Insurance

Conseco Insurance Group plans sales rebound: Insurer boosts product line, agent recruitmentRestricted Content

March 28, 2005
Tom Murphy
Conseco Insurance Group just closed the book on a disappointing 2004 but its leaders already have a jump on several initiatives to prevent a repeat in 2005. The Conseco Inc. subsidiary launched two new life insurance products earlier this year and is aiming for a 25-percent increase in new business in 2005, according to Brad Corbin, the insurance group's new executive vice president of sales. The insurer also has started burning some phone lines to boost the independent sales force...
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Struggling IndyGo pays big for technology expertise: At $94 an hour, IT director raises some eyebrowsRestricted Content

March 28, 2005
Chris O\'malley
Financially struggling IndyGo is paying a handsome sum to its information technology director, hired to help turn around a city bus system that began 2004 with a $4 million budget deficit. Dale Meyers would earn about $188,000 if he worked 40 hours a week, based on a $94-an-hour employment agreement inked last July. Meyers' pay would dwarf the $120,000 annual salary of Indy-Go CEO Gilbert Holmes. It's also salty compared to others' in his field. The median pay for an...
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National lobbyist meets with gov: Small-business advocate says health care is still the toughest issue for ownersRestricted Content

March 28, 2005
Scott Olson
The National Federation of Independent Business is the nation's largest small-business advocacy group, representing 600,000 members in all 50 states. Its voice in Washington, D.C., is Dan Danner, an Ohio native and Purdue University graduate, who is the organization's lead lobbyist. During a recent visit to the NFIB's Indiana office, Danner sat down with IBJ to address issues critical to the state's smallbusiness owners. IBJ: As chief lobbyist for the NFIB, how do you get the organization's message to federal...
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Legislature revisits multistate insurance compact: Proposed bill awaiting House consideration could cut red tape and improve speed of products to marketRestricted Content

March 21, 2005
Tom Murphy
The Indiana General Assembly is taking another stab at a bill that could make life easier for some insurance sectors by pushing products to market at a faster clip. A proposal that would allow Indiana to join a multistate compact for life insurance, disability, annuity and long-termcare products passed the Senate earlier this legislative session and awaits consideration in the House of Representatives. The bill died there last year. However, new state Insurance Commissioner Jim Atterholt thinks it has a...
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Smoke carries economic toll: Ban backers cite health, productivity costsRestricted Content

March 14, 2005
Chris O\'malley
The annual cost of treating the secondhand-smoke-related illnesses of Marion County residents likely exceeds $16 million, a cost borne partly by businesses that provide their employees health insurance. Businesses also shoulder harder-to-calculate costs in the form of lost productivity and absenteeism, according to a 2002 study for the Marion County Health Department believed to be the best estimate yet of the local impact of cigarettes. But backers of the proposed City-County Council ordinance that would ban smoking in Indianapolis' bars...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Bridging the cultural divide between banks, life insurers Gaps, barriers and challenges Making it workRestricted Content

March 14, 2005
Charles Richardson
In 1999, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act removed barriers to bank and life insurance affiliations and loosened the rules for allowing bank sales of insurance. Many banks and insurers looked at their new partnership as a win-win-win: Banks added a bigger non-interest revenue source; insurers gained a more robust mode of distribution; and consumers gained the conveniences of having more of their financial matters addressed in one place. Five years ago, industry analysts projected big business as a result of this partnership,...
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Local buyout specialist attracts $43 million: Hammond Kennedy Whitney & Co. targets M&ARestricted Content

March 14, 2005
Peter Schnitzler
In 2002, it took Glenn Scolnik and his partners 85 road shows to raise $57 million for their new management buyout fund. They just raised another $43 million with a single presentation. "Our investors agreed we needed more money. It was a very easy fund-raise," said Scolnik, president and CEO of locally based Hammond Kennedy Whitney & Co. "You don't want to crow too much, because it's not over 'til it's over. Until you realize an investment, you only have...
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Anthem, docs still skirmish: Insurer's new pre-approval rules rankle some A rocky marriageRestricted Content

March 14, 2005
Tom Murphy
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield just dumped a load of extra work on the office staff of the average ear, nose and throat specialist, according Dr. Thomas Whiteman. The WellPoint Inc. subsidiary now requires pre-approval for nonemergency, high-tech imaging such as MRI or CAT scans. The insurer started the new policy March 1 to curb overuse. Whiteman said the average otolaryngologist-or ear, nose and throat specialist-schedules as many as eight of these tests a day. If Anthem insures just...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Settlement struck in case pitting Marsh vs. Marsh Guidant's big option grantsRestricted Content

