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Beneficial Life Insurance Co. has elected three new members to its board of directors.

Harold C. Yancey was elected chairman. Nolan E. Karras and William R. Walker were elected directors.They will fill vacancies on Beneficial Life's board created by a policy announced earlier this year by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that general authorities would leave boards of directors to focus on their worldwide ecclesiastical responsibilities.

The general authorities not standing for re-election to the board are: President Boyd K. Packer, board chairman; Elder Merrill J. Bateman; Bishop H. David Burton; Bishop Richard C. Edgley and Elder L. Aldin Porter.

Yancey, the new chairman, was Utah Insurance Commissioner from 1985 to 1993.

He has served as a consultant to insurance regulators and the insurance industry in a variety of capacities, including organizational management, sales, claims administration and agency management. He is a graduate of Woodbury College in Los Angeles.

Karras is a certified public accountant who currently is president of Karras and Associates Inc. He also has been an executive in corporations in Clearfield and Ogden. Before that, Karras practiced accounting in local and national firms. He also served for 10 years in the Utah House of Representatives and was Speaker of the House for two years.

Karras has an undergraduate degree in finance from Weber State University and a master's degree in business from the University of Utah.

Walker currently is vice president in the investment division of New York-based Citibank. He formerly was president of Balcor Securities Co. and national sales manager for Balcor/American Express, a national real estate investment company. Walker is considered an expert in the sales and marketing of securities and investment products. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University.

"The varied backgrounds of these new board members and their demonstrated leadership abilities will provide valuable guidance to Beneficial Life as it moves to become even more competitive and prominent in the life insurance marketplace," said Kent H. Cannon, Beneficial Life's president and CEO.

"Beneficial Life has benefited immeasurably from the leadership, vision and values of President Packer and the other retiring board members, including recent, significant increases in life insurance in force and development of very competitive products," Cannon said.

Beneficial Life is one of the oldest and largest life insurers in the Intermountain area with $1.5 billion in assets and more than $12 billion of life insurance in force.