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Lockton hits $1 billion in revenue

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Lockton, the world’s largest privately held insurance broker, posted record revenue in its recently completed fiscal year, exceeding $1 billion in revenue for the first time.

Lockton posted fiscal 2013 revenue of $1,016,751,000, an increase of 11 percent from fiscal 2012 revenue. The privately held insurance broker’s fiscal year ends April 30.

This is the 47th consecutive year that Lockton increased its revenues.

Lockton provides risk management and employee benefits consulting to more than 35,000 clients around the world. Lockton has 4,950 Associates in 64 offices in North America, Europe, South America, Asia, and Australia. 

In other industry news:

Beata Rogala joined The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian) as second vice president, Enrollment & eBusiness in Worksite Markets.

In this newly created role, Rogala will lead the development and execution of Guardian’s enrollment strategy. This includes leveraging the firm’s technology, platforms and capabilities to deliver a seamless customer experience across all customer touch points – printed materials, online, telephone and in-person. Her responsibilities also include leading the further development of Guardian Anytime, an online portal that allows brokers, employers and members to access information on Guardian’s comprehensive suite of dental, vision and individual disability and life insurance products.

Rogala joins Guardian from MetLife, where she served as vice president of Group Voluntary Benefits Marketing responsible for the development and execution of voluntary enrollment marketing strategies, functional capabilities, and enrollment campaigns for all products and customer segments. She previously spent 16 years at JPMorgan Chase, where she held leadership positions in retail product management and development.

This appointment is the latest in a series of strategic hires Guardian has made in its Worksite Benefits Group over the past year.

Beth O'BrienLincoln Financial Group Distribution (LFGD) named Beth O’Brien senior vice president and head of Finance and Strategy to help drive growth for Lincoln’s two leading distribution franchises: Lincoln Financial Distributors and Lincoln Financial Network.

Prior to joining Lincoln, O’Brien held several leadership roles with Genworth Financial, in Richmond, Va.; spanning product development, distribution and operations. Most recently she was vice president of Life Product Development. She joined Genworth as part of the initial public offering from General Electric in 2004. During that time she was vice president of Internal Sales and the Producer Call Center. From 2006 to 2007 she served as a national sales manager for Genworth’s annuity business; and in 2008 she was named vice president, Business Planning and Process for the annuity division. That role was expanded in 2009 to include Distribution Strategy and the other product lines within the U.S. Life company.

O’Brien began her career in 1992 with GE Capital, Stamford, Conn., as part of its Information Management Leadership Program. During her GE tenure, she built her finance skills with the GE audit staff, earned her Six Sigma Master Black Belt, and quickly rose through the ranks to become a director of Annuity New Business Operations, in 2001. 

O’Brien earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from Fordham University, Bronx, N.Y. in 1992. She also holds FINRA Series 6 and 26 licenses.

Reporting to LFGD’s President, Will Fuller, O’Brien will lead all strategic efforts centered on maximizing the value, vision, and strategic goals of both franchises.  

Burnham Benefits Insurance Services added Bill Thomas as its newest vice president, a role that will leverage his extensive knowledge and multifaceted experience on the brokerage, carrier and provider sides of the business.

Thomas will focus on business development in the agricultural, winery and transportation logistics markets as well as other industries with specific service models that require uniquely structured benefits programs.

Thomas’ previous position as senior VP of Western Growers Insurance Services, the largest provider of health coverage for agribusiness in the Western United States, gives him a breadth of experience and insight into that market segment. He managed multi-national clients as large as Diamond Growers, Grimmway Farms, and Taylor Farms as well as many smaller agriculturally-based firms, catering to their varying needs —creating unique pool resources that helped to contain costs and provide ideal service to companies of varied sizes. Thomas provided similar service for the California Trucking Association and also worked for Loma Linda Medical Center —offering him insight into that facet of the health delivery system.

AIG Benefit Solutions, the group benefits division of American International Group Inc. (AIG), made several appointments its leadership and management team over the first half of 2013.

Mark McGuireMark McGuire, senior vice president, head of Operations, was previously president and CEO of INTEGRA Business Processing Solutions, which is now AIG Shared Services’ offshore processing center in Manila. In his new role, McGuire will oversee AIG Benefit Solutions’ Operations area which is responsible for providing services to producers, employers and insured customers. Before joining INTEGRA in 2010, McGuire spent more than 20 years in various roles within AIG/American General Life Companies, including work as senior vice president of Insurance Services, vice president of New Business & Special Projects, and director of Worksite Marketing Administration. He has a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Texas Tech University and an MBA from Abilene Christian University.

Jennifer ThorsonJennifer Thorson, senior vice president, Transformation Officer, was previously senior vice president, Strategic Initiatives for U.S. Consumer Lines with AIG Property Casualty (formerly Chartis). In her new role, Thorson will oversee AIG Benefit Solutions’ Transformation Office, and she and her team will work with closely with AIG Benefit Solutions’ Executive Group on key strategic initiatives. Thorson has been with AIG since 2002, and is a graduate of the University of North Dakota. She holds a Master of Arts in Human Resources Development from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.

