Daniel J. Towriss, former chief actuary, chief risk officer and secretary of Guggenheim Life and Annuity, has been appointed president of newly formed Delaware Life Holdings, the company has announced.

Delaware Life’s former president, David E. Sams Jr., has also been named chief executive officer.

In a news release announcing the Towriss appointment, Sams said Towriss played an “instrumental” role in the acquisition of the life and annuity portfolio from Sun Life. Towriss will bring his “considerable experience” to bear on growing Delaware Life, Sams said.

“Dan was instrumental in the acquisition of the business from Sun Life and has been a key part of our Executive Leadership Team since the launch of the company last August,” Sams said in a news release.

Delaware Life is owned by a private ownership group, and some of the owners are also shareholders of Guggenheim Partners, a private equity concern which has taken ownership stakes in life and annuity companies.

Ken McCullum, executive vice president of business development and in-force management, said that since the company was launched Aug. 2, Delaware Life has “added a couple of hires.” Towriss is the highest-ranking executive to be hired so far.

Asked if the company planned to hire anyone else over the next three to five months, McCullum said there was “nothing imminent.”

Approximately 500 employees joined Delaware Life after the company bought the domestic U.S. annuity business and other life and corporate market insurance business from Sun Life Financial.

Delaware Life, with offices in Waterford, Ireland, and Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, manages about 450,000 policies representing more than $40 billion in in-force business from the purchase of the Sun Life business.

Sun Life’s portfolio was made up of variable annuities, fixed and fixed index annuities, variable life insurance policies and corporate and bank-owned variable life products, Delaware Life said.

Moody’s and A.M. Best & Co. issued investment-grade ratings to the new life insurer. In November, Delaware Life in November launched its first annuity, a fixed, multiyear annuity called Pinnacle MYGA, available only through brokers and advisors.

The retrenchment by large life and annuity carriers in the wake of the Great Recession has created new opportunities for startups like Delaware Life and established carriers like AIG.

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Earlier this week, AIG announced it was revamping its captive life insurance distribution, a move some analysts said was a sign that AIG is ramping up sales of retirement investment products in addition to life products where growth is generally stagnant.

is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected].

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