Citigroup Inc. said Wednesday that John A. Addison Jr. and D. Richard Williams have been named co-chief executive officers of Primerica, the company's consumer finance marketing unit.
The two executives retain their current titles: Mr. Addison as president and Mr. Williams as chief operating and financial officer. They will continue to report to Joseph J. Plumeri 2d, chairman of Primerica and the head of Citigroup's North American branch network.
The appointment will allow Mr. Plumeri to dedicate more time to running the retail bank, he said.
"My extreme confidence in their abilities allows me the opportunity to principally focus on my newer role as head of Citibanking," he added.
Observers were not surprised by the announcement. They said Mr. Plumeri has his hands full looking after the retail operations of $690 billion-asset Citigroup.
"One presumes he was pretty busy when he was just running Primerica," said David S. Berry, research director at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. in New York. "Now that he's also been put in charge of retail and electronic banking for Citi, he's really busy."
Primerica, which is based in Atlanta and serves more than 3.5 million households, employs roughly 150,000 agents who peddle debt consolidation loans, life insurance, mutual funds, and other financial planning products and services door-to-door. The unit had been a subsidiary of Travelers Group before that company merged last year with Citicorp to form Citigroup.
Mr. Plumeri said Mr. Williams and Mr. Addison would complement each other as co-chief executives. Mr. Williams focuses on the operational parts of the business, while Mr. Addison oversees all sales and marketing for Primerica, Mr. Plumeri said.
"John and Rick have already worked extremely well together for over a decade and have a great deal of mutual respect," he said.
Mr. Williams, 43, joined American Can Co., a Primerica predecessor company, in 1979. He was named chief financial officer of Primerica in 1988 and added the title of chief operating officer in 1996.
Mr. Addison, 42, joined Primerica as a business systems analyst in 1982. He was named vice president in 1989, executive vice president in 1992, and president of the unit in 1996.