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Willis Towers Watson (WTW) in April 2019 announced that Carrie Burns has been named Director, Health and Benefits, and based in Washington D.C. Burns was previously Client Relationship Director at WTW, and based in the Richmond, Virginia, area, as well as a Senior Vice President and Director of Human Operations, Human Capital Practice, in Glen Allen, Virginia. She joined WTW in 2002 as a marketing manager. Previous to joining

Mercer in April 2019 announced the promotion of Alana Rae to Senior Associate, based in Edinburgh. Her areas of expertise include providing consulting advice and managing broking activity on international risk and medical plans. Rae began her career at Mercer as an international benefits analyst based in London and moved up to assistant lead for Mercer’s Centre of Excellence for Mobility Benefits (EuroPac) in London. She relocated to Edinburgh

Whirlpool Corporation in March 2019 appointed Samantha (Samie) Moore. Samie will lead the Benefits Center of Excellence, partnering with the regions to develop a global benefits strategy and adapt a culture of health at a local level. Moore comes to Whirlpool which is based in Benton Harbor, Michigan, from Milliman’s health and welfare benefits consulting practice, where she was a senior health and welfare consultant. She has also been

U.S. benefits broker and service provider OneDigital announced in March, 2019, that Mark Juneau has been named Vice President of Global Benefits. Juneau comes to OneDigital from San Francisco, CA-based Alliant Employee Benefits, where he was a senior vice president. Previous to his four years with Alliant, Juneau was with Mercer as a benefits consultant, principal, and ASEAN Retirement Business Leader. Juneau holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in

HX Global, the Americas division of Healix International, in March 2019 appointed Tim Crockett as senior vice president, U.S. Business Operations. Crockett joined HX Global in 2016 as vice president of security. In that role, he was tasked with designing and providing security and risk management solutions for multinational organizations. Prior to joining HX Global, Crockett worked as senior director of global security operations for media conglomerate Turner. He

InsurTech Oscar Health in February 2019 named Sid Sankaran CFO, reporting to CEO Mario Schlosser. He succeeds Brian West. Sankaran joins from American International Group (AIG) where he was CFO and earlier, chief risk officer. Prior to AIG, he worked for consulting firm Oliver Wyman as a partner in the Finance and Risk practice in Toronto, Canada; and Mercer Risk, Finance & Insurance Consulting and MMC Enterprise Risk. He

Replicating an earlier deal in 2017 between the European Union (E.U.) and the United States (U.S.), the latter in January 2019 signed a “covered agreement” with the United Kingdom (UK) that protects their respective international insurers and reinsurers when doing business with each other. The new covered agreement basically provides for a limited but very useful form of mutual recognition of reinsurance companies and of (re)insurance regulators. The existing

Willis Towers Watson (WTW) in December 2018 announced the appointment of Pam Enright as Senior Director and leader of its Expat Benefits Solutions business. She will report to Francis Coleman, managing director, Global Services and Solutions, and be based in Chicago. Pam has been in the employee benefit industry for over 25 years. Prior to joining WTW, she was a senior vice president and director of global benefits at

Andrew Stocker in December 2018 became Head of Employee Benefits Gulf at MetLife, based in Dubai. He has spent his entire career at MetLife, where he previously was Head of distribution, MetLife Global Employee Benefits and Maxis GBN; Vice President and head of distribution for MetLife Global Employee Benefits; head of Global Relationship Management; and Regional director of Employee Benefit sales, based in Dallas, Texas. He holds a Bachelor

Global brokerage Arthur J. Gallagher (Gallagher) in October 2018 acquired global employee benefits and global mobility firm Richter International Consulting, based in Issaquah, Washington – U.S.A, near Seattle. Richter International designs international benefits programs for multinational companies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and their employees. Offerings include: expatriate health plans, international employee assistance plans (EAP), international medical and security assistance programs, traveler medical insurance, business travel accident insurance, disaster preparedness

Only 10.7 percent of American workers belong to a union today, approximately half as many as in 1983. That’s a level not seen since the 1930s, just before passage of the labor law that was supposed to protect workers’ right to organize.

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