By Cyril Tuohy
Security Benefit Life, which earlier this year announced record sales of fixed annuities, has hired three veteran executives to its registered investment advisor and broker-dealer sales distribution force.
The new hires will help Security Benefit further expand its market share, said Mike Reidy, national sales manager.
“With their combined experience, robust relationships and results-oriented mindset, we expect that our positive sales trajectory will continue moving forward and we’re excited to welcome them to our team,” Reidy said in a statement.
Matt Ahrens, a six-year veteran of the company, was promoted to regional director of the midwest region, the company said. He is based in Streamwood, Ill.
In addition, Security Benefit announced the appointment of Jonathan Poulis to regional director for the Southern Florida region. Poulis is a sales and management veteran of ING Financial, MassMutual, Prudential and Jefferson National. He lives in Wellington, Fla.
The third hire, Jake Willis, most recently with MetLife, has been appointed regional director of the western region, the company also announced.
Kevin Kleitz, a former executive at Citigroup and Morgan Stanley with more than 20 years of experience providing investment management solutions to registered investment advisors, private wealth managers and plan sponsors, was also appointed to regional director for upstate New York, Pennsylvania and northeast Ohio, the company said.
In the first quarter, Security Benefit Life sold $1.1 billion in total fixed annuities, second only to Allianz Life, according to Beacon Research. In addition, Security Benefit Life had two of the quarter’s five top-selling fixed annuities, Beacon.
Much of the gains were due to strong sales through the bank and broker-dealer channels, and the four new hires will further strengthen that channel.
Rising interest rates have also improved the yield on fixed annuities, making them a more attractive investment for retirees.
Security Benefit is experiencing a rebirth of sorts as the company overcomes the financial difficulties it faced in the wake of the financial crisis. Following ratings downgrades, the private equity company Guggenheim Partners in 2010 bought Security Benefit Life’s parent Security Benefit Corp. in a $400 million deal.
Guggenheim said it would help restore Security Benefit to a leading position in the marketplace. The insurer has been in business since 1892.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. He can be reached at Cyril.Tuohy@innfeedback.com.
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