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The 8 biggest announcements from life and health insurers this week

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The #AllianzBirdies Challenge came to a close Feb. 8 with thousands of people putting #AllianzBirdies in their social media posts during the month-long campaign that ended at the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton, Fla. Allianz will donate $50,000 to Junior Achievement of South Florida – $2 for every post that included #AllianzBirdies in Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts during the 2nd annual Allianz social media campaign. “Financial literacy prepares youth with a solid financial foundation that supports their future,” said Allianz Life chief marketing officer, Nancy Jones. “Junior Achievement of South Florida is a leader in financial literacy, and I’m grateful for the key role they played in this campaign. Thanks to JA volunteers and to all who participated in this campaign. Together, we generated donations and raised awareness about the need for youth financial literacy programs.” The #AllianzBirdies Challenge followed two golf events, the Allianz Championship and the World Golf Tour, an online golf game. A record number of supporters used #AllianzBirdies with approximately 22,000 posts hitting social media while they watched the Championship and played the online game. Due to the great social media engagement results, Allianz rounded the total donation amount to $50,000.

To meet the demand for financial planning in the U.S., Northwestern Mutual announced the company is recruiting 2,000 full-time financial representatives and more than 3,000 college interns nationwide. The goal of 5,000 total financial representative recruits also comes at a time when the January jobs report is expected to show continued economic growth. Northwestern Mutual’s 2014 Planning and Progress Study shows that while Americans are feeling slightly better about their financial circumstances than they did the previous year, there continues to be a sense that the economy will experience future crises.  Who are the right candidates? According to Steve Mannebach, Northwestern Mutual’s VP of field growth and development, finding success in the financial services industry has less to do with direct experience as it does with what drives an individual. Successful financial professionals possess two distinct qualities – a high achievement motivation and high service motivation. Click here to find out more about becoming financial representative. To locate a nearby Northwestern Mutual office, click here, and to start an application, click here.

American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company, an underwriter of index and fixed rate annuities, announced the addition of a new Fixed Indexed Annuity Series to its competitive portfolio. These new products, the Choice Series, add to the company’s robust annuity product line. The Choice Series – available now – allows client flexibility with 6, 8 or 10 year surrender schedule options, and offers competitive rates with five interest crediting methods. Additionally, it has a competitive optional Lifetime Income Benefit Rider which includes two payout options.

American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG) announced that it has repriced AG Select-a-Term, the flagship term product issued by American General Life Insurance Company, and also relaunched AG Select-a-Term in New York, where it is issued by The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York (U.S. Life). For the New York issued product, nearly 90 percent of premium rates rank in the top three in popular durations and risk classes; almost half of the time, they rank number one. Nationally, nearly 75 percent of premium rates for AG Select-a-Term rank in the top three in popular durations and risk classes, and almost 30 percent of the premium rates rank number one. For more information on the competitive pricing and superior flexibility of AG Select-a-Term, visit

The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company (Penn Mutual) continues to leverage its growing market presence and asset base, and has launched Penn Mutual Asset Management, Inc., a registered investment adviser and wholly owned subsidiary of Penn Mutual. Since 1989, Penn Mutual Asset Management, formerly Independence Capital Management, Inc. (ICMI), has served as investment adviser and manager of managers for the Penn Series Funds, Inc., a proprietary fund complex. In recent months, Penn Mutual Asset Management has added associates to its talented team and invested in its operational infrastructure to enhance its capabilities. As a result, effective January 1, 2015, it will also manage the investment portfolios of Penn Mutual and its subsidiaries’ $12 billion general account. The launch of Penn Mutual Asset Management, Inc. now brings alignment with the increasingly prominent Penn Mutual brand. 

To help protect employers against the growing complexity of leave laws and regulations, the U.S. business group of Sun Life Financial, through its partnership with ComPsych Corporation, is adding ADA administrative services to its FMLA Solutions. The enhanced absence management administrative services now will help employers comply with the regulatory requirements of both the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Sun Life is offering the newly combined Absence Management Services in partnership with ComPsych’s FMLASource®. ComPsych Corporation is the worldwide leader of fully integrated employee assistance programs (EAP), behavioral health, wellness, work-life, HR, FMLA, and absence management services. Sun Life and ComPsych are offering two ADA compliance solutions as part of Absence Management Services: ADA Essential (comprised of administrative services) and ADA Complete (comprised of administration and coaching services).


Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) announced that chief financial officer Richard McKenney has been named the company’s next chief executive officer, succeeding Thomas Watjen, who has informed the board of his decision to retire from his executive position at Unum’s 2015 annual meeting after 12 years as CEO. Effective April 1, 2015, McKenney, will become president and be appointed to the Unum board of directors. Effective at the company’s 2015 annual meeting, to be held in May, McKenney will succeed Watjen, as chief executive officer. Jack McGarry, currently president and CEO of Closed Block Operations, will succeed McKenney as the company’s CFO on April 1. Watjen, who joined the company in 1994 and has served as CEO since 2003, intends to remain a director of the company through the 2017 annual meeting. The board intends to name Watjen as non-executive chairman as of the 2015 annual meeting and William Ryan, the company’s current chairman, will serve as lead independent director until his retirement at age 72 in 2016.

Prudential Group Insurance, a business of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), announced the realignment of its distribution and product management operations under James Gemus, effective immediately. Gemus’ new title is senior vice president, distribution & product management. In this new role, Gemus will have responsibility for all aspects of product strategy, product execution, distribution and account management. Gemus will be based in Roseland, NJ reporting to Prudential Group Insurance CEO Lori Fouché. Additional client facing appointments, reporting to Gemus, within the newly formed distribution & product management operation include vice president Bob Lovewill become the new leader of the national accounts market segment and vice president Chuck Brousseau will lead premier accounts covering businesses with less than 5,000 employees.


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