Gerber Life, Raitt Win DMA Council Awards

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Gerber Life Insurance Co. will be honored with the Company of the Year award from the Direct Marketing Association's Financial Services Council. The council also said yesterday it would give its Direct Marketer of the Year award to Eugene Raitt, senior vice president and chief direct marketing officer at AIG Companies Worldwide.


The awards will be presented at the council's 29th Annual Conference, Feb. 28-March 1 at Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.


Gerber Life Insurance was founded in 1967 as an affiliate of Gerber Products, the baby food company. Its flagship offering is the Grow-Up juvenile insurance product. Gerber Life also sells adult term, whole life and guaranteed life insurance products.


Gerber Life has achieved 17 consecutive years of record sales and operating income. It has seen 38 percent growth in sales and 60 percent growth in profit since 2001. In 2004, Gerber Life's direct marketing generated 1 million new customer applications and $30 million in new sales premiums. Gerber Life has $26 billion of life insurance protection in force.


Raitt arrived at AIG in Japan in late 1994. Under his leadership, AIG undertook many new initiatives in Asia, including the pioneering of DRTV; introduction of new products, particularly segmented products for seniors; expansion of print media and sponsored (third-party) relationships; and the introduction of telemarketing.


Raitt has held various DM-related executive positions at AIG and the insurance direct marketing industry in his career and spent the past 10 years with AIG in Asia.


Nominations for the DMA FSC awards are made by members of the FSC. Winners are selected by the council's nominating committee. Nominees need not be members of the DMA or its FSC, but are expected to adhere to the DMA's Code of Ethics.


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