Aetna Names Heads of International, Government Businesses

Aetna Inc. (AET), the third-largest health insurer by market value, appointed new heads to oversee its expanding government and international businesses.

Francis S. Soistman will take over Aetna Government Services after running the insurer’s Medicare business, the Hartford, Connecticut-based company said in a statement today. Richard di Benedetto will take over the international division after serving as chief executive officer of Euromedic International, a provider of diagnostic services, laboratories and cancer treatment, Aetna said.

Soistman, 56, helped oversee the Medicare areas obtained through Aetna’s acquisition of Coventry Health Care Inc. earlier this year, as well as the company’s 2014 bids under the U.S.- backed program for the elderly, Aetna said. Di Benedetto, 51, spent 15 years with the health-care unit of General Electric Co. prior to joining Euromedic.

“The government and international marketplaces represent significant long-term growth opportunities for Aetna and we are pleased to add two strong leaders to these growing businesses,” Aetna CEO Mark T. Bertolini said in the statement. “Fran and Richard have a deep understanding of their respective marketplaces and the proven ability to drive sustainable growth.”

Kristi Matus, 45, the previous head of government services, and Sandip Patel, 46, who led the international business, will leave the company, Aetna said.

Aetna shares fell 1.7 percent to $60.53 at the close of trading in New York. The shares have gained 31 percent this year.

The company reaffirmed its full-year earnings forecast of $5.70 to $5.85 a share in a regulatory filing today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Samuel Adams in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at

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