Stifel’s Hopson Takes Reinsurance Group Investor Relations Post

Reinsurance Group of America Inc., the reinsurer formerly owned by MetLife Inc., hired Jeff Hopson of Stifel Financial Corp. to head investor relations, replacing John Hayden.

Hopson, 53, will report to Chief Financial Officer Jack Lay, according to a statement today from Chesterfield, Missouri-based RGA. Hayden will take on a “broader role” in the company’s finances after leading investor relations since 2004.

Chief Executive Officer Greig Woodring has told investors he plans to scale back from disability coverage in Australia after higher-than-expected costs in the nation. Hopson, who covered companies including Invesco Ltd. and Legg Mason Inc. as an analyst and managing director at Stifel, will work for the reinsurer in dealing with analysts and investors and in developing financial presentations.

“RGA’s growing global presence and diversification, along with increasing interest in the company by the investing sector, have led to a need to have a senior executive dedicated to overseeing this specific function,” Woodring said in the statement.

The reinsurer has gained 25 percent from Dec. 31 through yesterday in New York trading. The last time it gained that much in a year was 2004.

Stifel has been cutting staff after agreeing last year to buy KBW Inc. and said last month it was closing its Canadian operations. Sarah Anderson, a spokeswoman for the St. Louis-based brokerage, didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

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