Steve HowardSteve Howard, senior vice president, chief marketing officer, was previously vice president and head of Marketing. In his new role, Howard’s responsibilities have been expanded to include community relations, proposals and training, in addition to his previous responsibilities that included marketing, advertising, public AIG Benefit Solutions relations and collateral. Howard joined American General Life Companies in 2004 to help launch American General’s worksite/voluntary benefits business. He has a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of Tennessee, and earned his FLMI (Fellow, Life Management Institute) designation in 1993.

David ButterfieldDavid Butterfield, senior vice president, Underwriting, was previously head of Affinity Sales. In his new role, Butterfield will lead the Underwriting team with responsibilities for AIG Benefit Solutions’ broad spectrum of products for the employer and affinity markets. Butterfield joined the AIG organization in 2000, and received a bachelor’s degree in Resource Economics from the University of Vermont. He also has an MBA from Monmouth University in West Long Branch, N.J.

Patrick McCullough, vice president, Market Development & Innovation, joins AIG from Colonial Life, where he has worked since 2008, most recently as assistant vice president, Public Sector Practice leader. In his new role, McCullough will lead market research, competitive intelligence and market development functions. McCullough earned his bachelor’s degree from Concordia University in Montreal and his MBA from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Jennifer Hader, vice president, Product Management, is responsible for the strategic development of life, AD&D and disability products, including the performance of the portfolio and recommending new and next-generation product opportunities. Prior to joining AIG Benefit Solutions, Hader was director, Strategy, Product Management and Development at Cigna Group, where she led the development and implementation of group product and service strategies and go-to market strategies to drive sales. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Philadelphia and an MBA from Temple University.

Tedd Merrill, regional sales manager, Affinity Sales, is responsible for developing the affinity benefits line of business on a national basis, and works with broker-administrators and the Underwriting, Marketing and other internal teams to finalize sales and provide for a seamless experience for broker-administrators and their clients. He was previously Business Development manager with the Accident Group of OneBeacon Insurance, where he managed the distribution of occupational accident, contingent liability, AD&D, passenger accident, non-trucking liability, physical damage, Texas nonsubscriber and workers’ compensation insurance. Merrill earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance from Bentley College in Waltham, Mass.

Mary Henry, senior project manager, Transformation Office, leads the Process and Workflow work stream for Benefit Solutions’ administrative system. Henry previously worked for AIG Consumer Lines as the project manager for Automobile and Homeowners underwriting intelligence initiatives involving catastrophe management and predictive modeling. Henry earned a CPCU designation as well as certification in project management from George Washington University. She also has a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and a master’s degree from Ohio State University.

Daniel Palermino, head of Sales, Core/Voluntary, will oversee sales and distribution efforts for several insurance products offered by AIG benefit Solutions including term life, universal life, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) and short- and long-term disability. He joins AIG from The Hartford, where he was regional sales director, responsible for leading sales and distribution for the New England Region.

Jeff Rossi will oversee the development and execution of an education strategy and delivery platform to support the key organizational priorities of the business. He was previously director, Human Capital Development for TD Ameritrade Institutional in Jersey City, N.J. Rossi received his bachelor’s degree in Business management from AIG Benefit Solutions the University of Scranton in Scranton, Penn., and holds a master of science in Organizational Performance from Bellevue University in Bellevue, Neb. He is a member of the American Society for Training and Development, Society for Human Resource Management, and the President’s Business Council of the University of Scranton.

MassMutual has increased the number of recruits in the first half of the year by 27 percent over 2012. In June, the company posted a historic record, recruiting nearly 300 new financial professionals to its 82 agencies across the country.

According to the company, the increase is driven in part by the company’s financial performance, reputation and agent retention.

Prospective candidates undergo rigorous screening to ensure they are well-suited to a career in financial services. They receive extensive training in needs-based analysis and are provided opportunities to participate in specialized training programs in specific markets, including families with special needs and small family-owned or closely-held businesses.

ING U.S. attributed increased participation rates and volume on a replacement supplemental life program for County of Santa Barbara employees to software from Trustnode. Trustnode provides animated Education and Decision Support software to help consumers make well-informed choices about their benefits and insurance options.

The County of Santa Barbara, ING and County of Santa Barbara benefits broker Alliant Insurances Services Inc. collaborated to improve the existing voluntary term life buy up program offered by the County by providing savings to employees while increasing the guarantee issue amount.

Using Trustnode’s online, interactive assistant Harvey to introduce the new program, the off-cycle offering garnered a 29 percent increase in participation by employees and their spouses/partners, and the volume increased 40 percent. The County has 3,800 employees in 23 departments and uses BenXcel, an electronic enrollment and billing system from BCC (Benefit Coordinators Corporation).