New York Life names two senior executives to key roles

New York Life has named Matthew Grove chief administrative officer in New York Life’s Insurance and Agency Group, where he is responsible for oversight of strategy development for the Group, new business operations, and quality assurance, compliance and finance functions for the Service operation. Taking over Mr. Grove’s former role is David Cruz, who was elected senior managing director in charge of the Retail Annuities business, including product development, product management, marketing, in-force business and annuity service operations.

“Since becoming Head of Retail Annuities in 2012, Matt has led his team in generating robust growth, while also successfully repositioning the annuity product portfolio to respond to consumer and competitive shifts, while reducing risk.  As CAO, Matt’s skills and experience will further strengthen our life insurance business growth,” said John Kim, New York Life’s vice chairman.  “In assuming responsibility for Retail Annuities, Davidbrings broad balance sheet experience, keen analytical skills, and strong leadership qualities to the position.  We look forward to continued strong growth in our annuity business under David’s leadership.”

Captricity raises $10M in Series B to transform how businesses handle legacy paper processes

Captricity Inc., the Berkeley-based SaaS firm that gives enterprise customers fast and easy access to high quality data, announced a $10 million Series B round of financing led by Atlas Venture, with Social+Capital also participating. Chris Lynch, partner at Atlas, will join Captricity’s board. The Series B round brings Captricity’s total funds raised to $14 million, including original investments from Social+Capital, Atlas Venture, The Knight Foundation and angel investors including Dave Goldberg, Reid Hoffmann and Mitch Kapor.

Captricity also announced a partnership with New York Life Direct, a division of New York Life, to help the Fortune 100 life insurance company respond to customers by digitizing on-demand more than 500,000 of the paper-based business leads that they receive each year. Captricity’s technology – which combines machine learning and human intelligence to convert handwritten forms into actionable data – enables New York Life Direct to smoothly integrate paper documents into their digital workflow.

This news comes on the heels of Captricity’s partnership with the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to digitize the backlog of paper reports submitted to MedWatch, the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program. The data contributed to the FDA’s open government initiative, openFDA, which recently launched in public beta.

National Black Chamber of Commerce® endorses MassMutual as preferred provider of retirement plans

MassMutual Retirement has been endorsed as the preferred provider of 401(k) retirement plans by the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) to help meet the retirement savings needs of its 100,000 members and their employees across the United States.

As part of the endorsement, MassMutual is providing NBCC members with a variety of retirement planning educational tools, which are available to all NBCC members, regardless of whether or not they initiate a MassMutual retirement plan. There are currently 2.1 million Black-owned businesses in the United States that account for more than $138 billion in revenue each year, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. 

Securian launches voluntary group critical illness insurance 

Minnesota Life Insurance Company, a Securian Financial Group affiliate, offers employers group critical illness insurance, a tool employees can use to cope with the financial challenges related to critical illnesses. Group critical illness insurance provides lump sum payments to employees who are diagnosed with one of the covered conditions listed in the policy and when all of the other policy conditions are met.

Employers can tailor their group critical illness insurance plans to meet the unique requirements of their benefits strategies and employee populations. The policy offered by Minnesota Life has features which include 25 covered conditions; guaranteed issue amounts for employees, spouses and children; multiple payout and recurrence provisions.

The Standard and its employees contributed $2.6 million to nonprofits in 2013

The Standard Charitable Foundation, Standard Insurance Company (“The Standard”) and its employees together contributed more than $2.6 million across the nation last year to nonprofits. The contributions supported nonprofit organizations that align with the company’s giving priorities, including education, disability and empowerment, cultural development and healthy communities.

Through the company’s matching gift program, employees and retirees donated to more than 1,100 nonprofits in communities where employees and customers of The Standard live and work. Employees of The Standard also volunteered more than 15,000 hours in their communities on company-donated time.

Jamie Plesser joins Allianz Life as director, interactive strategy and execution

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) hired Jamie Plesser as director of interactive strategy and execution within the marketing division. Plesser is responsible for leading the overall digital strategy for social and emerging media, email and social channels, and website experience.

Prior to joining Allianz Life, Plesser held various marketing roles at Best Buy in Richfield, Minn. where, most recently, he was a digital marketing director, led the company’s social media council and served as a marketing manager for various business units.

Plesser earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan. and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Carlson School of Management in Minneapolis. Plesser is also a member of the board of directors with the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association.

Partners Advantage promotes Carolyn Musinski to vice president of platinum sales

Partners Advantage Insurance Services, LLC announced the promotion of Carolyn Musinski to vice president of sales, platinum partners division.Musinski joined Partners Advantage in September 2011 and has taken the platinum partners division to higher levels of performance and success: Her division is on target to meet and exceed its goal of $54 million of life production and $1.2 billion of annuity production in 2014.

Her professional background includes more than 20 years of experience providing field sales development, relationship management, product development, project management, team building/training and strategic planning.