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Diego Fernandez since September 2018 leads GeoBlue as President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Guillaume Deybach who has left the company. Established in the late 1990’s, GeoBlue is the iPMI (international private medical insurance) joint-venture between BlueCross – BlueShield (U.S.A.) and BUPA (UK). Prior to GeoBlue, Diego’s led sales and middle markets at Bupa Global Latin America. Earlier, he was Cigna International Taiwan’s Chief Operating Officer and Cigna Healthcare

American International Group (AIG) in September 2018 acquired Glatfelter Insurance Group, a Pennsylvania-based full-service broker and insurance company that provides services for specialty programs and retail operations. Headquartered in York, Pennsylvania, Glatfelter “brings high-quality program underwriting capabilities that will accelerate the strategic positioning of AIG’s general insurance business,” AIG said in a statement. Glatfelter is a large privately owned U.S. insurance broker and has more than 500 employees. Its

The fledgling Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon and JPMorgan Chase health care company for employees in September 2018 appointed Jack Stoddard as chief operating officer. Stoddard joins the company from media firm Comcast, where he was General Manager of the Digital Health division; and previously, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Strategy Officer of Comcast Ventures’ investee Accolade, a health technology and services company providing health navigation and care coordination to consumers.

In today’s landscape, employee benefits need to become the hot topic of conversation. There are many factors driving this since the demographics surrounding today’s workforce are constantly changing. With evolving employee demands and expectations, and new ways of working (think gig economy), employers need to play the employee benefits card to entice potential and current talent to stay put.

Gallagher in September 2018 acquired Wheatman Insurance Services from Woodland Hills, California, a retail property/casualty broker that also offers employee benefits consulting services. Since January 1, 2018, Gallagher has closed 26 acquisitions for an total amount of approximately $240 million.

Generali Global Assistance (GGA) in September 2018 appointed Philippe Gervais as President of GGA’s Travel Insurance company. Gervais, located at the Travel Insurance headquarters in San Diego, California, reports to Chris Carnicelli, CEO of GGA North America, who oversees the travel insurance and assistance, identity theft protection, and medical risk management business lines. Prior to joining GGA, he was CEO of Europ Assistance Belgium. Generali operates its assistance businesses

U.S. insurance carrier Allstate in August 2018 acquired identity theft services company InfoArmor for $525 million. Allstate’s stated intent is to grow its employee benefits business. According to Tom Wilson, Chairman, President and CEO of Allstate, in 2017 “there were over 16 million victims of identity fraud [in the U.S.], which resulted in over $16 billion of losses.” InfoArmor is a private company with headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona. Its

Employers with operations in the U.S. should not underestimate current difficulties in hiring workers. Gad Levanon, chief economist for North America at The Conference Board, in August 2018 commented on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Report. “The [U.S.] labor market is tightening with the unemployment rate declining by 0.1 percentage points and the broader U-6 measure dropping by 0.3 percentage points.” The U.S. unemployment rate fell

Conduent, itself a 2017 Xerox spinoff, in May 2018 announced and in August 2018 completed the spin-off of its consulting business formerly known as Buck Consultants. Private equity investment firm H.I.G. Capital acquired Conduent’s human resources consulting and outsourcing businesses in the U.K. and in Canada as well as its U.S. human resources consulting and actuarial business, forming again what once was actuarial firm Buck Consultants. The new-old firm

Aegon in August 2018 sold the last block of its life reinsurance business to French reinsurer Scor Global Life. Aegon’s U.S. subsidiary Transamerica will reinsure an additional USD 700 million of liabilities through Scor Global Life. In December 2017, Aegon had agreed to divest USD 750 million of life reinsurance liabilities to Scor. It also dissolved a related captive insurance company. Technically, Aegon’s Transamerica life subsidiaries reinsured about half

Risk Strategies, a privately held U.S. brokerage and risk management firm, in July 2018 acquired Oxford Risk Management Group, a Sparks, Maryland-based provider of alternative risk and captive insurance and consulting. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Established in 2010, Oxford Risk Management Group specializes in conducting captive feasibility analysis, coordination and management of turn-key captive insurance company arrangements, both domestically and internationally. The company is led by

Global broker Gallagher in July 2018 announced the acquisitions of three firms: Chicago-based Reassurance Holdings, including its subsidiaries Coverdell and Carefree Marketing. Founded in 1963, Coverdell is a licensed insurance broker, discount medical plan organization and third-party administrator, providing direct marketing of insurance and membership programs to many of the largest financial services institutions in the U.S. and Canada. Vince Di Benedetto and his associates will continue to work

Next Insurance in July 2018 raised $83 million in new financing, money it said will fuel its continued U.S. expansion as a full-service digital insurance carrier focused on the small business market. A California-based startup, Next Insurance debuted in 2016 as a digital insurance agency for small to midsize businesses. The new financing will allow Next to add more lines of insurance. The firm changed its agency status in

