Aflac Inc. (AFL:US), the largest seller of supplemental health insurance, said President Paul Amos II will have expanded duties for Japan operations and investments as the company prepares for the eventual departure of his father, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Amos, 61.
Paul Amos, 37, will work with Aflac Japan President Tohru Tonoike and Chief Investment Officer Eric Kirsch and will continue to report to Chief Financial Officer Kriss Cloninger, the Columbus, Georgia-based company said today in a statement. Executive Vice President Kenneth Janke was named president of Aflac U.S., a region that Paul Amos has overseen for more than eight years. The moves are effective July 1.
“These changes will further expand the knowledge base of our management team, ultimately benefiting the future of our company,” Dan Amos said in a presentation to investors today. “This is the time to build out the opportunity for these leaders to enhance their experience in other areas.”
Japan is Aflac’s largest market, and the company has been working to add sales there through banks. In the U.S., Aflac has the chance to benefit from changes in health-care laws, the CEO said. Employers may provide reduced coverage to staff, who will then seek supplemental coverage, he told investors today.
“We have the opportunity to emerge from an evolving health-care market even stronger,” he said. “There is vast opportunities heading our way, but at the same time, success does breed competition.”
Aflac also said today it plans to repurchase $600 million in shares this year, after previously targeting $400 million to $600 million of buybacks. The company said it plans to buy back $600 million to $900 million of stock in 2014.
Janke said Aflac doesn’t have immediate plans to issue debt, and is monitoring markets for an opportunity to refinance notes that mature next year.
Dan Amos said he’s committed to staying at Aflac until he’s at least 70. Cloninger, 65, also plans to remain with Aflac at least until age 70, the company said.
The insurer was founded by three Amos brothers, including the current CEO’s father, in 1955. The company’s rules give additional rights to longer-term investors, including Dan Amos, who controls more than 8 percent of available votes, according to the company’s proxy filing. Vanguard Group Inc., the largest shareholder (AFL:US), had about 3.1 percent of votes, according to the document from March.
The insurer gave Executive Vice President Teresa White the role of chief operating officer for operations in Columbus, Georgia. Aflac is in the final stages of selecting a COO for the Aflac Group division that’s based in Columbia, South Carolina, according to today’s statement.
Aflac fell 0.9 percent to $55.33 at 4:15 p.m. in New York. The company has advanced (AFL:US) 4.2 percent this year, trailing the 16 percent rally of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index as a weakening yen weighs on the insurer’s profits.
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