Allstate growing in Ohio
Allstate is kicking off 2013 with plans to add 136 jobs in Ohio, including 48 in the Columbus area.
The insurer said it plans to appoint 12 new insurance-agency owners in Columbus and hire 36 licensed sales representatives for new and existing agencies in the region. The remaining jobs will be throughout Ohio, specifically in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton and Akron, the company said.
“We’re seeing opportunity to gain market share in every market,” said Kevin Clickett, strategic deployment leader for the insurer’s north-central region. “We always need a good pipeline of people.”
Ohio has more than 300 Allstate agents, he said. Each agent typically has one to seven support-staff members.
Clickett said the opportunity to own an agency has appeal to many in the insurance industry who want to own their own business. Agency owners are independent contractors of Allstate.
New agency owners will need a minimum of $50,000 to invest in their agency, an amount the insurer says can be used to successfully fund the normal day-to-day costs associated with starting and running a business.
Clickett said the agencies will offer insurance and financial products, including life insurance, annuities and mutual funds.
Allstate, which has operations in Hudson, already is one of the biggest insurers in a state where there is stiff competition.
Allstate was No. 3 in total auto-insurance premiums in the state in 2011 with 9.9 percent of the market and No. 2 in homeowners’ insurance premiums, according to state figures. State Farm is tops in both categories.
Clickett said the industry tends to be recession-proof because all drivers need insurance and mortgage companies require homeowners to carry insurance.
The new jobs that Allstate is bringing to Ohio reflect an industry that will need insurance professionals in the years to come, said Mary Bonelli, spokeswoman for the Ohio Insurance Institute.
About half of the state’s insurance work force is expected to turn over by 2025 as baby boomers retire, opening up opportunities for young professionals or those looking for a career change, she said.
Information about the Allstate opportunities can be found on its website, www.allstateagent.com.
GE Lighting leader quits
The president and CEO of GE Lighting Europe, Middle East and Africa is leaving the company to pursue a position elsewhere.
GE Lighting, based in East Cleveland, said Agostino Renna will succeed Phil Marshall, effective immediately. The 42-year-old Marshall had served in the posts since 2008.
Renna will report to GE Lighting President and CEO Maryrose Sylvester. Renna, 39, most recently served as vice president of growth and market strategy for GE-Canada.
SIFCO has finance chief
Cleveland-based SIFCO Industries Inc. (NYSE: SIF) named Catherine “Kate” Kramer as Chief Financial Officer, effective Jan. 1, replacing Frank Cappello. Kramer was previously director of financial planning and analysis.
— Staff and wire reports