Leadership Team

James D. Atkins, FSA, MAAA

James D. Atkins, FSA, MAAA
Chief Executive Officer
jatkins@Independent.Life
Office: 214.613.5122

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’ 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 served 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 J. Herrema

Donald J. Herrema
Vice Chairman and Chief Investment Officer
dherrema@Independent.Life
Office: 214.613.5125

Donald Herrema is the Chief Investment Officer for Independent Life Insurance Company. Herrema also serves as the independent Chairman of TD (Toronto-Dominion Bank) Asset Management USA Funds. 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 profitability. 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 adviser 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.


J. Todd Hagely, CPA

J. Todd Hagely, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
thagely@Independent.Life
Office: 214.731.4230

Todd Hagely is the Chief Financial Officer for Independent Life Insurance Company. Hagely is the former CFO of the Direct Auto & Life Insurance Group where he managed all financial aspects of the company including strategic planning, financial reporting and compliance, treasury, tax, audit and risk management. Hagely led Direct through a number of financial transactions including an initial public offering and the acquisition and subsequent sale by private-equity investors. During his tenure, Hagely helped drive Direct’s revenue growth from $100 million to $600 million. Hagely was previously an audit manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers where he specialized in the life and property & casualty insurance industries.


Patrick J. Hindert, J.D., CSCC

Patrick J. Hindert, J.D., CSCC
Vice President of Business Development
phindert@Independent.Life
Office: 214.613.5141

Patrick J. Hindert is Vice President of Business Development for Independent Assignment Company. 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 Settlements 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.


Jessica Murfin

Jessica Murfin
Vice President of Marketing
jmurfin@Independent.Life
Office: 214.233.3304

Jessica Murfin is the Vice President of Marketing for Independent Assignment Company. Previously, Murfin was Sr. Director of Marketing at One Call, the nation’s largest provider of workers’ compensation ancillary services. While at One Call, she led the company's product marketing efforts for both the workers' compensation and group health markets in addition to managing the account-based marketing strategies for the company's top 100 customers. She has extensive experience in building comprehensive product and program launches and in growing brands through content development and thought leadership. Murfin is a proud alumnus of Florida State University and serves as a board member for the Jacksonville Seminole Club.


Christopher M. Bua, J.D.

Christopher M. Bua, J.D.
Vice President of Internal Sales
cbua@Independent.Life
Office: 214.613.5148

Christopher Bua is the Vice President of Internal Sales for Independent Assignment Company. Bua was previously on the brokerage side of the structured settlement industry for 10 years, working directly with attorneys, plaintiffs, adjusters, and settlement consultants to create structured settlements. Bua oversaw the placement of over $1.3 billion 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. His brokerage background gives him a unique perspective and is what motivates him to lead his team to deliver industry-leading, dependable and prompt customer service to our clients.


Robert A. Sokol, Jr., CMSP

Robert A. Sokol, Jr., CMSP
Director of Field Sales
rsokol@Independent.Life
Office: 214.307.6029

Robert A. Sokol, Jr. is the Director of Field Sales for Independent Assignment Company. Previously, Sokol was Vice President of Business Development and Area Director for NuQuest, a nationally known Medicare Secondary Payer Compliance Services organization. He has spoken nationally on the topics of Medicare compliance and structured settlements at various professional conferences, state claims associations, third-party administrators and carrier claims teams. Prior to NuQuest, Sokol was a member of the senior management team at Cambridge Galaher Settlements. Sokol is a Certified Medicare Secondary Payer (CMSP) professional. He also holds a Life / Health Insurance license in various states.