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Digital Insurance arm launches private insurance exchange

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Digital Benefit Advisors (DBA) of Vermont, a division of Digital Insurance, is launching Digital Benefits Marketplace, a private exchange for businesses with 50 or more employees.

The Digital Benefits Marketplace enables employers to offer a comprehensive array of benefits – including health insurance plans from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont – at a fixed cost. It also streamlines administrative processes and empowers individuals to spend their benefits dollars where they determine they’ll receive the greatest value.

Supported by a call center with customer advocates to guide them, employees choose – from an online portal – the plans and options that work best for them. Offerings include health, life, disability, accident, critical illness, dental and vision insurance, along with other products and services.

In other industry news:

Ian WattsLIMRAand LOMA named Ian Watts to be senior vice president of International Operations, succeeding Gary Aluise, who is retiring in September 2013. As head of LIMRA and LOMA’s International Operations, Watts will be responsible for developing and expanding business opportunities in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. In this role, Watts will engage in-country as well as multinational companies to ensure prudent growth of LIMRA and LOMA’s international offerings. Prior to joining LIMRA and LOMA, Watts was Global CEO at ACE Life International, where he was responsible for day-to-day operations and new business development. He has held CEO positions in India and China for AIG and AIA, and had extensive global experience in the UK, EMEA and Latin America.

New York Life named senior vice president Scott Berlin head of the company’s Group Membership Association Division. He reports to Paul Pasteris, senior vice president of New York Life’s Insurance Group.

Berlin replaces John Cassagne who is retiring after more than 35 years of service with New York Life.

Berlin is responsible for the overall operation of Group Membership, positioning the division for further growth by identifying and developing new products and markets. New York Life’s Group Membership Association Division underwrites group life, health and disability income programs for professional associations and other groups. New York Life is the largest underwriter of professional association insurance programs in the United States, covering members of more than 500 associations across the country.

Berlin joined New York Life as an actuarial trainee in 1990. In 1996, he joined the Individual Life Department, where he held roles of increasing responsibility including senior vice president in charge of the Individual Life Department in 2005. He was named chief financial officer of New York Life Enterprises in 2010, where he was responsible for overseeing financial results of all Enterprises’ international and domestic businesses and was named head of the Advanced Markets Network and business development in 2012.

Berlin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan. He also earned an F.S.A (Fellow of the Society of Actuaries) designation and an M.A.A.A. (Member of the American Academy of Actuaries) designation.

Margaret SimondsMargaret Ellison Simonds, director of New Business and Underwriting at First American Insurance Underwriters Inc., Needham, Mass. was elected secretary of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) of Massachusetts.

Simonds served as Director of Communications of the board of directors of NAIFA’s Washington, D.C. chapter.

Simonds began her life insurance career in 1990. She is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where she majored in sociology.