Symetra Life Insurance Company today announced an initiative to significantly expand the company’s presence in the group life insurance marketplace. Symetra also named a new leader to head up the underwriting operations of this emerging business.

A leading provider of medical stop-loss coverage, Symetra plans to leverage its strong relationships with employee benefits brokers to deliver an enhanced suite of group life and disability income insurance products and solutions to mid-sized businesses. Although the company currently offers these products, Symetra intends to drive long-term growth in this product area by expanding in-house underwriting, claims and actuarial expertise, as well as investing in field sales support.

“We see terrific growth potential for group life insurance in the underserved mid-sized employer market,” said Symetra CEO Tom Marra. “This business is a natural extension of the employee benefits products we already offer, and it builds on our individual life insurance capability. With a renewed focus on group life, we want to create an even stronger employee benefits franchise and further diversify our product mix.”

Donald Canfield has joined Symetra as assistant vice president and director of Group Life and Disability Underwriting. In this role, he is responsible for risk assessment and pricing of new and renewal business.

A 25-year industry veteran, Canfield most recently served as a leader in the life and disability underwriting operations of Aetna Life Insurance Company. At Aetna, he directed operational enhancements and training activities resulting in increased sales and underwriting efficiencies. Prior to Aetna, he held underwriting management positions at Integrated Disability Resources, Hartford Insurance Group and CIGNA. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Connecticut and is a fellow of the Life Management Institute.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Don to our team as we ramp up our activity in the group life market,” said Michael Fry, executive vice president of Symetra’s Group Division. “Throughout his career, Don has distinguished himself as a respected leader and effective underwriter. With the expertise and experience he brings to Symetra, our group life growth initiative is starting from a strong position.”

Canfield will be based in Symetra’s South Windsor, Conn., offices, near Hartford, where 60 Symetra employees currently work. The company expects to increase its presence in the Greater Hartford area in connection with this growth initiative. More information about job opportunities in Symetra’s group life operation will be posted soon at

About Symetra

Symetra Life Insurance Company is a subsidiary of Symetra Financial Corporation (NYSE: SYA), a diversified financial services company based in Bellevue, Wash. In business since 1957, Symetra provides employee benefits, annuities and life insurance through a national network of benefit consultants, financial institutions, and independent agents and advisors. For more information, visit

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