to educate advisors about the new disclosure requirements and how to capitalize on related opportunities;
  • Materials that provide practical guidance and solutions to help address questions and concerns from sponsors and participants about the new fee disclosure; and
  • A sample service agreement that spells out what advisors will do to help sponsors and participants make the most of their retirement plans.

In other industry news:

Hub International Limited, Chicago, Ill., has announced that Joseph C. Hyde will become chief financial officer, effective Aug. 15.

Most recently, Hyde served as the president of International Operations for Global Payments Inc., where he was responsible for managing the company’s international business segment, which included more than 20 Asia-Pacific and European markets with approximately 1,600 employees. Hyde served as an executive vice president and chief financial officer of Global Payments Inc., from October 2005 to November 2008. He joined the company in 2001. Prior to Global Payments, he served as an associate of Alvarez & Marsal from 1998 to 2000 and a financial analyst at The Blackstone Group from 1996 to 1998. Hyde holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

Hyde will be based in Hub’s corporate headquarters in Chicago and report to Martin P. Hughes, chief executive officer. 

New York Life Capital Partners, New York, N.Y., has named Senior Managing Principal Steven M. Benevento, CFA chief investment officer, effective immediately.

Currently, Benevento is involved in all of the firm’s investment activities, and will continue in that role while also assuming the responsibilities of CIO. In this newly created position, Benevento will oversee the firm’s investment process and will continue to report to Thomas Haubenstricker, chief executive officer of NYLCAP.

Benevento joined New York Life in 1995. Prior to NYLCAP, he managed a portfolio of private equity, mezzanine and non-investment grade debt investments within New York Life’s Private Finance Group. Previously, he worked in the investment group of TIAA-CREF where he focused on debt and mezzanine investments in the private market.

Benevento earned a BS in Finance, summa cum laude, in 1987 from the State University of New York at Albany and an MBA in 1991 from New York University’s Stern School of Business. He was a Beta Gamma Sigma honoree as both an undergraduate and graduate student. Benevento is a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Ward Group, Cincinnati, Ohio, has named this year’s 50 Top Performing Insurance Companies.

Erie Insurance, Forethought Life Insurance Company and Oxford Life Insurance Company, Phoenix, Ariz. (Nasdaq: UHAL) were among this year’s 50 Top Performing Insurance Companies named by Ward Group, Cincinnati, Ohio.

This is the fifth year in a row for Erie Insurance, Erie, Pa., and the third year in a row for Forethought Life Insurance Company, Indianapolis, Ind.

The 2012 Ward’s 50 ranking assessed financial performance for the years 2007–2011 and included analysis of more than 800 U.S.-based life-health insurance companies with five or more years of consecutive operations. Each Ward’s 50 company has passed all safety and consistency screens and achieved superior performance over the five years analyzed.

In its 22nd year, the Ward’s 50 annual list ranks insurance carriers by assessing a comprehensive range of financial data. Ward’s specifically looks at companies that consistently outperform the industry in key factors including:  financial stability, revenue growth, capital/surplus positions, underwriting results and financial returns.

Philadelphia Insurance Companies, Philadelphia, Pa., has launched PHLY Cares, a nation-wide campaign to volunteer and raise $250,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities and its local Chapters.

The 50th anniversary campaign will focus on PHLY’s history and culture of giving back through health and wellness. To reach its goal, employees from each of PHLY’s 46 regional offices will volunteer and raise money for their local RMHC Chapters throughout the year.

“Ronald McDonald House Charities’ mission to improve health and well-being for children mirrors our TEAMPHLY commitment and we eagerly embrace this opportunity to expand our relationship with a first class charity and make a difference in our community,” says Jamie Maguire, chairman and CEO of Philadelphia Insurance Companies.