Aflac Hires Meyer for Asset-Management Post in Tokyo Office

Aflac Inc., the seller of supplemental health insurance that gets most of its revenue from Japan, hired Joseph F. Meyer to the new position of global chief operating officer in the investments division.

Meyer will join March 12 and work out of the Tokyo office, reporting to Chief Investment Officer Eric Kirsch, the Columbus, Georgia-based insurer said today in a statement. The new manager will oversee support functions, such as technology and compliance, for investment operations.

Chief Executive Officer Dan Amos has reshaped Aflac’s asset-management team after the insurer suffered losses on investments in European banks. Kirsch, previously Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s global head of insurance asset management, joined Aflac last year to oversee its $103 billion portfolio. He and Meyer previously worked together at Deutsche Bank AG.

“Japan’s a critical part of our operation,” Kirsch said in an phone interview today. “Having somebody of his seniority, that I’ve worked with before, sitting there really completes the picture.”

At the end of April, the insurer plans to move into a new 7,000-square-foot office on Wall Street in New York that will eventually hold 25 people, Kirsch said. Aflac said last year that it would be adding staff in the city after Kirsch’s hire.

“New York is a major commitment that we’ve made,” said Kirsch. “You will see a major build-out in terms of more resources” as the company undergoes a review of its investment-management operations, he said.

Meyer was previously the chief administrative officer of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, according to the statement. He also served as chief operating officer and managing director in Deutsche Bank’s insurance asset-management business. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Colby College.

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