Aflac And MetLife History And Background

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Aflac was originally named American family life insurance company of Columbus, Georgia in 1955. It was put together by three brothers John, Paul, and Bill Amos. The company was established as they provided premier guaranteed renewable insurance in the United States and Japan. Aflac has been able to grow their business while expanding their business presence throughout all 50 states, including Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands (Aflac.com). They also insure over 50 million people worldwide as well as insuring 1 out of every 4 Japanese households (Aflac Annual Report for 2009). The company is incorporated as an international holding company which is also part of the Fortune 500 index. The company has been able to provide supplemental insurance products throughout the years as they work to bring value in the products they sell into the market place. Aflac has a wide variety of policies that consumers can choose from. Depending on the person or family needs they can choose a policy that covers accidents, dental work, vision, disability, specified health events, hospital confinement, and hospital intensive care (Aflac.com).

It all didn't start out this great. In 1958 after 3 years the three brothers struggled as they tried to sell insurance door-to-door, but they were not making progress with this technique, so they decided they needed to find a better niche in the market. After their father died of lung cancer and insurance costs were not covered the brothers were able to come up with the niche they were looking for it was supplemental cancer insurance (Money.CNN.com).

In its first year of providing this policy they were able to sell 5810 policies. This policy would cover expenses which were not covered by comprehensive health insurance. In 1959 they were writing $900,000 premiums (fundinguniverse.com).

The company then continued to find creative ways of providing coverage not only to individuals but branched out to cover groups in 1964. By doing this they were able to reach more people as they worked hand-in-hand with companies in order to present their policies to their employees. This worked out very well for Aflac as they were able to reach more people at one time while reducing costs as they were able to work with companies and get payroll deductions for the premiums they would charge. By 1967 this approach was able to bring in premiums of $7 million (referenceforbusiness.com).

In the late 1960s and early 70s the company was able to expand its operations from 11 states to 42 with the help of Chicago Global Life Insurance Company. Aflac was able to show state insurance commissioners that their policies were in circulation and that they had taken care of any claims that have been presented to them as they were working toward being licensed themselves. By presenting this type of credibility American Family Corporation was formed in 1973 and in the following year they were added to the New York Stock Exchange (Aflac.com).

This made the three brothers wealthy individuals while John and Paul wanted to continue after their riches, Bill decided to retire in the later years of the 1970s. John and Paul had decided there were more areas to conquer which gave them the will to continue (Money.CNN.com). John Amos looked at Japan as being its next target area and while visiting a world fair he noticed many people wearing surgical masks which the locals wore in order to prevent colds. This got John very excited as he believed if the people of Japan were that conscience about their health the possibilities were great that he could sell supplemental cancer insurance to them. This Would not be an easy task as Japan did not allow for insurance companies from outside the country to do business there. It took four years before the Japanese government granted them a license (Money.CNN.com). After gaining their license they were able to monopolize the market for many years as they were quite profitable in the industry.

Today the company remains profitable while new leaders continue to build off of the cofounders visions of providing competitive prices, quality products, quality service, value, and providing a rewarding workplace.

Dan Amos the son of Paul the cofounder of the company is now chairman and chief executive officer of Aflac Inc. he started with the company in 1973 as a sales representative. He went to the University of Georgia business school and received his bachelor's degree that emphasized in insurance management and risk management (referenceforbusiness.com). The following are top executives that help run the company.

Paul S Amos II is the president and chief executive officer of Aflac US. He received his bachelor's degree in economics from Duke University and a Masters degree in business administration from Emory University. He also holds a doctrine degree from Tulane University (people.forbes.com).

Kriss Cloninger III is president, chief financial officer; Aflac Inc. holds both a bachelors and Masters Degree from the University of Texas at Austin (people.forbes.com).

Kenneth S. Janke Jr. is executive vice president; deputy chief financial officer. He received his Masters degree from Michigan State and political science and also holds a Master's degree in business administration from Oakland University of economics and management (finance.yahoo.com).

Peter T. Adams is senior vice president, financial reporting. He holds a bachelors degree in business from the University of South Alabama and has been certified public accountant as of 1989 (Aflac.com).

Joey M. Loudermilk is Executive Vice President; General Counsel, Corporate Secretary. He earned a bachelor's degree with honors from Georgia State University and a juris doctorate degree from the University Of Georgia School Of Law (Aflac.com).

John A. Moorefield is Senior Vice President, Strategic Management, and Aflac International (Aflac.com).

James C. Woodall is President and Chief Executive Officer, Communicorp, Inc. he holds a bachelors degree in business administration from Columbia State University (Aflac.com).

Tohru Tonoike is President and Chief Operating Officer, Aflac (Aflac.com).

