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Kabat to become Unum chairman

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Unum Group Inc. says Kevin Kabat, a retired banker, will succeed Thomas Watjen as its chairman in May.

Related: S&T Bancorp appoints new chairman, vice chairman

Unum is a major seller of disability insurance in the United States and the United Kingdom. The company is also a major seller of dental insurance, vision insurance and other supplemental health-related insurance benefits that fall outside the scope of the Affordable Care Act’s major medical rules.

The company got out of the long-term care insurance business in 2012, but it still has a large block of in-force long-term care insurance policies on its books. President-elect Donald Trump used coverage from a unit of Unum to provide group long-term care insurance benefits for his New York-based Trump Organization.

Watjen took over as the chief executive officer of the company in 2003, after the company had gone through a period of turmoil in the individual disability insurance market.

Watjen became Unum’s chairman in 2015, after announcing that Richard McKenney, who had been the company’s chief financial officer, would be succeeding him as CEO.

Watjen said he agreed to stay on as chairman for two years to ensure continuity during the CEO transition. “I believe this goal has been fulfilled and the transition and the transition has been a success, both at the company and board level,” Watjen said about his decision to step down from the post of chairman.

Kabat, the incoming chairman, has been a Unum director since 2008. He was the CEO of Fifth Third Bancorp, a large, Cincinnati-based regional bank, from 2007 through October 2015.


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