UPDATE: Analyst says competitors stand to gain from Ohio National's decision.
Ohio National Financial Services is laying off 300 people and dropping its annuity lines.
The company will exclusively focus on growing its life and disability income insurance product lines going forward, Ohio National said in a Wednesday news release.
The decision follows a "comprehensive strategic review of Ohio National’s businesses, taking into account the continuously changing regulatory landscape, the sustained low interest rate environment, and the increasing cost of doing business, as well as growth opportunities and the company’s competitive strengths," the release said.
“As part of our strategic planning process, we have completed a comprehensive evaluation of our entire business to determine the best path forward to deliver the long-term growth and financial strength necessary to support our policyholders, customers, business partners, associates and the communities in which we operate,” said Ohio National Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary T. “Doc” Huffman, CLU, ChFC. “Based on this evaluation, we will be focusing Ohio National to build on our strengths in life and disability income insurance. We will also continue to grow our Latin American operations.”
The rollout, implementation and execution of the company’s new focused growth strategy will be led by recently elected President and Chief Operating Officer Christopher A. Carlson.
Under the new plan, effective Sept. 15, the company will no longer accept applications for annuities or new retirement plans, while continuing to service and support existing clients in both businesses. As a result of this decision, the company will reduce its workforce by approximately 300 positions.
“We strongly believe this strategy will provide us with greater long-term financial flexibility to invest in product, technology and services that provide value to our policyholders and customers,” Carlson said.
“Making these changes enables us to enhance our unique value proposition as we continue building trusted relationships with our network of financial professionals and offering the highest quality products with the benefits and protection our customers need,” Huffman said.
“This value proposition has allowed Ohio National to grow our life insurance business at rates well above industry averages. Along with our strong growth in disability insurance, we are confident that our long-term prospects are bright.”