Horace Mann Educators Corporation has named Bret Benham to the position of Executive Vice President, Life and Retirement. Benham has more than 30 years of experience in the insurance and financial services industries, most recently as Senior Vice President, Retirement at Ameritas, a position he has held since August 2013. Prior to that, he held executive positions at TIAA-CREF and Fidelity Investments. He has served on multiple industry boards, including the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), Insurance Information Institute and Retirement Income Industry Association. Benham holds an undergraduate degree and MBA from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

“I am excited to welcome Bret to the organization,” said Marita Zuraitis, president and CEO of Horace Mann. “His proven track record of delivering profitable growth and driving operational excellence, as well as his innovative approach to products and distribution, is a strong fit with our company and vision.”

Benham and his wife currently live in Lincoln, Nebraska, but plan to relocate to the Springfield area.

Matthew Sharpe, who is currently overseeing the Life and Retirement division, will now move into a newly created position. In his role with the Business Development division, he will focus on leading the overall business strategy for the entire company.

“Under Matt’s leadership, we have been able to modernize our Life and Retirement product suite and infrastructure, as well as set strategy that aligns with our customer-centric mission,” Zuraitis said. “I’m excited for him to take on this new position, and continue the work that is critical to our long-term success.”

Sharpe has been with Horace Mann since January 2012, following several years working for Genworth Financial. He and his wife live in Springfield with their three children.