American United Life Insurance Company, Indianapolis, continues to show growth in new sales of 401(k) and 403(b) retirement plans in the first half of 2012. OneAmerica ended the first half of the year up 30% on new sales year-over-year, continuing to build on a record for new sales it set in 2011.

OneAmerica’s 2012 highlights include opening a new Seattle regional sales office for retirement business and welcoming several new sales and service leaders, including a new regional vice president for sales and two regional sales directors.

In 2011, OneAmerica set new records for 401(k) sales, employer-sponsored not-for-profit sales, total assets and plan participants and had its best year of retaining retirement business and renewal growth. The trend continues with retention of existing business running at greater than 95 percent so far this year.

“We are enjoying strong momentum from our designated national account relationships and are continuing to add new ones,” said Mark Glavin, vice president of retirement sales and service distribution for the company. “Our growth is steady across product lines and market segments as well, which gives us confidence that we can continue to be successful going forward.”

In other industry news:

Steve Dziedziz

Assurant Health, Milwaukee, Wis., has announced leadership changes. Steve Dziedzic, senior vice president and chief financial officer, will move to the newly created post of senior vice president, new business development. Mark Berquist, vice president and chief actuary, has been promoted to senior vice president, chief financial officer for Assurant Health, effective Aug. 15. 

In his new role, Dziedzic will report to Adam Lamnin, president and chief executive officer of Assurant Health, and will lead a new team dedicated to developing innovative solutions that meet consumers’ need for affordability. He joined Assurant Health in 2000 and held various leadership roles in its actuarial and finance departments before being appointed chief financial officer in 2010. and chief financial officer, moves to the newly created post of senior vice president, new business development. Mark Berquist, vice president and chief actuary, is promoted to senior vice president, chief financial officer for Assurant Health, effective Aug. 15.

Dziedzic holds a degree in mathematics from the University of Southern California, and is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He serves on the board of directors and is treasurer for Community Care Inc., a managed care organization serving elders and adults with disabilities in southeastern Wisconsin.

Mark BerquistIn his new post, Berquist will report to Mike Peninger, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Assurant Inc. and serve as a member of the Assurant Health executive team. Since joining the company in 2002, Berquist has held a number of positions. In 2010, he became vice president and chief actuary, a role he will retain along with his CFO responsibilities.

Berquist also holds the FSA designation and is a member of the AAA. A graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in mathematics, he serves on the board of directors for The Guest House, a non-profit organization serving the homeless in the Milwaukee community.

 

Prudential Individual Life Insurance, Newark, N.J., has announced Caroline Feeney, who is currently Agency Distribution’s vice president of the eastern territory, will become president of Agency Distribution, succeeding John Greene, when he retires in September.

In this role she will be responsible for the company’s career distribution system for insurance and investment products in the United States.

As vice president for the eastern territory, Feeney has oversight for 14 agencies in nine states. She began her career with Prudential in 1993 where she held a number of positions in field sales management before moving to the corporate office. In previous roles she was responsible for the national recruitment and selection processes for field sales positions, and training and development of field managers, financial professionals and planners. Caroline is a member of the Board of Trustees of The American College, as well as a member of the board’s executive committee. She graduated from Bucknell University, has an MBA from Columbia University and holds the Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant designations.

John Greene joined Prudential in 1979 as an agent in Danville, Ill., and held various sales and home office positions before being named president of Agency Distribution in 2002. Under his leadership, Agency Distribution became a strong financial products and services distribution organization, focused on serving the customer, on developing the skills and professional credentials of all of its team members, and on doing business the right way.

Agency Distribution is Prudential’s nationwide sales organization for insurance and investment products. Its field force comprises approximately 2,600 financial professionals and 330 field managers and is represented in all 50 states.

 

Symetra Life Insurance Company, Bellevue, Wash., has formed a dedicated wholesaling team to represent the company’s registered investment products, including Symetra True Variable Annuity, which launched on June 18, 2012.

To deliver Symetra investment solutions to fee-based and fee-only advisers, the company is assembling a team of wholesalers experienced in the advisory marketplace. These three industry veterans recently joined the Symetra team:

Dinah Bird, Ph.D., CFP, CIMA brings portfolio management knowledge and business development expertise from sales leadership roles at several investment management firms and broker-dealers. From 2000–2007, she worked at Barclays Global Investors where she was one of the original wholesalers of iShares exchange-traded funds. Bird earned a doctorate and master’s degree at Claremont Graduate School, a master’s degree at Texas Tech University and a bachelor’s degree at Southwest Texas University. In addition, she holds a Kentucky life and health insurance license and NASD Series 6, 7, 24, 26, 63, 65 and 79 licenses. Bird is Symetra’s senior investment specialist for Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky.

Jeffrey Jennings most recently served as vice president, regional marketing director at Sun Life Financial in San Francisco where he was responsible for traditional and fee-based annuity sales through independent broker-dealers. He previously held regional vice president and account management positions at Guardian Investor Services and Hartford Financial Services. He was consistently recognized as one of the top wholesalers in each of these firms. Jennings is a graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder and holds NASD Series 6, 26 and 63 licenses. He is Symetra’s senior investment specialist for Northern California and the surrounding area.

James Maertz joins Symetra from Hartford Mutual Funds, where he was a regional vice president and ranked as one of the company’s top wholesalers over several years. In recognition of his sales expertise and strong distributor relationships, Maertz served on The Hartford Mutual Funds Advisory Board from 2009–2011. He earned a bachelor’s degree at San Diego State University and holds NASD Series 6 and 63 licenses. He also completed a three-year professional development program at Rainmaker U. Maertz is Symetra’s senior investment specialist for Southern California and the surrounding area.

 

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, New York, N.Y., has updated its Athena Indexed Universal Life Insurance product (Athena Indexed ULSM). First introduced in 2010, today’s second generation Athena Indexed UL product builds upon its indexed design. Clients have access to indexed options driven by three different equity indices, enabling participation in several markets – linked to U.S. large-cap stocks, U.S. small-cap stocks and foreign stocks.

New features include:

  • A complimentary set of “Choice” options which offer a higher growth cap rate;
  • The ability to change between Choice and Basic options over the life of the product, as needs and circumstances change;
  • Longer no-lapse guarantee, extended to the lesser of 25 years or age 90;
  • Shorter surrender charge period;
  • New dollar cost averaging feature that can be elected at issue or initiated after issue;
  • Newly-added optional Long-Term Care ServicesSM Rider.

The Long-Term Care Services Rider functions as an acceleration of the Athena Indexed UL life insurance policy’s death benefit that can be used for qualified long-term care expenses. When electing the Long Term Care Services Rider, the policyowner chooses from a certain benefit percentage of the policy’s face amount, reflecting the maximum monthly payments to be received, if he or she becomes chronically ill. This rider is available at issue for a monthly charge to people between the ages of 20 and 75. To be eligible for benefits under this rider the Insured must be chronically ill and receiving qualified long-term care services in accordance with a Plan of Care.


Sun Life Financial Inc. 
has appointed Tom Gilligan as national sales manager for Voluntary Benefits Distribution. Based in the Wellesley, Mass., home office, Gilligan will lead and develop the Voluntary Benefits sales team as Sun Life continues to build Voluntary capabilities. He will report to Bob Klein, vice president of Voluntary Benefits.

“Voluntary is no longer viewed as supplemental; it’s now considered a core benefit,” said Gilligan. “It’s an exciting opportunity to be at Sun Life as a true emerging competitor in the Voluntary space.”

Gilligan comes to Sun Life from Colonial Life, where he was senior vice president of National Sales.