March 14, 2005
Greg Andrews
Don Marsh is fighting enough battles in the bloody grocery business without also slugging it out with his own brother. Perhaps that's why the Marsh Supermarkets Inc. CEO has decided to settle a lawsuit filed in August by C. Alan Marsh, a former vice chairman of the company who charged he was owed some $2 million in benefits stemming from his 1998 resignation. Attorneys for both the Indianapolisbased grocery chain and C. Alan Marsh confirm they've reached an agreement in...
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Unifying Indiana's IT efforts: State's new CTO plans to centralize computingRestricted Content

March 7, 2005
Peter Schnitzler
Indiana's state Web portal, access-Indiana, won at least a dozen awards over the last four years. It was frequently lauded as a model of modern government efficiency-robust, reliable and user-friendly. But, according to new Indiana Chief Technology Officer Karl Browning, the reality was only skin deep. Certainly, accessIndiana is the handsome public face of state information technology. But beneath the surface, there's a tangled mess of unconnected systems, each managed independently by a separate agency. Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican,...
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Indiana Restoration Services Inc.: Disasters send firm into action Restoration helps get homes, businesses back to normal Disasters-natural and otherwise-can strike at any moment. Floods, fires, tornadoes, even backed-up sewers and broken water pipes canRestricted Content

March 7, 2005
Della Pacheco
Disasters-natural and otherwise-can strike at any moment. Floods, fires, tornadoes, even backed-up sewers and broken water pipes can wreak havoc on homes and businesses. Dealing with the aftermath-waterlogged furnishings, mold, structural damage and other devastation-is what Indiana Restoration Services does 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Co-owners Dan Hanlin and Darren Peck didn't start out with a detailed business plan to run a disaster-recovery business with $3 million plus in annual revenue. "We got into the business by...
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Clarian's capabilities keep Combine here: Medical services lure NFL officials, owners back to IndyRestricted Content

February 28, 2005
Anthony Schoettle
When Mayor Bart Peterson announced in December plans to build a new stadium for the Indianapolis Colts, he mentioned as a side note the $600 million facility would help retain the National Football League Scouting Combine. The mayor's pronouncement is no side note to Clarian Health Partners, the hospital system that handles all the athlete medical testing for the four-day Combine, which runs this year through March 1. "We were told by Clarian officials this event adds $1 million to...
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Alliance seeks to grow survey: Employers coalition wants companies to get more information about insurersRestricted Content

February 28, 2005
Tom Murphy
An employer's coalition has launched a plan to expand what Indiana companies know about the health care insurance they buy for their workers. Earlier this month, the Indiana Employers Quality Health Alliance mailed invitations to several insurers asking them to participate in their 2005 eValue8 performance assessment. The concept is nothing new. However, this year, alliance President Dr. Ned Lamkin hopes more insurers respond and their ensuing report reaches a wider audience of employers, right before they choose their health...
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FAMILY BUSINESS: Consider having lawyer audit your business Small doses of advice from all of the professionals you consult with can prevent serious problems in the futureRestricted Content

February 28, 2005
Eric Manterfield
Many family business owners view their lawyer as a necessary evil. It's almost as though we carry some deadly disease; call your lawyer only when the life of your business depends on it! But just as physicians have learned to control smallpox with small doses of vac cine, administered over time, the owners of a family business can also use regular doses of lawyers and other advisers to minimize the risks of the many problems that can put your business...
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Supporters predict passage of waiver bill: Measure would allow uninsured to sign up for health care policies that exclude some pre-existing conditionsRestricted Content

February 28, 2005
Scott Olson
Indiana is one of only a few states in which individuals cannot agree to waive coverage for pre-existing conditions in order to get at least some type of health insurance. That could change this year, however. Dueling bills in front of the Legislature have passed out of the House and Senate and are being considered by the opposite chamber. Rep. Gerald Torr, R-Carmel, authored one of the measures and is confident some form of his legislation will pass. The object...
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Bill keeps mandate debate swirling: Biz community favors stripped-down optionRestricted Content

February 28, 2005
Scott Olson
Small-business owner Gail Piltz, who is paying 31 percent more this year than he did a year ago to insure himself and his four employees, has a somewhat radical philosophy regarding health care insurance. His suggestion: Everyone should be responsible for his or her own health care plan, just like they are with their automobile and homeowner's insurance. That way, he said, people might abuse the system less and make coverage more affordable. Piltz's proposition has failed to gain traction...
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New suitor sees future in Standard: Investor says he'll leave life insurance arm in IndyRestricted Content

