published Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Unum UK gets new manager

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    The Unum headquarters in downtown Chattanooga.
    Photo by John Rawlston.
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Unum will shake up management at its faltering United Kingdom division, the company announced Monday.

The Chattanooga-based insurer recalled Unum UK CEO Jack McGarry to the U.S., where he will now oversee the company's closed block of business. McGarry had been CEO of Unum UK since July 2010.

Tom Watjen, president and CEO of Unum Group, in August said that Unum UK had fallen "below expectations," and was experiencing "weakness," as operating income in the division fell 46 percent to $30 million.

"These leadership changes affect two very important areas of our company," said Tom Watjen, president and CEO of Unum Group. "Our closed block now represents over 25 percent of our capital, and I'm confident that Jack's significant financial and operational expertise will help us improve the performance of this business."

The closed block represents insurance products that Unum no longer actively sells and markets, but must still manage due to the large number of customers still enrolled in the plans.

According to a news release, Unum's closed block includes individual disability policies issued prior to the mid-1990s and all of the company's long-term care business. Unum discontinued writing individual long-term care policies in 2009, and stopped selling new group long-term care policies earlier this year.

The segment has assets of more than $32 billion, according to the release.

Peter O'Donnell, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Unum UK, will succeed McGarry as president and CEO in the United Kingdom. His deputy, Stephen Harry, will move up as CFO.

"Peter has been a tremendous addition to our leadership team, with a proven track record of success both at Unum UK and within the financial services industry," said Watjen. "I'm confident he will be able to help us capitalize on our unique position in the U.K. market."

Contact staff writer Ellis Smith at or 423-757-6315.

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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