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Murdoch protegee Brooks cleared of all hacking charges in U.K. trial

Published June 24, 2014 - 10:36am CST

(Reuters) — Rebekah Brooks, the former boss of Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper arm, was acquitted on Tuesday of orchestrating a campaign to hack into phones and bribe officials in the hunt for exclusive news.

IN FOCUS Video: 2014 Benefit Manager of the Year

Published June 24, 2014 - 10:03am CST

In our latest video report, we talk to Business Insurance's 2014 Benefit Manager of the Year, Dianne L. Howard, about how she has successfully controlled health care costs for the School District of Palm Beach County in South Florida.

OFF BEAT: Even superheroes need car insurance in the U.K.

Published June 24, 2014 - 9:10am CST

You can be faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and leap tall buildings with a single bound — but if you are driving without insurance you will not be able to outsmart the U.K. Central Motorway Policing Group.

Mark Walls returns to Safety National as communications, strategy VP

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published June 23, 2014 - 12:52pm CST

Mark Walls has returned to Safety National Casualty Corp., as vice president of communications and strategic analysis, the St. Louis-based insurance provider announced Monday.

Ann Longmore to join Marsh's FINPRO as multinational leader

By: Bill Kenealy

Published June 23, 2014 - 11:26am CST

Marsh Inc. said on Monday that directors' and officers' insurance expert Ann Longmore will join Marsh's FINPRO Practice in New York as its new multinational practice leader effective July 7.

Willis appoints Alistair Lester CEO of Faber Global

By: Sarah Veysey

Published June 23, 2014 - 9:39am CST

Willis Group Holdings P.L.C. has appointed Alistair Lester as CEO of its facultative and wholesale reinsurance arm, Faber Global, Willis announced Monday.

Next AIG CEO Peter Hancock needs to boost profitability

By: Mark A. Hofmann

Published June 22, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Peter Hancock will face profitability and other challenges when he becomes CEO of AIG. in September, but will benefit from Robert Benmosche's turnaround efforts following the insurer's near-collapse six years ago.

Hartford and Travelers announce executive changes

By: Mark A. Hofmann

Published June 22, 2014 - 6:00am CST

One day before American International Group Inc. named Peter Hancock to be its next CEO, Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. said that Liam McGee, who is credited with turning around the insurer, would step down as president and CEO effective July 1, but will remain as executive chairman until next year.

Nomination deadline for Business Insurance 40 Under 40 Broker Awards extended

Published June 22, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Don't miss the opportunity to nominate an outstanding young broker for the 2014 Business Insurance 40 Under 40 Broker Awards. The nomination deadline has been extended to July 1.

Dianne L. Howard credits eye-opening experiences for success as benefits manager

By: Jerry Geisel

Published June 22, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Dianne L. Howard's success in employee benefits has been shaped by what she describes as eye-opening experiences early in her career.

Panel of judges selected 2014 benefits management honorees

Published June 22, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Business Insurance created the Benefit Manager of the Year® award in 2005 to recognize excellence and innovation in employee benefits management. In 2010, the Benefit Management Honor Roll® was added to honor other outstanding benefits professionals. Honorees are selected by a panel of independent judges that includes the previous year's winner and benefits experts. Judges for the 2014...

Wellness Champions program engages School District of Palm Beach County employees

By: Jerry Geisel

Published June 22, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Giving employees a financial incentive — a $600-a-year discount on the premiums they pay for their health care coverage — is one key way the School District of Palm Beach County encourages employees to take steps to spot medical conditions before they develop into expensive medical complications.

School district boosts wellness program participation with financial incentives

By: Jerry Geisel

Published June 22, 2014 - 6:00am CST

What can an employer do to get employees to have regular medical checkups and tests to spot problems before they mushroom into very-expensive-to-treat complications?

Self-funding health care program cuts costs for Palm Beach County school district

By: Jerry Geisel

Published June 22, 2014 - 6:00am CST

While prevention and detection through a sweeping wellness program are at the core of the School District of Palm Beach County's efforts to keep health care costs under control, a variety of other actions also has been pivotal, says Dianne L. Howard, the West Palm Beach, Florida-based school district's director of risk and benefits management.

UP CLOSE: Greg Martens

Published June 22, 2014 - 6:00am CST

CHICAGO-BASED EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND HUMAN CAPITAL PRACTICE LEADER, MIDWEST REGION

Dianne L. Howard named 2014 Benefit Manager of the Year®

By: Jerry Geisel

Published June 22, 2014 - 6:00am CST

When it comes to their group health care plans, virtually all employers have one thing in common: Costs keep going up. For the past several years, costs on average have risen between 5% and 6% a year, and projections for 2014 fall within that range.

Q&A: Dane Douetil, Minova Insurance Holdings Ltd.

By: Sarah Veysey

Published June 22, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Since last September, Dane Douetil has been group CEO of Minova Insurance Holdings Ltd., which this month changed its name from BMS Associates Ltd. Minova owns a brokerage business, BMS Group Ltd., and an underwriting business, Pioneer Underwriting Ltd. He was CEO of Brit Insurance Holdings P.L.C. from 2005 until 2011. He was selected a commander of the British Empire in 2007 for his services to...

School District of Palm Beach County bucks trend and sticks with HMOs

By: Jerry Geisel

Published June 22, 2014 - 6:00am CST

One of the biggest health care benefits plan design trends of the past few years has been the decline of employers offering health maintenance organizations to their employees. With that has come the growth of preferred provider organizations and lately consumer-driven health care plans linked to health savings accounts.

Zurich North America earns accolades for its grassroots wellness program

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published June 22, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Zurich North America has been named one of the nation's Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles by the National Business Group on Health two years in a row for its grassroots wellness efforts.

Zurich’s head of benefits Sarah Staggs considers big picture and small details

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published June 22, 2014 - 6:00am CST

While Sarah Staggs, head of benefits at Zurich North America, can explain the “big picture” impact of benefit costs on the insurer's bottom line, she has the ability to also get “granular” when it comes to explaining minute details to her team members and other employees.

Zurich uses pension de-risking strategy to cut costs and maintain benefits

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published June 22, 2014 - 6:00am CST

A pension de-risking strategy that included offering a temporary lump-sum payment window in 2012 to a select group of terminated vested participants resulted in a significant one-time reduction in pension expenses and an ongoing reduction in administrative costs for Zurich North America.

Zurich’s Sarah Staggs named to 2014 Benefit Management Honor Roll®

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published June 22, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Using a strategic yet humanitarian approach to addressing benefits challenges, Sarah Staggs, head of benefits for Zurich North America, has slowed the rate of health care spending at the property/casualty insurer from an annual rate of 20% at the beginning of the decade to just 4% in each of the past four years.

Zurich’s multimedia benefits communications keeps employees engaged

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published June 22, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Zurich North America's benefits communications are carefully crafted, using multiple mediums to appeal to all employees.

Zurich’s head of benefits lowers costs by implementing consumer-driven plans

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published June 22, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Sarah Staggs, head of benefits at Zurich North America, implemented a multiyear consumer-driven strategy to put the brakes on the insurer's health care spending, which had been careening out of control with annual increases of more than 20%.

401(k) auto-enrollment, transparent fees boost employee retirement savings

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published June 22, 2014 - 6:00am CST

By unbundling 401(k) administration fees to make them more transparent and reallocating them more equitably among plan participants, Zurich North America was able to transition to the lowest-cost mutual fund classes available, ensuring employees maximize their retirement investment returns.

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