NEW YORK, Aug. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Assurant, Inc. (NYSE: AIZ), a premier provider of specialty insurance and insurance-related products and services, announces the appointment of Melissa Kivett, who previously led investor relations, to the position of senior vice president, business development and strategy, and Francesca Luthi as the company's new senior vice president, investor relations, effective immediately. "Driving long-term, profitable growth is a key priority for Assurant," said Robert B. Pollock, president and CEO, Assurant, Inc. "Melissa's broad range of experience leading investor relations equips her to offer a deep understanding of Assurant's businesses, strategy and critical insight into how investors value our company and peers to this new position. Francesca brings a broad array of investor relations expertise to Assurant honed in multiple industries, both in the U.S. and Europe. We congratulate Melissa on her new role and welcome Francesca to our executive team." In her new role, Kivett will report to Alan B. Colberg, executive vice president, marketing and business development. In this role, Kivett will lead efforts to identify and pursue new business and strategic opportunities for profitable growth. During Kivett's 19-year career at Assurant, she developed the company's investor relations department and managed investor communications for the company's initial public offering in 2004. For the past four years, Kivett also managed the company's strategic planning process. She holds an MBA from Columbia University and graduated from the University of Massachusetts. Luthi will report to Michael J. Peninger, executive vice president and chief financial officer, and joins the company from Accretive Health where she served as senior vice president, corporate communications and investor relations since 2011. Previously, she held leadership posts in investor relations and communications at Bearingpoint and Accenture. Earlier in her career she launched the investor relations function for Omnicom Group and was a financial analyst with Morgan Stanley. Luthi is a graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. For more information on Assurant, please visit www.assurant.com and follow us on Twitter (@AssurantNews). About Assurant Assurant is a premier provider of specialized insurance products and related services in North America and select worldwide markets. The four key businesses -- Assurant Solutions, Assurant Specialty Property, Assurant Health and Assurant Employee Benefits -- partner with clients who are leaders in their industries and build leadership positions in a number of specialty insurance market segments. Assurant provides debt protection administration; credit-related insurance; warranties and service contracts; pre-funded funeral insurance; solar project insurance; lender-placed homeowners insurance; manufactured housing homeowners insurance; individual health and small employer group health insurance; group dental insurance; group disability insurance; and group life insurance. Assurant, a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AIZ. Assurant has approximately $27 billion in assets and $8 billion in annual revenue. Assurant has approximately 14,000 employees worldwide and is headquartered in New York's financial district. www.assurant.com.