MassMutual’s international insurance holding company MassMutual International and Nippon Life, Japan’s leading life insurer, have announced the completion of the sale of 85.1 percent of MassMutual Japan, its Japanese life insurance and wealth management subsidiary, to Nippon Life. The transaction was first announced in March 2018. MassMutual International will retain 15 percent of the company and receive approximately JPY 104.2 billion (about USD 955 million) in cash. MassMutual Japan

Health insurance start-up Oscar Health in June 2018 announced it would sell Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) health insurance policies in six new markets as of 2019, adding three U.S. states – Florida, Arizona, and Michigan as well as three large metropolitan areas in Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas. Oscar offers individual products as well as a small group health plan targeted at small businesses of up to 100 employees, “Oscar

CVS Health and Aetna in June 2018 announced their post-merger leadership team. Aetna President Karen Lynch will stay on as executive vice president of CVS and president of the Aetna business unit. Richard di Benedetto will continue in his current role as president of Aetna International. Shawn Guertin, Aetna’s CFO and chief enterprise risk officer, will become executive vice president and CFO of CVS. Fran Soistman, executive vice president

Gallagher in May 2018 announced several acquisitions in the United States and England to bolster its retail property/casualty brokerage operations and employee benefits consulting services. Simi Valley, California-based Thomas Costello Insurance Agency is a retail property/casualty broker, and employee benefits consultant and broker, offering commercial and personal coverages to clients primarily across Southern California. Tom Costello and his associates will continue to operate from their current location under the direction of Scott

AXA in May 2018 completed the initial public offering (IPO) of its U.S. individual life insurance unit, formerly known as The Equitable Life Assurance Society of America and based in New York, NY. Total proceeds are estimated at $4 billion. AXA had demutualized and recapitalized the failed U.S. mutual life insurance company, The Equitable, to the tune of $1 billion in July 1991. Back then, the company had $5.9

ECA Italy in June and July 2018 organizes three training sessions for HR professionals, covering tax, benefits, employment law and immigration. The destinations addressed are Asia, the U.S., and the Balkans. The Asia session (China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam) is scheduled on 6 June 2018 from 09:30 to 17:00 U.S.A. session: June 20, 2018 from 09:30 to 13:30 Balkans session (Romania, Serbia, Bosnia, and Montenegro) – 4 July 2018

U.S. surgeon general Jerome Adams in April 2018 urged employers to help in fighting the opioid epidemic. He was speaking at a conference sponsored by the National Business Group on Health (NBGH), an association of large employers. Adams estimates that 2.1 million people in the U.S. are struggling with an opioid-use condition. While these drugs can be helpful for a short time, they pose serious addiction risks. Common opioids include

Global mobility management company Topia (formerly MOVE Guides and Polaris Global Mobility) in April 2018 announced it has hired Adam Sold as Senior Vice President of Field Operations. Sold will report directly to Topia founder and CEO Brynne Kennedy. He joins Topia from FinancialForce, where he led worldwide field operations and has over 25 years of experience in the field, having held senior positions in operations management, sales, customer

MOVE Guides and Polaris Global Mobility in April 2018 announced that they have come together under a new name and identity–Topia. Over the past six years, MOVE Guide’s Global Mobility Management (GMM) software suite has grown to include all parts of global mobility in a single solution. In the end, relocation comprised only one part of their offering and the name MOVE Guides no longer made sense to many

U.S. human capital data analytics company PredictiveHR (PHR), in March 2018 announced an alliance with TrenData, a developer of A.I.-driven people analytics software. This alliance includes a technology license agreement, an infusion of operating capital and a collaborative go-to-market strategy, and comes on the heels of a number of key client wins by PHR in 2017 extending into 2018. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, PredictiveHR provides Human Resources and C-Level

Ascensus, a U.S. third-party administrator (TPA) of savings products, in March 2018 entered into an agreement to acquire Chard Snyder, which will serve as the anchor business for Ascensus’ newly formed Health division. Chard Snyder is a TPA that services consumer-directed health (CDH) plans including health savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements, and flexible spending accounts. It also offers benefit continuation services like COBRA and FMLA leave administration along with

MOVE Guides, a worldwide workforce mobility management company, in March 2018 announced the hiring of Susan Repo as its Chief Financial Officer. Reporting to CEO and founder Brynne Kennedy, Repo will lead MOVE Guides’ global finance, legal, business and sales operations. With Repo’s appointment to CFO, MOVE Guides achieves gender parity across its executive team and continues its commitment to promoting diversity in leadership. Repo comes to MOVE Guides

U.S. health insurance start-up Oscar Health in March 2018 raised $165 million in a funding round led by Founders Fund to finance its expansion plans in four to five cities a year. This funding round was led by Brian Singerman and Founders Fund and includes 8VC, Verily Life Sciences, Fidelity, General Catalyst, Capital G, Khosla Ventures, Thrive Capital, and others. Oscar Health claims it has generated an underwriting profit

Tax partner Michael Bussa has been named the national leader, U.S., for the Global Reward Services (GRS) practice of audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG. Bussa has more than 30 years’ experience advising organizations on the structuring, implementation, and tax and regulatory compliance of their global reward programs to his new position. According to him, “Globalization, technological advances, regulatory changes, the future of retirement, the shifting landscape of health