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Rebecca Tadikonda (Photo: Athene)

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Athene Hires a Chief Strategist: Personnel Moves

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What You Need to Know

  • Allianz Life has a new chief operating officer.
  • Steven Glass will be the next CEO of Medical Mutual.
  • A life settlement company picked one of its own executives to be its COO.

Athene Holding is preparing to go shopping for… something big to be named later.

The Hamilton, Bermuda-based life insurance arm of Apollo Global Management announced Thursday that it has hired Rebecca Tadikonda — MetLife’s former head of strategic growth markets in Asia — to be its executive vice president, strategy and innovation.

Grant Kvalheim, president of Athene and CEO of Athene USA, said in a comment on Tadikonda’s hiring that Athene has already disrupted the retirement services business.

“We felt it was time to hire a senior leader to focus on extending our expertise into new avenues,” Kvalheim said.

Even when your clients think they have annuities written by some other company, Athene might be helping to provide the annuities. Tadikonda could help influence which insurance and annuity providers are working with Athene, and what kinds of assets support the insurance and annuity obligations.

Acquisition Ahead?

Athene ended the first quarter with $246 billion in assets and is known for making a series of giant annuity reinsurance deals on its own, and together with companies such as Venerable.

Athene acquired an automobile and truck fleet business from Hertz in March 2021.

Marc Rowan, Apollo’s co-founder and CEO, said in August that he would like to see Apollo and Athene improve returns by investing more money in big, high-quality assets that are secure but difficult to convert into cash quickly.

Tadikonda’s Background

Tadikonda has been with MetLife since 2014.

Before that, she worked as a partner at Bain, as a senior marketing manager at Verisign and as a marketing director at DHL.

She has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Dartmouth and a master’s degree in business from Stanford.

Allianz Life

Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America — a Golden Valley, Minnesota-based arm of Munich-based Allianz — has named Karim Akhavan-Hezavei to be its senior vice president and chief operating officer.

Akhavan-Hezavei, who is on track to take the new post in July, will oversee enterprise operations, information technology, information technology security and administrative functions at Allianz Life, which is a life and annuity giant.

Akhavan-Hezavei has been chief operating officer at Allianz Services, the parent company’s business support services unit, in Munich. He also has worked for EY and Siemens.

He has a master’s degree in economics from Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich.

Medical Mutual

The board of Medical Mutual — a Cleveland-based health insurer that provides or administers coverage for 1.2 million Ohio residents — has picked Steven Glass to succeed Rick Chiricosta as CEO

Glass has been the chief financial officer at the Cleveland Clinic since 2005. He also has been a financial executive at MedStar Health, a health care provider based in Columbia, Maryland.

He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Towson University, and he holds the Certified Public Accountant professional designation.

He is the chairman of the board of the Ohio Hospital Association.


Coventry — a Fort Washington, Pennsylvania-based life settlement company — has named Rick Lauro chief operating officer.

Lauro has been the company’s senior vice president, finance and operations.

He also been a senior auditor at KPMG, a financial reporting manager at ING, an executive at Independence Blue Cross and head of global financial planning and analytics at Chubb.

Lauro has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from La Salle University. He holds the Certified Public Accountant professional designation.

He is the treasurer of the Brighter Horizon Foundation, an organization that helps first-generation students pay for college.


Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. — a Springfield, Massachusetts-based insurer — has promoted Sears Merritt to head of enterprise technology and experience, from head of technology and data.

He has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, a master’s degree in telecommunications and a doctorate in computer science from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He also has a master’s degree in business from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Standard

The Standard — a Portland, Oregon-based arm of Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. — has hired Kevin McAtamney to be stable value sales director.

He previously was a regional sales director for Empower Retirement and an internal sales consultant for John Hancock.

He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona, a master’s degree in business from Merrimack College, and a master’s degree in business from Marist College.

Pictured: Rebecca Tadikonda. (Photo: Athene)


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