Oakland-based Sitzmann Morris & Lavis (SML), an independently owned insurance advisory firms in Northern California, has appointed Matthew Sitzmann as new CEO.

Sitzmann joined SML in 1999 and quickly assumed the role of employee benefits department manager. In 2002, he was appointed as chief operating officer. He began his insurance career with Great West Life in 1994.

SML founder Gary Sitzmann will remain as chairman of the SML board.

Sitzmann said Matt’s organization, facilitation and leadership skills are exactly what this company needs to continue the development and execution of client deliverables, solidify the company’s ownership and management succession plan and effectively guide the firm into the future.

SML is a provider of employee benefits, life insurance, estate planning, 401(k) retirement planning services. It works with more than 750 group insurance and over 3,000 individual life insurance clients.