Thrivent Financial ups efforts to put customers ahead of products

Thrivent Financial has recruited a C-suite level executive to take on the new role of chief commercial officer at the Minneapolis-based organization known for its focus on Christian values and financial services.

Mary Jane Fortin, who is currently wrapping up her role as president of Allstate Financial Businesses, a role in which she oversees Allstate’s life, annuity and benefits lines, is slated to join Thrivent on July 6.

Fortin was not available for comment for this story, but according to Teresa Rasmussen, president and chief executive at Thrivent, the new CCO will be charged with guiding Thrivent toward becoming a more “customer-centric organization.”

Citing Thrivent’s history in life, health and annuity insurance products, Rasmussen said, “We have a tendency to be more product-centric than customer-centric.”

The transition, she explained, will involve “focusing on the needs of customers and problems that need solving,” which leads to a holistic focus on “becoming more of a financial advisory firm.”

Thrivent, which has approximately $150 billion under management and advisement, employs 2,400 fulltime registered representatives in addition to 1,400 professionals licensed to sell Thrivent insurance products.

Thrivent is a fraternal membership organization that requires a commitment to Christian values before purchasing any life, health or annuity products. But the financial planning services are open to anyone.

“We’re still historically in the life insurance business but as we think of meeting holistic financial planning needs, it’s broader than that, and includes banking products, investment products and generosity products because one of our core principles is to inspire generosity,” Rasmussen said. “Our financial representatives do have deep relationships with the customers they serve, and they’ve always been customer-centric. But this is about making sure we’re providing a consistent experience for all of our customers.”

Before joining Allstate, Fortin held leadership positions at AIG’s U.S. life insurance business, and prior to that was responsible for the mutual fund and 529 businesses at The Hartford.

“Now more than ever, we know people have questions about their finances,” Rasmussen said. “We’re here to guide them through these tumultuous times by providing advice, products and resources to help meet their needs.”

Written by Investors Wallets

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