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Securian Asset Management names Suzette Huovinen president, Johnathan Heshelman head of private credit

Huovinen to succeed Sean O’Connell, who is retiring in July 2023

ST. PAUL, Minn.--Securian Asset Management, Inc., a subsidiary of Securian Financial, announced today that Suzette Huovinen will be its new president and CEO, effective January 1, 2023, and that Johnathan (John) Heshelman joined the firm on November 28, 2022, as the new head of its private credit team.

Huovinen will succeed Sean O’Connell, who will serve as chief investment officer until his retirement in July 2023. O’Connell, who has worked in multiple roles during his 29-year career with Securian Asset Management, has been the firm’s president since July 2021.

“Suzette Huovinen’s unique blend of experience makes her the right person at the right time to lead Securian Asset Management, and John Heshelman’s strong combination of experience in both the private and public sectors will serve him and the firm well as the new head of our private credit team,” said O’Connell. “I am looking forward to collaborating closely with Suzette and John over the next six months as we transition leadership of the firm. Clients can expect our expert investment execution and exceptional service to continue.”

Currently Securian Financial’s senior vice president of finance, Huovinen leads the company’s financial planning and analysis, tax, procurement, and other finance functions. She is also responsible for the company’s strategic finance and transformation initiatives. Since joining Securian Financial in 1997, Huovinen has held various managerial positions within the company’s corporate tax and corporate actuarial departments.

She was named second vice president in 2013, appointed chief actuary and chief risk officer in 2015, and vice president in 2017. Huovinen was promoted to senior vice president in 2019 when she was named CEO of Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company and Canadian Premier General Insurance Company, Securian Financial’s Canadian insurance company subsidiaries. Huovinen successfully led the development and execution of the company’s Canadian growth strategies for three years before moving back to Securian Financial’s home office to assume her current position.

Huovinen has a bachelor’s degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® and Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst designations, and she is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries. Huovinen currently chairs the Minnesota Children’s Museum’s board of directors.

Heshelman joined Securian Asset Management from the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, where he was a senior portfolio manager, managing a high yield and leveraged loan portfolio. He previously worked 15 years with PPM America in Chicago, where he held responsibilities covering private placements, distressed debt, and public corporate debt.

Heshelman is a CPA (inactive) and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation. He has both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin. 

About Securian Asset Management

Securian Asset Management, Inc. (“Securian AM”) is an institutional asset manager based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Securian AM was established in 1984 and traces its history back to 1880 with the founding of its parent company, Securian Financial Group, Inc. We provide investment capabilities that support third party and affiliate client needs, including longevity and private market solutions. As of November 30, 2022, Securian AM has more than $40 billion assets under management. For more information, visit or follow Securian Asset Management on LinkedIn. 

Securian Asset Management, Inc. is a subsidiary of Securian Financial Group, Inc. 

Securian Financial is the marketing name for Securian Financial Group, Inc. and affiliates. Minnesota Life Insurance Company is an affiliate of Securian Financial Group, Inc.

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DOFU 12-2022