Vantis Life offers payment flexibility post-Sandy

ALSO: Industry news from NAFA, Futurity First, RIIA, Towers Watson & OneAmerica

(AP Photo/Mike Groll) (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Vantis Life Insurance Company is offering policy holders and applicants more flexibility following the disruption caused by Hurricane Sandy.

The company will extend the time policyholders have to make premium payments, will allow the underwriting of cases to continue past their traditional withdrawal date and will not penalize new customers who have checks or electronic funds transfer payments returned for insufficient funds.  Notices of these changes will be posted on the company’s web site.  These provisions will be in effect through November 30, 2012, but will be reviewed at that time for potential extension.

In other industry news:

The National Association for Fixed Annuities recognized Wendy Waugaman, the late president and CEO of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company, as the inaugural recipient of the Bo Johnson Spirit Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Marla Lacey, the chief compliance officer and associate general counsel of American Equity, was also a close friend and colleague of Waugaman, accepted the award on Waugaman's behalf.

“Wendy was a true visionary and dedicated her corporate career to the advancement of fixed annuity products,” Lacey said. “Without her courage, leadership and strategic direction in the battle to repeal SEC Rule 151A, our industry would have been forever changed.  Wendy worked tirelessly to establish best practices and believed deeply in the value of our products for consumers.  Her untimely death has left a great void in our business and she is and will continue to be greatly missed.”

NAFA's Insurance Marketing Advisory Council committee named the award in honor of Bo Johnson—a member of NAFA and its board for several years, and was the original chair of IMAC.

 

Futurity First Insurance Group appointed Dennis E. Pascarella, ChFC, as sales vice president of the firm’s Eastern Region. In this position, Pascarella is responsible for supporting the growth and development of Futurity First’s branch network overseeing operations east of the Mississippi River.

Pascarella comes to Futurity First with 26 years of experience in the insurance and financial industry, including leadership positions which resulted in developing successful sales organizations dedicated to client service and advisor professional excellence. He has deep expertise in diversified financial products and services including life insurance, annuities, financial planning and pension programs. Most recently, Pascarella served as CEO of Financial Legacy Group in Cincinnati, building a top financial services firm serving Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

In his career, Pascarella has led large organizations at AXA, National Life of Vermont and Unifi.  He also devotes time to community service with such groups as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, and Boys and Girls Club and is an active the local Chamber of Commerce and the local chapters of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors Association (NAIFA) and the Society of Financial Services Professionals (SFSP).

 

Peng ChenPeng Chen, Ph.D., CFA, chief executive officer of Dimensional Fund Advisors’ Asia subsidiaries and chairman of Dimensional SmartNest, has been appointed the academic curriculum director of the Retirement Management Analyst (RMA) advanced education program, of the Retirement Income Industry Association (RIIA).

As academic curriculum director, Chen will oversee and review the academic and scholarly direction of the evolving RMA curriculum as well as edit and review submissions of annual updates to the RMA textbook and retirement income body of knowledge which are the foundation of the RMA program of study. Chen has pioneered many innovations in the retirement income arena by incorporating cutting edge research into practice.

Chen joined Dimensional in 2012 to serve as chief executive officer of the Asia subsidiaries.  In addition to his role as the CEO of the Asia subsidiaries, Chen is also a member of Dimensional’s Investment Policy Committee, and chairman, Dimensional SmartNest.

Prior to joining Dimensional, Chen served as president of Morningstar’s global investment management division, which consists of Morningstar’s investment consulting, retirement advice, and investment management operations in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Before that, he was president and chief investment officer at Ibbotson Associates.

Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW), completed its acquisition of DaVinci Consulting Group, a boutique actuarial consulting firm that specializes in the long-term care insurance market. The company had previously announced its intent to acquire the DaVinci business in October.

DaVinci’s principals and consulting staff have joined the life practice within Towers Watson and will be based in the Philadelphia area. Vince Bodnar, principal and co-founder of DaVinci, will lead the long-term care business. The deal is not expected to materially change Towers Watson’s financial results for the fiscal year.

 

American United Life Insurance Company, a OneAmerica company, added four new regional sales leaders for its employee benefits division. These representatives will be responsible for sales of the portfolio of products and services offered for the voluntary workplace benefits market by AUL’s employee benefits division, including group life and disability insurance.

Jason Allen, sales representative for the Dallas regional office, previously spent four years working as a sales representative for Cigna Group Insurance in the Dallas business market. He also has experience as a territory manager for Progressive Medical Inc. He is a graduate of Texas Tech University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and has a Master of Arts degree in theology and philosophy from Regent College in Vancouver, B.C.  

Phil Corrao, senior regional manager covering Kentucky and Tennessee, spent the last seven years working as a sales executive for Cigna Group Insurance in a territory that included Western Kentucky and Southern Indiana. He has also worked as a sales representative for Chard Snyder. He is a graduate of Hanover College where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration.

Joseph (Joe) Deynoodt, senior regional manager in the Houston regional office,  has more than 20 years industry experience, working the last seven years as regional sales director for Humana Inc. (KMG) in Houston and Louisiana where he was responsible for wholesale marketing of group life, disability, voluntary insurance benefits, stop loss and dental and vision insurance products. He has also held sales management positions at Guardian Life and UNUM/Provident Corp. Deynoodt has a Bachelor of Science degree in management and finance from Southeastern Louisiana University.  

Chuck Ray, senior sales representative in the Atlanta regional office, has spent 25 years in the insurance business with the last 14 years working at Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company in Atlanta, where he most recently held the position of brokerage sales manager and public sector manager. He is a native Georgian and a graduate of the University of Georgia, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in economics. 

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