Symetra Life Insurance, a subsidiary of Washington-based Symetra Financial, is planning to significantly expand its presence in the group life insurance marketplace.

In connection with this, Symetra has appointed Donald Canfield as assistant vice president and director of group life and disability underwriting, to lead the underwriting operations of this emerging business.

Canfield he will be responsible for risk assessment and pricing of new and renewal business. Based in Symetra’s Connecticut offices near Hartford, where 60 Symetra employees currently work. The company expects to increase its presence in the Greater Hartford area in connection with this growth initiative.

Canfield has 25 years of experience and most recently served as a leader in the life and disability underwriting operations of Aetna Life Insurance. Prior to this, he held underwriting management positions at Integrated Disability Resources, Hartford Insurance Group and Cigna.

Symetra CEO Tom Marra said we see terrific growth potential for group life insurance in the underserved mid-sized employer market.

"This business is a natural extension of the employee benefits products we already offer, and it builds on our individual life insurance capability. With a renewed focus on group life, we want to create an even stronger employee benefits franchise and further diversify our product mix," Marra said