Genworth Financial Inc. (GNW:US), the mortgage guarantor and life insurer, said Chief Investment Officer Ronald Joelson is leaving the company to join Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. in the same role.
Daniel Sheehan was promoted to oversee the $75 billion portfolio at Genworth, the Richmond, Virginia-based insurer said yesterday in a statement.
Joelson, who previously managed investments for Prudential Financial Inc., will oversee a $164 billion general account portfolio for Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual, which is owned by its policyholders. Genworth, a publicly traded company, has posted the second-biggest decline in the 24-company KBW Insurance Index (KIX) in the last 12 months as claims costs from the mortgage-guaranty unit weighed on the firm.
“Ron is a seasoned investment professional,” Skip Poliner, Northwestern Mutual’s president and chief risk officer, said in a separate statement. “His experience as a successful chief investment officer in two global insurance companies brings valuable knowledge and skills.”
Genworth has slipped 51 percent in the last year, compared with an 8.4 percent decline in the KBW index. MGIC Investment Corp., which competes with Genworth selling mortgage insurance sales, has fallen 58 percent.
Northwestern Mutual, which was started in 1857, has the highest credit rating from Moody’s Investors Service. Genworth, which was spun off from General Electric Co. in 2005, has a Baa3 grade, the rating firm’s lowest investment-grade score.
Chief Executive Officer Michael Fraizer hired Joelson in November 2008 from JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s asset-management business. Joelson worked at Prudential from 1984 to 2007, according to a Genworth statement at the time of his hiring.
Sheehan was previously senior vice president of asset management, Genworth said. He graduated from Harvard University and has a master’s in business administration from Babson College in Massachusetts.
Sheehan “has been instrumental in helping to reposition and reduce certain risk exposures in the portfolio,” Fraizer said in Genworth’s statement. “Ron leaves with our investment portfolio in a strong position.”
Joelson graduated in 1980 from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, and has an MBA from Columbia University, according to Northwestern. He starts the new job on June 4, replacing Mark Doll, who will retire June 30 after a 40-year career with the company.
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