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4 of the biggest insurance stories this week

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Here at, we have curated a few of the most interesting highlights for the week. It’s our new take on rounding up the news.

This week, we bring you some educational tools to refine your craft from Husson University and NAHU, respectively. If you’re looking to wow your clients with new or updated insurance products, Penn Mutual has updated their guaranteed protection universal life product (page 2).

And since hiring and promoting key figures within an organization is essential for that organization or business to succeed, on page 3 you will find a few paragraphs about new designations and position advancements from Allianz, LGA, NFP and RIIA.

Finally, as we move toward Long-Term Care Awareness Month in November, the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance is launching a consumer awareness campaign (page 4).

1. Go further in your education with these programs


Retired Fidelity senior VP helps create Center for Financial Technology at Husson University

Husson University held a ribbon cutting ceremony, marking the official opening of the Ronan Center for Financial Technology on its Bangor, Maine campus outside the Darling Learning Center last month. Bob Ronan, retired senior vice president of technology at Fidelity Investments (photo below, left) shows off some of the technological capabilities of the new Ronan Center for Financial Technology at Husson University in Bangor, Maine during the dedication of the new facility on August 29, 2014.

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This fully equipped facility features two LED stock ticker displays that show current market activity in real time. The new center also includes two large interactive touchscreens that provide students with the ability to research stock, mutual fund and bond investment performance. With just the touch of a finger, students will now be able to access historical data for U.S. and international companies.

The new center was made possible through the generosity of Bob and Linda Ronan. Bob graduated from Husson University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 1979. Raised in Orono, Maine, he is a retired senior vice president of technology with Fidelity Investments. His family has a long history of educational accomplishments at Husson University, including a father who taught accounting at Husson from 1966 – 1973.

NAHU announces new program to educate health insurance brokers on value-based purchasing

The National Association of Health Underwriters Education Foundation announced a new initiative to stimulate demand for value-based health care purchasing among the nation’s health insurance brokers and their employer clients.

Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), this new initiative will promote greater involvement by health insurance agents and brokers in the health care transformation movement by arming them with the knowledge they need to encourage value-based purchasing strategies.

The NAHU Educational Foundation will be assisted in this effort by Catalyst for Payment Reform (CPR), an independent nonprofit that works with health care purchasers to promote higher-value care, and by Qorvis MSLGROUP, a communications firm experienced in health care payment issues. Together, these organizations will leverage NAHU’s strong track record of providing professional development to agents, brokers and consultants.

The initiative, which RWJF is funding at $678,280, will cover topics such as value-based insurance design, new delivery models such as accountable-care organizations and patient-centered medical homes, new payment mechanisms such as reference pricing, bundled payments and global payments, writing contracts for value-based contracting, and conducting market assessments.



2. Enhanced and updated insurance products


Penn Mutual updates its GPUL product

In an effort to enhance the competitiveness of a popular permanent life product with attractive features and broad client appeal, The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, has revised the pricing for its Guaranteed Protection Universal Life (GPUL) product.

Penn Mutual has reduced no-lapse guarantee premiums for the popular lifetime level and 10 pay options, 3 – 5 percent, on average. The premium reduction, combined with and the existing Chronic Illness Accelerated Benefit Rider, which is included on most policies at no additional charge at issue, enhances the competitive features offered to help clients’ needs. The new product went into effect nationwide for new business on September 22, 2014.

3. Key designations for visionaries of the future


Allianz Life promotes Jan Kolle to senior director of sourcing and vendor management

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) promoted Jan Kolle to senior director of organizational sourcing and vendor management in the organizational sourcing and reengineering division. In this role, Kolle will lead and develop the Allianz Life external vendor model ensuring their effective use across the company. He will also manage the vendor relationships to provide consistent service giving the best results for the customer.

Kolle joined Allianz Life in 2013 as a vendor relationship manager in the organizational sourcing and vendor management area where he reviewed vendor performance, negotiations and contracts. Prior to that, he was a director for more than ten years in the HR supply chain management area at Unisys Corporation in Eagan, Minn. Kolle has a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. He also holds Lean and Six Sigma Green Belt Certifications.

Legal & General America appoints new SVP and chief actuary

Mary Bahna-Nolan, FSA, CERA, MAAA, has joined Legal & General America as senior vice president and chief actuary. In her new role, Bahna-Nolan will have responsibility for IFRS, US GAAP and US statutory valuation, embedded value, economic capital, financial modeling and forecasting and experience analysis and assumptions.

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In her 25-year career, Bahna-Nolan has most recently worked for PricewaterhouseCooper where she provided audit and advisory services to life insurance and reinsurance clients. Prior to PwC, Bahna-Nolan was at North American Company for life and health insurance where she held several positions including chief risk officer, chief actuary, chief product officer and head of underwriting.

Bahna-Nolan has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan in Actuarial Mathematics and Economics. She is both a fellow and chartered enterprise risk analyst in the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

NFP Life hires Joe Kennon to enhance recruiting efforts

NFP, a benefits provider, property and casualty and life insurance, and wealth management services, has expanded the NFP Life team with the addition of experienced recruiter Joe Kennon.

Kennon, who has been named vice president, firm selection, NFP Life, will assume this role to seek out firms who will benefit from NFP’s ongoing commitment to the life insurance business. He brings 11 years of recruiting experience and is skilled in identifying, qualifying and closing agreements with prospective firms of the highest caliber. He most recently served as national recruiting manager at ProEquities and also made significant contributions in his years recruiting for Prudential Financial. He holds Series 7 and 63 licenses, as well as a life and health license in Texas. Kennon earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas.

Nicolas E. Lance appointed to RIIA

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Nicolas E. Lance, vice president of Retirement Income Strategies at the companies of OneAmerica, has been appointed to the Retirement Income Industry Association (RIIA) board of directors.

“Creating a retirement strategy that produces a consistent stream of income for today’s pre-retirees and retirees takes careful planning and innovative thinking,” said Lance. “I am pleased to join the RIIA board and support the effort to tackle retirement income planning from a holistic perspective.”

The shift from defined benefit to defined contribution plans, longer life spans, unpredictable economic conditions and the rising cost of health care are some of the challenges that face future and current retirees.

Recognizing the changing trends in the retirement landscape, Lance joined the companies of OneAmerica last fall to develop and lead the Retirement in MotionSM initiative to better prepare the growing number of individuals in or near retirement.

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4. It’s time to start preparing for Long-Term Care Awareness Month

Long Term Care Insurance Association targets consumers to raise awareness

With support from four leading national insurers the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) is set to run a special consumer awareness insert in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. The campaign will coincide with November’s Long-Term Care Awareness Month. 

According to AALTCI, the four insurers supporting the effort are Mutual of Omaha, New York Life, Genworth and Thrivent. The special long-term care insurance insert will be included inside issues of Kiplinger’s magazine. The publication is read by over two million individuals and copies will be available on newsstands around November 4th.

The AALTCI insert focuses on the newest planning strategies and policy options that make long term care insurance affordable. “These inserts share the latest industry data as well as some ideas that few consumers are aware of,” Slome notes.  “By having four pages in the magazine we are really able to deliver a lot of timely and valuable information.”