Miss. Bank to Buy 2 Insurance Agencies

First M&F Corp. of Mississippi has received regulatory and shareholder approval to acquire two Starkville, Miss. -based insurance agencies.Reynolds Insurance and Real Estate Agency and Starkville Insurance Inc. will be merged into the insurance unit at Merchant's and Farmers Bank, Kosciusko, Miss. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Sage Life Adds Four to Its Bank Sales Staff

Sage Life Assurance of America Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Sage Group of South Africa, has added four sales people to build its business with banks.Eric L. Baldwin, formerly a regional manager with Compulife, was hired as a vice president and regional account executive. James Isner, formerly of Nationwide Insurance, was appointed a vice president and senior regional account executive.

Douglas Mau, who had been a regional vice president with Bisys Group, was named a vice president and regional account executive. Andrea Pueschel, who had been with Tower Square Securities, was hired as sales desk manager.

Sage, which began building a program to sell insurance through U.S. banks last year, has signed up 10 banks and employs 30 people.


Data Firm Puts Citigroup Exec on Board

Insurance Services Office, a data provider for the property and casualty insurance fields, recently named the head of Citigroup's global insurance industry to its board of directors.Christopher M. Foskett, 42, was named along with David B. Wright, president and chief executive officer of Amdahl Corp., the computer company.

Mr. Foskett joined Citigroup in October. Previously he was head of Salomon Smith Barney's Latin American and Asia merger and acquisition activities. He has also worked for Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Merrill Lynch.


Aetna Unit Taking a Stake in Calif. Firm

Aeltus Investment Management Inc., the investment management subsidiary of Aetna Financial, has agreed to acquire a minority interest in Elijah Asset Management, San Francisco.Aeltus plans for Elijah to advise an undisclosed number of Aetna retirement products, the company said in a statement.

Aeltus has more than $53 billion in assets under management; Elijah manages $1 billion.

The deal is expected to be completed within several weeks. Terms were not disclosed.


Prudential Develops Software to Aid Sales

Prudential Insurance Co. of America has developed an annuities software program that ties marketing, training, asset allocation, and applications into one application.The Newark, N.J.-based insurer will provide the "Annuity Toolbox" to both external and internal agents.

The program includes a plain-English glossary of annuity terms, explanations of how annuities work, a history of Prudential, asset-allocation models, and illustrations of the performance of Prudential products over time.

Built into the package is "investment view," a feature created by Wiesenberger-Thomson Financial, which allows clients to compare Prudential's products to those of other companies. Wiesenberger is a sister company of American Banker's parent.

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