Andrew J. Conrad is Senior Vice President and Counsel Director of Governmental and Legal Affairs, Aflac International Incorporated. He holds a law degree from Harvard Law School and Masters Degree from the Fletcher school of Law and diplomacy at Tufts University (Aflac.com).

Met life has been around since the Civil War. It started out as the National Life and Limb Insurance Company which only insured servicemen. Throughout its early tenure the company went through various leaders as Simon Draper the company's chief promoter was unable to come up with $100,000 capital to get started. When he stepped down a group of New York City businessmen raised enough capital to get the company up and running. In 1865 the company changed its name to National Life and Travelers insurance.

As the years continued there would be more reorganizational and company name changes as the company found it difficult to keep itself in business. In 1868 a new company was chartered during a time when many other insurance businesses were going out of business. It was then named Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. During this time under the direction of James R. Dow and Joseph F. Knapp they decided to drop casualty insurance from their business model as they wanted to have a single direction for the company (referenceforbusiness.com).

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company saw rapid growth as the Industrial Revolution was growing. Joseph F. Knapp focused his attention to England as they were successful with providing industrial insurance which the US did not bother to introduce (Metlife.com). He felt this was the way to go as he could reach out to more people which would increase his chances of providing more policies for his company. He brought in British agents that knew this industry well and that could train his American counterparts. He believed by doing this he could provide the American a policy that wasn't available to them. He was right by the 1800s the company was writing 700 of these policies a day which generated 9 million in its first year and 18 million in its second year. This helped them become a leader in the industry (referenceforbusiness.com).

As the company moved forward they introduced accident, health, medical, dental, and life insurance. They also invested in real estate and bonds which helped them minimize losses during the Great Depression. They also offered individual variable annuities in 1969 and in 1975 provided individual retirement annuities (referenceforbusiness.com).The growth of the company continued to make progress as they focused their attention toward Hispanic and Asian markets in the United States. Throughout the years they continue to branch off, acquire, and provide new product lines while improving old ones that have helped keep them competitive in the market. Today the company is ran by the vision to build financial freedom for everyone, while providing first rate financial products and services.

The company is run by the following Board of Directors as of November 5, 2010:

Hendrickson C. Roberts who received a B.A from the University of Pennsylvania and a J. D. from Emory University school of Law and is the chairman, president and chief executive officer. Burwell, Sylvia Mathews she received her bachelor's degree from Harvard University. Eduardo Castro-Wright he received a degree of science in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University. Cheryl W, Grise she received a bachelors of arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a law degree from Thomas Jefferson school of Law, and has completed the Yale executive program. R. Glenn Hubbard, he holds a PhD and Masters degree in economics from Harvard University, he also holds bachelor degrees in arts and science from the University of Central Florida. John M. Keane he received a bachelor's degree in accounting Fordham University and a master's degree in philosophy from the Western Kentucky University. Alfred F. Kelly has a Bachelor of Arts and Master degree in business administration from Iona College. James M. Kilts has a Masters degree in business from the University of Chicago. Catherine R. Kinney graduated Magna Cum Laude from Iona College and completed the Advanced Management Program, Harvard Graduate School of Business. Hugh P. price as a degree from Amherst College and received a law degree from Yale law school. David Stature completed his four-year term as the 16th Surgeon General of the United States in February 2002. Kenton J. Sicchitano received a bachelor's degree from Harvard College and a master's degree in business administration from Harvard business school. Lulu C. Wang received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College and a Masters in business administration from Columbia business school. They also have the following executive officers: Gwenn L. Carr, Kathleen A Henkel, C. Robert Henrikson, Steven A. Kandarioan, Nicholas D. Latrenta, Maria R. Morris, William J. Mullaney, William J. Toppeta, and William J. Wheeler.

Aflac and MetLife have had similarities starting out in their business venture. They both had difficulties in the beginning as they both were trying to find their niche in the market. They both looked outside the country in order to boost profits. Aflac looked toward Japan in order to expand its market while MetLife looked to England for direction in order to expand their market in the United States. Both companies compete with each other as they both provide life insurance products to their customers. They both use characters in order to enhance product awareness. Aflac uses a duck while MetLife uses Snoopy characters in their commercials/ads. I'd have to say the duck sticks out more in my mind as I don't think I would know who Aflac was if it wasn't for the duck. I also can't say I've seen many commercials from MetLife and the snoopy characters.

They also have differences between them; Aflac has focused its business toward supplemental insurance while MetLife has provided different products such as car insurance, financial planning, home insurance, and IRAs. We'll have to see how the future unfolds as MetLife continues to ramp up its pressure towards competing for market share in Japan. They have recently purchased Alico (American Life insurance Company) in Japan which has been Aflac's competition in that country. Aflac brings in most of its revenue from this market so time will tell if MetLife can swing some of that their way.

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