February 21, 2005
Tom Murphy
John Franco left Kentucky-based ARM Financial Group Inc. more than a year before it imploded, and he sees Standard Life Insurance as his ticket to re-enter the insurance market. ARM Financial sank a few years ago under the weight of enormous losses, bankruptcy, shareholder lawsuits and insurance downgrades. Franco and others say he had nothing to do with the demise of the company he helped found. "After I left, the company pursued a very different path and the rest is...
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OneAmerica grows bullish on its future: New leadership hopes to sustain steady growthRestricted Content

February 21, 2005
Tom Murphy
OneAmerica Financial Partners Inc. kept busy with a brand change, a record year for retirement services and the arrival of several new leaders in 2004. New President and CEO Dayton Molendorp plans to keep the positive momentum flowing with 34 key projects outlined in the 2005 business plan. But analysts say the Indianapolis company will have to grow in the face of strong competition and a pressing need to keep up with technology. The company formerly known as AUL unveiled...
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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Does good biz mean good guv?Restricted Content

February 21, 2005
CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary Does good biz mean good guv? It's already crystal clear that Gov. Mitch Daniels intends to live up to his promise to shake things up in Indiana government. It's even clearer that he believes the people who will help him succeed in doing so are people who have been successful in business. I'm guessing a large number of IBJ readers are eating this up. For as long as I can remember, businesspeople have complained about government bureaucracy...
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Head of IT firm ensures company primed for growth: She started business to offer customized training but altered her strategy as circumstances changed Strategic decisions "She almost vibrates" Female support

February 14, 2005
Kathy Maeglin
Kathy Carrier's dad was angry when she left a lucrative job at a Fortune 500 company to start her own firm. But four years later, when she won an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, he told his daughter: "Clearly your vision for yourself was greater than the one I had for you." In less than seven years, Carrier, 46, has built her Fort Wayne-based information technology writing and training firm, Briljent LLC, into a business with annual...
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Movie theater ads spark big-screen debate: Appeal of captive audience and demographics push advertising sales to record levels, prompting backlashRestricted Content

February 7, 2005
Anthony Schoettle
Ron Keedy can be found taking tickets, popping popcorn and sweeping floors at Key Cinemas on Indianapolis' south side. There's little Keedy won't do to build customer loyalty at the two-screen cinema he owns. What he won't do is sell advertisements to go along with the first-run, often offbeat films he shows. Keedy thinks movies are art, and there's no place for commercial ads in the art his patrons pay to see. "Maybe I'm a purist," Keedy said. "I feel...
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Cancer plan enters action phase: State health initiative unveils multi-pronged strategy to take on deadly diseaseRestricted Content

January 31, 2005
Scott Olson
But Dr. Greg Wilson, the department's commissioner who stepped down Jan. 25 due to the change in administrations, realizes it's going to take more than money to snuff out unhealthful habits, such as smoking. "Three-hundred-thousand dollars will not cure cancer in Indiana," Wilson said. "We really have to utilize the private sec- tor and we really have to involve all the participants." Those participants include 110 organizations that make up the Indiana Cancer Consortium, an effort initiated in 2001 to...
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Advocacy office leader will keep job with state: Daniels administration retains Kernan appointee, who took new position in JulyRestricted Content

January 31, 2005
Scott Olson
Amid all the resignations and terminations in state government recently, at least one holdover appointed by the previous administration is remaining on the job. And small-business advocates could not be more pleased. David Dorff, whom former Gov. Joe Kernan tabbed in July to lead the state's new Office of Small Business Advocacy, received word from Gov. Mitch Daniels in early January that he would remain on staff. Kernan unveiled the agency last summer as part of a series of initiatives...
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Duke scratches spec itch on far north side: Nine Parkwood doesn't signal new building boomRestricted Content

January 31, 2005
Tammy Lieber
A strong leasing year in the Meridian corridor Class A office submarket led Duke Realty Corp. to break ground on a speculative office building, but local experts don't expect other developers to follow Duke's lead anytime soon. Site work has begun on Nine Parkwood Crossing, the final building in Indianapolis-based Duke's project on 96th Street east of Meridian Street. Completion is set for January 2006. Minnesota-based American Family Insurance will occupy 45,000 square feet of the building, moving its offices...
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WellPoint gets warm welcome on market: Analysts see many reasons for stock's attractivenessRestricted Content

January 31, 2005
Tom Murphy
The new year dawned bright for WellPoint Inc., with the freshly formed company's stock price in the middle of what one analyst called "somewhat extraordinary" growth. Shares for the insurer jumped nearly $8 apiece on Dec. 1 to close at $109.10 the first day they traded under the WellPoint Inc. name. Before that date, the shares traded under Anthem Inc. Steady growth continued from there. The price hit a 52-week high Jan. 19 when it closed at $123.60, according to...
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