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Homesteaders CEO announces succession plans

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Graham Cook Glen HareGraham J. Cook, president and chairman, Homesteaders, announced that preparations are underway for his transition from day-to-day management of the company.

“As part of the succession plan approved by our board of directors, Steve Lang will become our company’s ninth president following the annual board meeting in February 2014,” Cook said. “Steve and I have worked together to develop a management team that will ensure Homesteaders maintains its market leadership position and will remain on its trajectory of profitable growth.” Lang was also elected to his first term as a member of the Homesteaders board.

Cook, who will remain on the board serving as chairman through 2014, joined the company as a part-time employee in 1966, while attending college. He has worked in some capacity in nearly every functional area at Homesteaders.

Lang was CEO of Forethought Financial Services until 2006, shortly after its parent sold the company.

Lang joined Homesteaders as executive vice president responsible for sales, marketing and customer service in 2008, and was named Homesteaders’ chief operating officer in March 2010.

Cook also announced that Steve W. Pick has been appointed to succeed Glen Hare as CFO effective April 1. Hare, who announced his retirement plans last year, joined Homesteaders in 1977. He will remain with Homesteaders until he retires in December to ensure a successful transition while also overseeing enterprise risk management.

Pick is a veteran financial executive who spent 20 years with Principal Financial Group, with his last 10 years serving as CFO for one of their member companies. His most recent post was CFO of Alliance Commercial Partners in Denver. 

In other industry news:

Independence Blue Cross (IBC), Abington Health and Lumeris collaborated to create an accountable care initiative using Lumeris’ technology and services to improve the coordination of patient care, lower overall health care costs, and increase patient and physician satisfaction.

Through this initiative, Lumeris will aggregate and interpret data from the health insurer and the health system, giving Abington Health and its physicians an unprecedented, comprehensive picture of the care its patients are receiving across the continuum.

Lumeris’ secure cloud-based Accountable Delivery System Platform will combine data from IBC’s Health Informatics – including claims, preauthorizations, hospitalizations and clinical laboratory results – with data from Abington Health’s electronic medical record system. This will give doctors at Abington a 360-degree view of all the care a patient is receiving. Abington’s physicians will see not only their patients’ data from Abington Health’s physicians and specialists, but also services their patients receive from other network physicians, hospitals, and outpatient surgical centers.

In addition, Lumeris will provide consulting services to Abington Health physicians to help identify transformational opportunities for clinical and financial improvement. This includes creating strategies to predict which patients with chronic conditions are at risk of becoming ill, then jointly developing best practices to help those patients and creating resources to better manage their conditions.

Digital Insurance acquired Tennessee’s Capital Benefits Group. The 15-year-old firm now operates under the Digital Benefit Advisors (DBA) banner, a division of Digital Insurance, and is the company’s first office in Tennessee. President and CEO Harold Roe and his team joined DBA.

Founded in 1998, Capital Benefits Group served as the benefits partner of Tennessee Mass Mutual Agency, Capital Financial Group. The company has grown to approximately 800 clients and 16 staff members. Offices will continue to be located throughout Nashville, as well as in Knoxville and Chattanooga.

Creative Life, the life insurance division of Creative Marketing, posted record sales in 2012 due largely in part to a reconfigured service model and the development of resources to prepare producers for larger advanced markets sales.

Creative Marketing is projecting Creative Life to experience solid double-digit growth in 2013 with its increased emphasis in nonqualified deferred compensation solutions for business owners.

Creative Life began developing its educational series in mid-2012 to get a jump-start on educating its agents about advanced life sales concepts that can be used in combination with this knowledge. Topics include: Nonqualified Deferred Compensation, Life Insurance as an Asset Class, Bank-Owned Life Insurance (BOLI), Supplemental Executive Retirement Plans (SERP), Business Succession Planning, and additional concepts scheduled to be released throughout 2013. These changes were accompanied by a 25 percent growth in staff, consisting of life professionals with dozens of years of industry experience, both in the field and in career agencies.

In addition to the expansion of the Educational Series, Creative Life is working to bring producers in contact with thought leaders from around the industry in 2013 to further their knowledge of how to successfully target these advanced markets and parlay new skills into larger sales.

The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors’ (NAPFA) national board of directors elected Linda Leitz, CFP, EA, CDFA to the position of national chair and will serve as chair-elect until her term begins on Sept. 1.

Leitz has been a financial professional since 1979, with career experience as a state bank examiner, a banker, an investment registered representative and branch manager, and ultimately as the founder and co-owner of the Fee-Only financial planning firm, It’s Not Just Money Inc. in Colorado Springs. She has a degree in Business Administration from Principia College and an MBA from Southern Methodist University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the Personal Financial Planning program at Kansas State University.

Minnesota Life partnered with Usablenet, a mobile and multichannel platform company, to provide mobile access to where group life insurance enrollees can view their accounts.

Using Minnesota Life’s mobile-optimized site, users can view their accounts and also have the option to transfer to the transaction page on the full site. The company’s group life insureds typically enter their accounts with a personal user ID and password or a secure single sign on from their employers’ sites.