The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian) introduced its stop loss insurance product for employers that self-fund their own health plans. Guardian’s Stop Loss insurance helps mitigate employers’ financial risk when self-funding a medical plan by providing protection against catastrophic or unpredictable claims. The product is currently approved in 23 states with nationwide approval expected by mid-2014.

In other industry news:

New York Life appointed David J. Castellani as the company’s business information officer. Castellani also has been elected a senior vice president of the company.

In this new position, Castellani is responsible for translating New York Life’s business goals into clear enterprise technology solutions, for driving process improvements across company operations, and for establishing consistent governance over all information technology initiatives. He reports to Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Frank M. Boccio.

Succeeding Castellani at Retirement Plan Services (RPS) is Patrick M. Murphy, a veteran of more than two decades in the retirement plan industry who has served as managing director and head of sales for RPS since 2011. Murphy joined RPS in 2004 as director, Northeast sales manager, responsible for the sales team in New England and New York.

Castellani was previously head of the New York Life Retirement Plan Services business in Westwood, MA, a leader in providing full-service defined benefit (DB), defined contribution (DC), integrated DB/DC, and Taft-Hartley services with a focus on service excellence. He joined New York Life in 2011 from EWM, LLC, a wealth management firm based in Zurich, Switzerland and New Canaan, CT, where he was a managing director and chief marketing officer. Before that he served a combined 25 years with Prudential Retirement and CIGNA Corporation. He was also personally involved in two technology firm start-ups.

Castellani received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of the Holy Cross, and completed the Entrepreneurial Leadership Program at the Harvard Business School.

 

Petersen International Underwriters launched its Accelerated Benefits to Age 65 Plan that provides coverage for individual personal income with benefits to age 65.

According to Michael Petersen, President of Petersen International Underwriters, “we know that this new product will keep our agents and brokers ahead of their competition in bringing their clients the most reliable and comprehensive excess disability benefits available.”

 

Burnham Benefits Insurance Services hired Maria Talamantez as its newest account executive in the Los Angeles area to help develop new business within the Hispanic market.

Talamantez’s industry experience will allow her to partner with and guide clients as they implement strategic employee benefits programs. Fluent in Spanish, Talamantez will also focus on expanding Burnham’s reach into Hispanic-owned local businesses, and companies that employ Spanish-speakers.

Talamantez previously served as an associate with Mercer for eight years, where she worked closely with clients to provide strategic planning, creative cost-containment solutions and guidance to ensure clients were compliant with health care legislation. Prior to working in the employee benefits industry, Talamantez spent 10 years in public relations.

Bryan Clontz has been named as the Leon L. Levy Fellow in Philanthropy at The American College of Financial Services for 2014.

In the spirit of The Chartered Advisor in Philanthropydesignation, Clontz will work to research and promote the best practices of philanthropy, with special attention to assisting advisors and nonprofit gift planners collaborate to better serve the needs of clients and donors. In addition to his own research, publications and public speaking, Clontz will be contributing his technical expertise and practical wisdom to CAP courses while promoting philanthropic best practices across a wide range of College programs and initiatives.

Clontz serves as the president and co-founder of Charitable Solutions LLC. Over the last 18 years, he has served as the director of planned giving for the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, director of planned giving at the national office of Boys & Girls Clubs of America and as vice president of advancement at The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. He has experience in planned giving consulting, charitable gift annuities, non-cash asset receipt/disposition and donor advised funds.

Clontz holds several educational credentials, including the msfs, cfp, clu, Chfc, cap and the aep.

Sallie B. and William B. Wallace founded the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy designation 12 years ago. The designation helps advisors and fundraisers collaborate to unleash the generosity of wealthy clients in the estate planning, gift planning, and financial planning processes.

 

Pan-American Life Insurance Group named Jose Luis Vargas country manager for Puerto Rico. Under his leadership, the company will expand its current health insurance offering to include a portfolio of life insurance and personal accident products.

For the last three years, while based in Puerto Rico, Vargas has been responsible for the development and implementation of Pan-American Life’s Latin America Mass Marketing strategy.

He previously held the position of country manager for ACE Life Insurance in Puerto Rico and of CEO at ACE Seguros Peru. Additional posts over the last 10 years include executive director at AON Affinity do Brasil and vice president of LA&H Operations at CIGNA Life Seguradora do Brasil.

Vargas earned a degree in Economics from Fundación Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano and a Marketing Specialty degree from the Universidad EAFIT in Bogotá.