Struggling Conseco hires new CEO
Insurance holding company Conseco announced the appointment of a new chief executive, according to The Indianapolis Star
The Carmel, Ind.-based Conseco named C. James Prieur to lead the insurer after the departure of William S. Kirsch, who resigned in May after a worse-than-expected earnings release. Prieur will take over on Sept. 7.
Prieur currently serves as chief operating officer for Toronto-based Sun Life Financial, Canada's second-largest insurance company. He has worked in Hong Kong for the last year, helping lead Sun Life's Asian operations. Prieur's worked for Sun Life since 1979.
James E. Hohmann had served as interim CEO since May. He will become Conseco's president and chief operating officer.
Conseco, Inc is the holding company for a group of insurance companies operating throughout the United States that develop, market and administer supplemental health insurance, annuity, individual life insurance and other insurance products.
Kirsch only lasted 21 months at the helm of Conseco
. The first-quarter profit came in 21 percent lower than the year-ago quarter – and well below expectations.
Earlier in the week, Conseco reported the company had swung to a second-quarter loss of $22 million. It lowered its profit forecast for the full year. Revenue declined from $1.09 billion last year to $1.08 billion in the second-quarter of 2006.
The company sells its products through three distribution channels: career agents, professional independent producers (some of whom sell one or more of its product lines) and direct marketing.
Conseco is spending more marketing money in two of those segments – Conseco Insurance Group (independent distribution) and Colonial Penn (direct distribution). The company reported “revitalized marketing efforts” led to $23.6 million in sales at Conseco Insurance Group. And at Colonial Penn, sales increased to $9.1 million amid an investment in marketing efforts.
The company owns several other brands including: Bankers Life and Casualty Company, Bankers National Life Insurance Company, Conseco Annuity Assurance Company, Conseco Health Insurance Company, Conseco Life Insurance Company, Conseco Life Insurance Company of New York, Conseco Senior Health Insurance Company and Washington National Insurance Company.
According to The List
database, Conseco doesn’t have an agency of record. The company spent $34.4 million on marketing in 2004, according to Nielsen Media Research.
With the new CEO coming on board, this should be a good time to approach the company. Especially if you're a direct marketing powerhouse. Conseco markets a lot of different products, so the best way may be to approach the company with a specific idea on how to support and invigorate their agents to sell more of their policies. Providing their agents with the tools they need to sell the products can range from interactive, direct and PR. We’d start with the brand Colonial Penn
, since they’re clearly spending marketing money in that direct-sales segment. This could be a good prospect for an interactive agency. The Conseco Insurance Group (where the company also reported increased marketing) represents several of the company’s brands that are sold by independent agents, so we’d target Conseco’s marketing executives for opportunities in that arena.
11815 North Pennsylvania Street
Carmel, IN 46032
Senior Vice President of Marketing Communications
Gail Van Dalen
Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing Support
Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company
399 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19181
Vice President of Marketing
Vice President of Advertising