Aviva USA, part of Aviva plc, the world's sixth-largest insurance group, today announced the retirement of Mark V. Heitz as president of sales and distribution, naming Michael H. Miller as Aviva USA’s sales and distribution leader. Heitz is retiring from Aviva after 35 years in the life insurance and annuity industry. Heitz has served Aviva USA and its predecessor companies in several executive leadership roles since joining AmVestors Financial Corporation in 1986. When AmerUs Group acquired the company in 1997, Heitz became president and CEO of the annuity division and held that position until 2007. He assumed his current position after the acquisition of AmerUs by Aviva plc. Miller will assume his new duties as executive vice president of sales and distribution immediately, with Heitz continuing in an advisory capacity during the next six months to ensure a seamless transition. Richard C. Cohan, associate general counsel, will replace Miller as executive vice president and general counsel. Both Miller and Cohan will report directly to Chris Littlefield, Aviva USA president and chief executive officer. “We will miss Mark’s unparalleled knowledge of the industry and our products, and we appreciate the long-standing relationships he has developed with our distribution partners, agents and employees,” Littlefield said. “During the past several years, Mark successfully led our sales and distribution team through a very challenging environment. Through his leadership and commitment, Mark has guided Aviva in maintaining and building stronger and deeper connections with our distribution partners and agents, and we are indebted to Mark for his contributions to our growth and success.” In his new position, Miller will oversee the delivery of the company’s life insurance and annuity products, closely working with the company’s Key Distribution Partners and agents who sell Aviva products in all 50 states. Since joining American Investors Life – a predecessor company of Aviva USA – in 1989, Miller has served in a number of senior management positions including chief operating officer of the company’s annuity operations and, in sales, managing director of the company’s owned marketing organizations. In 2010, he led Aviva USA’s insurance operations on an interim basis. Miller has his law degree from Washburn University and his MBA from the University of Chicago.