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Pan-American Life Begins Leadership Transition: Personnel Moves

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What You Need to Know

  • Suquet has been Pan-American Life’s CEO since 2004.
  • A new ACLI state relations executive previously worked for Protective Life.
  • Dechert has a new partner with an interest in CLOs.

Pan-American Life Insurance Group has started a leadership transition process.

José Suquet, who has been the president and CEO since 2004, will give up the post of president in January, the New Orleans-based company announced last week.

From there, Pan-American Life will move to having three presidents. Robert DiCianni, will be president global benefits, Bruce Parker will be president global life and Steve Friedman will be president finance and investments.

DiCianni came to the company through an acquisition in 2011. He also has worked for MetLife and American International Group. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Notre Dame.

Parker has worked for Pan-American Life since 2009. Before that, he was the CEO of Old Mutual Financial Network. He also has worked for Jefferson Pilot Financial and Prudential Financial. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the State University of New York at Oswego and a master’s degree in management from the American College of Financial Services.

Friedman has been the company’s chief investment officer since 2018. Before that, he worked for Guggenheim and other financial services companies. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from Tulane.

Pan-American also announced that Carlos Mickan, who is vice chairman and head of finance and administration, will give up those posts at the end of the year. He will stay on the Pan-American Life board as a director.


The American Council of Life Insurers has hired Laura Leigh Latta to be state relations regional vice president.

Latta previously was a government affairs executive at Protective Life.

She has served on the board of the Nebraska Insurance Federation and has been president of the Association of Alabama Life Insurance Companies.

She has a bachelor’s degree from Sewanee and a law degree from the University of Alabama.


American International Group has named Elias Habayeb chief financial officer for the AIG Life & Retirement business.

Habayeb previously was the CFO for general insurance. He has been working at AIG since 2005. Earlier, he was a partner at Deloitte.

He has a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University.


AmeriLife Group — a Clearwater, Florida-based life and annuity distributor — has hired Ford Stokes to be senior vice president, annuity marketing.

Stokes previously was an advisor to V2 Financial Group, an AmeriLife affiliate. Earlier, he was a financial advisor with Talon Wealth Management and chief marketing officer at The Impact Partnership.

He has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in business from Auburn University.


Zipari — a New York-based health insurance website company — has hired Tabatha Erck to be its president. Erck will report to the company founder and CEO Mark Nathan.

Erck previously was the chief operating officer at Remedy, a telehealth company. Earlier, she was a senior vice president at Amplifon, a hearing aid retailer.

She has a bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University, a master’s degree in health care public administration from the University of San Francisco and a master’s degree in lean enterprise from the University of St. Thomas.

Centro Benefits Research

Centro Benefits Research — a St. Louis-based benefits wholesaling, quotation support services and research firm — has named Beata Rogala chief operating officer.

Rogala previously was the company’s chief product officer. Earlier in her career, she worked for Guardian, MetLife and JPMorgan Chase.

She has a master’s degree from the University of Warsaw.

GCG Financial

GCG Financial — a Deerfield, Illinois-based division of Alera — has hired Pauline Sobelman to be senior vice president, benefits consulting.

Sobelman previously worked as a senior vice president for employee benefits at Risk Strategies Company. She also has worked in benefits at USI Insurance Services, Lockton, Corporate Synergies and Mercer.

She is a member of the board of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Community Center in New York.

She has a bachelor’s degree from New York University.


Dechert, a law firm based in New York, has added Jon Burke as a partner in the global finance practice. Burke will work on legal issues related to structured credit and collateralized loan obligations.

Life insurers held about $193 billion of the $662 billion in CLOs that were in effect in the United States at the end of 2020, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and SIFMA.

Burke previously was a special counsel at Milbank LLP. Earlier in his career, he was an associate with Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, and also with Dechert.

He has a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury and a law degree from Georgetown.

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