By Cyril Tuohy
Forethought Life announced it has promoted David Mullen to head the company’s preneed or final expense business.
Mullen has been with the company for 16 years and was former general counsel of U.S. Financial Life Insurance. He has served as Forethought’s director of corporate development, general counsel and chief administrative officer.
“We are as devoted to the funeral industry today as we were in 1985, when we pioneered life insurance for funeral homes,” Mullen said in a news release.
The company said the promotion was effective immediately.
Final expense insurance covers the costs associated with funeral services, burial and administrative duties completed by funeral directors. Final expense coverage can also cover medical bills. A traditional funeral can easily cost the family of the deceased more than $10,000.
Nick von Moltke, president and chief operating officer of Global Atlantic Life & Annuity, also said in a statement that Mullen would look to expand on the company’s position in the funeral services, a niche “in which we see several exciting opportunities to grow through innovative new products and additional investment in client support.”
Forethought is a subsidiary of the multiline insurance and reinsurance holding company Global Atlantic Financial Group, which operates subsidiaries in New York, Massachusetts, Bermuda and London. Global Atlantic bought Forethought in 2013.
Buyers of preneed insurance are generally lower-income or middle-market retirees who want to avoid the financial burden on top of the grief of losing a family member. Buyers of preneed coverage often are older than buyers for other life insurance products.
In an article published by BestWeek in 2011, Forethought had 1.1 million policyholders, of which 12,000 owned a final expense policy.
In a separate executive announcement, Transamerica Retirement Solutions said it had hired Mark Valentine as vice president of defined benefit sales and business development for the East Coast.
Before joining Transamerica, Valentine was former vice president of retirement plan sales and consultant relations for BB&T’s Retirement and Institutional Services Division.
“In light of all of the activity and changes in the defined benefit institutional market, we are excited to have Mark join the Transamerica defined benefit sales teams,” Jim Kais, senior vice president of defined benefit and special markets, said in a news release.
Kais said Valentine’s more than 20 years of retirement industry experience, familiarity with defined benefit, 401(k) and 403(b) markets, in all company segments, along with his deep relationships with advisors, will help Transamerica Retirement clients manage their pension liabilities.
Over the past two or three years, many large companies have been active in getting out of the defined benefit pension business by transferring the pension liabilities to insurance companies, an activity that entails significant fiduciary risk and careful calculation.
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