COLUMBUS, Ga., Dec. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Aflac Incorporated
(NYSE: AFL) today announced the promotion of Takaaki Matsumoto to first senior
vice president; director of marketing and sales for Aflac Japan. In his new
capacity, Matsumoto will have overall responsibility for Aflac Japan's
marketing and sales division, and he will continue to focus on strategic
marketing issues. Previously, Matsumoto was senior vice president; director
of marketing, a position he had held since February 2006. Matsumoto has served
in various marketing and sales positions since joining Aflac Japan in 1975.
Three additional key leadership changes were also announced today, with
each position reporting directly to Matsumoto.
Jun Isonaka was promoted to senior vice president in charge of sales.
Aflac Japan's sales territory directors will report to Isonaka, and he will
oversee the corporate agency and individual/independent sales channels as well
as field training. Isonaka joined Aflac in 1980, has served as one of Aflac
Japan's territory directors, and was most recently responsible for all contact
Shigehiko Akimoto, senior vice president, has been charged with assisting
Matsumoto by overseeing Aflac Japan's product development, marketing strategy,
and advertising. Akimoto joined Aflac in 1985 and served as general manager
of the sales planning department. Most recently, he served as senior vice
president, director of the Tokyo territory.
Hisayuki Shinkai, first senior vice president, and previously the director
of sales, will focus on preparing for the sale of Aflac Japan's products
through banks when that channel opens, which is expected at the end of 2007.
Prior to joining Aflac Japan in 1999, Shinkai worked for Long Term Credit Bank
of Japan, Ltd. He joined Aflac as general manager of the public relations
department and has served in various management capacities. In February 2006,
he was named first senior vice president; director of sales.
Additionally, Aflac Japan today announced an increase in the number of
territory directors, going from seven territory directors to 10. Each
territory director is responsible for managing an average of 10 regional sales
offices, which, in turn, support the training and sales activities of their
associates and agencies.
Commenting on today's announcements, Akitoshi Kan, Aflac Japan president
and chief operating officer, said: "This realignment acknowledges that there
are different aspects to the marketing and sales division, although they share
a common goal -- growing Aflac Japan's new premium sales. Operating in a
challenging market environment, we believe it's most advantageous to spread
the key sales and marketing responsibilities among three capable people who
have extensive experience and talent. At the same time, it's important to have
them report to one individual who has overall responsibility for sales and
marketing and unites their efforts."
Daniel P. Amos, chairman and chief executive officer, added, "Since
Matsumoto-san was promoted to marketing director earlier in the year, he has
demonstrated strong leadership skills and solid insight into the Japanese
market. I believe Matsumoto-san will be well-served by the team he has
assembled. Akimoto-san has extensive marketing and sales experience at Aflac
Japan and a strong understanding of advertising and product development that
will benefit Aflac. In his former position over the Aflac Contact Center,
Isonaka-san significantly increased Aflac Japan's number of outbound calls to
existing customers. These calls not only enhanced our customer service, but
they also generated additional sales. Prior to that, Isonaka-san was one of
our top territory directors. As we prepare for the opportunity to sell through
the bank channel in 2008, Shinkai-san's expertise has proven to be very
valuable in helping us further develop banking relationships. Shinkai-san
began working on bank sales in 2005 and considering the potential size of the
opportunity, we strongly feel the need to dedicate a qualified point person to
develop this important sales channel.
"The realignment of Aflac Japan's marketing division reflects the fact
that we operate in a dynamic industry. Markets change, and we have to make
sure we are flexible enough to adjust along with them. We believe the changes
that we have announced will help us work more effectively with the more than
88,000 licensed sales associates that represent Aflac Japan. And we believe
that increasing the number of territory directors will help us better
implement the new agent training initiative we've previously discussed. As we
position ourselves to address the challenges in the marketplace and grow our
business, we continue to believe that Japan provides a vast market that is
very well-suited to the types of products we sell. In the long run, we
believe the need for our products will continue to grow."
For more than 50 years, Aflac products have given policyholders the
opportunity to direct cash where it is needed most when a life-interrupting
medical event causes financial challenges. Aflac is the number one provider of
guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States and the number one
insurance company in terms of individual insurance policies in force in Japan.
Aflac's insurance products provide protection to more than 40 million people
worldwide. Aflac has been included in Fortune magazine's listing of America's
Most Admired Companies for six consecutive years. In January 2006, Aflac was
included in Fortune magazine's list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in
America for the eighth consecutive year. Aflac was also included in Fortune
magazine's list of the Top 50 Employers for Minorities in August 2005, and in
September 2005, Aflac Japan was named the Life Insurance Company of the Year
at the Asia Insurance Industry Awards, sponsored by the Asia Insurance Review.
Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock
Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com.
The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe
harbor" to encourage companies to provide prospective information, so long as
those informational statements are identified as forward-looking and are
accompanied by meaningful cautionary statements identifying important factors
that could cause actual results to differ materially from those included in
the forward-looking statements. We desire to take advantage of these
provisions. This document contains cautionary statements identifying important
factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those
projected herein, and in any other statements made by company officials in
oral discussions with the financial community and contained in documents filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Forward-looking statements
are not based on historical information and relate to future operations,
strategies, financial results or other developments. Furthermore, forward-
looking information is subject to numerous assumptions, risks, and
uncertainties. In particular, statements containing words such as "expect,"
"anticipate," "believe," "goal," "objective," "may," "should," "estimate,"
"intends," "projects," "will," "assumes," "potential," "target," or similar
words as well as specific projections of future results, generally qualify as
forward-looking. Aflac undertakes no obligation to update such forward-looking
We caution readers that the following factors, in addition to other
factors mentioned from time to time in our reports filed with the SEC, could
cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the
forward-looking statements: legislative and regulatory developments;
assessments for insurance company insolvencies; competitive conditions in the
United States and Japan; new product development and customer response to new
products and new marketing initiatives; ability to attract and retain
qualified sales associates; ability to repatriate profits from Japan; changes
in U.S. and/or Japanese tax laws or accounting requirements; credit and other
risks associated with Aflac's investment activities; significant changes in
investment yield rates; fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates;
deviations in actual experience from pricing and reserving assumptions
including, but not limited to, morbidity, mortality, persistency, expenses,
and investment yields; level and outcome of litigation; downgrades in the
company's credit rating; changes in rating agency policies or practices;
subsidiary's ability to pay dividends to parent company; ineffectiveness of
hedging strategies used to minimize the exposure of our shareholders' equity
to foreign currency translation fluctuations; catastrophic events; and general
economic conditions in the United States and Japan.
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SOURCE Aflac Incorporated