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New York Life contributes $5M to American College

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New York Life awarded The American College $5,000,000 to establish a new 12-course Professional Doctorate in Business Administration. The American College will begin accepting applications for the Ph.D. program in October.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school and meet other qualifying requirements. Once students are accepted, The College will identify two cohort groups, each made up of 15 people, who will move through the coursework together on a mutually supportive basis. One cohort group would begin studies every six months and the first residency is currently scheduled for July 2013. Doctoral scholars will participate in three one-week residencies at The American College’s campus in Bryn Mawr, Pa., as well as at least one intensive debrief with faculty prior to their dissertation defense. Students are required to complete one course per quarter online over 12 quarters in addition to the residencies.

For more information about the Ph.D. program, contact Nancy Krapf at 610-526-1202 or visit

In other industry news:

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian) added six regional practice leaders to its Group Benefits sales team.

The new team members will work side by side with Guardian sales teams to educate and train sales representatives and brokers in the products and processes unique to the market and be the “go to” worksite benefits subject matter expert for Guardian Group Sales.

Lars Borssen will serve as regional practice leader, Worksite Markets – North Division, serving Boston, Hartford, upstate New York and Pittsburgh regional offices. Borssen comes from UNUM and has 10 years of experience in the worksite/voluntary benefits and financial services industries, with extensive knowledge of brokerage sales and sales operations.

Alan Crawford will serve as regional practice leader, Worksite Markets – East Division, supporting New York City metro and mid-Atlantic regions. He brings more than 24 years of experience, including leadership and management positions with USI and American Fidelity.

Jerry Horton will serve as regional practice leader, Worksite Markets – West Division, supporting Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri Valley. Horton has 15 years of worksite and voluntary benefits experience, most recently serving as a leading senior manager with Assurant.

Kevin McNamara will serve as regional practice leader, Worksite Markets – North Division, supporting the Great Lakes, Michigan, Ohio Valley and Cleveland with more than 12 years of experience in the worksite/voluntary benefits market. McNamara most recently led Innotech/Willis’ client services division.

Joe Quintana will serve as regional practice leader, Worksite Markets – West Division, supporting the Pacific Southwest, Pacific Northwest and Mountain West. Quintana brings 19 years of worksite and voluntary benefits industry experience as a territory manager with Colonial Life.

Timothy Weeden will serve as regional practice leader, Worksite Markets – East Division, supporting Georgia/Carolina’s, Florida and the Southern region. Most recently with Colonial Life and much of his career spent with AIG Benefit Solutions, he brings 19 years of experience to the job with a track record for successful development of voluntary benefits’ sales representatives.

Symetra Life Insurance Company appointed Jeff Farmer as eastern region sales vice president for the company’s Benefits Division.

Farmer is responsible for leading the team that drives sales of Symetra medical stop-loss and group life and disability income insurance through benefits brokers and third-party administrators in 18 eastern and central states. He reports to Rick Lyons, vice president of Sales and Distribution, Symetra Benefits Division.

Farmer joins Symetra from Mercer Health & Benefits, where he most recently served as partner and sales leader for Mercer’s South Market, encompassing nine states from Florida to Maryland. He spent 11 years with the firm, initially hired by Marsh Employee Benefits Services before it became part of Mercer in 2004. His work at Mercer included client consulting, office management, regional management and product and service development. Farmer previously held a variety of sales and management positions with Aetna, CNA and MetLife/MetraHealth. He is a graduate of Boston College.

Farmer is based in the Atlanta area. He replaces Bill Edrington, who transitioned to a new role as managing director of Marketing and Business Development for Symetra’s Benefits Division.

Word & Brown launched a suite of services designed specifically to assist Texas-based brokers expand their Medicare portfolio, whether or not they have ever sold Medicare before. The firm currently offers brokers nationwide an assortment of high-tech products that support each broker’s sales goals.

Texas brokers will have access to top-carrier contracts, lead generation programs, advanced customer relationship management technologies and access to the Joppel quoting engine. Word & Brown will also help participating brokers establish their own Medicare and IFP website, and will provide overall support and training in how to best penetrate this growing market.

Brokers who don’t want to actively participate in the Medicare market but who recognize the market potential can refer leads to Word & Brown and earn first-year and renewal commissions for each senior who enrolls through the “Client Referral Program.”

The Allianz Retirement Advantage Variable Annuity from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, is now available within Wells Fargo Advisors’ Asset Advisor Program.

Allianz Retirement Advantage offers account choices with varying levels of protection, guarantees, and investment options to complement a retirement portfolio, each with its own cost. The annuity provides clients working with a financial advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors new opportunities to add a level of protection to their portfolio that’s specifically designed for flexibility, legacy preservation, and lifetime income.

Benefitfocus opened its new office in San Francisco at 99 Green Street.

The firm says the new office is the first of many developments planned to support continuous expansion and innovation. Similar to the environment of its Charleston, S.C. headquarters, San Francisco-based associates will enjoy the waterfront and beautiful parks nearby while working amid the technology, design and fashion districts of the city. Encompassing the core of the Benefitfocus culture that is creative design of cutting-edge technology, the vintage building is surrounded by glass walls that bring in natural light to brighten the space.

“We are expanding our reach to better support our growing list of large employers,” said Shawn Jenkins, president and CEO of Benefitfocus. 


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