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The 10 biggest announcements from life and health insurers this week

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New York Life announced that vice chairman John Y. Kim has been elected effective immediately. The president’s role has been held by chairman and CEO Ted Mathas, who was elected to the position of president in 2007. Kim continues reporting to Mathas, who remains chairman of the board and chief executive officer. Kim retains the role of chief investment officer of New York Life, as well as overall responsibility for the investments group and enterprise-wide technology. With his promotion to president, the company’s largest business unit, the insurance & agency group, has been added to his current responsibilities. 

Meanwhile, Mathas also announced that Chris Blunt will return to investments to run the group as its president, reporting to Kim. Blunt joined the company in 2004 as head of New York Life Investments’ Retail Investments strategy, where he was successful in growing Investments’ sales of mutual funds through all of its distribution partners.  He most recently headed the insurance & agency group with co-president Mark Pfaff.    

In other New York Life news, the company has been named one of 2015’s “Best Companies for Multicultural Women” by Working Mother magazine, an honor that recognizes the 25 U.S. corporations that create and use best practices to make sure women of color employees advance and excel.  This is the fifth consecutive year that New York Life has been named to this prestigious list. A full list of the 2015 Best Companies for Multicultural Women can be found on

The Florida Association of Health Underwriters (FAHU) Symposium 2015, Florida’s largest gathering of healthcare brokers, agents, consultants and carrier representatives begins Thursday, July 23rd at the Renaissance Orlando. Janet Trautwein, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) in Washington, D.C., will deliver the symposium’s opening address. For the symposium agenda go here. FAHU is a non-profit organization of insurance professionals dedicated to serving the public by strengthening the insurance marketplace, advocating for effective legislation, ethical leadership and professional standards, and by educating our members and the consumers they serve.

Hearsay Social, provider of the Predictive Social Suite for financial advisors and insurance agents, announced it will create and deploy a program with Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company that enables its multi-line agents to meaningfully and compliantly engage with clients and prospects on social media. The Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance network extends across 11 states with an office in nearly every county within each state. The company’s focus on having a strong, local presence means that its agents are often active members in their communities and have deeply personal relationships with clients. The Hearsay Social platform will allow Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company agents to select pre-approved content, such as news, company announcements, and other resources, and easily share it with their social networks across Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) announced that the IRI Fact Book 2015 – offering the latest retirement income research, industry data, and sales reports for the variable and fixed annuity markets – is now available for financial professionals. The latest edition of the IRI Fact Book provides an overview of changes in the annuity marketplace, including product innovation, and outlines considerations for financial advisors for including insured retirement strategies in retirement plans. To view the table of contents from the IRI Fact Book 2015, click here. Financial professionals can download the IRI Fact Book by visiting the IRI Marketplace.

Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) announced that it has expanded its Lincoln American Legacy® suite of variable annuities with the exclusive addition of a broad new set of single- managed funds, American Funds Insurance Series – Portfolio SeriesSM. The new Portfolio Series funds may help investors in addressing specific retirement needs, including building savings, planning for distributions, and preserving long-term assets. In addition, these funds can be used either together within an objective-based framework, or individually, depending on various factors, including an investor’s time frame and risk tolerance. For more information about Lincoln’s American Legacy, please visit

LIMRA announced that former U.S. Secretary of State and retired Army Gen. Colin L. Powell will deliver the keynote address at the LIMRA 2015 Annual Conference, which will be held Oct. 25–27, 2015 in Boston. The LIMRA 2015 Annual Conference’s theme, “Pivot Point: Striking a Path for Success,” focuses on the challenges and changes affecting the financial services industry.  The conference brings together leading experts and company executives to examine today’s most important issues, and to revisit, and possibly rethink, the ideas that have informed the industry’s strategies and tactics to date. Conference-goers will learn about developments in products, demographics, technology, medicine and other vital areas. The LIMRA Annual Conference draws more than 500 industry executives from insurance and financial services companies from all over the world, and this year’s will be held at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. Those who register before Oct. 1 will receive a discount. For more information and to register online, please visit: LIMRA 2015 Annual Conference.

MassMutual Retirement Services earned record high scores for satisfaction among employers that sponsor defined contribution as well as defined benefit retirement plans, according to Chatham Partners, an independent research firm. Eighty percent of all plan sponsors said they were “very satisfied” with MassMutual in 2014, up from the previous year’s record of 77 percent and four percentage points above the industry average, Chatham Partners reports. The independent survey scores were based on responses from 4,379 plan sponsors about their experience with MassMutual in 2014. The firm serves more than 35,000 retirement plans with more than $152 billion in assets under management. For more information about MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division, please contact your financial professional or call MassMutual at 1-800-874-2502, option 4.

The American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance has posted a free video featuring an interview on seminar selling with one of the nation’s leading Med Supp sales professionals. “We recorded a full day of interviews and sessions at the 2015 National Selling Medicare Supplement Insurance Summit and are now offering free access to view one of the programs,” explains Jesse Slome, director of the trade group and the conference architect.  The national conference held this past April in Orlando attracted over 450 attendees. The 10-minute video features an interview with Susan Hatch one of the nation’s leading Med Supp agents. Access to watch the video is free and viewable on any device with Internet access.  The Association announced a special 20 percent discount code for those interested in ordering any conference program recordings.   Enter code AAM20 as part of the check-out process. To view the free video and access the on demand library of insurance conference recordings, go here.

The Professional Insurance Marketing Association (PIMA) will have its MidYear Meeting & Exhibitor Trade Show from July 23-26, 2015 at The Stoweflake Mountain Resort in Stowe, Vermont. PIMA’s MidYear programming emphasizes marketing, technology and products and networking for business development. This year’s conference will provide participants with insightful and practical information into the most critical markets for sales growth in coming years. Marti Barletta, known by the Huffington Post as “The High Priestess of Marketing to Women,” will present the opening keynote – The (Sh)Economy. This session will provide insights and strategies businesses will need to successfully market to this influential, affluent group. The early bird registration and housing deadline is June 15. Attendance and exhibitor opportunities are open to non-members. For a brochure or to register, call 817-569-7462 (PIMA) or visit their website here.

In other PIMA news, the association has released the 2015 updated edition of its Advertising Compliance Manual. The manual covers print and electronic media advertising best practices, state advertising filing requirements, and more. It assists in ensuring that advertising copy and marketing materials meet statutory and regulatory requirements. The manual, published in a searchable CD format, is provided to members as a member service but is available for sale to non-members for only $695. For more information, including an index, see the PIMA website here

The Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA), an organization representing participants in the life settlement industry, announced the election of Cynthia Poveda as the new chairman of LISA. Poveda’s appointment was announced this morning at LISA’s 21st Annual Spring Life Settlement Conference, which was held May 3-5, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency Boston. Based on the outcome of a membership vote held at the LISA conference, the following individuals were elected to new terms on the board:

  • Jim Maxson, partner at Culhane Meadows, PLLC
  • Cynthia Poveda, chief executive officer of Life Equity, LLC
  • Sheri Townsend, chief operating officer of Asset Servicing Group
  • John Welcom, president and chief executive officer of Welcome Funds, Inc.
  • Dan Young, president of Magna Life Settlements

These new directors join the other four board members still serving active terms:

  • Alan Buerger, chief executive officer of Coventry
  • Michael Freedman, president of GWG Holdings, Inc.
  • Vince Granieri, chief executive officer of Predictive Resources, LLC
  • Phil Loy, president of AVS Group

The full slate of LISA board members also elected new officers. In addition to Poveda’s election as chair, Freedman was appointed to serve as vice chair, Loy was appointed as treasurer and Maxson was selected as secretary.


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