Leadership Team

James D. Atkins

James D. Atkins, FSA, MAAA
Chief Executive Officer
jatkins@independent.life

James D. Atkins is the Chief Executive Officer of the Independent Life Insurance Company. Atkins is the former CEO of Legal & General America. Under Atkins’s leadership, LGA grew sales more than 50% over its previous high-water mark and became the carrier of choice for high value term life insurance and a top 10 provider of protection focused life insurance sold through the independent distribution channel. Prior to this position Atkins spent 25 years under the GE Financial Services umbrella (First Colony Life Insurance, GE Financial Assurance, and Genworth). During this time he acted in a variety of capacities including the roles of Chief Actuary and Capital Markets Leader. When he joined First Colony it was new in a fledgling structured settlement niche. During his tenure First Colony became one of the largest writers of this business. At its peak First Colony managed in excess of $10 Billion of Structured Settlement contracts. Atkins has broad relationships with the leading reinsurance companies active in the U.S. market and is an experienced insurance company executive.


Donald Herrema

Donald J. Herrema
Vice Chairman and Chief Investment Officer
dherrema@independent.life

Donald Herrema is the Chief Investment Officer for Independent Life. Herrema also serves as the independent Chairman of TD (Toronto-Dominion Bank) Asset Management USA Funds. He has held a variety of senior leadership postions, including being CEO of several. Herrema began his career at Wells Fargo Bank, rising through the ranks to become President of Wells Fargo Securities and Head of Mutual Funds. He later joined Bessemer Trust, becoming COO and then CEO, leading a period of strong growth in revenues and profitablity. Later, he was the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Atlantic Trust, now a subsidiary of CIBC (Canada). Additionally, Herrema served as a Managing Director and Head of Private Wealth Management, Americas, at Morgan Stanley and finally as Executive Vice Chairman of Kennedy Wilson (NYSE:KW). Herrema has served as an executive, director or advisor to several other United States and European-based private wealth management, fund management and other investment and financial services organizations. He also serves on the boards of several charitable and philanthropic organizations.


Daniel Durbin

Daniel P. Durbin, CSCC
Vice President of Marketing and Sales
ddurbin@independent.life

Daniel Durbin is Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Independent Life. Durbin is a former lead national sales manager of Allstate Life’s structured settlement division. In this role, he was responsible for relationships within a distribution channel of structured settlement agencies and their independent contractor producers. Allstate’s structured settlement annuity distribution channel produced in excess of $ 3 billion of premiums during his tenure at Allstate Life. Prior to joining Allstate, as a structured settlement broker he personally produced in excess $100 million in premiums from more than 2,500 cases. Durbin is also a former Director and President of the National Structured Settlement Trade Association (NSSTA).


Patrick Hindert

Patrick J. Hindert, J.D., CSCC
Vice President of Business Development
phindert@independent.life

Patrick J. Hindert is Vice President of Business Development for Independent Life. Hindert has been a leader in the structured settlement industry since 1977. He previously served as President of Benefit Designs, a national structured settlement intermediary, which he owned and managed for 22 years. He has also served as President of the National Structured Settlement Trade Association (NSSTA) and as Executive Director of the Society of Settlement Planners (SSP). Hindert is co-author of “Structured Settlement and Periodic Payment Judgments”, a legal treatise updated semi-annually since 1986, which is utilized by NSSTA and SSP in their certification programs. Hindert previously authored the industry blog “Beyond Structured Settlements” and has been a frequent speaker at national conferences sponsored by NSSTA, SSP, NAMSAP, ASNP, NASP and NAELA. Hindert served as keynote speaker at the first national structured settlement conference in Australia in 1994. He provided expert testimony to the United States House Ways and Means Committee in 1981 prior to enactment of the Periodic Payment Settlement Act of 1982.


Chris Bua

Christopher M. Bua, J.D.
Vice President of Internal Sales
cbua@independent.life

Christopher Bua is the Vice President of Internal Sales for Independent Life. Bua was previously on the brokerage side of the structured settlement industry for 10 years, working directly with attorneys, plaintiffs, adjusters, and settlement consultants on creating structured settlements. Bua oversaw the placement of over $1.3 Billion dollars in structured settlement premium during this time. While at Delta Settlements, Bua led a project team that developed annuity analysis reports that rank among the best in the industry.