Patrick Welch will resign from his position as chairman, president and CEO of the National Life Group, a cluster of financial services and insurance companies that includes the Sentinel Family of Mutual Funds. Welch is leaving the company to become president of CIGNA HealthCare.

At Cigna, he replaces William Pastore, who is leaving the firm to pursue "other opportunities," Cigna said in a statement. Pastore had been president of Cigna since 1999.

National Life Group's board of directors has appointed one of its members, Thomas MacLeay, to lead the company while it searches for candidates to replace Welch. MacLeay has worked for National Life Group for 25 years, including five years as its president and COO.

Welch joined National Life as chairman and CEO in 1997. During Welch's five-year tenure, National Life's assets grew from roughly $1 billion to $13.2 billion.

Before joining the firm, he served as chairman and CEO of GNA Corp., an insurance and financial services company that is a subsidiary of General Electric Corp.

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