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CIGNA Corp., which possesses the largest corporate legal department in Pennsylvania, has turned to a familiar face to replace retiring general counsel Thomas J. Wagner. Judith E. Soltz, a 22-year veteran of the company, was named executive vice president and general counsel, effective March 1, reporting to chairman and CEO H. Edward Hanway. She replaces Wagner, who is retiring after 21 years of service with the company — the last nine as its general counsel. In addition to her role heading up legal affairs, Soltz will oversee the company’s public affairs division — which includes public relations, government relations, investor relations and contributions and civic affairs. “Judy’s 22 years of experience at CIGNA, her proven ability in the legal and tax arenas, and her knowledge of public policy will be great assets to CIGNA in her new role,” Hanway said in a prepared statement. Soltz’s previous position was senior vice president and associate general counsel with responsibility for the corporate law department and overseeing legal counsel to CIGNA’s retirement and investment services, group insurance and reinsurance divisions. In the past few years, Soltz oversaw the legal end of the company’s divesting itself of certain businesses so it could refocus on employee benefits. The end result is a much smaller legal department — about 100 attorneys, mainly in Philadelphia and Connecticut, compared to more than 400 before the sale of its property and casualty insurance division to ACE Limited in 1999. “We have a great opportunity at CIGNA right now, especially when you look at the amount of change in the marketplace for employee benefits as well as technology,” Soltz said. “The challenge lies in getting our message out to a wide range of groups … by pulling all of the disciplines together to influence that external environment and responding to the crisis situations that will inevitably arise.” Soltz joined Connecticut General, a CIGNA predecessor company, in 1978 as a tax attorney after having practiced law in Boston and New York City. She eventually took the lead role in the company’s tax law department. When Connecticut General merged with Insurance Company of North America to form what is now CIGNA, Soltz relocated to Philadelphia and assumed a similar leadership role with tax law. She moved up the ranks of the legal department until 1989, when she moved over to the financial division to become corporate vice president in charge of CIGNA’s tax department, where she oversaw 85 employees — mainly accountants and actuaries. But after eight years on the business side, Wagner approached Soltz in 1998 and asked if she would consider returning to the legal department to spearhead the company’s business law initiatives — save for health care and international, which are run out of the company’s Connecticut offices. She accepted the offer and has been exceptionally busy ever since in helping the company streamline its business interests. Soltz said she knew that Wagner was contemplating retiring this year and a succession plan was in place before he officially announced his intentions. Hanway tabbed Soltz for the job earlier this year. Wagner, prior to joining the company in 1980, was senior vice president of government affairs at the American Insurance Association. He also once served as chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Adlai E. Stevenson of Illinois, and counsel to the treasurer and legislative assistant to the governor of Illinois. “I’ve known Tom for a long time, and he’s just a real good person to work for,” Soltz said of Wagner, who was vacationing and unavailable for comment at press time. “He’s been a wonderful colleague and mentor for many years. He has great judgment, so I would often find myself consulting with him about a variety of things, even when I wasn’t with the legal department.”

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