Top people moves of 2017

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Along with a series of mergers and acquisitions, 2017 saw a wave of promotions, retirements and outright job hopping inside leading brokerages, insurers and other firms that serve the benefits market.

In February, Zenefits hired Jay Fulcher as its newest CEO and chairman. Hailing from online video technology startup Ooyala and Agile Software, Fulcher oversaw the struggling firm’s exit from the brokerage market and repositioning as a benefits technology firm.

Zenefits’s move triggered a new wave of hires, including Jeff Carr as COO and Kevin Marasco as chief marketing officer. Lisa Reeves was named senior vice president of product, following stints as vice president of corporate strategy at Workday and co-founder and CEO of GridCraft, a data analytics company. Zenefits also named Beth Steinberg as its chief people officer. She is a veteran of Facebook, Electronic Arts, Nike and HP.

Other firms that serve the benefits market also named new CEOs:

HUB International promoted Marc Cohen to lead the corner office. He takes over as HUB’s CEO on January 1st and will retain his current title of president. Former CEO Martin P. Hughes will continue to serve as executive chairman of HUB.

Last fall, pharmacy benefits provider RxTE Health promoted president David Henka to the CEO position. Henka will continue to serve as president.

And in March, Nicole Latimer took over as CEO at The StayWell Company, where she had been named president the year before. Latimer succeeds Bill Goldberg, who stepped down after a five-year tenure with StayWell and its former parent company, MediMedia USA.

In other executive moves, last fall Laurel Pickering left as CEO of the Northeast Business Group on Health, where she had worked for nearly 25 years, to assume the role of chief revenue officer at WellDoc, a digital health firm. Candace Sherman was named interim CEO at Northeast Business.

Following an extensive executive search, The Institutional Retirement Income Council named Robert Melia its executive director. Melia spent 23 years at Lincoln Financial Group, most recently as vice president of product development for Retirement Plan Services.

Among the ranks of senior management, in February, Jim McGovern, a former regional sales manager for Cigna, was named senior vice president, employee benefits at OneAmerica after joining in 2012. Chris Power joined Welltok as its new CFO, and in September, benefits veteran Lee Exton stepped down from Mercer to join Venbrook Companies as that firm’s newest managing director.

Mercer was on a virtual hiring tear this year, bringing on new employee benefits sales representatives and managers. The brokerage added many new faces, including a new COO for Mercer Services; a new principal of client management for its Chicago office; a new health practice leader for its Cincinnati office; a health business leader for its Carolinas office, and a partner for its Minnesota office. Mercer also added a health business leader and a senior healthcare consultant at its Detroit office.

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America promoted Jay Rosenblum to chief human resources officer and named him to its Executive Leadership Team. Earlier in his career, Rosenblum served as a law clerk with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

In the ranks of the federal governmental, in late October President Donald Trump nominated Preston Rutledge to be the next Assistant Secretary of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration. Rutledge currently serves as senior tax and benefits counsel for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and if Congress approves his nomination, he will fill the role that was left vacant when Obama-appointee Phyllis Borzi left the position in January.

During the year ahead, if your benefits brokerage or insurance company hires a new professional, please forward a press release and a high-resolution headshot to EBA Executive Editor Phil Albinus.

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Practice management Workforce management Zenefits Mercer Guardian Life Insurance SBA HUB International