The health and life insurance industry news roundup for this week.

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) announced a refreshed brand identity, along with a new logo. Through research and education, the SOA works to advance the actuarial profession and to improve decision making to benefit society. The refreshed brand establishes a consistent identity, which will be featured everywhere from SOA.org to its award-winning magazine, The Actuary. The SOA logo’s infinity symbol reflects how the organization continually evolves to produce forward-thinking education, cutting-edge research and professional development opportunities. The shield represents a strong foundation, bound by standards and principles, to protect the value of the SOA credential and the interests of the communities served. The SOA’s history traces back to the formation of the Actuarial Society of America in 1889. This organization merged with the American Institute of Actuaries in 1949 to create the SOA. The SOA will continue to use its traditional seal for official documents.

Symetra Life Insurance Company posted record total annuity sales during the second quarter 2015 — exceeding $1 billion in quarterly annuity sales for the first time. Symetra’s fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) also posted record sales, with the highest quarterly production figures since the product launched in April 2011. Introduced in March 2015, Symetra Edge Plus Fixed Indexed Annuity and Symetra Edge PremierFixed Indexed Annuityare designed to help meet the needs of today’s retirement customers, who are looking for ways to protect their money but still want some opportunity for growth potential. Both Edge Plus’s and Edge Premier’s indexed account options, including the JPMorgan ETF Efficiente 5(SM) Index, provide a selection of interest crediting opportunities based on indexes composed of a diverse array of asset classes, including domestic and foreign equities and more. Symetra Edge Plus is available through select banks and broker-dealers. For more information, visit Symetra.com.

On the Ward’s 50 list:

The Ward Group, based in Cincinnati, OH and an Aon Hewitt company, ranks benchmarking and best practices services for the insurance industry. The Ward’s 50 list is published annually.

    1. Amalgamated Life Insurance Company, a provider of life and health insurance, has been named one of the 2015 Ward’s 50 group of the nation’s top performing life-health insurance companies. According to Ward Group Partner and Head Jeffrey J. Rieder, “Based on Ward’s annual analysis of the life-health industry, Amalgamated Life Insurance Company is being recognized for achieving outstanding financial results in the areas of safety, consistency and performance over a five year period, from 2010-2014.” 

    2. Forethought Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Global Atlantic Financial Group Limited, once again has earned a spot on the Ward’s 50 list of top life and health insurance companies. This is the sixth consecutive year that Forethought, an annuity and preneed life insurance business, has been included on this list. 

The Professional Insurance Marketing Association (PIMA) named the winners of its annual Marketing Methods competition at the 2015 PIMA MidYear Meeting and Trade Show. Prudential was awarded the “Best of PIMA” in the New Media category. Their strategy used a digital “personality” to engage millennial CPAs in a dynamic online conversation that used humor and created a highly personalized purchasing experience that led to product decisions they felt invested in. PIMA Marketing Methods awards are presented to member companies for direct marketing efforts that display outstanding marketing and creative strategies that deliver banner, measurable results. For more details or to see all of the winners, visit their website here.

The American College of Financial Services today announced the appointment of Dr. Ajamu (“AJ”) Loving as the Director of Academic Partnerships and Assistant Professor of Financial Planning. Dr. Loving, who earned his PhD in Personal Financial Planning from Texas Tech University, will lead The College’s new initiative to establish closer connections with financial planning and risk and insurance programs at other colleges and universities.

“Dr. Loving’s work reflects a new direction for The American College,” said Dr. Robert Johnson, president and CEO of The American College. “He is the perfect ambassador to promote our graduate degrees and designations and to ensure that our partners have access to The College’s world-class curriculum and content.”

Prior to his appointment at The American College, Dr. Loving was Assistant Professor of Finance at Texas A&M University-Commerce. He served as Chairman of the Learning and Teaching committee and was responsible for coordinating business program academic assessment for the University (SACS) as well as the College of Business (AACSB). He was responsible for redesigning the assessment process for the COB to successfully retain AACSB status. The committee also oversaw the management of curriculum for the college and implemented changes to keep the academic programs current and challenging. Dr. Loving taught courses in Personal Finance, Investments, Derivatives, and Corporate Finance, and served as the departmental undergraduate advisor for students. He has published articles in The Review of Black Political Economy, The Journal of Housing and The Built Environment, and GSTF Business Review. His research focuses primarily on wealth building in minority populations. Before academia, Dr. Loving was a financial consultant at LaSalle Bank (now Bank of America) in Chicago IL. He worked in a bank branch providing investment and insurance advice to bank clientele and seminars for the community and surrounding businesses.

This May marked an impressive milestone for regional general agency, Savoy Associates (SA), and president and CEO Don Savoy, representing 30 years of dedication and success in the insurance industry. Don Savoy joined Savoy Associates in May 1985. Shortly thereafter, in 1991, Savoy Associates was awarded its first general agency contract. Jim Lardiere, who is currently senior vice president, also joined Savoy Associates in 1991 to begin creating the model of what the company is today. Over subsequent years, Savoy Associates experienced tremendous growth, gaining market share not only throughout New Jersey, but also in New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Connecticut. What originally began as a small company based in Florham Park, N.J. has grown into a comprehensive regional general agency, which also offers employer products and services, with over 100 employees throughout the company’s seven office locations.