abstract red shape with word News in it News from Brightway Insurance, Prudential Financial,Principal Financial, AARP Foundation, One Digital, PNC FinancialServices, M Financial Group, Purchasing Power, Innovator CapitalManagement, eventcore, Willis Towers Watson, Hub International& more. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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Here's the latest on new hires, promotions, partnerships,M&As, and more, in the retirement and employee benefitsindustry.

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WillisTowers Watson announced it has entered into an agreement withSyndio to create a solution to better enable organizations toaddress issues related to pay equity and fair pay.

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Wellbeatsannounced it has received SOC 2 Type 1 Certification from theAmerican Institute of Certified PublicAccountants, confirming the company is compliantwith industry best practices for its non-financial systems andprocesses that safeguard the security and confidentiality of theWellbeats fitness platform and all related data.

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VoyaFinancial announced that Charlie Nelson, CEO ofRetirement and Employee Benefits at Voya Financial, is beingappointed to the board of directors of the Defined ContributionAlternatives Association (DCALTA), a nonprofit organization thatprovides education about the benefits of including alternativeinvestments within a defined contribution framework.

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The United Claim Solutions Family of Companies announced its newname: Vālenz.The Valenz ecosystem includes Vālenz Care (formerly Inetico);Vālenz Access (formerly NX Health Network); Vālenz Claim (formerlyUnited Claim Solutions); and Vālenz Assurance (formerly ZebuCompliance Solutions).

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Solovis,a multi-asset class portfolio management, analytics and reportingplatform announced it has partnered with UC Investments, the investment officeoverseeing the University of California's $125 billion multi-assetclass investment portfolio, including its endowment, pension,retirement savings plan and working capital. The partnership is theresult of a one-year effort by UC Investments to overhaul itslegacy technology and transition to a holistic and agileplatform.

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Purchasing Power announced that Joseph ("Trey")Loughran has been appointed as the company's CEO. Loughran succeedsRichard Carrano, who has served as a senior executive of thecompany for 18 years and CEO since 2011. Carrano will continue toserve as a member of the board of directors and as an advisor tothe company. Loughran joins from Red Ventures, where he wasPresident of Bankrate.com. He will be based in Atlanta and reportdirectly to the Purchasing Power Board of Directors.

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PrudentialFinancial announced it has completed its acquisition ofAssurance IQ, Inc., "Assurance." Under the terms of theacquisition, announced on September 5, 2019, Assurance becomes awholly owned subsidiary of Prudential.

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PrincipalFinancial Group is partnering with EIS Group to provideindividual disability products on the EIS Group platform. Thepartnership also enables the use of new technology, such asAPI-based capabilities, that will ultimately enablestraight-through underwriting, the company says.

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The PNC FinancialServices Group and MFinancial Group announced an agreement to offer insurancesolutions, advice and service to PNC's Wealth Management andHawthorn, PNC Family Wealth, clients. PNC will implement a newservice model in which insurance strategists will serve as the mainpoint of contact for clients. Similarly, M Financial will create adedicated team who will assist member firms and PNC insurancestrategists in placing business.

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PartnerReLtd. announced that Mario Bonaccorso, Executive Vice Presidentand Chief Financial Officer, will retire on March 31, 2020. He willbe succeeded by Nicolas Burnet on February 3, 2020. The companyalso announced  Andrew Gibbs as Executive Vice Presidentand Chief Operations Officer, effective October 14, 2019. Burnetand Gibbs will be located in the company's headquarters inBermuda.

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OneDigital announced two promotions to its C-suite:Bill Carew, formerly Executive Vice President of Sales andOperations, was promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO), andElizabeth Chrane, formerly Executive Vice President of CorporateCulture and Development, was promoted to Chief People Officer(CPO).

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New YorkLife announced that Eric Feldstein has been named ExecutiveVice President and CFO, reporting to Chairman and CEO Ted Mathas.Feldstein joins from Health Care Service Corporation, where he wasCFO. He replaces Joel Steinberg, who was serving as interim CFOfollowing the retirement of the company's former CFO John Fleurantearlier this year.

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New York Life will have a float in the 93rd Macy's ThanksgivingDay parade. "Toy House of Marvelous Milestones" will feature a goldturret, a tribute to the gold peak at the top of the company's homeoffice, a National Historic Landmark in Manhattan. The companycelebrates 175 years in business in 2020.

