JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The board of directors of Life of the South Corp. voted unanimously to change the name of the company to Fortegra Financial Corp. The company also announced several staffing changes in its Payment Protection Division.

Fortegra Financial

President/CEO Richard Kahlbaugh announced last week that Life of the South would henceforth be known as Fortegra Financial Corp.

"After consulting with many investment bankers, we determined that a name without a regional reference was more appropriate as we continue to drive to an initial public offering," Kahlbaugh said. "Equally compelling has been our success in expanding our footprint. We now conduct business in over 30 states and have the authority to conduct business in over 40 states. Finally, we are completing an acquisition that will give us a significant presence in the Southwest and the West Coast."

Kahlbaugh made it clear that the name change and rebranding is limited to the holding company. "While we are changing the name of the holding company, the operating entities will maintain their brand," he said. "The name change will be completely transparent to our customers and the markets they serve. More importantly, we remain committed to maintaining our business model and our customer-focused service which has been the hallmark of our brand."

Staffing changes

The company also made key staffing changes in its Payment Protection Division. The company has promoted Bruce Bradley, first v.p. and business unit leader of the regional bank unit, to assume responsibility for both the regional and community bank units which make up the company's financial institution group.

Patti Jones, currently the company's client development officer, was promoted to assistant v.p. and business unit officer in its financial institution group, where she will assist Bradley in meeting the needs of its community and regional bank clients and its general agents who look to the company for credit insurance and debt cancellation solutions.

Finally, the company announced that Victor Halbach, its current sales support manager, has been appointed to succeed Jones as the division's new client development director and trainer. Halback has been with the firm since 2006 and has more than 15 years of bank training and wholesaling experience.