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Mercer acquires Transition Assist

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Mercer, a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, reached a definitive agreement to purchase Transition Assist, a retiree exchange specializing in helping retirees in employer-sponsored plans select Medicare supplemental health care insurance. The retiree exchange offers solutions through a licensed call center and professionally-trained benefits counselors. Transition Assist will become part of the full suite of solutions offered by Mercer Marketplace.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Retirees in sponsored plans have been leading the way in the migration toward exchanges as a better way to shop for benefits,” said Sharon Cunninghis, leader of Mercer Marketplace Exchange Solutions. “Transition Assist was among the first to see this opportunity.”

See also: Acquisitions boost insurers’ performances

In other industry news:

The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company named Lynn A. Nolan, CLU, ChFC, CASL, RICP to the Economics, Finance and Taxation Department advisory board at Widener University.

As a board member, Nolan will help direct the department’s undergraduate, Master of Science in Taxation and Financial Planning and CFP Certificate Programs. Board members also assist the department in finding internship and job opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students.

Nolan is the director of Retirement Planning Services at Penn Mutual and provides sales and technical support in the areas of ERISA qualified retirement plans, SIMPLE, SEP, Traditional IRAs, ROTH IRAs, Nonqualified Annuities and Life Insurance.

She is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s degree in speech communications and holds a Pennsylvania Life & Annuity insurance license, and Series 6 & 63 registrations with FINRA.

Nolan is a member of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) Retirement Plans Committee, Society of Financial Service Professionals, American Society of Pension Plan Actuaries (ASPPA), and is an Associate Editor of the FSP Journal and currently president of the National Pension Directors Association.

Daniel P. Mulheran, LLIF, ChFC, CLU has been elected to the Mutual Trust Holding Company board of directors.

Mulheran served as president, Individual Life Distribution, at ING U.S. LLC, from 2007 until his retirement in 2013. During this same period, he also was on the board of directors of ING America Equities. Prior to this period, from 2002-2007, Mulheran was senior VP and head of IGA Distribution, U.S. Life Group, at ING U.S. Financial Services.

After serving in the U.S. Navy and receiving a baccalaureate in business from California State University, Hayward, Mulheran built an insurance and financial services practice, Mulheran & Associates Inc., where he served as president and principal from 1976-2002. Mulheran is also past-president of the Minneapolis Life Underwriter’s Association.  

Principal Financial Group has cut the approval process for life insurance to 48 hours or less with its Principal Accelerated Underwriting program by eliminating the need for paramedical exams or lab testing for qualifying individuals.

Through the program, information is gathered through traditional underwriting sources including an application and a check of MIB, motor vehicle reports and prescription records. The industry leading Principal TeleApp is completed through a brief telephone interview between a TeleApp interviewer and the applicant to collect the applicant’s personal history. For qualifying individuals their application can be approved within 48 hours or less with a Super Preferred or Preferred rating. Eligible applicants include individuals aged 18-60 applying for any retail life insurance products for face amounts up to $1,000,000.

See also: How life insurers can differentiate themselves in the marketplace


Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW) launched RiskAgility FM, a financial modeling software product for life insurers worldwide. RiskAgility FM enables insurers to run financial models that accurately reflect their products and strategies in ways that can easily be adapted to their business processes.

RiskAgility FM is built with the latest software technology for enhanced performance and ease of use. Models built with Towers Watson MoSes financial modeling software can be imported into RiskAgility FM to benefit from increased performance on a feature-rich development platform.

Insurers can use RiskAgility FM for a variety of purposes, including product development, liability modeling, asset/liability management, reserving, market-consistent/traditional embedded value, pricing of options and guarantees, economic capital calculation, reinsurance optimization, business planning and forecasting. The insights provided by RiskAgility FM financial models can help insurers better manage risk and safeguard solvency. The software will be available in Desktop, Team and Enterprise editions.

PointeNorth Insurance Group and Taylor, Turner & Hartsfield Insurance joined forces, effective March 1. The company will operate as PointeNorth Insurance Group. The merger is the second transaction of the quarter for PointeNorth.

Along with 4,300 plus households and business clients, Taylor, Turner & Hartsfield brings additional locations in Cumming and Dawsonville, Ga.

Dwight L. Taylor will continue as a shareholder and serve as a senior vice president of PointeNorth with a focus on Producer and Business Development. He joins PointeNorth with other Taylor, Turner & Hartsfield principal, Mark Verbeke, who will serve as vice president.

Taylor, Turner & Hartsfield will continue its operations in Cumming and Dawsonville and PointeNorth will combine its current Alpharetta location with Cumming office in late May 2014.

PointeNorth also hired Pamela Riley to serve as chief financial officer.

Riley brings strategic-development experience with local governments, startups, nonprofits such as and Fortune 500 companies. Most recently, Riley served as a director of Finance, Administration and Development at Method Holdings, an Atlanta-based financial-services company, where she led finance functions including highly-regulated reporting to agencies such as the SEC.

Riley brings two decades of financial leadership and strategy experience, comes to PointeNorth as the agency ramps up M&A activity. Her hire comes a month after PointeNorth acquired Dillon Insurance Services.

Clarity Software Solutions Inc. (Clarity), a provider of on-demand document management and communications delivery solutions for the health insurance industry, secured growth investment from North Bridge.

The investment will be used to accelerate the company’s growth by adding seasoned executive talent, investing in strategic sales and marketing initiatives, and further expanding its suite of products.

Insurance Technologies LLC, a provider of sales and regulatory automation solutions to the insurance and financial services industries, announced today the latest release of FireLight, which includes disconnected functionality in its e-application business fulfillment platform. Leveraging the existing HTML5 and mobile capabilities, this latest FireLight release now enables agents and advisors to execute in-good-order business and collect e-signatures without an Internet connection.

See also:  Exchanges cheaper than employer coverage, PwC says


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