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Keenanannounced that Troy Butzlaff has joined its Municipalities Practiceteam as a Consulting Senior Advisor. Butzlaff will represent one ofKeenan's strategic partners, MidAmerica, a Florida-based companythat specializes in delivering health reimbursement and retirementbenefit solutions to the public sector.

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InnovatorCapital Management announced the successful completion of theinitial outcome period for the October Series of Innovator S&P500 Buffer ETFs. The S&P 500 Buffer ETF October Series wasreset on October 1, 2019, based on the current level for theS&P Price Return Index, with new upside caps and downsidebuffers for the next one-year outcome period.

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HubInternational announced that it has acquired the assets of DougJohnson Insurance, LLC. Headquartered in Gainesville, Florida, itis an independent insurance agency providing personal, commercialand employee benefits solutions to clients. CEO/President DougJohnson is a former NFL football player. Johnson and the DougJohnson Insurance team will be joining Hub Florida.

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GreatlandCorporation, the Michigan-based W-2, 1099 and 1095 specialist,announced the acquisition of JAT Software, which provides year-endreporting software, web applications and print services for U.S.and Canadian organizations with high-volume reporting needs.Greatland indicated that all 15 current JAT employees will joinGreatland and continue to be based out of the current New Jerseyoffice. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Event registration and technology provider eventcore announced thehire of April Halm as compliance and data privacy manager. Shepreviously served in compliance at AT&T in Atlanta.

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Creative Planning announced the acquisition ofAmerica'sBest 401k. As the current 3(38) investment fiduciary and RIAfor America's Best 401k, Creative Planning has in-depth knowledgeof the firm's clients. America's Best 401k founder and PresidentTom Zgainer will remain in his current role. Creative Planning hasover 650 employees with clients in all 50 states.

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ConnectYourCare announced a strategic partnership withTouchCare. Thepartnership provides ConnectYourCare clients the option tosupplement their tax-advantaged benefits with dedicated TouchCarepersonal assistance. TouchCare's concierge service—which helpsaddress common scenarios such as bill review and negotiation, carecoordination, and open enrollment support—extends toConnectYourCare's health savings account (HSA), flexible spendingaccount (FSA), and health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) healthcare offerings, as well as the company's commuter and COBRAadministration solutions.

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BrightwayInsurance has been recognized by Florida Trend on its list ofthe 225 Biggest Private Companies based on revenue. Brightway ranks110th on Florida Trend's list this year – up seven spots from itsranking in 2018.

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AmWINS Groupannounced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquireStealth Partner Group, an Arizona-based, independentfull-service general agent specializing in medical stop-lossinsurance. In early 2020, Stealth will combine with Stop LossInsurance Services ("SLIS"), an AmWINS Group company. Operatingunder the Stealth brand and led by Patricia Berridge and HarleyBarnes, the combined firm will be part of AmWINS' Group Benefitsdivision.

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AmericanInternational Group (AIG) announced that John Panagakis hasbeen elected as CEO of First Principles Capital Management, theunit of AIG Investments that serves institutional clients.Panagakis joins FPCM from TIAA Nuveen, where most recently he wasExecutive Vice President, Head of International Advisory Services.He will be based in New York and report to Douglas Dachille,Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of AIG.

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Amalgamated Life Insurance Company announced threeappointments:

  • Erin Linney -  Marketing Director
  • Bruce Van Ryn  -  Sales Executive, VoluntaryWorksite Products (Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, SouthDakota, North Dakota)
  • Howard Gertner – Sales Executive, Voluntary Worksite Products(Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Idaho,Missouri, Arizona)

Alegeusannounced that it will be using the month of October to educateconsumers on the value of HSAs, in addition to joining the industryin support of National HSA Awareness Day on October 15. Italso launched an educational consumer website, www.wealthcare.com,which offers resources including a savings calculator, a quiz tohelp consumers find the best plans for them, and videos on how tochoose the best plans.

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AARP Foundation launched MySavingsJar, anonline resource developed to help older adults and their familiestake small, achievable steps to save money. The free program offerssocial support, resources and expert coaching to help people saveand achieve more control over their expenses.

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C.J. Marwitz

C.J. Marwitz is a writer and editor.