A veteran insider and an outsider with years of insurance and banking experience have been appointed to key distribution posts at Bankers Life, parent CNO Financial Group announced.
The executive moves come as Bankers Life undergoes changes to its agency channel. Meanwhile, CNO Financial itself on Jan. 1 came under the leadership of CEO Gary C. Bhojwani, who had been serving as president of CNO Financial since April 2016.
Nathan Richardson, a 26-year veteran of Bankers Life who has held a variety of senior management posts, was appointed to senior vice president of sales and distribution responsible for leading the company’s 4,500 agents and 250 branch offices.
Bankers Life, Colonial Penn Life Insurance and Washington National Insurance, all subsidiaries of CNO Financial, represent different sales channels into the middle market. Bankers Life is moving away from a pure insurance agency model toward an advisory model.
CNO also owns the fixed income advisory 40/86 Advisors.
"Nate has consistently proven himself to be a leader in our organization, with a deep understanding of the middle-income insurance market and a commitment to helping our customers plan for retirement," said Scott L. Goldberg, president of Bankers Life, in a statement.
Brian Wilson, a former vice president of national sales with Northwestern Mutual and banking executive, was appointed vice president of field development in charge of field manager and agent training, support and development, CNO added in a news release.
Wilson, who replaces Peter Wilkins, will bring a “wealth of industry knowledge and valuable insight” to the company, Goldberg said.
Wilkins will retire from Bankers Life on March 1, after 15 years with Chicago-headquartered company.
“We celebrate Peter's many accomplishments over the past 15 years with Bankers Life and throughout his career,” Goldberg said. “We are grateful for his innumerable contributions to the business, and wish him the very best in his retirement.”
CNO is conducting pilot programs to improve agent retention and to steer more veteran advisors into selling a broader suite of products around financial planning.
Since 2009, advisors with more than three years experience have grown at a compound annual rate of 4 percent and the numerical gap between rookies and experienced agents is nearing parity, the company said last year.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Writer Cyril Tuohy has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected]
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